Special Education

Special Education

The Special Education major provides candidates with a bachelor’s degree in special education and prepares candidates for professional certification with an endorsement as a special education generalist. 

Broadly stated, the objectives of the Special Education Program are:

  1. Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of a wide variety of disability categories and their instructional implications, as well as the legal and ethical considerations for educating individuals with disabilities.
  2. Candidates will demonstrate understanding of instructional methodologies and curricula that have an extensive experimental research base to support their effectiveness for all individuals, especially those with learning difficulties.
  3. Candidates will make instructional decisions based on reliable and valid data that are primarily objective in nature.
  4. Candidates will demonstrate instruction and behavior management strategies that are proactive and teach new skills, as opposed to being punitive in nature.
  5. Candidates will demonstrate professional and collaboration skills with teachers, parents, administrators, and other professionals.

Prior to acceptance to the B.A./B.S. in Special Education Program, all applicants must complete SPED 3330 or SPED 3340 and earn a grade of at least C. Candidates must also complete EDUC 2201 and EDUC 2204 with grades of C or better and pass performance assessments associated with these courses, have an overall GPA of at least 3.0, and be approved by a faculty screening committee following an admission interview.

Retention and Exit Requirements

In addition to meeting all of the retention and exit requirements of the College of Education, candidates must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in the program courses. If a candidate earns two grades of C or lower in any program courses, the candidate will not be allowed to progress in the program and must reapply to the program. Candidates in the program must also maintain an overall GPA of 2.75 or better. If a candidate’s overall GPA falls below 2.75 for two consecutive semesters, the candidate will not be allowed to progress in the program and must reapply to the program. (Special Education majors must also meet the requirements for general teacher education.)

Course Requirements for the B.A. or B.S. degree (in addition to university requirements):

EDUC 2201Development and Individual Differences3
EDUC 2204Families Community Culture3
EDUC 3308Foundations of Educational Knowledge, Planning, and Assessment4
EDUC 3311Instructional Technology3
EDUC 3321Integrated Language Arts Methods3
EDUC 3322Literature for Children across the Curriculum3
EDUC 3330Elementary Math Methods3
EDUC 3331Elementary Science Methods3
EDUC 4408Pre-Internship Field Experience Seminar2
EDUC 4419Developmental Literacy3
EDUC 4470Advanced Mathematics Methods3
SPED 3330The Exceptional Child3
SPED 3340Principles of Behavior Management3
SPED 4417Interdisciplinary Evaluation Team1
SPED 4423Designing Instruction3
SPED 4424Assessment Procedures in Special Education3
SPED 4429Teaching Students with Significant and Multiple Disabilities3
SPED 4430Practicum in Individualized Instruction2
SPED 4432Explicit Instruction3
SPED 4433Teaching Students with Emotional Behavior Disorders3
SPED 4434Language and Communication Methods in Special Education3
SPED 4435Practicum in Small Group Instruction2
SPED 4443Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder3
SPED 4446Secondary Special Education3
SPED 4490Consultation and Collaboration3
SPED 4495Special Education:Student Teaching Internship 114
1

This is a 7-14 credit course taken for a total of 14 credits.

Deaf Education Minor (non-certification)

CSD 1126Deaf Studies2
CSD 2205Introduction to Professions in Communication Sciences3
CSD 2256Deaf Culture and Community3
CSD 2258Language Acquisition in American Sign Language3
CSD 3330Language Science and Development3
CSD 4460Educational Audiology3
Electives (8 credits minimum)8
American Sign Language I
American Sign Language II
American Sign Language III
American Sign Language IV
Neuroscience for Communication Disorders

Procedure: Interested students should contact the department of Communication Sciences & Disorders to declare a minor and be assigned a minor advisor. Students with a minor in Deaf Education and who are eligible for a teaching certificate may be prepared to enter the regular, 14 month graduate program.

How to Read Course Descriptions

Courses

SPED 3312 Assistive Technology: 3 semester hours.

Instructional and assistive technology, benefits they offer to individuals with various types of disabilities, how to evaluate children's technology needs, how to find new technologies using a variety of resources, and how to fund the purchase of technology for children with disabilities. Focus on how to use technology to adapt and accommodate for the needs of children with diverse learning needs. D

SPED 3330 The Exceptional Child: 3 semester hours.

Essential areas of exceptionality. Each area is studied on the dimensions of etiology, identification and labeling, characteristics, educational treatment, and prognosis for adjustment. Consideration also given toward structuring suitable educational programs applicable for each area and the basics of special education law. Includes 50-hour practicum. D

SPED 3340 Principles of Behavior Management: 3 semester hours.

Overview of the basic principles of behavior management for supporting students with disabilities in all school environments. Includes applied behavior analysis, positive behavioral instructional supports, functional behavior analysis, and behavior intervention plans. D

SPED 3350 Creating Inclusive Classrooms: 3 semester hours.

Curricula and methods for educating students with diverse abilities in K-12 classrooms. Characteristics of students with disabilities, students who are gifted and talented, students at risk for school failure, and students who are English language learners. Emphasizes inclusive lesson design, curricular adaptations, and collaborative teaching. PREREQ: Admission to Teacher Education Program. COREQ: EDUC 4408 or MUSC 3338. F, S

SPED 4417 Interdisciplinary Evaluation Team: 1 semester hour.

Introduction to principles, techniques of interdisciplinary evaluation. Disciplines emphasized: Audiology, Dietetics, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Psychology, Social Work, Special Education, Speech-Language Pathology. Equivalent to CSD 4417, DHS 4417, NURS 4417, PSYC 4417, and SOWK 4417. PREREQ: Permission of instructor. S

SPED 4423 Designing Instruction: 3 semester hours.

In-depth study of Universal Design for Learning as the framework for designing instruction that is accessible for all learners and supporting students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. COREQS: EDUC 3311 and EDUC 4408. D

SPED 4424 Assessment Procedures in Special Education: 3 semester hours.

In-depth study of educational assessment procedures and techniques related to identifying and supporting students with disabilities. Emphasis on standardized assessment procedures, the eligibility determination process, making educational recommendations, and comprehensive evaluation report writing. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. D

SPED 4426 Assessment:Severe Disabilities: 3 semester hours.

Selection, administration, and interpretation of criterion-referenced tools employed with severely disabled students. Emphasizes functional approach to assessment and evaluation of behavioral and instructional domains. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. D

SPED 4429 Teaching Students with Significant and Multiple Disabilities: 3 semester hours.

In-depth study of the characteristics of students with significant and multiple disabilities and effects on social interactions, school performance, and achievement. Evidence-based practices for teaching and supporting students with significant and multiple disabilities. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. COREQ: SPED 4430 and SPED 4434. D

SPED 4430 Practicum in Individualized Instruction: 1-3 semester hours.

Requires 50 clock hours per credit hour of field experience working one-on-one with a student with significant and/or multiple disabilities, developing and implementing individual instructional programs related to communication. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. COREQ: SPED 4429 and SPED 4434. D

SPED 4432 Explicit Instruction: 3 semester hours.

In-depth study of explicit instruction techniques to support student learning in all content areas. Includes development of original instruction and adaptation of general education curricula and progress monitoring of student learning. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. COREQ: SPED 4435. D

SPED 4433 Teaching Students with Emotional Behavior Disorders: 3 semester hours.

In-depth study of the characteristics of emotional behavior disorders and effects on social interactions, school performance, and achievement. Evidence-based practices for teaching and supporting students with Emotional Behavior Disorders. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. D

SPED 4434 Language and Communication Methods in Special Education: 3 semester hours.

Strategies for teaching expressive and receptive communication skills to students with disabilities. Focus on assistive and augmentative communication systems, high and low technology modalities, and visual supports. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. COREQ: SPED 4429 and SPED 4430. D

SPED 4435 Practicum in Small Group Instruction: 1-3 semester hours.

Requires 50 clock hours per credit hour of field experience working with students with disabilities, implementing small group instruction and monitoring student progress. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. COREQ: SPED 4432. D

SPED 4436 Math Methods for Children with Disabilities: 3 semester hours.

How to teach basic mathematical skills to children with disabilities and other at-risk learners. Emphasis on mathematical techniques having research supporting their effectiveness with children with disabilities. Prospective teachers are taught how to teach, monitor, assess, and remediate various mathematical skills. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. D

SPED 4437 Practicum in Large Group Instruction: 1-3 semester hours.

Requires 50 clock hours per credit hour of field experience working with students with disabilities in inclusive general classrooms. Emphasis on Universal Design for Learning, co-teaching, and collaboration between general and special education teachers. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. D

SPED 4438 Policies and Procedures in Special Education: 3 semester hours.

Consideration of legal background, current court rulings, professional responsibilities, and models for consultation and collaboration in a variety of educational settings. Includes the IEP process. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. D

SPED 4443 Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: 3 semester hours.

In-depth study of the characteristics of autism spectrum disorder and effects on social interactions, school performance, and achievement. Evidence-based practices for teaching and supporting students with ASD. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. D

SPED 4446 Secondary Special Education: 3 semester hours.

In-depth study of assessment and evidence-based practices to support secondary transition for students with disabilities. Topics include functional academics, transition, independent living, social skills, professional-technical training, employment options, and accessing community resources. PREREQ: Admission to Teacher Education Program. D

SPED 4462 Seminar:Behavior Disorders: 1 semester hour.

Topical issues related to the education of children with behavior disorders in a variety of educational and therapeutic settings. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. D

SPED 4480 Seminar in Special Education: 1 semester hour.

Current topics in the field of special education presented by departmental faculty and guest lecturers. May be repeated for up to 2 credits. Graded S/U. F, S

SPED 4481 Advanced Issues in Behavior Disorders: 2 semester hours.

Educational organization, collaboration and consultation skills necessary to provide cooperation between the schools and other community agencies that provide integrated service for this exceptionality. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. D

SPED 4485 Independent Problems: 1-3 semester hours.

Individual work under staff guidance. Field and/or library research on specific educational problems of interest to majors in education. Experience in research composition. May be repeated. Graded S/U. PREREQ: Permission of instructor. D

SPED 4490 Consultation and Collaboration: 3 semester hours.

Survey of strategies for collaborating with families, paraprofessionals, general education teachers, and other special education and related service professionals to support students with disabilities. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. D

SPED 4491 Seminar: 1-3 semester hours.

Critical analysis of the literature in one or more areas of education. Limited enrollment. May be graded S/U. PREREQ: Admission to the Teacher Education Program. D

SPED 4495 Special Education:Student Teaching Internship: 7-14 semester hours.

Candidates assume instructional and management responsibilities in a supervised K-12 resource room or special education setting. Full semester for 14 credits; half semester 7 credits. Graded S/U. May be repeated. PREREQ: Special Education Methods Core and approved application. F, S

SPED 4498 Advanced Field Work: 1-3 semester hours.

Orientation, observation, planning and implementation of special education instruction in a special education setting in the public schools. PREREQ: Permission of instructor. D

Faculty

Assistant Professors

Jennifer Gallup

Karren Streagle

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