Female therapist working with a young students with learning disabilities.

What are the Advantages of an LBD Certification or Degree?

What does LBD Mean and What is an LBD Certification?

One of the hardest questions for many aspiring teachers or teachers wishing to obtain other certifications or degrees is “What certification(s) should I obtain?” This is a hard question for many because excellent teachers are passionate about not only the students they are teaching, but also the content or area in which they are working. When seeking a certification where one can make a major difference, the LBD route should be considered, as this is one certification that will prepare teachers to meet the needs of various learners so that they may assist students in reaching their greatest potential.

An LBD certification means that a teacher is certified in the area of Learning and Behavior Disorders, or LBD for short. Within the LBD certification, teachers will gain understanding of strategies and ways to work with students who fall under one of the categories recognized as special education in Kentucky. Furthermore, these strategies can be applied to any classroom outside of special education as they are evidence-based and can help any student learn better.

Skills that You Will Obtain with an LBD Certification or Degree

The Learning and Behavior Disorders (LBD) degree or certification will skill teachers in several areas. One skill gained will be how to write an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for students with learning and/or behavior disorders. Special education candidates will learn about the Admission and Release Committee (ARC), special education laws, parent rights of students with special education services, and of the categories of special education that are recognized in Kentucky. These areas include the following:

  • Autism
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Deafness
  • Developmental delay
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Hearing impairment
  • Intellectual disability
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disability
  • Speech or language impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairment

Teachers will also learn how to modify content to meet the needs of learners as well as learn how to make accommodations for students so that they can be successful in their education. Teachers will become a master at what strategies work to meet the needs of students who are struggling, which is why the skills obtained in an LBD certification would also benefit a content-area or P-5 teacher in their classrooms. Even if a content-area teacher in the regular education setting has no desire to teach in a special education role, adding a LBD certification or obtaining an LBD degree would be a move that would strengthen this teacher’s ability to meet the needs of all learners.

Teachers obtaining an LBD degree or certification will also benefit from learning to work with students who have emotional or behavioral disorders. Learning to de-escalate and provide additional supports to students who fall under the category of Emotional and Behavior Disorder (EBD) is a rewarding experience. This skill can also be utilized in other classrooms to support classroom management strategies with all students because teachers learn in-depth ways, strategies, and supports for students who are exhibiting behavior issues.

Advantages of an LBD Degree or Certification

One advantage of obtaining an LBD degree or certification through Georgetown College is that a teacher becomes certified to teach in the Learning and Behavior Disorders setting in any grade level primary through grade 12. This opens the door for a teacher to work in elementary, middle, or high schools which opens up the job market to a wider field of prospective jobs.

Another advantage of an LBD degree or certification is the teacher who obtains this will have the opportunity to teach in a multitude of settings. LBD teachers are equipped to co-teach alongside other teachers in the regular education setting, provide supports in resource settings which offer students a smaller setting with more intensive instruction, or even in a self-contained classroom for emotional and behavior disorders.

As far as salary, special education teachers will make comparable salaries to teachers in content areas. Depending on whether or not one obtains the certification or degree as a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree will determine the rank or step on the salary scale. Each district has a different salary scale and these are usually accessible on the district website. A teacher with a master’s degree in learning and behavior disorders (LBD) will make a higher salary than a teacher who has not earned a master’s degree.

This degree or certification also lays the groundwork for a teacher who wishes to advance his or her career to go on and obtain certification as a special education consultant. These consultants work in different roles. Some will only chair ARCs while others will support special education teachers through professional learning and growth.

The learning and behavior disorders degree and/or certification also could open the door for a teacher to move up the career ladder later with an additional certification of Director of Special Education (DOSE). The Director of Special Education is a district-level employee who oversees the entire special education program in the district.

So for teachers considering adding a certification or for aspiring teachers, the LBD degree and/or certification would be beneficial for a level of professional growth that will equip teachers with the ability to truly make a difference in the lives of students.