special education student at elementary school

Ball State’s bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Needs: Intense Intervention is a K-12 licensing program that prepares you to teach students with moderate to profound cognitive impairment, autism, multiple disabilities, other health impairment, orthopedic impairment, and traumatic brain injury. This comprehensive program also includes coursework in mild interventions at the elementary level.

In addition to rigorous academics, our program includes numerous real-world field experiences in local schools as well as service learning activities in community agencies. Your coursework will culminate in two 8-week student teaching experiences during your final semester in the program. You will graduate with two Indiana-recognized licenses for exceptional needs (Intense Interventions K-12 and Mild Interventions K-6). Professionals who are licensed in Intense Interventions are in high demand both in Indiana and across the country.

What You Will Learn

As part of our comprehensive special education program, you will learn evidence-based practices for instruction and assessment of students who require intense interventions, learn to apply accommodations and supports for accessing the general education curriculum, learn to implement appropriate assistive technologies, and learn to address the needs of students who require augmentative and alternative communication supports. You will gain valuable experience in the field by completing four full semesters of supervised practical experience prior to student teaching. Course work in mild interventions (elementary level) is also required as part of our comprehensive program.

You will also:

  • Work with a variety of learners.
  • Make the connection between assessment and instruction.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design instruction, collect performance data, and make instructional decisions for students based upon data..
  • Be prepared to support students to not only access, but to meaningfully participate in, the general education academic curriculum. 

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National Accreditation

The Teachers College is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Learn more.

Ball State is empowering me to achieve my dreams by giving me a lot of support and opportunities to pursue what I love. These have put me in many positions to succeed.

Jack Babbitt
Exceptional Needs: Intense Intervention Major

Program Benefits

Our faculty have extensive real-world experiences in their respective areas of expertise including classroom teaching, clinical supervision, public school administration, program development, and consultation.

Read Their Bios

Our program includes intensive field experiences in a variety of settings. Most courses immerse students in practicum or service learning opportunities, culminating in exciting student teaching options that include Ramstein, Germany, and Aldine Independent School District in Houston, Texas.

Our special education programs are nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children.

The ABA profession has grown along with the rise in diagnosed cases of autism spectrum disorder. There is a tremendous demand for highly skilled individuals to meet the needs of this growing population.

Major Requirements

The bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Needs: Intense Intervention consists of 120 credits with emphasis on instructing students with moderate to severe disabilities, including multiple disabilities. You will gain valuable field experience prior to student teaching working with students in both elementary and secondary school settings.

Total Credits



  • Legal foundations of special education
  • Assessment in special education including RtI
  • Educational methods for children and youth with severe disabilities
  • Educational methods for children and youth with physical and multiple disabilities
  • Technology in special education

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, consult our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

What Can You Do with a Degree in Exceptional Needs: Intense Intervention?

A bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Needs: Intense Intervention will prepare you to teach students of all ages with moderate, severe, and/or multiple disabilities, as well as students requiring mild learning interventions at the elementary level.

What Can You Do with a License in Intense Interventions?

Our program will prepare you for a career as a licensed special education teacher working with students of all ages with moderate to intense intervention needs. You’ll be qualified to work in:

  • K-12 education settings
  • Early childhood education

Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of scholarships the university offers its students, our department gives awards every year to its own students to recognize them for their achievements. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in enrolling in our program? The first step is to apply as an undergraduate student to Ball State University. Begin the journey today.

Get Started 


Place matters, and that is particularly true on our beautiful campus—our size, our people, our culture, and our amenities. Come see it for yourself by scheduling a visit through our Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Or if you’d rather speak directly to someone in our department, feel free to call or email us.

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