Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions: Undergraduate

When will I get a SPLED advisor?

You will be assigned a SPLED advisor when you transition into the SPLED major.  Once in the SPLED major you will be assigned to a faculty member who will advise you about the program and be available to answer your questions about your newly chosen career path.  Until you enter the major you will continue with the education advisor assigned to you as you begin your studies. The SPLED program works together with the College Advising office to answer questions and meet the needs of students preparing to enter the SPLED major. 

How can I be sure I am “on track” for entering the Special Education Major?

There are 4 main requirements:

https://ed.psu.edu/current-students/undergrad/academic-programs-1/entrance-retention-exit-criteria

a) Complete 80 hours of experience with children with disabilities. Hours must be in two different settings serving children with different levels of disability (40 hours each setting).  We encourage that one setting be in the classroom, especially if you do not have experience in the classroom.  

Forms for volunteer hours are available here. These forms are submitted to 125 CEDAR. If you have questions about the appropriateness of the observation, please contact Dr. Kate McKinnon.

b) Obtain passing scores on one of the PDE accepted assessments:

1. Use SAT test scores, the combined score must be no less than 1550. Additionally, the SAT score of 1550 will include no individual section (Critical Reading, Writing, Mathematics) score of less than 500. Students may combine section scores from different test dates in order to use their best score earned.

A composite score of 23 on the American College Test Plus Writing accompanied by a combined English/Writing score of 22 and a Math score of 21 will also exempt a student from taking the PAPA.

2. PAPA-Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (reading, math, and writing), Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests.

3. New ETS exam CORE

Information on the scheduling and costs for these tests is available at the Advising Office in 228 Chambers Building.

c) Maintain a GPA of 3.0
This is a program requirement as well as a College of Education requirement and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. More information is available here.

d) Complete required coursework
Please discuss with your advisor the scheduling and completion of the coursework list on the Special Education check sheet. Detailed information on Entrance to Major requirements for Special Education is available here.