Students in the Educational Mac Lab

Exceptional Needs (minor)

Majors and minors in Education can opt to gain dual licensure in Exceptional Needs. This 24-credit hour program can fulfill the minor requirement for Elementary Education majors.



Only available as a minor

Why Exceptional Needs?

  • 1If you plan to be an educator, you will most likely encounter individuals with special needs and disabilities during your career. According to Education Sector, an organization committed to education research and improvement, 14% of students under the age of 18 are considered to have exceptional needs.
  • 2Although working with children with special needs is demanding, many professionals agree that the line of work is very gratifying.
  • 3According to the United States Department of Labor, the job demand for teachers with special needs experience is expected to increase by 17% by 2020, while the demand for teachers without a license in Exceptional Needs is only anticipated to increase by 7%.

Careers in Exceptional Needs

  • Elementary Teacher
  • Secondary Teacher
  • Special Education Administrator
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

Alumni Graduate School

  • Indiana State University
  • Washington University
  • Indiana University
  • University of Illinois

Why Study Exceptional Needs at Saint Joseph's College?


In addition to offering a BA in Elementary Education, SJC students can also receive their teaching licensure in 14 of our programs. Whether our students wish to teach in the elementary, middle, or high school setting, the SJC Education Division strives to create well-rounded, marketable educators. As a result, the SJC Education Division offers an Exceptional Needs minor that is open to all Education students. The minor prepares future educators to teach and assess children with special needs, both of which are marketable skills.

Hands-on Experience

Unlike large institutions, where Education students do not begin working in classrooms until their junior or senior year, SJC’s Education students begin gaining hands-on experience in year one. As freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, our Education students are required to participate in our Professional Learning Experience (PLE) program, where they spend a total of 120 hours over four semesters observing classroom practices and assisting teachers with class projects. In order to ensure that our Exceptional Needs students are getting hands-on experience in their minor as well, the Education Division offers EDC 413: Intensive Field Placement in Exceptional Needs, which provides Exceptional Needs minors with initial supervised practical application of program knowledge, skills, and dispositions in an Exceptional Needs classroom.

Dedication to Excellence

SJC’s Education Division is a highly accredited program. At SJC, all Education programs have been approved by the State of Indiana Professional Standards Board for the Training of Elementary and Secondary Teachers and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). As a result, the SJC Education graduates have an exceptionally high employment rate.

The SJC Education Division is also pleased to report excellent pass rates on the Praxis II Content Knowledge Exams. Since 2010, 100% of our Exceptional Needs minors have passed the Praxis II exam.

Faculty and Class Size

Our Education Division consists of faculty who each hold a master's or doctoratal degree in addition to having extensive experience. Classes range in size between 15 and 20 students.

Explore the Core
  • SJC Education Students in the field

    Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Like Elementary Education major Brittany Cooper ’12, you start your major as soon as you walk in the door, so you will have four years of knowledge and experience in your field.You can even change your mind about your major and still graduate on time with lots of experience.

    Core and the major work in harmony to develop the cognitive skills requisite for success in a competitive, global society. Students better understand the forces that shape the future by exploring the past. They discuss contemporary events; analyze the impact of science on our understanding of humanity and the universe; and investigate diverse cultures and world civilizations. 

  • Professor Fred and Sally Berger at Graduation


    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors, such as Communication Professors Fred and Sally Berger, do more for you—they serve as mentors. Studies show that having a mentor leads to success in your field. Alumni often tell us how their professors not only played a major role in their success, but also became lifelong friends.  If you are undecided about what to major in, we help you decide.

  • High Quality Academics

    In the Core Program, you will be inspired to debate, analyze, and solve problems. Discussion of culture and society, the modern world, and Christian Humanism are just a few highlights of the Program. New perspectives will be gained, your worldview will expand, and you will graduate from SJC as a well rounded, highly marketable person.

  • Visiting Chinese Students


    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life. LaMichelle Sanders ’14, for example, has spent two summers helping Chinese study abroad students adapt to life in the U.S. and at SJC. If you want to start a club or activity that doesn’t exist, we encourage you to start one. At SJC, prepare yourself for what you want to do in life.

  • Hoop House student workers

    Real-life Skills

    Because of the skills you develop by having the Core Program interact with your major for four years in addition to internships, job shadowing, and service learning, you get hands-on experience in preparation for your career or graduate school. Students Hanna Kane ’14, Emily Baird ’15, and Alyssa Guarnaccia ’14 collect food in the SJC hoophouse to be distributed on campus. You will also get four years of analytical, writing, and speaking skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

  • Images of Students

    Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Get a jump start on your career and have your resume ready to go at graduation.  

  • Images of Students


    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors do more for you—they serve as mentors.

  • Images of Students

    High Quality Academics

    The Core Program is all about you and your role in the world.


  • Images of Students


    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life.

  • Images of Students

    Real-life Skills

    Get real-life experience and become an excellent communicator.