The U.S. is experiencing a critical shortage of highly qualified special education teachers. You’ll be highly employable with a degree in special education from Northern State University!
    About The Program

    The special education bachelor's degree gives you the skills necessary to support students with diverse learning needs in a variety of settings as a special education teacher, and often is paired as a double major with NSU’s elementary education degree.


    Each candidate admitted to our teacher education program receives an iPad. Our special education majors often hear from special education experts and work with area schools. To further enhance your classroom experience, NSU’s special education professors have forged partnerships with community programs that serve people with disabilities.


    NSU has an active Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) chapter, providing additional opportunities to work with students with disabilities in our community.


    NSU students have a high first-trial pass rate on the required Praxis exams. 





    NSU’s K-12 special education degree prepares you to work with students with disabilities in a variety of settings such as schools, residential facilities, and hospitals, or to work as an adult service provider.


    For more information on careers in your major or help choosing a major, contact Career Services.


    NSU special education students gain valuable hands-on experience in field placements during their sophomore, junior and senior years, including a formal student teaching experience.


    School of Education scholarships are available to incoming freshmen and upperclassmen. For details, please call the School of Education at 605-626-2415.


    Education Scholarships


    NSU Scholarships

    Program Success/Outcomes

    “I chose Northern because it was close to home. What got me to stay at Northern was the Blind and Visually Impaired program, and the support from my professors. I’m majoring in Special Education with endorsements in Teaching Students with Blindness and Visual Impairments, K-12 Braille Education, and Early Childhood Special Education. Northern and the South Dakota School for the Blind have a very unique partnership. I have been able to take classes for my TVI endorsement in classrooms at SDSBVI led by teachers from the school! I have worked there for three years now as a teacher’s assistant working in a variety of classrooms with preschoolers all the way up to high schoolers. In 2018, my Braille class took a trip to Louisville to visit the American Printing House for the Blind and the Kentucky School for the Blind. We went to Sioux Falls to tour the South Dakota Rehabilitation Center for the Blind where I also later completed a summer internship working with adults who are blind. Northern is one of the few schools that offers TVI as an endorsement, but it’s the only university that has a school for the blind directly across the street from campus where we can build relationships with the students and learn firsthand from the teachers that work there rather than through professors.”—Taylor Achterberg, Watertown, S.D. #beNORTHERN #unleashYOURpotential #NorthernStateU #WhyNSU #WolvesMaskUp

    A post shared by Northern State University (@northernstateu) on

    Contact Information

    For more information about this degree, contact Justin Bartel or call 605-626-2429. Or, contact NSU Admissions at 605-626-2544 or

    I have been working as an advisor at Northern since 2015. First, I served as a JumpStart Advisor to support American Indian and low-income students throughout their college career. From 2016 to 2020, I served as a professional advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences – working mainly with students in history and social sciences and students in secondary education programs. In 2020, I moved to the Millicent Atkins School of Education, where I advise all students in teacher education programs. I earned my bachelor of science degree in geography and geographic information sciences and my master of science degree in school counseling from South Dakota State University. 

    University of South Dakota, Ed.D. Special Education Administration, 2021

    Black Hills State University, Endorsement, Early Childhood Special Education, 2013 

    Southwest Minnesota State University, M.S., Emotional & Behavioral Disorders, 2009

    Northern State University, B.S., K-12 Special Education, 2006 


    Dr. Jessica Vogel joined the NSU School of Education faculty in 2016 after being a special educator for more than 10 years. She has experience as an EBD teacher, self-contained special education teacher, and early childhood teacher. Her undergraduate degree in special education is from Northern State University. Dr. Vogel serves on various committees on campus and community boards. 


    Dr. Vogel also serves as the graduate coordinator for the MSEd in Teaching and Learning…

    Ph.D., University of North Dakota
    M.S.Ed., Northern Illinois University
    B.S.Ed., Northern State University
    Dr. Cheryl Wold joined NSU's faculty in 2013. She received a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, her M.S.Ed. degree in Special Education/Learning Disabilities from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Ill., and B.S.Ed. degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education from NSU. Dr. Wold was a special education teacher for 17 years; Title I reading and math teacher for seven years; and a director of special education for eight years.
    Dr. Wold is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), and the Teacher Education Division of CEC (TED). She has served as South Dakota CEC president and past president and is currently the membership chair. At the national level of CEC, she…