To become a teacher, individuals take courses based on their desired educational level. For elementary schools, teachers need a Bachelor's in Elementary Education, which entails general and specialized courses. For high schools, teachers need a bachelor's in the desired subject area. Special education teachers require a Bachelor's in Special Education.
While requirements vary among colleges, an example program at Ashford University requires prospective teachers to take a number of additional credits in Elementary Education, such as Principles of Education, Introduction to Education, Educational Psychology and Foundations of American Education. Students of Elementary Education must also pick a focus in one area in the K through 8 level, such as English, History, Mathematics, Reading or Science.
An example program from Penn State College of Education requires students who choose to major in Special Education to take courses such as Motivating Exceptional Learners, Teaching Exceptional Students in General Education Settings, Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities, Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis, and Experience with Exceptional Children.
After acquiring either of these bachelor's degrees, it is necessary for individuals to become licensed to teach in the state they want to work. For the Bachelor's in Early Education and Special Education, the necessary coursework is already built into the program, but for high school teachers with regular bachelor's degrees, further courses in education may be necessary.