Christina Marie’s Answer
It's great to see that you're passionate about working in Special Education. I too am involved with students who have moderate disabilities and I can testify that this career is very rewarding.
Before I graduated high school, I too thought of attending an IVY league college because I thought it would look great on my resume. However, you will not be chosen above your colleagues simply because you attended such college. I say this because I have witnessed career managers in education choose people who have been involved with the actual community via internships, volunteer opportunities and professional development workshops over those who have just attended a well known college/university.
What is most important is that you find a school that has an accredited program but also a high hiring rate from education employers upon graduation. For example, I attended TCNJ which was recognized to have the number one program in Deaf education--even above that of the ivy leave school Princeton. So, just because you attend an Ivy League does not mean that their program is necessarily more effective.
Basically, I weighed my options--I would attended a college with an accredited program and a high hiring rate among education career managers who chose graduates from my college over those in my state simply because TCNJ was known to have the best practices and student teaching opportunities during the process of acquiring a degree.
Also, I considered an accelerated program where I would receive my Masters in 5 years. This has propelled me into a career where I make over 60,000 a year. The advantage is that employers will see this as an asset to their team of teachers and they will hire you in a heart beat because you are more experienced and knowledgeable about the field of education. Most importantly, get involved and show your prospective employers that you are the most passionate in the field of special education and always keep an binder tracking your experiences. This will be key for your interviews.
All in all, I hope that this advice helps you make your decision. If you have any further questions, please do ask. I wish you the very best on your future endeavors!!