Special Education: Learning Disabilities (Certification)

Program Level: Graduate
Department: Certifications

The College of Education has developed curricula leading to the baccalaureate in six broad fields: early childhood, elementary, middle level, secondary, physical education and special education - learning disabilities. Although the number of credit hours required for graduation varies by subject, a minimum of 123 hours is required for any baccalaureate in the College of Education. Students should plan their program of study in advance with their assigned advisor each semester or summer session.

Child Development & Family Studies (Non-certification Program)

Child Development & Family Studies (Non-certification Program)

The Child Development and Family Studies Program prepares students for professional work with young children between the ages of birth to six years. Additionally, students are prepared to work with families from diverse cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Upon graduation, students will have opportunities to pursue positions as childcare practitioners in child development centers and family learning centers; as teachers in private school settings, Early Head Start and Head Start Programs and as parent educators in learning centers.  Also partnered with T.E.A.C.H Scholarship Program.


Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Education program provides preparation for teaching in PK-3 classrooms. A substantial portion of the curriculum consists of coursework in the liberal arts to establish a broad educational background prior to the professional sequence of courses. The professional sequence provides content and direct opportunities for field experience.

Elementary Education

The Elementary Education program is designed to prepare students to teach in grades 2-6. The program consists of a general liberal arts background, professional educational training and preparation in a variety of public school settings.

Middle Level Education

The program in Middle Level Education prepares candidates to teach in grades 5-8. The program emphasizes the physical, emotional, attitudinal and intellectual characteristics of adolescents. The program also emphasizes the organizational, curricular and pedagogical signature practices of middle schools through a core of liberal arts coursework and professional education coursework. This includes field-based practicum experiences in middle schools, student teaching in middle schools and intensive coursework in two areas of academic content concentration.

Physical Education

The Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) concentration prepares students to teach physical education in grades K-12. In addition to a core program in the liberal arts, students undertake studies in the professional education area as well as in-depth study in physical education. Directed teaching for PETE majors is arranged at both the elementary and secondary levels. 

Exercise Science

Exercise Science students are prepared for a variety of careers, including fitness specialist, personal training and strength and conditioning specialist. With graduate training, students can pursue careers in athletic training, sport nutrition, exercise physiology, cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assistant. Students are also prepared to take either the NSCA’s certified strength and conditioning specialist exam (CSCS) or the ACSM’s health fitness specialist (HFS) exam. Passing one of these national exams can result in enhanced job opportunities. 

Special Education - Learning Disabilities

This program prepares students to be specialists in the creation and implementation of strategies to accommodate the needs of special education students identified with specific learning disabilities in PK-12 classrooms. Preparation emphasizes appropriate services, curricula, assessment and instruction required by students with special needs to support their participation in the general education curriculum. Applications of assistive and instructional technology permeate the program and collaborative skills, assessment procedures, applications of research and parent consultation skills are specific topics threaded throughout.

Secondary Education

The program in Secondary Education prepares students to teach in grades 9-12 through a core of general liberal arts experiences, a student teaching experience and intensive coursework in a specific area of subject specialization. The secondary education curriculum may lead to either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, depending upon the chosen area of subject specialization. The Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and in social studies education require two semesters of foreign language study. Areas of subject specialization in secondary education at USC Upstate include biology, chemistry, English, foreign language (French or Spanish), mathematics and social studies.