Special Education majors get field experience

Contributed photo: Special Education majors helped out those with disabilities.Contributed photo: Special Education majors helped out those with disabilities.

Through a university -to-school partnership, Special Education majors are getting first-hand experience in their field of study with the help of their professor, Susan Johnson, M.S. Ed. You may have even seen them moseying around campus.

The partnership allows students in Johnson’s High Incidence Disabilities: Effective Instructional Practices course to partner with individuals with disabilities from a local middle school and high school to mentor and help orientate them to a college campus, twice every month here at Mercyhurst. During their time together, the students work on a curriculum involving functional daily living skills, safety and independent navigation skills, and functional skills that are typically needed in post-secondary life.

This type of exposure is just, “one of many clinical experiences that our undergraduate program offers our Special Education majors” said Johnson.

It is highly recommended, and even encouraged, for those pursuing a degree in education to adopt a dual major in Special Education, since the likelihood of an individual with a disability being in one of their classrooms is almost certain.

Hands-on experience is particularly essential in the preparation for a career in the field of education, as it gives students exposure to an array of personalities, reactions and situations that they may encounter while teaching, thus building sensitivities to such conditions and strengthening their abilities to work through them.

Through personal experience with field placements, and by speaking with fellow Education majors and teachers, these interactive experiences within the field benefit each individual involved and are a significant component towards earning a degree in education.