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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Detroit, Michigan

Special needs teachers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Detroit, Michigan area. Currently, 4,880 people work as special needs teachers in Michigan. This is expected to grow by 17% to about 5,680 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for special needs teachers are expected to grow by about 19.6%. 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 $17 per hour or $49,530 per year in Michigan, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Earnings for special needs teachers are better than earnings in the general category of Special Education in Michigan and better than general Special Education category earnings nationally. Special needs teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: resource teacher, emotionally impaired teacher, and lip reading teacher.

There are seventy-three schools of higher education in the Detroit area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Detroit where you can get a degree to start your career as a special needs teacher. The most common level of education for special needs teachers is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn 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 Detroit 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

Henry Ford Community College - Dearborn, MI

Henry Ford Community College, 5101 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128-1495. Henry Ford Community College is a large college located in Dearborn, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,571 students. Henry Ford Community College has an associate's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated seven students in 2008.

University of Michigan-Dearborn - Dearborn, MI

University of Michigan-Dearborn, 4901 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128-1491. University of Michigan-Dearborn is a medium sized university located in Dearborn, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,311 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Michigan-Dearborn has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated forty-five students in 2008.

Wayne State University - Detroit, MI

Wayne State University, 656 West Kirby Street, Detroit, MI 48202. Wayne State University is a large university located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,025 students and an admission rate of 79%. Wayne State University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate programs in Special Education and Teaching which graduated forty-eight, thirty, and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

Eastern Michigan University - Ypsilanti, MI

Eastern Michigan University, , Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Eastern Michigan University is a large university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,137 students and an admission rate of 75%. Eastern Michigan University has 8 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, master's degree and post-master's certificate which graduated twelve and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Hearing Impairments, Including Deafness, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated five, one, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated fifty-one, nine, and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Mental Retardation, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated forty-one, ten, and nineteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Orthopedic and Other Physical Health Impairments, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated three and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Vision Impairments, Including Blindness, bachelor's degree and postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated two and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, master's degree which graduated 21 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Speech or Language Impairments, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated six and forty-three students respectively in 2008.

Oakland University - Rochester Hills, MI

Oakland University, , Rochester Hills, MI 48309-4401. Oakland University is a large university located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 18,169 students and an admission rate of 78%. Oakland University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated seventy-one students in 2008.

University of Detroit Mercy - Detroit, MI

University of Detroit Mercy, 4001 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221-3038. University of Detroit Mercy is a medium sized university located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,725 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of Detroit Mercy has 4 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree and master's degree.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and fifteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties, master's degree.

Madonna University - Livonia, MI

Madonna University, 36600 Schoolcraft Rd, Livonia, MI 48150-1176. Madonna University is a small university located in Livonia, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,015 students and an admission rate of 76%. Madonna University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism, post-master's certificate.

Marygrove College - Detroit, MI

Marygrove College, 8425 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221-2599. Marygrove College is a small college located in Detroit, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,879 students and an admission rate of 43%. Marygrove College has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LICENSES

Teacher, Special Education

Licensing agency: Michigan Department of Education
Address: Office of Professional Preparation Services, Office of Special Education & Early Intervention, PO Box 30008, Lansing, MI 48909

Phone: (517) 373-0926
Website: Michigan Department of Education Office of Professional Preparation Services Office of Special Education & Early Intervention

LOCATION INFORMATION: Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan photo by Durova

Detroit is located in Wayne County, Michigan. It has a population of over 912,062, which has shrunk by 4.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Detroit, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Detroit are priced at $108,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, eighty-five new homes were built in Detroit, down from one hundred fifty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Detroit are health care, educational services, and transportation equipment. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.0% of Detroit residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Detroit is 27.0%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Detroit residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.7%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Detroit is home to the Memorial Park Marina and the Detroit Golf Club as well as Chene Park and Mallett Playground. Visitors to Detroit can choose from Corktown Inn, Clark's Motel and Days Inn of Downtown Detroit for temporary stays in the area.