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Announcements

Dr. Rhonda Kraai

New LD Program Offers Great Opportunities

The Department of Special Education recently added a new undergraduate program in learning disabilities (LD). This program complements our existing LD master’s program.

Why get trained in learning disabilities? Here in Michigan, about 30% of students receiving special education services have specific learning disabilities and teachers in learning disabilities are on Michigan’s Critical Teacher Shortage list. A recent survey of special education administrators in Washtenaw, Wayne, Livingston and Monroe counties found that over half of the area schools reported a preference for hiring teachers with an LD endorsement. Almost a third of the responding schools had trouble finding qualified LD applicants.

Across Michigan and the US there is a continued demand for special education teachers and there aren't nearly enough of them to go around. Job prospects are excellent and many schools report problems finding certified special education teachers. Special education teachers work with children and young adults who have physical or mental disabilities. "Special education teachers work with a wide variety of students who have exceptionalities which impact numerous life experiences such as learning and forming social relationships. They also help students by teaching to their unique learning styles as well as assisting general education classroom teachers to identify inclusion strategies that will make the student successful with the general education curriculum. 

Special education teachers use a variety of different teaching methods to help their students learn. They must devote a lot of time and energy to their students. Most of these teachers do it because they love the work and find it very rewarding.

At Eastern the LD special education classes are taught by full-time faculty. Graduates of the program find good jobs and have won numerous local, state, and national awards with many being named teacher of the year. Classes are small, typically 20-25 students. We focus on helping form future leaders in special education and there is significant support for those students interested in doing research in the field even as undergraduate. Eastern is a very cost effective university and there are many scholarships available to our special education students.

Do you have a place in your heart for children and youth with special needs?  If so, a career as an LD special education teacher may be for you. Eastern Michigan University is a long-time leader in innovative special needs training, having had one of the first programs in the nation (1914). For more information contact: Dr. Rhonda Kraai (734.487.3300 or rkraai@emich.edu)

posted 1/5/17