Preparing Highly-Qualified Educators

Our Leading Teacher Dual Certification Program qualifies you to become certified in your desired certification content area and special education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We prepare you to meet the diverse educational needs of students in various school settings including students with disabilities, challenging behavior and social and emotional needs. As a graduate, you are eligible to be certified in your content area (PreK-4, middle level, or secondary) and special education (K-12) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Our dual certification undergraduate program provides you with opportunities each semester to apply classroom material in the field. We offer multiple placements for you in a variety of educational settings to transfer what you learn at Duquesne to what you will use in the classroom as a future educator.

Field Experience for Dual Majors

As a student, you will have hands-on opportunities to expand your horizons in various learning environments, field placements and unique student teaching opportunities. Field placements for dual majors provide real-world experience in special education classrooms. You will complete three field experience courses in special education in addition to field experiences in your content area and your student teaching experience. Explore our student teaching and field experiences.

Dual Certification Program Options

Our Leading Teacher Dual Certification Program qualifies undergraduate students to become certified in both general and special (K-12) education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We will prepare you in your desired certification area.

Earn a B.S.Ed. with dual certification in special education and...
Early Childhood Education (PreK-4)
Middle Level Education (4-8)
Secondary Education (7-12)

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Get a Jump Start on Graduate Studies

We offer an early start option for School of Education undergraduate students who are interested in a graduate degree in Special Education. During your junior or senior year, you have the opportunity to take up to five courses in the M.S.Ed. Special Education - Cognitive, Behavior and Physical/Health Disabilities master’s program at the undergraduate tuition rate. 

Opportunities in Education

Dr. Green's headshot with campus trees and building in background

States are experiencing shortages in special education teachers, and districts are reaching out to us for potential applicants. We are excited to prepare highly-qualified teachers at Duquesne University to support students with disabilities throughout their PreK-12 education.

Dr. Bridget Green Program Director, Special Education
More about Dr. Green


These courses are a sampling of your studies in the program. In addition, you will have diverse field experiences throughout your four years.

Chronicles the historical and legal foundations of the field of special education with a focus on inclusive educational practice as it relates to the principle of least restrictive environment. Examines the types and nature of disabilities from the perspective of normal growth and development and the impact on instruction and learning for students with diverse learning needs. Topics include the special education process, collaborative skills for team decision-making and building partnerships, and identifying supports for students with diverse learning and behavior needs based on individualized assessments. 

3 credits
This course will focus on the use of assessment in special education and current issues regarding teacher use of student data to inform instructional decision-making in Pre-K-4 classrooms. Students will address topics on the special education referral and eligibility process, types of assessment and their uses, academic and behavioral assessment, progress monitoring, diagnostic assessment, data-based decision making, differentiated assessment and instruction, and the delivery of intensive intervention for supporting students with disabilities.

3 credits
This course provides a basis for individualizing instruction for K-12 students with high-incidence and low incidence disabilities. It involves designing basic instructional sequences, utilizing behavioral and standards-based objectives, matching technology, learner and goal characteristics, identifying appropriate instructional strategies, finding, understanding and selecting evidenced-based practices and evaluating the effectiveness of instruction. Multicultural education is also explored in order for the K-12 student to consider the impact that culture has on learning and ways teachers can positively impact learning by being aware and sensitive to various cultural needs.

3 credits
English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction aims to provide English Language Learner (ELLs) with social, cultural, and basic and academic language skills to improve their academic achievement. Granted that the developmental goals of ELLs’ language and academic skills are interdependent, ESL instruction cannot be perceived as the sole responsibility of ESL specialists. This course aims to support pre-service content area teachers in developing an adequate level of competency in addressing the special needs of linguistically and culturally diverse learners in their classes. It also prepares teachers to work with ESL professionals on various levels. The course provides them with basic knowledge and skills for appropriate and effective instructional experience with the ELL population. It focuses on how content area teachers can make accommodations, adaptations, and modifications in their instructional planning and implementation to create an inclusive instructional environment for all learners. We added competencies that address English Language Learners who have disabilities in this class.

3 credits

Visit our School of Education

Attend our School of Education Representative Meeting to learn about our teaching degree program and explore our Curriculum Center. You can also observe our collaborative learning environment first-hand by visiting our “Fundamentals of Classroom Assessment” course taught by Dr. Amy Olson.

Explore Your Opportunities  

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Apply Today!

Learn about admission requirements and the application process

Admission & Aid
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Experience in the Classroom

Discover in-depth field experience and student teaching opportunites in the Pittsburgh community, across the country and abroad.

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Undergraduate Programs

Explore all of our undergraduate teaching programs

Undergraduate Programs



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Undergraduate Education

Michelle Gapsky

Director of Enrollment & Engagement