Follow your passion. Teach special need learners.

Earn your SPED license and advance in your instructional career.

Demand for special education teachers is expected to rise steadily through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the online Special Education Licensure program at Bethel University, you’ll be able to do more for your students, increase your earning potential, and meet the needs of a growing workplace.

Designed for working teachers who wish to earn their SPED license, the Special Education Licensure program prepares you to teach students with mild disabilities. A state-of-the-art curriculum trains you in areas crucial to the field, such as ethics and professional values, social and environmental interaction, instructional planning, evidence-based practice, intervention, and more. In addition, you’ll also be required to complete a two-semester internship. Working in two out of three academic levels (elementary, middle, or high school), you’ll gain a broad, hands-on learning experience that prepares you to directly begin applying what you’ve learned.

Upon completion of our online special education certification, you’ll be prepared to take the following Indiana Content Area Assessment Tests:

  • Exceptional Needs—Mild Intervention (025)
  • Exceptional Needs—Mild Intervention: Reading Instruction (064)

The passing of these tests will allow you to obtain your licensure.

Because our program is offered fully online, it is well suited to the needs of working adults. A flexible format allows you to attend class at a time that’s right for you. We offer courses in an accelerated seven-week format, with six session start dates per year. This means taking only one course per session, you’ll be able to complete your academic requirements in as little as twelve months.

* Transfer graduate-level credit must be petitioned with department for approval.


Bethel University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to grant bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The Higher Learning Commission is one of six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. Institutional accreditation evaluates an entire institution and accredits it as a whole.

Related Programs

Take the Next Step

Request Information

Request more information about this program and gain access to our knowledgeable enrollment team.

Get Started

Begin Your Bethel Journey

Program Details

Leads to Licensure
Next Start Date: 10/17/2021
Credit Hours: 18
Cost/Credit: $425
Est. Completion Time: 8-12 months
Accreditation: NCATE/CAEP

Course Requirements

Bethel’s special education licensure online program features a relevant curriculum that successfully trains you to excel in your field. The program consists of a total of 18 credit hours. These consist both of in-classroom training and a three-credit relevant internship.

  • SPED 505: Foundations, Theories, Laws, Professional Values, Ethics (3)
  • SPED 515: Social, Behavioral, & Environmental Interaction (3)
  • SPED 520: Instructional Planning & Delivery: Evidence-Based Practice (3)
  • SPED 530: Reading & Writing Difficulties: Assessment & Intervention (3)
  • SPED 535: Communication, Technology, and Mentorship (3)
  • SPED 695: Supervised Residency/Internship and Seminar (3)

The Internship in Special Education requires 220 hours to be completed in two semesters. The hours must be done at two levels: elementary, middle, or high school.

  • 145 hours at one level
  • 75 hours at a second level

Admission Requirements

Candidates for Bethel’s special education licensure online program will need to submit the following:
  • Online graduate application
  • Official transcripts
  • A 300-word (or more) autobiography, including the candidate’s recent work in education, reason for seeking entry into the program, and significant events in his or her career. Candidates should define their character in terms of basic values, commitment to graduate studies, their philosophy and their worldview.
  • An updated resumé
  • Two letters of recommendation. Forms are sent electronically for candidates to share.
  • A current Indiana teaching license.**

Candidates must also schedule an interview prior to admission.

** If a candidate’s license has expired, he or she may renew through the course of study.

Tuition and Fees

Bethel has long been touted for its value. We were ranked No. 2 on Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck-Midwest list, listed as one of the 50 Best Value Christian Colleges, and have made it to the top tier of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Regional Universities-Midwest” list for 15 consecutive years.

Payment Plan:

The college has a monthly installment plan available through Nelnet Campus Commerce. Enrollment can be completed online by accessing the student billing link through MyBethel or by calling 800.609.8056. Students will be charged an enrollment fee of $40.

Home Page 2

Transfer Credits

Bethel is committed to helping you make the most of your previous educational experiences. Visit our Transfer Credits page to learn more.

Transfer Your Credits

Career Outcomes

Those who obtain an online special education certification benefit from a wide array of career opportunities, such as the ones below. Career information taken from

Directors of special education work to ensure the overall success of students enrolled in programs. Often overseeing these programs at a district level, these professionals may help school leaders implement special education programs, supervise the hiring of specialist staff, manage budgets, develop and enforce related policies, and other relevant tasks. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $74,060.

Middle school special education teachers educate students in sixth through eighth grade who have disabilities. These professionals design and implement curricula tailored to students’ unique needs, closely monitor and communicate with parents regarding students’ progress, and prepare students to enter higher levels of education. Those who work in this field earn a median annual salary of $47,932.

Elementary school special education teachers educate younger students who have disabilities. They may be responsible for evaluating student needs, planning and implementing unique curricula, working with parents to ensure students receive adequate support at home, physically assisting students, and related duties. These individuals earn a median annual salary of $45,543.

Benefits of Learning Online

An online degree can open doors to your career while allowing you to study in a convenient, affordable format.

Learn More


Request Information

Learn more about this program and other online academic opportunities at Bethel. Once you complete this form, here’s what you can expect from us:

  • A friendly phone call. We’ll contact you within 24 hours, ready to answer all of your questions.
  • Personalized treatment. You’ll get immediate access to your own dedicated and knowledgeable enrollment counselor. They’ll ask you more about your goals at Bethel, and walk you through everything you need to know to apply.

Begin Your Bethel Journey