2022-2023 Academic Catalog

Special Education (SPED)

SPED-6050: Characteristics of the Culturally Linguistically Diverse Student with Disabilities (3 hours)

This course is designed to identify the characteristics of English Language Learners (ELLs) with specific learning, emotional, academic, physical and multiple disabilities and theories behind second language acquisition. It will also explore the psychological, linguistic and cultural foundations in teaching English as a second or additional language. Candidates will discuss the impact of these characteristics on the cognitive, academic, linguistic, and social development of ELLs. An examination of current trends in ESL teaching and instructional strategies that accommodate students in all levels of ESL/EFL settings along with eligibility for special education, and placement decisions will also be explored. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6225: Special Education Finance (3 hours)

Students will explore issues related to funding programs for students with special needs. Further discussion focuses on policies, practices and issues related to special education finance at the local, state and federal levels, including sources, legal mandates and budgeting. Cross-Listed: EDL-6225.

SPED-6230: Assistive Technology: Principles and Practice (3 hours)

This course will address the use of assistive technology within a teaching and learning environment. It will present research and trending developments on how specific technologies address the academic and access needs of individuals with cultural/linguistic, sensory, social, emotional, cognitive and physical disabilities. Topics include defining and differentiating assistive and educational technologies; identifying the legislative policies connected with such technologies; exploring ethical and legal ramifications of assistive technology usage; and collaboration and implementation of assistive technology-enhanced materials and teaching/learning opportunities for all learners. Cross-Listed: EDT-6230.

SPED-6250: Special Education Law & Policy (3 hours)

Impact of special education policies and implementation as related to public and nonpublic schools. Analysis of legal guidelines, litigation, individualized education programs, inclusion and characteristics of exceptional learners. Cross-Listed: EDL-6250.

SPED-6350: Characteristics & Learning Needs of Students with Academic and Physical Challenges (3 hours)

This course is designed to identify the characteristics of individuals ages 3-21 with moderate and severe developmental, physical and multiple disabilities. The course will examine the impact of language disorders, processing deficits, behavioral, emotional and sensory disabilities on the development of individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities. The course will examine opportunities to support learning social, personal daily living, and vocational needs of students. Field Experience: Required. Cross-Listed: EDU-6350.

SPED-6355: Instructional Strategies for Students with Academic and Physical Challenges (3 hours)

This course is designed to examine the curriculum, instruction and materials for teaching students with moderate and severe developmental disabilities and students with physical disabilities. The course will also examine strategies for activities of daily living and the use of adaptive technology. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6360: Characteristics & Learning Needs of Students with Specific Learning & Emotional Disabilities (3 hours)

This course is designed to identify the characteristics of individuals ages 3-21 with specific learning disabilities and emotional disabilities. The impact of characteristics on the cognitive, academic, language and social development of individuals will be examined. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6365: Instructional Strategies for Students with Specific Learning Disabilities & Emotional Disabilities (3 hours)

This course is designed to examine the organization and implementation of curriculum, materials and management to facilitate acquisition, maintenance and generalization of skills for students with learning disabilities. The course also examines the organization of the classroom and school environment for teaching and facilitating social, behavioral and emotional needs to students with emotional disorders. Also included are instructional planning and design, instructional and community goals. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6370: Curriculum Based and Educational Measurements of Exceptional Learners (3 hours)

This course is designed to examine the diagnostic procedures that guide instruction of exceptional learners within the least restrictive environment. The course will also include use and analysis of standardized and curriculum-based assessment and assessment techniques to support the learning of students. Cross-Listed: EDU-6370. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6375: Supervision of Programs for Children with Disabilities (3 hours)

This course is designed to examine educational supervisory models with emphasis on specialized instruction. Various elements of instructional leadership are examined emphasizing parent, staff and community collaborations. How to structure programs to reflect current research understandings, best practice in special education, and state and federal mandates emphasized. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6425: Psychology & Methods of Teaching the Exceptional Learner (3 hours)

Identification of characteristics of exceptional learners; applicable laws and policies; Response to Intervention; educational program development based on empirically supported instructional techniques; assessment and IEP procedures; transition planning. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6500: Family and Community Relationships in Early Childhood Special Education (3 hours)

This course contains strategies for developing positive and supportive relationships with families of young children with special needs, including the legal and philosophical basis for family participation. Also studied will be family-centered services, and strategies for working with socially, culturally and linguistically diverse families. Approaches and models for promoting effective consultation and collaboration with other professionals and agencies within the community will also be addressed. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6510: Language Development in Early Childhood Special Education (3 hours)

This course addresses typical and atypical language development in young children, with an emphasis on specific language disabilities. Candidates will explore the relationship between communication delays and other areas of early learning and development, as well as learn about alternative communication systems for young children with disabilities. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6520: Special Education Assessment for Early Childhood Educators (3 hours)

This course includes a study of the strategies, procedures, and formal and informal instruments for assessing social, emotional, cognitive, communication and motor skills of infants, toddlers and preschoolers with developmental delays or disabilities. Learning experiences in this course will equip candidates with methods for conducting formative and summative individual and program evaluation. Assessments of family concerns, priorities and resources, as well as school, home and community learning environments will also be addressed. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6530: Special Education Methods for Early Childhood Educators (3 hours)

Candidates will study developmentally and individually appropriate methods for fostering the social, emotional, cognitive, communication, adaptive and motor development, and learning of young children with special needs in various settings, including the home, school and community. This course includes an in-depth analysis of theories and principles of developmentally appropriate practice, Universal Design for Learning, differentiated instruction, and child development. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6540: Early Intervention Methods and Transitional Planning (3 hours)

SPED-6640: Transitional Services for Students with Disabilities (3 hours)

SPED-6650: Characteristics of the Young Exceptional Learner (3 hours)

During this course, candidates will develop an understanding of the characteristics of infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children with exceptional needs. Categories of exceptionality surveyed include: communication delays, developmental disabilities, learning and behavioral challenges, hearing and vision impairments, physical disabilities, and other health impairments. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6890: Special Education Practicum 1: Content Area Learning and School Collaboration (3 hours)

This practicum experience focuses on effective teaching practices for students with learning and emotional disorders, and will occur in one of the following school settings: general education classroom, special education classroom or resource room. It is designed to provide educators with opportunities to demonstrate effective collaborative practices, teaching strategies, assessment practices, progress monitoring techniques, behavior management practices. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6892: Early Childhood Special Education Practicum (3 hours)

This practicum experience focuses on effective teaching practices for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with developmental delays or disabilities. It is designed to provide educators will opportunities to implement recommended practices in assessment, instruction, and intervention in both natural and inclusive early childhood special education environments, while working with families, community members, and other professionals. Field Experience: 20 hours. Prerequisite: B or higher in SPED-6500, SPED-6510, SPED-6520, SPED-6530, and SPED-6650.

SPED-6895: Special Education Practicum 2: Content Area Learning and Community Collaboration (3 hours)

This practicum focuses on effective teaching practices for students with academic and physical challenges and will take place in one of the following settings: elementary or high school, therapeutic day school, residential school/facility, homebound instruction, and hospital or treatment facility. Educators will spend four weeks serving the needs of students with physical disabilities, and four weeks serving students with academic challenges including autism, traumatic brain injury and intellectual disabilities. It is designed to provide educators with opportunities to demonstrate effective collaborative practices, teaching strategies, and assessment and progress monitoring techniques for individual or small groups of students with physical and academic challenges. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6896: Practicum and Seminar in Special Education Leadership 1 (3 hours)

Practicum and Seminar in Special Education Leadership focuses on effective leadership practices for the supervision of students with disabilities in public schools settings. The practicum will occur in one of the following settings: public elementary or high school, central office, charter school or special education cooperative. It is designed to provide school leaders with opportunities to demonstrate effective collaborative practices to serve students with special needs, implement IDEIA in school practices, supervise and evaluate special education teachers and related service providers, plan for district and state assessment administration, and understand special education budgeting within a public setting. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6897: Practicum and Seminar in Special Education Leadership 2 (3 hours)

This practicum focuses on effective leadership practices for the supervision of students with disabilities in a private or non‐public setting. The practicum will take place in one of the following settings: community agency, therapeutic day school, residential school/facility, hospital or treatment facility. It is designed to provide special education leaders with a comprehensive understanding of the more restrictive options on the placement continuum with opportunities to demonstrate effective collaborative practices, gain an understanding of the guidelines that govern private facilities, understand the critical partnership between public schools and private settings, and the unique programming considerations in private or non-public settings. Field Experience: Required.

SPED-6950: Independent Study in Special Education (1-6 hours)

SPED-7010: Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities (3 hours)

During this course, candidates will review research and analyze instructional practices as they broaden and deepen their professional knowledge, and expand their expertise with instructional technologies, curriculum standards, effective teaching strategies and assistive technologies. A variety of assistive technologies and related issues will be examined, including: computer software and access, augmentative communication, electronic devices for activities of daily living, wheelchairs and seating, and transportation. Field Experience: None.

SPED-7020: Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (3 hours)

This course is designed to provide an overview of the principles and procedures needed to systematically address socially significant maladaptive behavior. Students will understand the basic principles of behavior analysis, behavioral research methods, and begin to acquire the conceptual and technical skills necessary to reinforce socially desirable behavior in diverse learners. Other topics that will be explored in this course include: verbal behaviors, motivation, program development and ethics. Field Experience: None.

SPED-7030: Seminar in Low Incidence Disabilities (3 hours)

Seminar in Low Incidence Disabilities is designed to introduce students to the process of critically reviewing literature related to the identification, characteristics and approaches for students with low-incidence disabilities, specifically, severe/profound disabilities. The course will provide an overview of the service needs associated with low‐incidence disabilities and current educational approaches. The course focus will be academic, behavioral, communicative and post-secondary considerations. Field Experience: None.

SPED-7040: Seminar in High Incidence Disabilities (3 hours)

This seminar includes an in-depth review of trends, issues, research and program development in educating students with specific learning disabilities and emotional disabilities. Critical analysis and discussion of a variety of topics, including: response to intervention/MTSS, differentiated instruction, learning climate and culture, and behavior assessments and interventions. Field Experience: None.

SPED-7060: Current Issues and Trends in Special Education (3 hours)

The field of special education is in a constant state of revision. In this course, graduate students will read, research and discuss a variety of current issues and trends in special education. Other areas of analysis include: political and sociocultural perspectives on special education, considerations of ideal special education systems, communicating the rights and needs of students with disabilities and their families, and future directions in leadership and teacher preparation. Field Experience: None.

SPED-7100: International Perspectives in Special Education (3 hours)

This course examines variations, across cultures and historical periods, in understandings of disability and management of special education. The course surveys conceptualizations of disabilities, physiological, cultural and environmental factors that modulate the severity or presence of disability conditions, and the effects of various treatment and educational approaches. Field Experience: None.

SPED-7950: Independent Study in Special Education (9 hours)