HAYS, KS -- Fort Hays State University's Department of Teacher Education and the Department of Special Education have developed a new program to allow students to graduate with a major in elementary education and a minor in special education. The 136-hour program will allow maximum flexibility for students wanting to have the option to teach in a traditional or inclusionary classroom.
"We are pleased to offer this combination of coursework to help meet the needs of today's elementary classrooms," said Dr. Placido Hoernicke, chair of the Department of Special Education at FHSU.
The 24-hour minor is designed to help elementary-level teachers attain skills in designing and implementing individual education programs for children affected by emotional and behavioral disabilities, learning disabilities and mental retardation.
"I think this is a step in the right direction," said Dwight Vallin, an elementary principal in Long Island. "We are seeing more of a need for elementary teachers to handle a range of special education needs in the traditional classroom."
The College of Education is working to offer the program not only on campus, but also through outreach centers in the Fort Hays State service area.
"We know there is a demand for this program and we are going to begin offering the courses by fall," said Dr. Tom Newton, chair of the Department of Teacher Education at FHSU.
For more information about the program, please call the Department of Special Education at (785) 628-4212.