Pre-Special Education: Secondary Associate in Arts

Program Info

Year Established
Program Code
Degree Type
Associate in Arts
Office Contact
School of Health and Human Services: 313-845-9877,, Health Careers Education Ctr, Room: G-132
Faculty Contact
Carolyn Casale: 313-317-6580,, Health Careers Education Ctr, Room: G-133D

Program Description


Designed for students seeking teacher certification in Special Education-Secondary. Focuses on teaching students with disabilities such as mental, emotional, physical, visual or hearing impairments, learning disabilities, and autism. Transfer to and completion of a four-year university teacher preparation program is necessary for full teacher certification.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students should be able to:

  1. Apply current educational theories and practices to a classroom setting.
  2. Apply humanities concepts within the high school classroom.
  3. Apply knowledge of the physical, emotional, intellectual, and social development theories of the learner in a school setting.
  4. Apply knowledge of the exceptionalities, learning environments, and laws as they relate to special education programs.
  5. Develop lesson plans implementing educational software for special education students.
  6. Construct scientific knowledge using inquiry-based techniques.
Career Opportunities

Pre-Special Education program graduates are able to work as para-professionals, family/hospital support personnel, before and after school care supervisors, and with community agencies specializing in providing services for children with disabilities. Special Education program graduates who complete a bachelor degree with teacher certification may teach special education classes in many disability areas such as mental impairments, visual impairments, learning disabilities, emotional impairments, physical impairments, hearing impairments, speech impairments, and autism.

This degree requires coursework that can be transferred to most four-year teacher preparation programs without loss of credit. The elective component of this program allows students to select courses that apply toward the bachelor's degree at their intended transfer institution. Students are encouraged to consult the university guide sheets in the University Transfer, Advising, and Career Counseling Center located in Learning Resources Center.

Admission Requirements

Additional Program Requirements

The law requires new teachers, school administrators, school psychologists, and other personnel to provide documentation of a completed criminal record check. Students who complete field experiences as part of their HFC coursework must provide a statewide criminal record check prior to work with children in public or non-public schools.

General Education

Category 3: Mathematics
Complete any one course from the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) list*.
Category 5: Humanities and Fine Arts
Complete any two courses from two different disciplines from the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) list.*
Category 6: Natural Sciences
Complete any two natural science, including one with laboratory experience from two disciplines from the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) list*.
Credit Hours

See General Education Requirements for details.

Program Requirements


Computer Technology: Consult your advisor, counselor, or transfer institution, for transfer institution major/minor requirements.
* Human Development: Consult your advisor, counselor, or transfer institution, for transfer institution major/minor requirements.

  • *Humanities: Consult your advisor, counselor, or transfer institution, for transfer institution major/minor requirements.
  • *Mathematics: MATH-115 is highly recommended for the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC).
  • *Natural Sciences: Consult your advisor, counselor, or transfer institution, for transfer institution major/minor requirements.
  • It is highly recommended the student consult their advisor or counselor at their transfer institution before registering for any elective courses. Each transfer institution major/minor requirements for secondary education will be different. Pre-Secondary Special Education Recommended Electives: COLL-101, 2 sequential world language courses.
Elective Hours
Minimum Total Credit Hours
Requirements are subject to change. The information represented here is effective starting Fall 2023 and applies to the current catalog year. If you were admitted prior to this year, please check your requirements under the My Progress section of HFC Self Service.