Our Special Education Program

Available in: Women's College & Co-ed Evening College

Graduates of the Columbia College Special Education program must demonstrate a mastery of national standards for beginning special education teachers. Our Multicatergorical program equips future teachers with the skills needed to be learner ready on day one in any classroom. 


Special Education is recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the South Carolina Department of Education, and is nationally accredited by the NCATE/CAEP through Fall 2022.

My professors have equipped me with knowledge and skills needed to be a successful teacher by supporting and encouraging me every step of the way to include making introductions for me in other districts that led to me getting first job two months before I graduate!

Madeleine Hodgin December '19

100% Job Placement Rate

The Special Education program has a 100% job placement rate for the last 5 years for completers; 100% of our completers pass the licensure exams required for initial certification.

Visit any school district in SC and you can find a dedicated Columbia College alumnae. Midlands districts include Lexington, Richland, Kershaw, Sumter, and Fairfield counties. Columbia College alums are also employed in various roles with district administrators, early intervention providers, and private schools.


  • Our unique field experience design provides experiences in Resource and Self Contained classrooms across elementary, middle and high school settings prior to the final semester of student teaching. This gives each student the opportunity to experience diverse Multicategorical placements.
  • A student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children is housed on the Columbia College campus and collaborates with the Columbia professional chapter 165.
  • Special education is a critical need area in our state and students qualify for loan forgiveness programs upon entering their classrooms.
  • The program provides a deep understanding of the role of the special education teacher as a collaborative team member working with families and other service providers.
  • Special Education majors can also complete additional coursework in Elementary and Early Childhood as electives. This can be used to complete add on requirements as provided by the state department of education.

Job Markets

There is a critical need for Special Education teachers in South Carolina.  School districts reported 621 vacant teaching positions at the beginning of the 18-19 school year. This is a 16% increase compared to vacancies reported at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year and a 29% increase compared to 2016

First year South Carolina Teacher Pay begins in the range of 35,000-40,000 with signing bonuses of up to 5,000.00 for Special Education teachers in some districts.
Average South Carolina Teacher Pay 2018: $50,050


Tracy West, Professor of Special Education
B.S., M.A., East Carolina University; Ph.D., University of South Carolina

Amanda Stefanski, Assistant Professor of Special Education
B.A., Queens University of Charlotte; M.S., University of Miami; Ph.D., University of Maryland


My professors were passionate about their content areas and worked to ensure that the content was both relevant and meaningful to our future. 

Rachel Simmons '19


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Any questions? Call us at 800.277.1301