2 students working with a teacher on a project

Elementary/Special Education

Our program is one of the few in New England that provides dual certification in elementary (grades 1 – 6) and special (grades 1 – 6) education. All classes address the content knowledge, pedagogy, and professional practice standards for general and special educators. We value diversity — dis/ability, gender, learning style, religion, language, race, class/socio-economic — and work together with our candidates to implement inclusive practices.

All of our teacher education programs have been approved by the Rhode Island Department of Education — a member of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification — so our students are eligible for licensure upon successful completion of the program and graduation in more than 45 states.

Experiential Learning


Beginning in freshman year and continuing through a year-long student teaching experience, candidates complete more than 750 hours of teaching in a variety of placements in the greater Providence area (RI and Southeastern Mass.). This provides candidates and faculty the opportunity to develop their professional practices in diverse settings with students who come from a variety of backgrounds, speak multiple languages, and approach school with many unique gifts. In addition, each of our methods classes has a field experience in which candidates teach weekly lessons and are provided formative feedback on their professional practice from both practicum teachers and faculty.

Study Abroad

Students in the Elementary/Special Education program also have the opportunity to see the world as they put what they have learned into practice. The ESE department offers two semester-long study abroad programs:

Elementary/Special Education Graduate Outcomes


of 2015-18 education graduates are employed and/or attending graduate school*


are employed only


are attending school only


are employed and/or attending school

Places of Employment/Service

Public, private, charter, urban, and suburban schools throughout the United States

Selected Graduate Schools

Adelphi University

Boston College

Boston University

Merrimack College

New York University

Providence College

Sacred Heart University

Teachers College, Columbia University

Vanderbilt University

*Numbers above don’t add up to 86% due to rounding. Information accurate as of September 2019.