Special Education Courses

ED 6005  Evaluation of Ability and Achievement (2 credit hours)

The focus of this course is to investigate evaluation and assessment techniques used in special education for identification, placement, IEP/ITP/IFSP development and prescriptive planning for children and youth with mild/moderate cross-categorical (MM/CC) disabilities.  Candidates will learn to interpret assessment guidelines as set forth in the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), understand scoring and interpretation of aptitude and achievement measures used to identify children and youth with MM/CC disabilities and reflect on the ethical dilemmas frequently posed as part of the special education assessment process.  Candidates will (a) evaluate and display basic descriptive statistics and measurement concepts used in norm-referenced and criterion-based measurement, (b) administer, score and interpret informal assessment instruments and teacher-made probes, (c) discuss comprehensive assessment reports, and (d) develop individualized instruction plans in a multidisciplinary team session.  Assessment measures will include academic, behavioral and social skills instruments, as well as the construction of a functional behavioral assessment (FBA).  Candidates will examine the role of Response-To-Intervention (RtI) in the pre-referral process.

ED 6055 Social and Affective Interventions (2 credit hours)

This course will apply research-validated practices from eclectic theoretical perspectives to classroom and individual behavior management.  Candidates will learn and practice strategies for social and affective intervention from the fields of psychoeducational, behavioral, cognitive behavioral, humanistic, and attribution restructuring therapies.  Candidates will design positive behavior supports plans, write a behavior intervention program (BIP), and examine the role of Response-To-Intervention (RtI) in the pre-referral process for students with mild/moderate cross-categorical (MM/CC) disabilities.  Social skill development techniques will be reviewed with emphasis placed on students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), emotional/behavioral disorder (EBD), and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Candidates will explore the legalities and prevention of manifestation determination hearings.

ED 6060 Counseling Techniques and Family Advocacy in Special Education (2 credit hours)

This course is designed to develop personal dispositions and skills necessary to effectively collaborate and conference with parents, caregivers, professional and families of children and youth with mild/moderate cross-categorical (MM/CC) disabilities.  Emphasis will be placed on applying these skills across multicultural settings.  Principles and procedures for fostering collaborative partnerships that lead to outcomes of mutual empowerment will be examined.  Self-awareness and human relations skills will be developed.  Candidates will engage in reflection on their own personal schemata and belief systems with respect to actively involving parents/caregivers in their children’s education.  Technology and resources related to self-determination, parent and family support networks, and community services will be explored. 

ED 6070 Characteristics and Language Development of Students with Exceptionalities (4 credit hours)

This course is designed to introduce candidates to the characteristics of students with mild/moderate cross-categorical (MM/CC) disabilities.  Candidates will compare and contrast learners with respect to cognitive abilities, academic modifications, medical/physical challenges, social/emotional characteristics and speech/language needs.  Through review of professional literature and multi-modal experiences, candidates will engage in reflective thinking about and critical analysis of the many and varied issues confronting the education of these populations in contemporary inclusionary settings.  Screening and identification of students with learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, intellectual disabilities, orthopedic handicaps and other health impairments will be discussed.  General language acquisition, pragmatic, and social uses of language development will be explored, including developmentally appropriate activities, sequence-based learning, receptive and expressive skills, and assistive/augmentative communication technology.

ED 6080 Educational Methods in Mild/Moderate Cross Categorical Disabilities (4 credit hours)

In this course, candidates will apply research validated academic practices to the education of children and youth with mild/moderate cross-categorical (MM/CC) disabilities.  Candidates will write individualized student programs including an Individual Education Plan (IEP), an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) and an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP).  Salient features of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) will be examined with respect to court cases, amendments and reauthorization.  Candidates will learn techniques to integrate IEP and ITP goals into multicultural-sensitive academic, behavioral, social, and transition objectives in the school curriculum.  Candidates will create lesson plans and implement lessons, using diagnostic teaching techniques.  Instruction focusing on transition skills and post K-12 educational and career opportunities will be included.  Issues related to grading and academic advancement will be discussed.

ED 6090 Specialized Instructional Strategies Across the Curriculum for Special Educators (4 credit hours)

This course utilizes personalized techniques and instructional strategies for diagnosis and remediation of academic learning need.  Candidates will address the role of basic skills in reading and mathematics as related to content area instruction across the curriculum.  Special attention will be given to middle school and secondary curricular content and methodology.  Research-based validated practices will be used to address learning needs for students with mild/moderate cross-categorical (MM/CC) disabilities.  Candidates will identify student needs and plan individualized and small group instruction utilizing basic principles of teaching such as taxonomies of learning, advance organizers, clear explanations, examples and non-examples, visual representation, activities and distributed reviews.  Reading strategies include techniques such as cueing systems, scaffolded reading and writing, word study, comprehension facilitation, question-answer relations, literature focus units, literature circles and writers workshops.  In the area of mathematics, diagnostic interviews, computation, algebraic thinking, geometrical concepts, measurement data, data analysis, and problem-solving strategies will be emphasized.