Edward Hou Earned Special Ed Certification with CITE Courses

Edward Hou Earned Special Ed Certification with CITE Courses

Edward Hou became a teacher after a career as an Industrial Engineer. Below, he shares his experience earning Special Ed certification through the individual pathway, by taking courses through CITE / The College of St. Rose

1. What is your name and where do you teach? 

Edward Hou – 9th grade Mathematics (Algebra I)

2. What did you do before teaching? 

I was an Industrial Engineer for 16 years.  My last position was with the iconic American company Steinway and Sons, the maker of the world famous Steinway concert piano

3. What instigated the switch? 

The engineering and manufacturing world did not invoke any passion in my life.  It was just a job … not a career, not a passion.  I did not want to go through another 20+ years of my life, and wonder “what if?”.

4. Tell us a bit about switching careers. What were some challenges/surprises? 

The challenges were similar to many career changers … balancing career, a new family, and graduate school classes.  My wife was my pillar and very supportive of me.  The surprises were how much I really enjoyed taking the courses, and how much anticipation I had for a new future.  I made many close friends who to this day I am still close to. 

5. Which CITE/ St. Rose courses did you take? 

After my 2nd year of teaching with a Transitional B license, I was able to obtain my Initial certification.  With that certification, I was able to enroll in CITE’s Special Education program I chose CITE because of the low cost and speed of completion.  I was able to take all required classes over the course of one summer, and obtain my SPED extension certification by September.  I looked into other programs (Mercy College, Queens College), and they all required traditional coursework which would have taken over a year to complete.  CITE’s fast track program allowed me to complete it in one summer. 

6. Tell us a bit about the Special Ed certification process — how did you know which courses to take? What was confusing about it? Who helped? 

Many of the students in the courses were a wealth of knowledge.  They also were able to point me to people in CITE who were able to direct me to the proper classes to take.  I had to switch a few classes in the process in order to satisfy the proper requirements.  CITE was very reasonable with allowing me to change pre-registered classes.  

7. Why did you decide to get special ed certification? 

Having certification in both Mathematics and Special Education makes for a very attractive candidate to hiring principals.  Both subjects are in high demand.  Having certification in both allowed me to stand out among other single certification candidates in the hiring process.  Also, having a strong understanding of special education theories allowed me to become a better math teacher. 

8. How did these courses help you in your day-to-day teaching? 

I utilize the techniques and methodologies taught in the CITE classes everyday.  They are the backbone of my pedagogy, and have helped me to become a successful mathematics teacher in the South Bronx.  

9. Have you recommended the courses to anyone? 

Whenever possible, I suggest the CITE special education courses and certification program to friends and co-workers.  Several friends and co-workers have taken CITE’s SPED program, and it opened up significant new avenues in their teaching careers.  

10. Please include anything else you’d like to say! 

Thank you to CITE for giving me the tools and skills in becoming a successful teacher.  

For more information on the Individual Pathway to Special Ed Certification, give us a call 718-923-9333 or register quickly online for our in-person courses. 


CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education . For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train TEACHERS (Early Childhood, Professional Certification, Special Ed,Grad Courses, Bilingual coursesDASA); COUNSELORS (School, Mental Health Masters, Advanced Certificate); and ADMINISTRATORS (SBL, SDL, Public Admin) in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, Westchester, and Long Island.

We are proud to introduce our new Undergraduate Completion Program for adults – the same convenience, affordability, and quality you’ve come to expect from CITE partners, now for adults 25 years and older who want to gain the skills and degree to get their career launched. Learn more here.