ED-501 Foundations of Special Education

Special education professionals apply knowledge of theories, evidence-based practices, and relevant laws to advocate for programs, supports, and services for individuals with exceptionalities. This course provides an overview of exceptionality in children/youth from birth to 21 years of age. Students will gain foundational knowledge of the field, professional ethical principles, and practice standards to inform special education practice.

3 Credits

ED-502 Special Education Law

This course provides a breadth and depth of information on special education law including: (1) a comprehensive overview of the history of special education, (2) pertinent court cases that impacted legislation, and (3) current legislation that secures access and rights for children and youth with exceptionalities and their families. IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and its principles will be a key focus.

3 Credits

ED-503 Understanding the Research in Special Ed

In this course students critically examine and interpret the current research in order to identify and subsequently utilize best practices in the classroom. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques are reviewed. Students review the professional literature and share findings with a learning community that embraces professional development.

3 Credits

ED-504 Supporting Students w/Behavioral Needs

This course provides an overview of strategies that promote social, emotional, and behavioral growth of students while fostering a welcoming and safe classroom environment that encourages positive behavior through the use of responsive and preventative measures. Students will learn to conduct functional behavioral analyses and apply principles of PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) to deliver evidence-based interventions that support positive behaviors.

3 Credits

ED-505 Assessment: Using Data to Drive Decisions

First, this course provides an overview of the special education process outlining how a child or youth is identified for services. Second, this course introduces students to a variety of assessment tools that are reliable, valid, and minimize bias. Students learn to create, administer, and score assessments and subsequently use this information to inform instruction, practices, and programming. Ethical practices and considerations are discussed.

3 Credits

ED-506 Effective Instruction for All

This course focuses on designing and delivering effective instructional strategies. Content will focus on understanding the unique needs and learning differences of all individuals and using this to inform practices and programming. In addition to an explicit and systematic approach, topics will include active student engagement, motivation, opportunities to respond, self-regulation, and grouping for instruction. Students will also learn to align standards to ensure access to the general education curriculum for all.

3 Credits

ED-507 Science of Reading

This course provides an in-depth review of the literature on structured literacy instruction that supports typical readers as well as students who struggle to acquire the literacy skills that are essential to success in school and life. Students will explore the body of work that exists on the Science of Reading (SOR) which is based upon an emerging consensus from multidisciplinary research that supports and explains the importance of explicit, systematic, and sequential instruction to support students' acquisition of literacy skills. The SOR framework for understanding reading development and disability will be utilized.

3 Credits

ED-508 Culturally Responsive Teaching

3 Credits

ED-509 Low Incidence Disabilities

In this course students will learn evidence-based strategies to work with learners with low-incidence disabilities, severe/multiple disabilities, and/or complex communication needs. Instructional strategies focusing on functional academics, social skills, prosocial behaviors, communicative competence, among other areas will be discussed. Additional topics include positive behavior supports, assistive technologies, AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication), and collaborative partnerships with families.

3 Credits

ED-510 Capstone in Special Education

Students engage in a culminating project that demonstrates the content knowledge and skills they learned throughout their program. Students identify and implement a best or emerging evidence-based practice and then collect baseline and intervention data to determine intervention effectiveness. By the end of the course, students produce a capstone paper and share their research within a learning community via a presentation. This course should be taken toward the end of the program.

3 CreditsPre-req: ED-501, ED-502, and ED-503