Presented here is our next installment of cheap online degrees, the top affordable online special education degree programs. Individuals who choose to pursue Special Education as a career path deserve our utmost respect. These professionals put in a copious amount of time and attention, all while maintaining an incredible amount of patience, to care for children with disabilities. Becoming a successful special educator requires a specific academic background and rigorous training as part of an undergraduate degree.
To become a teacher in special education, you’ll need to get a B.S. or B.A. degree in Education with some type of unique certification or endorsement in Special Education. You might also choose a degree with a focus on a particular age range, such as K-6 or high school. Although you can always choose a traditional brick-and-mortar institution for your education, you can also earn your degree entirely online. There are dozens of programs out there for you to choose from, and we’ve done some of the work for you. Below is a list of the 10 least expensive of all these programs, which makes it a great resource for the budget-conscious.
In addition to being affordable, all these programs are top quality, fully accredited, and often highly ranked by major publications like Forbes and U.S. News. These online special education degree programs are listed from most to least expensive, and we positioned public schools based on the average of their in-state and out-of-state tuition rates.
Cheap Online Special Education Degree Program Ranking
10. University of Georgia
Online Bachelor of Science in Special Education (B.S.Ed.)
The University of Georgia’s affordable online college program in Special Education takes a proactive approach to assisting students to succeed. The Bachelor of Science in Special Education degree prepares graduates for successful certification for a K-12 Special Education General Curriculum. Education students develop the skills needed to instruct children with mild to moderate disabilities and enjoy a curriculum accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. In addition, Princeton Review named the school a Best Southeastern College as a “stand out” in the region, and U.S. News & World Report ranks the university 20th among the nation’s top public universities in their 2015 Best Colleges edition.
Tuition: $10,262/yr (In-state) $28,472/yr (Out-of-state)
Rare for a cheap online college, Grand Canyon University’s education department offers a dual major in education. The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education degree is designed to lead to a K-12 teacher certification. Students at this best online college learn how to develop and implement individualized educational plans that meet professional teaching standards, and learn concepts and theories through proven, practice-based experiences. Prior to graduation, and in order to obtain the online special education degree, students are placed in two student teaching positions, one working with special needs children and another in a regular classroom. The Higher Learning Commission has been accrediting the university since 1968, and the Arizona State for Private Postsecondary Education Board licenses this top online college.
8. Kansas State University Global
Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education/Special Education
Kansas State University’s Early Childhood Education Bachelor Degree is an online college program that prepares students for a career working with pre-K children. The program includes both special education and case management. Students graduate ready to work as teachers or administrators in early education, including with community agencies. Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Kansas State Department of Education, this accredited online special education degree program leads to several teacher-credentialing opportunities. Although students must complete one student teaching semester in the state of Kansas to be eligible for licensing, the remainder of the degree is available online out-of-state. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school at #124 for a national university, and Forbes ranks Kansas State at #88 for midwestern schools.
Tuition: $8,585/yr (In-state) $21,530/yr (Out-of-state)
7. City University of Seattle
Online Bachelor of Arts in Education: Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Special Education
A Bachelor of Arts in Education: Elementary Education online college degree from the City University of Seattle leads to teacher certification in Washington State. This cheap online college is long on value; students can focus on elementary education only, or s can expand into other areas, including special education. The university’s affordable online college program is designed to be extremely flexible and offers a “mixed-mode” approach that allows students to conduct field experiences and take some classes on campus if they want. The online special education degree qualifies students for the Washington State Residency Teaching Certificate for elementary education, and the reputable Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board has accredited the university’s School of Education programs.
6. Stephen F. Austin State University
Online Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Concentration in Special Education
Stephen F. Austin State University, a top online college, offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with several elective concentrations. The Special Education concentration qualifies students to work with and teach special needs children. The cheap online special education degree program also prepares students for teaching certification in special education or general education. There are several other opportunities available with this online college, as well, including the opportunity for paraprofessionals in education to advance their careers and gain a teaching credential. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school at #164 under the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs category, and the Council for Exceptional Children recognizes the school’s special education program.
Tuition: $8,412/yr (In-state) $19,032/yr (Out-of-state)
5. East Carolina University
Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education Online
East Carolina University declares its purpose is to develop “academically and technically proficient” educators committed to the “intellectual empowerment of others.” Their accredited online special education program obtains that goal by placing students in classroom environments, while the coursework is completely online. In the senior year, a full-time public school internship is required. As an accredited online college, they have received high marks from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, and North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school at #141 under Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, and Princeton Review named the school a Best Southeastern College.
Tuition: $6,143/yr (In-state) $20,256/yr (Out-of-state)
4. University of Southern Mississippi
Online Special Education – B.S. (Licensure)
A “flagship for teacher education,” University of Southern Mississippi offers a bachelor’s degree in special education within their online college program. Students prepare for teaching careers in several areas of exceptionality. and a licensing track leads directly to a State of Mississippi certification in mild/moderate disabilities (K-12). Students must attend practical exercises during their upper division course work in the Hattiesburg or Gulf Coast areas; currently employed special education assistants can request exemptions to complete the all-online college program. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school at #204 under High School Counselor Rankings, while Forbes labels the university at #553 nationally and #145 for the Southern states.
Tuition: $6,744/yr (In-state) $15,024/yr (Out-of-state)
3. University of Central Missouri
Online Special Education Program
More than just a cheap online college, the University of Central Missouri’s special education programs are “truly among the best higher education values” in the nation. Founded in 1870 as one of the state’s first teacher training institutions, the school has since developed a wide curriculum under the motto “Education For Service.” The online special education degree program began in the early 1960s with a growing understanding of special needs children. This top online college knows that occupational opportunities abound in special education, and the diversity of their education programs, including degrees and certifications, offers any student a great start in a professional special educational teaching career. Princeton Review recently named Central Missouri a Best Midwestern College.
Tuition: $7,265/yr (In-state) $13,659/yr (Out-of-state)
2. North Central University
Special Education – Bachelor of Education Online
North Central University’s Special Education Bachelor Degree, an accredited online college program, skillfully prepares students for the special needs classroom. The program promotes an understanding of special education children and regulatory expectations, both state and federal. School districts are mandated to provide specific services to children with disabilities, and with this top online college, knowledge of the law’s requirements puts the new teacher ahead. This accredited online college believes that superior leadership skills are essential to being a special education professional and integrates this belief into its curriculum. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as the Teacher Education Accreditation Council, have given the school accreditation.
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Western Governors University’s affordable online college programs offer “degrees, not classes.” Their non-traditional approach measures educational accomplishment based on demanding assessments, but don’t expect a complete diversion from tradition at this cheap online college. Tests, term papers, and assignments are part of the course work. The online special education degree curriculum prepares students to teach moderate to low disability children, while university mentors help students develop personalized degree plans. This accredited online college aims to be flexible, but still make its distance education programs as challenging as traditional courses. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, has given the university regional accreditation, while the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education accredited the university as one of the early all online schools.
About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates’ careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.