2024-2025 Academic Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2024-2025 Academic Catalog

Elementary Education, BA, Concentration: Special Needs

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About the Program

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The Elementary Education/Special Needs dual license concentration is designed to provide you with an understanding of the teaching methods, practices and challenges found in elementary classrooms. You will build skills in teaching while you develop an understanding of development theories, best practices and the latest research in the field. Courses are offered in a sequence or series of strands, each focusing on specific aspects of learning and education related to working in general educational contexts and with exceptional learners. As you follow this sequence, you’ll engage in experiences and coursework that prepare you for the challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s classrooms.

The School of Education and Counseling at Purdue University Northwest offers programs in education and counseling based on the state of Indiana’s requirements for licensure for classroom teachers, licensed mental health counselors, and school counselors. As part of the NASDTEC, the state of Indiana has teacher reciprocity agreements with 46 states. However, counseling candidates must meet the qualifications of the state in which they are located. Candidates are encouraged to contact the state agency or other regulatory body responsible for determining the state’s requirements for certification and/or licensure.

Degree Requirements

  • 125 Credit Hours
  • Minimum grade of C required for all courses
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75 required for graduation

PNW General Education Core (30 Credits)

Civics Literacy Proficiency

The Civics Literacy Proficiency activities are designed to develop civic knowledge of Purdue Northwest students in an effort to graduate a more informed citizenry.

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 the approved courses (or transferring in approved AP or departmental credit in lieu of taking a course)

For more information visit the Civics Literacy Proficiency website.

Total 125 Credits Required

Degree Map


Minimum Grade and Grade Point Average (GPA):  Minimum grade of C required for all courses; 2.75 GPA

Experiential Learning (EL):  One EL course required, select from the Experiential Learning course list  

General Education Core:  General Education notations can be found within the course description.  Please click on a course to see if it meets a Gen Ed requirement.

Milestone Courses noted by (m) next to the course title have been identified as being critical to your success in this field of study. 

Courses marked with (f) require field observations.

Please see the Additional Information and Guidelines section below for more information.

Additional Information and Guidelines

Admission to program required to begin Semester 4 courses. Admission requirements include ACT/SAT/Praxis CASE scores, a minimum GPA of 2.5, minimum C in all milestone courses, and admission interview.


The 8 semester plan of study is a recommended sequence of classes designed to show how this program can be completed within four years.

Visit the 15 to Finish website for information and resources.

For career information, click here to visit the Careers and Employment Trends page.

For Financial Aid eligibility, click here. Annual FAFSA filing deadline is March 10. Financial Aid recipients are required to complete 30 credits per calendar year to stay eligible for the standard financial aid award.

Financial Guarantee: If you follow the degree map and find a course unavailable, you may be able to take the course for free in a future semester.  Certain exclusions apply. 

College Scorecard

The U.S. Department of Education has created a scorecard for each university and its programs.  The scorecard shows data for the university such as graduation rate, average annual cost, and median earnings.  Then, when certain minimum standards have been met, data are available for a specific program.  That data could include median earnings, median total debt, and number of graduates. The link below will help you learn more:


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