May 19, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

Special Education/Elementary Education, BA

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About the Program

The Inclusion program unifies Elementary Education and Special Education teacher preparation to prepare future teachers to meet the unique needs of elementary students with and without disabilities. The Inclusion program focuses on the knowledge, disposition, and skills necessary to effectively serve students with various educational needs in kindergarten through 6th grade. This undergraduate program underscores critical thinking and data-driven decision making. The program is grounded in evidence-based practices that emphasizes (a) deep knowledge in all content areas (b) fostering the application of content knowledge to the classroom, (c) differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all students, and (d) understanding the contextual aspects of teaching (e.g., the organizational and policy context).

The program links courses with field experiences in partner school settings. Students are given opportunities to practice specialized skills to meet the individual needs of elementary students with and without disabilities in the classroom; develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs); engage in data-driven decision making; and develop instructional, material and environmental modifications to support access to general education curricula. The inclusion program leverages and extends competencies of elementary teachers to build effective instruction and support for all learners.

An Inclusion major graduate is qualified to teach children in general education grades kindergarten through 6 (K-6) as well as special education for students with support needs ranging from mild to intense. Graduates are prepared to support all leaners across a continuum of placements and to collaborate with a variety of professionals to meet the needs of students. The Inclusion Plan of Study outlines the required courses to complete the degree for licensure.

This program meets state and national licensure standards and is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the State of Indiana, State Board of Education. Admission to and successful completion of the Teacher Education Program (TEP) are required.

For more information about the degree program, visit the COE Office of Advising and Recruiting. For teacher licensure information, visit the Office of Teacher Education and Licensure.

Special Education/Elementary Education Major Change (CODO) Requirements  

Degree Requirements

131 Credits Required

Departmental/Program Major Requirements (100 credits)

All courses below (including Additional Professional Courses) are included in Professional Education GPA (“B” average with no grade lower than a “C”).

Elective (0-1 credits)

Grade Requirements

  • All courses in the Departmental Requirements (including Additional Professional Courses) are included in Professional Education GPA (“B” average with no grade lower than a “C”).

GPA Requirements

  • 2.8 Graduation GPA is required for Bachelor of Arts degree.
  • 2.8 Overall GPA is required for the Teacher Education Program and Indiana Licensure.
  • 3.0 Professional Education GPA is required for the Teacher Education Program and Indiana Licensure. (**) Courses included in Professional Education GPA.

College of Education Pass/No Pass Option Policy

Education majors (which includes the total credit hour requirement to fulfill General Education: Educational Studies and General Education:  Curriculum & Instruction) are not eligible to receive P/NP for required courses on your plan of study.  Only electives and courses at the 500+ level can have a grade mode change.

Spring 2020 was the only exception approved for the entire campus. 

University Requirements

University Core Requirements

For a complete listing of University Core Course Selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.
  • Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Science (BSS)
  • Human Cultures: Humanities (HUM)
  • Information Literacy (IL)
  • Oral Communication (OC)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Science #1 (SCI)
  • Science #2 (SCI)
  • Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
  • Written Communication (WC) 

Civics Literacy Proficiency Requirement

The Civics Literacy Proficiency activities are designed to develop civic knowledge of Purdue students in an effort to graduate a more informed citizenry. For more information visit the Civics Literacy Proficiency website.

Students will complete the Proficiency by passing a test of civic knowledge, and completing one of three paths:

  • Attending six approved civics-related events and completing an assessment for each; or
  • Completing 12 podcasts created by the Purdue Center for C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement that use C-SPAN material and completing an assessment for each; or
  • Earning a passing grade for one of these approved courses (or transferring in approved AP or departmental credit in lieu of taking a course).

Upper Level Requirement

  • Resident study at Purdue University for at least two semesters and the enrollment in and completion of at least 32 semester hours of coursework required and approved for the completion of the degree. These courses are expected to be at least junior-level (30000+) courses.
  • Students should be able to fulfill most, if not all, of these credits within their major requirements; there should be a clear pathway for students to complete any credits not completed within their major.

Additional Information

Sample 4-Year Plan

(See your advisor for other options in creating your SPED Education Plan of Study.)

18-19 Credits

17 Credits

18 Credits

17-19 Credits

17 Credits

17 Credits

15 Credits

12 Credits

Pre-Requisite Information

For pre-requisite information, click here.

World Language Courses

World Language proficiency requirements vary by program. The following list is inclusive of all world languages PWL offers for credit; for acceptable languages and proficiency levels, see your advisor. (ASL-American Sign Language; ARAB-Arabic; CHNS-Chinese; FR-French; GER-German; GREK-Greek(Ancient); HEBR-Hebrew(Biblical); HEBR-Hebrew(Modern); ITAL-Italian; JPNS-Japenese; KOR-Korean; LATN-Latin; PTGS=Portuguese; RUSS-Russian; SPAN-Spanish)

Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical.

In alignment with the Degree Map Guidance for Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities, published by the Commission for Higher Education (pursuant to HEA 1348-2013), a Critical Course is identified as “one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major.  Students who want to be nurses, for example, should know that they are expected to be proficient in courses like biology in order to be successful.  These would be identified by the institutions for each degree program”. 


The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.

Consultation with an advisor may result in an altered plan customized for an individual student.

The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.

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