Special Education Foundations

Program Details

As a student in our Special Education Foundations program, you will develop the skill set and knowledge you need to deliver transformative experiences to young learners with disabilities. Special education teachers combine communication, adaptability, inventiveness, empathy, organizational prowess, and instructional expertise to create individualized learning opportunities (IEPs) to meet the unique needs of their students.

The Sahan Journal reports: “On a national level, more teachers are leaving the profession and fewer people are becoming teachers (especially special education teachers), causing significant teacher shortages in most states. Finding and retaining effective teachers is a challenge. Finding and retaining effective teachers from underrepresented groups is even more challenging.”

At Inver Hills, you will study to become a special education professional by mastering the following topic areas: 1) Intro to Special Education 2) Intro to Education and Reflective Teaching 3) Interpersonal Communication 4) Child and Adolescent Psychology 5) Instructional Strategies.

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Transfer Information

After completing this A.S. transfer pathway, you will be able to transfer with junior-year status to the following Minnesota State universities:

Important Information

Note: If you have been arrested, charged or convicted of any criminal offense, you should investigate the impact that the arrest, charge or conviction may have on your chances of employment in the field you intend to study or on your chances to obtain federal, state and other higher education financial aid.

Some courses within this program require a criminal background study to successfully complete. Please see the course description section of the catalog for more details. Please refer to the Criminal Background section of the catalog for more information on the criminal background study.

Student Resources

Criminal Background Study

A background study involves reviewing specific individual records by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). Routine background studies include a review of criminal history information maintained by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) along with records of substantiated maltreatment of vulnerable adults and minors from investigations completed by county adult and child protection staff, the Minnesota DHS, and Minnesota Department of Health.

In some cases, additional records are also reviewed. Information related to criminal background studies can be found by visiting Minnesota DHS Background Studies.

Some educational programs have specific courses that require you to receive background study clearance to meet course or field/clinical agency requirements. In certain instances, the administrator may notify you that further progression in the educational program is not feasible due to your background check status. If you are enrolled in classes that require a background clearance and subsequently do not receive clearance, you will not have the opportunity to pass the class, and you will not qualify for a refund.

As a student enrolled in an Education department course, you will be required to complete a background study and receive background study clearance to complete the course.

If you participate in field experience/community-based learning, you may need to complete a criminal background study. Many school districts and community partners require background studies before you can serve at their organizations. During your first week of the semester, your instructor will inform you about the process for completing the criminal background check if required in a specific course.

Financial Aid

Three financial aid programs are available when you’re majoring in certain areas of education:

  1. Federal Student Aid TEACH Grant
  2. T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® MINNESOTA
  3. Minnesota Teacher Shortage Student Loan Repayment Program

Teacher Education at Inver Hills Adds Up

What you’ll accomplish as a student in our Education department:
  1. Gain the knowledge, expertise, and insights you need to enter the world of teaching
  2. Earn an associate degree that allows you to transfer with junior-year status to a four-year school
  3. Work directly with experienced, student-focused education faculty
  4. Harness your capacity to profoundly impact the lives of children
  5. Find a career with a family-friendly work schedule
  6. Benefit from small classes and collaborate with likeminded classmates
  7. Never stop learning as you advance in your teaching career
  8. Learn from topflight instructors with firsthand teaching experience
  9. Take your creativity to new levels as you help children learn
  10. Get the chance to change the future one life at a time
  11. Follow a career path that’s never dull and keeps you young
  12. Save money and continue your academic and professional careers with less student debt

According to U.S. News & World Report, national student loan debt topped $1.7 trillion in the second quarter of 2021, or roughly $740 billion more than U.S. total credit card debt.

In Minnesota, 900,000 student loan borrowers owe an average $31,250 in federal and private student debt. That debt translates into an average monthly payment topping $250. 

Tuition and fees for one year at Inver Hills costs a little less than $5,500. Compare that to $15,000 to $20,000 at a for-profit college, or $40,000 to $50,000+ at a private college or university. You can complete your first two years at Inver Hills getting a topflight, hands-on education from knowledgeable, caring and experienced faculty and then transfer to a four-year school as a junior all while saving thousands of dollars.