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What Is a Special Education Director and How to Become One

What Does a Special Education Director Do?

Special education directors oversee special education programs in individual schools or for many schools in a school district. They ensure that teachers implement processes and strategies to assist students with mental, behavioral, physical, or other learning disabilities. As a special education director, your job duties include analyzing assessments to determine the best learning plan for each student’s needs, applying for and confirming compliance of grants, leading professional development and continuing education courses for special education staff, and evaluating program effectiveness. The special education director is an administrative position, so you need a combination of experience in the education field and strong leadership skills to perform well in this career.

How to Become a Special Education Director

To become a special education director, you need a bachelor’s degree in special education, though many school districts prefer a candidate to have a master’s degree or a doctorate. Earn teacher certification and acquire a position as a special education teacher. Once you have a few years of teaching experience, become involved with staff development and other leadership positions to gain experience in administrative tasks, then apply for special education director positions. Some states may require you to obtain a school administrator license to work as a special education director, so research the qualifications in the state you wish to work.