The Saint Joseph's University Department of Special Education is a vibrant department comprised of dedicated faculty members with a wealth of educational experiences. It is the goal of the faculty to prepare exemplary teachers, innovative school leaders, and educational researchers.

We invite you to explore the educational opportunities offered by the Special Education department, whether you are planning for your undergraduate experience or returning for graduate coursework and advanced degrees.

If you would like to learn more about the Department of Special Education, please contact the Chair, Dr. Cheryl George, Chair, by telephone at 610-660-3167 or e-mail at

Contact Information

Cheryl L. George, Ph.D.

What our pre-service teacher candidates in the Special Education certification program are saying:

“I realized the importance of supporting students with special needs and helping them grow and become independent learners.”

“I understood that classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse, and it is my responsibility to know how to meet the needs of every child in my future classroom.”
“I feel like I will be able to touch the lives of more students, contribute more to my field, and touch the future.”
“Every child has a right to a high quality education.”
“With my special education certification, I now have the skills to reach and teach all students.”

Why Special Education?

Today, almost every classroom includes a number of students with disabilities -- either physical, educational, emotional, or a combination of all three. Our innovative curriculum is designed to develop and refine competencies in professional educators in order to meet the demands of teaching students with special needs in a variety of school environments, public and private, urban and suburban.

At the undergraduate level, our dual Special Education with Early Childhood/Elementary certification provides pre-service teacher candidates with a thorough base in the foundations, principles, ethics, values, and methods of special education.

This dual certification program examines:

  • legal responsibilities and ethical considerations in being an effective Special Education teacher
  • issues of inclusion, least restrictive environment, and other placements to best service students
  • the effect of socioeconomic background, gender, race and ability on learning

It provides candidates with state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in scientifically-based diagnostic and intervention programs that meet the needs of our increasingly diverse student population.

By deciding to become a dual certification candidate, to include a special education certification to your professional credentials, our graduates become much more knowledgeable and marketable as they prepare to meet the demands of contemporary classrooms.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of special education teachers is expected to increase. Employment prospects should be excellent, as many districts report difficulties finding adequate numbers of certified special education teachers. With a Special Education Certification from Saint Joseph’s University, our graduates help fill the gap.