May 30, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Exceptionality and Disability, BAE

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Department of Special Education and Education Leadership, Woodring College of Education

80 credits


Completion of this major results in a BA in Education. Students who complete this major typically seek employment in non-school settings, such as health and human services and non-profit organizations; they do not qualify for a teaching certificate. With their advisor’s permission and input, students choose an area of emphasis and design a program of study in preparation to work with persons with disabilities across a variety of settings.

Why consider the Exceptionality and Disability Major?

Many professionals work with persons with disabilities in a variety of venues other than schools and do not require the same pedagogical knowledge base that is expected of special education teachers. However, to effectively advocate for and to work with individuals with disabilities, it is imperative that professionals have a solid background in a variety of topics central to the provision of supports for individuals with disabilities. We, in the Department of Special Education and Education Leadership, believe that professionals should support individuals with disabilities in accessing inclusive community opportunities that are available to persons without disabilities. A major in Exceptionality and Disability provides foundational knowledge to professionals who interface across a variety of settings, including school, home, agencies, and community. Students in this major can choose one option from several emphasis options, depending upon their interest and expectations for future employment. 

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Charles Lambert
Miller Hall 201E

Program Advisor
Jeff Hart
Miller Hall 202A

Teacher Education Admissions
Miller Hall 150

 Sample Careers

Supported employment provider, supported living supervisor, advocate, community recreation specialist, positions with nonprofit agencies, Applied Behavior Analysis therapist.

 Major/Career Resources

Admission and Declaration Process

Admission to Western Washington University and admission to the Department of Special Education are required before a student may begin taking courses in education. Requirements include:

  • completion of a minimum of 45 credits (see list of recommended GUR courses),
  • cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher for the last 45 credits,
  • completion of an English composition course, with grade of B- or higher.

Grade Requirements

Students must earn a grade of C (2.0) or better in all coursework.


8 credits required towards the major, student can take additional 8 credits toward the electives requirement.


Students must take at least 18 elective credits to fulfill the major from the following list of courses.

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