Meet Your Major

As an education major concentrating in moderate disabilities (PreK–8), you’ll gain the expertise, skills and confidence to teach students with learning disabilities.

Approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, our programs provide you with the training required to earn your state teaching license in moderate disabilities.

Bonus? Through hands-on learning opportunities, you’ll develop your education philosophy, create a portfolio and hone your classroom management skills.

In the moderate disabilities education program, you will:

  • Deepen your understanding of how students with learning disabilities can thrive and be successful in school.
  • Learn how to conduct educational assessments and develop personalized education plans.
  • Build your subject matter expertise by choosing from a wide variety of electives across departments.

A multi-ethnic group of elementary age children are working on a homework assignment in class.

Hands-On Learning

100% of education majors participate in at least one practicum. You’ll gain invaluable classroom experience during your pre-practicum and practicum student-teaching. It’s your chance to take what you’ve learned at Merrimack and apply it at one of the many schools in the area.

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the education program, you’ll be well equipped to pursue a career in education. Positions may include:

  • Guidance Counselor
  • Resource Room Director
  • School Administrator
  • Special-Education Teacher

What You’ll Take

All education majors concentrating in Mmoderate disabilities take a combination of required and elective courses to satisfy human development, teacher education, and subject matter knowledge requirements. Of the 124 credits required for your degree, you must complete 24 credits of human development courses, 52 credits of teacher education courses, and 24 credits of subject matter knowledge courses in addition to a semester of student teaching.

You must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in your required courses prior to entering your student-teaching semester. To graduate with a degree in moderate disabilities education and teach in Massachusetts, you must also pass the MTELs.

Required Courses

Complete all of the following:

BIO 1106 Human Biology
HDE 2130 Diversity, Social Justice and Ethics
HDE 1000 Introduction to Human Development
HDE 3000 Research Methods and App. Stats

Complete one of the following:

HDE 2230 Applied Adolescent Psychology
HDE 2240 Adult Development
EDU 3200 Language and Social Processes
EDU 4500 Language Acquisition and Literacy Curriculum Development
PSY 3310 Development of Intelligence/ Thinking
PSY 3340 Developmental Psychopathology
PSY 3380 Psychology of Aging
SOC 3850 Sociology of Aging

In addition, all moderate disabilities education majors must complete the following teaching and education courses:

EDU 2110 Foundations and Principles of Education
EDU 2210 Child Growth and Development
EDU 2410 The Exceptional Learner
EDU 2500 Pre-Practicum I (and Seminar)
EDU 2510 Pre-Practicum II (and Seminar)
EDU 3210 Psychology of Learning & Assessment
EDU 3310 Teaching Reading and Language Arts
EDU 3340 Teaching Mathematics and Technology
EDU 3360 Teaching Science, Health and Physical Education
EDU 4020 Assessments in Special Education
EDU 4220 Differentiation and Inclusion
EDU 4221 Strategies for Group Management
EDU 4320 Teaching Social Studies
EDU 4340 Children’s Literature
EDU 4500 Language Acquisition and Literacy Curriculum Development 
EDU 4582 Sheltered English Instruction
EDU 4905  Practicum – Early Childhood Education and Seminar

Then, select your electives and subject matter knowledge courses:

Electives I (choose one)
Personalize your academic experience by selecting one elective from the following options:

CRM 2000       Youth, Deviance and Crime
HDE 3620 Diversity in Practice with Families and Communities
HDE 4260 Foundations of Counseling Across Professions
PSY 3250 Cultural Psychology
SOC 3330 Racial and Ethnic Minorities
SOC 3450 Sociology of the Family
WGS 1010 Gender and Society
WGS 2010 Intro to Ethnic Studies


Electives II (choose seven, as outlined)

American Civilization: 

  • HIS 1106 U.S. History I

Literature (choose one):

  • ENG 1550 Major American Authors
  • ENG 2050 Introduction to Literary Studies

Math (complete all):

  • MTE 1410 Foundations of Mathematics I
  • MTE 1411 Algebraic Thinking for Educators
  • MTH 1412 Foundations of Mathematics II


  • STM 1010 Introduction to STEM  

World Civilization (choose one): 

  • HIS 1119 Euro Experience: Antiquity to Reformation
  • POL 1500 Comparative Politics