Graduate School of Education

Special Education Endorsement Program

Course Descriptions

SPED 554 Language Development & Language Disorders (2)

This course will investigate the current theories of language development and analyze the developmentally appropriate steps in relation to the child with special needs. Addresses the comprehensive knowledge needed to evaluate and apply effective functional and academic interventions for language disorders in children. Includes theoretical and empirical basis of intervention, as well as considerations for children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

    SPED 555 Basic Skills for Students with Disabilities (2)

    This course is designed to strengthen the understanding of “response to intervention” in the areas of reading, math, writing, etc. Specific research-based strategies in content acquisition (content enhancements, learning strategies, class wide-peer tutoring), and specific research-based strategies in data collection will be learned and applied. Teachers will learn about collaborative structures found in schools that support learning in general education settings (co-teaching, collaborative consultation, teacher/student support teams) and roles and responsibilities of teachers within these structures. The focus is on acquiring an in-depth understanding of both developmental and remedial reading theory and evidence-based instructional practices.

      SPED 559 Medical Aspects (2)

      Understanding the anatomy and physiology of the developing human body will be the focus of this course. Of special concern will be the study of the eye, the ear and the vocal tract. An in-depth look at the anatomy and physiology of the brain will connect the studies to the disorders of the special population. Ethical decisions regarding identification, assessment, and treatment will be discussed. Communication skills for working with medical personnel and families will be learned. Incorporating medical information and current laws and policies into IEPs will be discussed.

        SPED 561 Managing Difficult Behaviors (2)

        Designed to acquaint regular and special education teachers with principles and application of classroom management techniques applicable to exceptional children and youth. Methods of changing inappropriate behaviors and prompting the acquisition of adaptive behaviors through positive management procedures will be stressed. Includes an introduction to behavior analysis. A case study on social skills education, crisis prevention, and interventions addressing physiological factors that influence a student's problem behavior will be completed within this course. Approaches focus on understanding and addressing the precipitating factors related to inappropriate behavior, short-term approaches for immediate crises, and problem-solving strategies for longer-term change. Course content will include assessment of antisocial, aggressive, and violent behavior; options for classroom interventions; school and system-oriented interventions, and ethical and legal issues involved in various prevention and intervention approaches. A case study on social skills education, crisis prevention, and interventions addressing physiological factors that influence a student's problem behavior will be completed within this course.

          SPED 562 Diagnosis & Curriculum - Functional (2)

          Examination of functional evaluation tools and assessment techniques for the moderate, severely and multiply handicapped child will be included in this course. An understanding of how to determine which test instrument is valid for each child and how to legally proceed with assessment plans will be stressed. A study of various functional training theories and foundations for the moderate, severe and multiple handicapped student will be studied. Understanding of the role of technology in instruction and alignment with IEP goals will be integrated throughout this course. Techniques for developing successful collaboration with parents, students, and professionals will be studied as a means for successful implementation of functional learning programs.

            SPED 563 Diagnosis & Curriculum – Academic (2)

            A study of the various academic diagnostic instruments and their interpretation will be used to diagnose learning disabilities, emotional disturbances and other mildly handicapping conditions. Findings will be used to align assessment, curriculum and instructional strategies through a case study and IEP approach. Considerations for diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds will be considered. Course content will focus on learning how to select learning strategies that match student needs from published curricula as well as how to create strategies with youth to meet specific needs. Teaching routines that facilitate strategic learning during content-area instruction that compensate for inefficient learning will be introduced, evaluated, and implemented in classroom settings.

              SPED 564 Special Education Law (2)

              Special Education Law is a class designed to acquaint teachers with the ethical intricacies of law and policies as pertaining to special education. Development and implementation of IEPs, current case studies and up-to-date mandates from No Child Left Behind and revisions of PL 94-142 will be examined with the special education teacher in mind. The inclusion of the “ethics” of decision-making in special education will be a crucial part of this course.

                SPED 565 Technology - Special Education Instruction (1)

                Comprehensively examines the technology available to special needs populations for purposes of student evaluation, assessment, IEP development, data collection, and record and program management and improved learning. Students will acquire hands-on operating experience through scheduled laboratory periods and study research-based methods for monitoring student behavior and academic progress. Topics include: a) applications and impact of computers on special populations; b) an introduction to effective hardware and software; c) instructional adaptations made possible through technology; d) software evaluation techniques; and f) an overview of multimedia and its effects on students with special needs.

                  SPED 567 Technology - Assistive Devices & Programs (1)

                  Technology has the potential to dramatically improve the education and quality of life for people with disabilities. This course presents a basic foundation for understanding technology in special education, a functional model for selecting the best technology applications for students with special needs, and strategies for applying this knowledge to practical situations.

                    SPED 568 Collaboration and Consultation Skills for Special Educators: Student, Family, School, Community (2)

                    Provides knowledge and skills to implement federal and state mandates for special education and related services programs. Covers procedures to develop, implement, and evaluate (a) instructional accountability for special education students' participation in district and state assessments; (b) relationships between general and special education personnel and programs; (c) roles and responsibilities; (d) interdisciplinary team planning including families; (e) coordinating, educating, and supervising para-educators; and (f) general management responsibilities associated with instruction of children and youth with disabilities. Course topics include collaboration in schools, community systems and families; effective relationships and communication between home, school, community and professionals; and multicultural considerations. Required for the Special Education specialty endorsement program.

                      SPED 570 Advanced Assessment: Special Education (1)

                      This course is designed to introduce a wide variety of testing instruments to SPED in-service and pre-service teachers. Current research in SPED evaluation systems will be introduced. Students will observe administration of the testing instruments and discuss the ethical use of diagnostic tools. Consideration of communication with students, teachers, administrators and parents will be addressed.

                        SPED 580A Supervised Teaching/Internship – Focus: Research Techniques/Plan of Action (2)

                        An extensive, on-site special education experience-teaching learners with mild, moderate and severe disabilities. The experience includes teaching, formal observation, data collection, analysis and reflection. The field experience supports coursework in the special education program. In this field-based experience, the candidates will be placed in schools with certified mentor teachers and qualified university supervisors. This course focuses on the candidate's research techniques and plan of action within the supervised teaching/internship.

                          SPED 580B Supervised Teaching/Internship – Focus: Summary/Reflection (2)

                          An extensive, on-site special education experience-teaching learners with mild, moderate and severe disabilities. The experience includes teaching, formal observation, data collection, analysis and reflection. The field experience supports coursework in the special education program. In this field-based experience, the candidates will be placed in schools with certified mentor teachers and qualified university supervisors. This course focuses on the candidate's summary and reflection on the supervised teaching/internship.

                            SPED 591A Portfolio Preparation: Program Development / Management Methods (1)

                            A course designed to assist candidates in gathering materials and learning research-based ideas, and examples of developing, maintaining and managing an effective and legal Special Education classroom in today's schools.

                              SPED 591B Portfolio Preparation: Functional / Academic (1)

                              A course designed to assist candidates in gathering materials and learning research-based instructional techniques for teaching students with functional and/or academic special needs.