Mild/Moderate Educational Needs | Special Education | Kent State University

Mild/Moderate Educational Needs

The Mild/Moderate Educational Needs concentration prepares prospective special educators to become licensed by the State of Ohio to teach students with mild/moderate disabilities in any grade, K-12.  Students with mild/moderate disabilities are primarily distinguished from students with more severe disabilities by greater participation in the general academic curriculum. Mild/moderate disabilities include (but are not limited to) learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, ADHD, mild intellectual disabilities, and (when appropriate) autism spectrum disorder.

K-12 students with Mild/Moderate (MM) disabilities typically require varying levels of intervention and support in one or more of the following areas – academics (reading, math, content areas); social and emotional functioning; adaptive behavior; school success skills; and career and postsecondary preparation. Students with MM disabilities may be taught in general education classrooms, resource rooms, self-contained classrooms, or special schools depending on their specific needs. Mild/Moderate teachers may lead instruction of small groups, co-teach in inclusive classrooms, or provide one-to-one  instruction; they may also partner with other educators and school personnel to support students with MM disabilities and (in some cases) non-disabled students who need assistance. The Mild/Moderate bachelor’s degree offers both high quality coursework and extensive hands-on field experiences that allow aspiring Mild/Moderate teachers to develop professional skills and explore their many career options.

Additionally, the Mild/Moderate concentration prepares you to meet highly qualified teacher (HQT) requirements for all core academic subject areas (grades K-6), as well as Reading and English/Language Arts (grades 7-12). OPTIONAL: Students interested in obtaining HQT status in additional 7-12 academic areas (Math, Science, Social Studies) will work with their Faculty Advisor to set a program of study that includes courses specific to HQT requirements for the specific content area.



Students interested in this concentration will select Special Education as their major and Mild/Moderate Educational Needs as their concentration. To be admitted into the Special Education program, a 2.75 GPA is required. Determination of acceptance for freshman seeking application to the program will be based on  high school GPA, and transfer GPA will be used in the evaluation of applications for students transferring into SPED from another University or Program. Students who do not meet the GPA requirement may enroll into the “EHHS General” degree program until they have met GPA requirements (which must include 12 or more KSU credit hours).

Program Requirements

The Mild/Moderate program engages students in hands-on coursework and field experiences that focus on evidence-based methods for meeting the special educational needs of children and youth with disabilities, ages five to eighteen. This program is well-suited to a wide range of career interests in terms of where, who, how, and what students prefer to teach. Students are prepared to fulfill a wide range of professional roles that involve working directly with children with disabilities in a variety of settings (general education classrooms; resource or pull-out classrooms; self-contained classrooms; special/alternative schools; hospital and residential settings). Students in this program gain competence in effective instruction, classroom and behavior management, assessment and evaluation, collaboration with other professionals, educational technology, Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), and school-wide multi-tiered systems of support (Response to Intervention, Positive Behavior Interventions & Support).  This program prepares students to meet all requirements for a K-12 special education teaching license and highly qualified teacher status.

In addition to completing academic coursework, students will also be required to student teach and complete exams as outlined by the Ohio Department of Education. Students will be eligible for Advanced Study once they have:

  • Completed Kent State Core and introductory education coursework with a 2.75 or greater GPA
  • Passed required Praxis Core Examinations (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics)

Students are required to pass Education License Exams for Initial Licensure. Prior to admissions to Advanced Study, students must pass Praxis Core Examinations (reading, writing and mathematics exams) unless they earned the following ACT or SAT Scores:

  • Reading ACT 26 or SAT Verbal 620
  • Writing ACT English 25
  • Mathematics ACT Math 25 or SAT Math 620

Students typically complete the Praxis Core Examinations during the spring of their freshman year or summer between their freshman and sophomore years. Additionally students will complete licensure exams during their senior year or shortly thereafter. Students will work with their professional advisor in the Vacca Office of Student Services to determine the appropriate exams to complete.

Mild/Moderate Program Highlights

  • Efficient 120 credit hour bachelor's degree program that can be readily completed in four years.
  • Energetic and passionate faculty who are invested in student success
  • Highly structured special education coursework that begins freshman year
  • Extensive field experiences (starting sophomore year) enable students to experience a wide range of students, settings, and professional roles
  • Continuous start-to-finish support from both a professional advisor and a Mild/Moderate faculty advisor
  • Coursework in both general education and special education teaching methods
  • Excellent program reputation; graduates are highly sought after.

For more information about the Mild to Moderate concentration, please contact SPED Mild to Moderate faculty advisor Dr. Andrew Wiley.

Undergraduate Application