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Resources for Special Education/Elementary Education 5-Year Students

The Special Education Program at TCNJ for undergraduates is a five-year program that prepares students to be teachers of students with disabilities. It culminates in a master’s degree and New Jersey certification in both Special Education and Elementary Education.

Advising and Course Registration

At the start of each semester, please refer to the TCNJ’s academic calendar and familiarize yourself with the registration period for that semester. During the 2 weeks prior to registration, you should meet individually with your special education advisor. Be sure that you have met with your second major advisor prior to meeting with your special education major.

When you meet with your advisor you must bring the following:

You must meet with your advisor prior to registering for courses. If you do not meet with your advisor, there will be a hold placed on your PAWS account and you will not be able to register for your courses for the next semester.

Advising for Liberal Learning Requirement

Four courses required for the Special Education major also fulfill some Liberal Learning requirements.  These courses are as follows:

  • RAL 225 for LL Literary Requirement
  • SPE 103 for LL Social Science Requirement
  • US History course for LL History Requirement
  • MAT 105 or 106 for LL Math Requirement

Remember that you must take a Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) course (Under LL Arts and Humanities) and a US History course (under LL History) to meet Elementary Education Certification Requirements.  Also, you must cover Civic Responsibility Requirements, i.e., Community Engaged Learning, Gender, and Global Perspectives.  (The Race and Ethnicity requirement has been waived for special education students). These requirements can be met through courses (including elective courses), programs, or sustained experiences. Consider trying to meet some of these requirements through your VPA and US History Liberal Learning courses. Also check to determine if your FSP Seminar (i.e. Freshman Seminar) covers any of these requirements.

Below is specific information by second major.

BiologyTake MAT 105 or MAT 106 as a Biology correlate
EnglishInstead of taking RAL 225, you must take LIT 310
HistoryYour history major should cover the US History requirement.
Math or iSTEMMath majors must take MAT 105; iSTEM -see iSTEM advisor
SociologyIn addition to taking MAT 105 or MAT 106, sociology requires that you take STA 115 or STA 215
Psychology SPE 203 will count as a Psychology option (for PSY 220).
WGSInstead of taking RAL 225, take WGS 225.

Use the Special Education Audit Sheet for current and future planning during advising sessions. Be sure to check the list of approved courses for any Liberal Learning (LL) requirements.

Course Load

Students must have 32 units of undergraduate coursework to receive their bachelor’s degree. The 3 graduate courses taken during Year 4 do NOT count towards the undergraduate degree. Students must make sure that they are on track to graduate on time by taking 3 undergraduate courses as either 5th courses for 3 semesters, or by transferring in course credits.

Most first year undergraduates take four (4) courses/semester.  In order to graduate on time, most Deaf Education majors take five (5) courses during the second, third, or fourth years (preferably the second or third year), take summer or winter courses, or transfer in acceptable courses from another college.  Since PAWS will not permit you to register for more than 4.5 units, the Undergraduate Coordinator arranges for permission for you to register for five courses provided you have the required cumulative GPA of 3.3.

State Regulations for Teacher Candidates

Review important state regulation information. You must have these requirements completed by your junior year.

Teacher Candidate Tracking Sheet for K-6 Special Education and K-6 Deaf Education

Information for Internal Transfers

If you are currently a TCNJ student who wishes to transfer into the five-year program, please view the Internal Transfer Information page.