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Elementary/Special Education

The central goal of our department is to prepare — in an inclusive and diverse setting — future teachers to educate all children. Our combined program trains students to approach the field of elementary-level education with an appreciation of individual differences and an understanding of ways to meet those differences.

With the support of our dedicated faculty members, students who graduate from our program will have earned dual certification in elementary (grades 1-6) and special (grades K-8) education. Ours is one of the few programs in New England that offers this dual-certificate program at the undergraduate level. As a result, our graduates are highly sought after by elementary and middle school principals. They are licensed to teach in Rhode Island upon graduation and can transfer their certificate to more than 45 states.

Although Providence College is a test optional institution, admission to any education program requires the passing of a basic skills exam. Applicants must pass the SAT or ACT at the levels indicated in the following chart, or pass the Praxis I exam at the levels indicated.

SAT Requirements

Providence College is a test optional institution. However, due to state teacher certification regulations, completion of an education program requires passing a variety of standardized basic skills, teaching skills, and content knowledge tests at various points throughout the program. Therefore acceptance into Providence College is separate from acceptance into an education program.


Department of Elementary/Special Education
Harkins Hall, Room 328
Phone: 401-865-2121
Fax: 401-865-1021

Dr. Susan Skawinski
Interim Department Chair

Dr. Laurie Grupp
Assistant Chair 


Jane DeGiulio
Administrative Assistant

Phyllis Connolly
Senior Office Assistant


Other contacts:

Shannon T. Dolan​

Director of Field Placement and Partnerships
Location: Harkins Hall 327


Diane C. Comerford
Director of Assessment Services
Location: Harkins Hall 336

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Catholic and Dominican

What does it mean to be a Catholic and Dominican college? We invite you to explore this question and the distinctive mission of Providence College.
About Providence College's Catholic and Dominican Identity