Practica and Field Experiences

Special education majors will encounter many field experiences embedded in the standard course work. Additionally, all students must complete at least two practica, each 3 credits, requiring 84 contact hours with students with disabilities in the classroom.

Indiana School for the Deaf

students at Indiana School for the Deaf

For more than 25 years, students majoring in deaf education at Ball State have had the opportunity to take part in a one-year residential field experience at the Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD) in Indianapolis.

In this unique program, you are immersed in deaf culture and gain hands-on experience working with children and youth who are deaf or hard of hearing. You practice American Sign Language with deaf individuals, gain classroom and teaching experience, and have a variety of educational and social experiences with children and adults who are deaf. You complete regular course work taught at the school while observing and modeling expert teaching in deaf education.


To take part in the program, you must:

  • be enrolled in the hard of hearing/deaf education program
  • complete SNLN 251 and 252 (American Sign Language I and II)
  • complete SPCE 201 (Introduction to Exceptional Needs)

Immersive Learning Opportunities

Equestrian Camp

Blackford County High Riding Art and Equestrian Camp

students at equestrian camp

Photo Gallery

See highlights from one of our recent camp experiences.

Students in this summer program study psychological, environmental, and cultural factors that contribute to mild and moderate disabilities, and characteristics of individuals with disabilities. Working with partners, students plan and implement a two-week long program for children with disabilities. The camp will include horseback riding, art, science, technology, sports, and other enrichment activities. Preliminary planning meetings are held during spring semester.

For more information, contact Ruth Jefferson.

Camp Achieve

Organized and hosted by Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder (CASD) faculty, Camp Achieve is an annual summer social skills autism camp for children 6-12 years of age.

The camp provides a positive learning environment for children. Participants practice critical skills such as communication, social interaction, and adaptive skills.

The annual camp is held on campus, which allows for access to a number of activities such as a rock climbing wall, an exceptional playground, and access to Christy Woods to enhance the outdoor experience. Campers go on field trips to the Duck Pond to fish, the Glick Center to see glassmaking, and the planetarium. Camp counselors and tutors are involved in the camp and help CASD run a safe and successful summer camp.

For more information, contact the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Additional Service-Learning Opportunities

Student Council for Exceptional Children

By joining SCEC, special education majors can serve children and adults with special needs through partnerships with organizations such as Beyond I CAN and Special Olympics. Read more.

Ball State Best Buddies

The mission of Best Buddies is to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities make friendships and connections outside their own community. Volunteers meet friends and develop leadership skills. Read more.