Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Santa Clara, California
Special needs teacher career and educational opportunities abound in Santa Clara, California. Currently, 19,800 people work as special needs teachers in California. This is expected to grow by 32% to 26,200 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for special needs teachers, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.6% over the next eight years. Special needs teachers generally teach elementary and preschool school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students.
The average wage in the general category of Special Education jobs is $33 per hour or $64,205 per year in California, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Special needs teachers earn less than people working in the category of Special Education generally in California and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. People working as special needs teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: deaf teacher, emotionally impaired teacher, and handicapped teacher.
The Santa Clara area is home to thirty-five schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Santa Clara where you can get a degree as a special needs teacher. Given that the most common education level for special needs teachers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a special needs teacher if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Special Needs Teacher
In general, special needs teachers teach elementary and preschool school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. They also includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
Special needs teachers attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required. They also maintain accurate and complete student records and ready reports on children and activities, as required by laws and administrative regulations. Equally important, special needs teachers have to attend professional meetings and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence. They are often called upon to teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement. They are expected to talk with other staff members to develop and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula. Finally, special needs teachers modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and technologies.
Every day, special needs teachers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.
It is important for special needs teachers to teach students personal development skills such as goal setting and self-advocacy. They are often called upon to perform administrative duties such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading. They also guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests. They are sometimes expected to collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development and revision of preschool or elementary school programs. Somewhat less frequently, special needs teachers are also expected to administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to establish students' strengths and areas of need.
Special needs teachers sometimes are asked to supervise and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers. They also have to be able to visit schools to tutor students with sensory impairments and to confer with teachers regarding students' special needs and modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and technologies. And finally, they sometimes have to decide on, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment and supplies.
Like many other jobs, special needs teachers must have exceptional integrity and believe in cooperation and coordination.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Santa Clara include:
- Adult Education Teacher. Teach or instruct out-of-school youths and adults in remedial education classes, preparatory classes for the General Educational Development test, literacy, or English as a Second Language. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.
- High School Special Education Teacher. Teach secondary school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
- Kindergarten Teacher. Teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, and literature to children from 4 to 6 years old. Promote physical, mental, and social development. May be required to hold State certification.
- Special Education Teacher. Teach middle school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Special Needs Teacher Training
Ohlone College - Fremont, CA
Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Blvd, Fremont, CA 94539-0390. Ohlone College is a large college located in Fremont, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,083 students. Ohlone College has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.
Mission College - Santa Clara, CA
Mission College, 3000 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054-1897. Mission College is a large college located in Santa Clara, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,154 students. Mission College has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.
Santa Clara University - Santa Clara, CA
Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053. Santa Clara University is a medium sized university located in Santa Clara, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,987 students and an admission rate of 61%. Santa Clara University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:
- Special Education and Teaching, postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree which graduated zero and nineteen students respectively in 2008.
- Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs, postbaccalaureate certificate.
De Anza College - Cupertino, CA
De Anza College, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, CA 95014. De Anza College is a large college located in Cupertino, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,677 students. De Anza College has a one to two year and a two to four year program in Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.
Gavilan College - Gilroy, CA
Gavilan College, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd, Gilroy, CA 95020. Gavilan College is a medium sized college located in Gilroy, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,159 students. Gavilan College has a two to four year program in Special Education and Teaching.
Foothill College - Los Altos Hills, CA
Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Rd, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022. Foothill College is a large college located in Los Altos Hills, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,837 students. Foothill College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Special Education and Teaching which graduated thirteen, five, and zero students respectively in 2008.
Certified Adapted Physical Educator: Persons who are eligible to become a CAPE fall into three categories; Recently graduated, qualified Physical Education Teachers; Professional Physical Educators (> 10 years full time experience); and Academics.
For more information, see the National Consortium on Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities website.
Licensing agency: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
Address: 1900 Capitol Avenue, P.O. Box 944270, Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-7254
Website: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
LOCATION INFORMATION: Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara is located in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 110,200, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Clara, 158, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Clara cost $196,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were constructed in Santa Clara, down from eighty-five the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Santa Clara are computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 42.4% of Santa Clara residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Santa Clara is 10.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Santa Clara residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Peace Lutheran Church, Good News Community Church and Universal Church of the Master are some of the churches located in Santa Clara. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.
Santa Clara is home to the Santa Clara Unified School District Office and the Santa Clara Municipal Golf Course as well as Westwood Acres Park and Washington Park. Shopping centers in the area include Moonlite Shopping Center, Fairway Glen Shopping Center and Youth Shopping Center.