Stout School of Education
Special Education

Special Education

This program was reviewed and accredited by CAEP in the spring of 2016.

“Over the past four years, I have loved getting to be a part of the High Point University School of Education. It has given me so many impactful experiences and opportunities that have helped shape me into a better person and teacher.   From the classes, to the hands-on learning in schools, to community outreach, to the amazing professors, I feel like I am truly equipped with the knowledge that I need to be the best special education teacher I can be! I am so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to learn how to teach at the High Point University School of Education and would highly recommend it to anyone that wants to go into any type of teaching.”
~Caroline Hartley, Class of 2019, Special Education/Adapted Curriculum


The education program at High Point University has long been recognized for its excellence throughout North Carolina and the eastern United States. Our program is based within the liberal arts tradition; it is rigorous, field-centered and highly personalized. The teacher education programs at High Point University meet the requirements of both the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the North Carolina State Board of Education.

Special education majors have a choice between two programs of study, General Curriculum or Adapted Curriculum.  A major in special education will qualify a student for licensure either in Special Education: General Curriculum (K-12) or Special Education: Adapted Curriculum (K-12) depending upon which program of study they choose to follow.  Several General Education area requirements and core courses may be fulfilled by required courses in professional education and supporting disciplines.

Students are now able to take American Sign Language.

Effective Fall 2019:
Students pursuing degrees in the School of Education will have the option of selecting between the Licensure-Track and Non-Licensure Track programs of study within the Elementary Education, Special Education, Middle Grades Education or Health/Physical Education programs of study.

Licensure Track:
Student Teaching with N.C. licensure will become an optional track that students may pursue at the end of the program.  Choosing this track requires completion of the mandatory 16-week student teaching, all related licensure tests, and the edTPA portfolio.  These credits will be included in the required 128 to graduate.

Degree ONLY (Non-Licensure Track)
Students who choose (or who are moved) to the non-licensure track in the degree program will earn a B.A. degree in Elementary Education, Special Education, Middle Grades Education or Health/Physical Education.  Instead of student teaching students will complete other university electives to reach the required 128 credits for graduation and a four credit internship that is not student teaching.   The School of Education does not apply for North Carolina license as the required student teaching, edTPA portfolio, and teacher exams are not part of this track.

Why education is a top major

  • The School of Education is housed in a brand new LEED-Certified facility which includes an expansive Teacher- Resource Center, a simulated elementary classroom methods lab and $250,000 of state-of-the-art technology
  • HPU offers programs of study that reflect the latest research on best practices in teaching
  • Experiential learning opportunities in the community allow for HPU students to become deeply connected with the area, including Literacy Nights and LEGO Education Workshops
  • Opportunities to engage in study course material on trips to various venues, including the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.
  • Students have a choice of many opportunities including service learning, undergraduate research and B.A. to M.Ed. program
  • Faculty includes former school superintendents, classroom teachers, school psychologists, principals and curriculum specialists, all of whom are currently engaged in scholarship and public school K-12 initiatives

Pearson’s Foundations of Reading and General Curriculum Exam and Praxis II Exams

All undergraduate students who complete degrees in special education are required to pass the Pearson’s Foundations of Reading test, the General Curriculum tests and Praxis II Specialty Area Exam in order to be eligible for N.C. Teacher licensure. These comprehensive multiple choice and essay examinations are standardized test typically taken at the end of the four year program of study. High Point University’s program completers have exceeded the State of North Carolina’s average pass rates on the Pearson’s reading, math and multi-subject tests and have averaged a 100% pass rate on the Praxis II examination the past three years (2015-2017).



STEM Education at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center

HPU education students had the opportunity to travel to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. to gain new knowledge and teaching tactics surrounding STEM-science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This trip prepared education majors to help their future students understand the relevance of space, space exploration and STEM-related fields in their daily lives.

Unparalleled access to LEGO education

Dr. Shirley Disseler, HPU assistant professor of education and chairperson of the Global LEGO Education Advisory Panel, created the LEGO Education Project at HPU. LEGO Education offers unique solutions for educators who want to incorporate innovation, creativity and hands-on learning into the classroom. Education students at HPU visit local elementary schools to introduce LEGO Education. They also host students, teachers and parents on HPU’s campus for LEGO Education showcase events. Disseler says LEGO Education gives her students a unique opportunity to act as educational leaders. When students go into schools, they’re instructing other teachers on how to implement projects.

Student clubs & organizations

  • Kappa Delta Pi (International Honor Society in Education)
  • North Carolina Association of Elementary Educators
  • Teachers of Tomorrow
  • Student Council for Exceptional Children

Stout School of Education

School of Education Photos