The Department was established by the Presidential Decrees 267/93 and 391/95 (published in the Governmental Gazette No. 217/25-10-95). The first students were admitted in the Department in September 1997.
The Objectives of the Department are:
- To enhance the development of
(a) lifelong learning and adult education,
(b) education and training of people with disabilities or special educational needs through academic and applied teaching and research and sufficient use of the new technologies as well as under consideration of the principles of intercultural education.
- To contribute to the planning, development and evaluation of institutions & structures of educational policy.
- To provide graduates with the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes for a successful educational and career development.
The Bachelor’s Degree and the Majors
The Department awards one degree, which is distinguished into the following majors:
a) Major of the Continuing Education
b) Major of Education of People with Special Needs
The students who have entered the department opt for either major at the end of the 2nd semester of their studies.
The first major aims to educate students so as to acquire such knowledge and experience that will enable them to become specialized in Continuing Education. The second major aims for the training of specialized educators for people with special needs. The shortest period of study which is required for the award of the degree is eight (8) semesters.
The curriculum comprises two periods of studies of one or three academic years respectively. The first period of studies is common for all students. During this time period the courses taught relate to both majors and refer to modules such as pedagogy, psychology, sociology, philosophy, the teaching of special fields, informatics and new technologies as well as statistics. The second period of studies includes the major courses.
Within the major of “Continuing Education” the courses taught focus on the necessity and the development of the institution of continuing education not only in Greece but also worldwide. In addition, there is reference to themes and goals of continuing education, the role of international organizations as well as the structure and organization of the continuing education centers. The students become specialized in issues such as training of adults, planning and evaluation of programs for vocational training and learning.
The students of the major of “Training of People with Special Needs” receive training in issues referring to diagnosis, prediction, prevention and therapeutical intervention to children/people with special educational needs and impairment. Students are taught courses which refer to groups of children with special educational needs and impairment: special learning difficulties, mental retardation, speech and communication disorders, visual and hearing impairment, autism/ pervasive developmental disorder, behavior problems and emotional disorders (perceptual motor disorder/ psychomotor disorder) etc.
During the last semesters of their studies students of both majors have to participate in the program of practical training, which takes place either in settings for adult training or in institutes of special education. Finally students can have the option of delivering a degree thesis, which is an empirical research or a composite study referring to one of the modules of the Department.
Prospects and employment of the graduates of the Department
- A. Major “Continuing Education”
- According to the Law 3699/2008 (Governmental Paper 199/2-10-2008) “Special Education and Training of people with impairment or with special educational needs”:
The graduates of the major “Continuing Education” are typically qualified so as to be appointed in the initial rank for the holders of the university degree (72) (Educators for Adults). “These educators are appointed or transferred permanently or temporarily to the Laboratories for Special Vocational Training. They are employed for the realization of education programs and training of adults with or without impairment and special educational needs, which are planned and delivered by the General Secretariat for Life Long Learning or by any other official state institute having the responsibility for planning and delivering equivalent programs”.
- The main professional duties of the graduates of the major “Continuing Education” are the study, planning, structure, implementation and evaluation of education programs and adult training as well as the vocational training of adults. They also have specialized skills in new technology and administration of centers for adult education. The graduates of this major, having specialized educational knowledge, can be employed – either independently or in cooperation with other scientists- in the public and private sector a) a head educator and trainer or education counselor and b) employment counselor or/and career counselor.
More specifically they can be employed in the following positions:
- All ministerial services and organizations which refer to Life Long Learning
- Programs for adult education and training (i.e. in Centres for Vocational Training, Centres for Adult Education, etc).
- Organizations, which deal with vocational orientation or the employment and both the vocational as well as the social integration of vulnerable social groups
- Institutes for Vocational Training
- Studies for planning and implementation of business programs for vocational training and adult education and especially new technologies
B. Major “Education of People with Special Needs”
The employment rights of the graduates of the specific major have been consolidated by the Law 3699/2008 (Governmental Paper 199/2-10-2008) “Special Education and Training of people with impairment or with special educational needs” and the relevant modifications of the Law 3966/2011 (Governmental Paper 118/2424-5-2011) article 56, paragraphs 1 & 2:
The graduates of the major “Education of People with Special Needs” are typically qualified so as to be appointed to the initial rank for the holders of the university degree (71) (Teachers of Special Education and Training). “These educators are appointed or transferred permanently or temporarily to elementary schools of Special Education and Training, in integrative classes in elementary schools and in programs of simultaneous support or provision of home schooling. They can also be transferred temporarily in order to cover potential needs in the Laboratories for Special Vocational Training. In addition, when they have acquired a three-year experience in those laboratories they can be transferred permanently or temporarily to positions in the Centres of Diverse Diagnoses and Support of Special Educational Needs.
The graduates of the major of “Education of People with Special Needs” have the scientific possibility to be involved with the education of people with special needs in the state and private sector as specialized personnel in special education based on the development of educational technologies. Simultaneously the main professional duties that a specialist for diagnosis, evaluation, counseling and program planning might perform are as follows:
- the evaluation of children/ people with special educational needs and impairments and
- the planning, the implementation of educational programs for the enhancement of academic, social, communicative and motor skills
C. Additionally, the graduates of the Department of Educational and Social Policy can have equal appointment opportunities with those who are holders of a university degree in Social Sciences (78) of the article 29 of the law 4521/2018.