Courses for M.S.Ed. Special Education, CBP/HD, Prek-8

The faculty of the School of Education take pride in the curriculum they teach. Whether just beginning in the field of education as an undergraduate student or pursuing a graduate or doctoral degree, the coursework will prepare students to confidently and effectively make a difference in classrooms, school districts, and communities.

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GSPE 652

Low Incidence: Access to the General Education Curriculum

This course is designed to be taken by special education majors. The course content covers the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to assist students from low incidence populations make meaningful progress in the general education curriculum in inclusive classrooms. Individualized assessment and instructional design for this population of students will be the foundation for the course as candidates apply the evidence based practices for teaching literacy, math and science skills.

GSPE 654

Early Intervention and Child Development

This course focuses on the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed by special education professionals to support the development and learning of children from birth to 8 years and their families in special education and inclusive settings. The course is organized in three parts: Examination of the historical, legal and philosophical foundations of early intervention; Focus on child development pre-K - 8 and methods for supporting development and learning in young children; and Focus on the developmental characteristics of young children with specific developmental delays or disabilities and on early intervention strategies and evidence-based techniques for promoting development and learning in young children with diverse support needs.

GSPE 690

Practicum in Special Education

Practicum of teaching under the supervision of a university supervisor and a master teacher in a classroom situation. Required of all students who are not certificated in teaching students with disabilities. Admission with approval of Advisor.

GSPE 653

Autism Spectrum Disorders

This course provides a global perspective of Autism Spectrum Disorders and focuses on facilitating an understanding of the Autism Spectrum Disorders. This includes: the history, philosophical underpinnings of supporting students with ASD, current definition, assessments, and diagnostic criteria as well as the wide range of interventions and current strategies of support. The course provides guidance for identifying and matching specific support strategies to the individual with ASD’s challenges including specifically: language and communication; social understanding and social skills; special interests; sensory integration and movement issues; visual supports and cognitive functioning; and behavioral assessment and intervention/support planning. This course requires 5 hours of field related work.

GSPE 681

Professional Core: Practicum for Behavior

This field based practicum will be taken with corresponding GSPE 651 High Incidence Behavior. Teacher candidates will observe, instruct, assess and explore settings serving students with behavior related disabilities.

GSPE 684

Professional Core Practices and Early Intervention

This field based practicum will be taken with corresponding GSPE 654 Early Intervention and Child Development. Teacher candidates will observe, instruct, assess and explore settings serving preschool and young students with a variety of disabilities.

GSPE 679

Exit Assessment Cognitive, Behavior, Physical/Health Disabilities

This course is a final performance assessment for candidates in the graduate CBP/HD K-8 and 7-12 special education program. Candidates conduct a self-evaluation based on the Special Education Candidate Self- Assessment Profile (SECSAP) to determine their perceived level of competence in each Specialist Role (Assessment, Instruction, Curriculum, Behavior Support, Professional Advocate and Collaborative Partnership) and to identify goals for continued professional development related to the NBPTS 5 core propositions. Candidates submit a final portfolio documenting competence in the six Specialist Roles including a videotape of accomplished teaching and data reflecting an impact on student learning. A presentation is made to a panel of Special Education Faculty and key stakeholders from the Special Education Advisory Council and school administrators.

GSPE 500

Orientation In Special Education

This required course is an orientation meeting designed to introduce new candidates to the Graduate Special Education Program. It is held each semester for new candidates in their first term of enrollment in the program. Generally, the meeting provides information regarding the planned program of study for each academic track (PreK-8 or 7-12) and the Candidate Assessment System. This includes an overview of the candidacy and exit requirements, performance assessments, practicum, and capstone portfolio assessment.

GSPE 651

High Incidence: Behavior

This course focuses on techniques used in teaching students with emotional and/or behavioral disorders. An emphasis will be placed on the selection and implementation of evidence-based instructional methods including social and emotional behaviors. How to select and adapt materials using best practices in applied behavior analysis and functional behavior assessments will be explored. Identifying behavior interventions for implementation in a variety of settings will also be addressed.

GSPE 683

Professional Core Practices and Autism

This field based practicum will be taken with corresponding GSPE 653 Autism Spectrum Disorders. Teacher candidates will observe, instruct, assess and explore settings serving students with disabilities on the spectrum.

GESL 501

Helping English Language Learners in Mainstream Classes

English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction aims to provide English Language Learner (ELLs) with social, cultural and basic and academic language skills to improve their academic achievement. Granted that the developmental goals of ELL’s language and academic skills are inseparably interdependent, ESL instruction cannot be perceived as the sole responsibility of ESL specialists. This course aims to support pre-service content area teachers in developing adequate level of competency in addressing the special needs of linguistically and culturally diverse learners in their classes. It also prepares pre-service content area teachers to work with ESL professionals on various levels. The course provides them with basic knowledge and skills appropriate and effective instructional experience for the ELL population. It also focuses on how content area teachers can make accommodations, adaptations and modifications in their instructional planning and implementation to create an inclusive instructional environment for all learners. In light of PDE requirements, the course covers content related to the five TESOL standards, including language, culture, instruction, assessment, and professionalism.

GSPE 602

Applied Behavior Analysis

This course provides an introduction to the history, dimensions and characteristics of behavior analysis and its link to providing special education services. Skills focus on creation and analysis of data management systems, graphing behavior, and interpreting single-subject research and experimental analysis designs. Students will develop strategies to functionally assess behavior, create and modify behavior change interventions, use data collection methods to monitor student progress, and analyze experimental evaluations of interventions. A particular focus will be placed on applying the knowledge and skills of this course to individuals with ASD. This course requires 20 hours of field related work.

GSPE 682

Professional Core: Practicum in Low Incidence

This field based practicum will be taken with corresponding GSPE 652 Low Incidence Disabilities. Teacher candidates will observe, instruct, assess and explore settings serving students with more moderate to severe disabilities.

GSPE 655

Secondary Practices and Transition

This course will be taken with Transition Seminar and Transition Practicum. This course is designed to provide an overview of critical issues for students with challenging needs in secondary school settings, as well as the process of transitioning to post-secondary education, employment and community involvement. The course content focuses on: secondary curriculum, strategies for successful inclusive school experiences, transition planning as well a global support strategies. These strategies are designed to support persons with challenges in becoming successful independent, as well as interdependent adults in a complex society.

GSPE 689

Special Education Practicum Orientation

Orientation meeting that is required for students registered for GSPE 690. It is held each semester prior to the student's placement in the field. Provides information regarding requirements and procedures for the practicum and is a prerequisite for 690.

GSPE 650

Assessment and Learning for Students with High Incidence Disabilities

This course is designed to prepare special education majors for the teaching and learning process as it relates to students with learning disabilities and other cognitive related learning problems. The nature of teaching students with learning problems will be examined with emphasis on the IEP process and implementing evidence-based practices in the general education environment. Inclusive education, culturally responsive instruction, co-teaching, and appropriate accommodations and modifications with focus on literacy instruction will be explored.

GREV 500

Statistics in Behavioral Research

Skills necessary for critical analysis of quantitative research in the behavioral sciences are emphasized. The major goal is to understand and interpret the statistical analyses used to describe distributions and test hypothesis that are commonly used in empirical studies employing quantitative data.

GSPE 502

Legal/Ethical Issues: Special Education

This online course will examine current trends and issues in the field of special education and provide a solid foundation in various assessment procedures. Instructional certification and educational specialist candidates in a variety of programs will explore the intent and extent of the current laws related to special education and serving students with disabilities in school settings. Experiences will include an introduction and overview of basic assessment, as well as general research, discovery, and exploration of history, etiology, laws, theories, and techniques related to special education. The impact of current trends and legal issues on the educational processes in preK-12 public schools will be addressed.

GSPE 503

Social Justice and Empowerment

This course is designed to be taken by special education majors and those interested in learning more in the area of social justice as it applies to persons with disabilities. Topics include a review of the historical treatment of and current issues in the lives of persons with more significant disabilities. The course content, activities and experiences provide the candidate/student with the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to teach and/or support persons with more significant disabilities to live meaningful lives in inclusive settings and to be empowered by developing communication (including augmentative and assistive communication), self-determination and social skills.

GSPE 685

Professional Core Practices and Transition

This field based practicum will be taken with corresponding GSPE 655 Secondary Practices and Transition. Teacher candidates will observe, instruct, assess and explore high school settings serving students with disabilities who are preparing for post-high school activities.

GSPE 501

Exploring Inclusive Practices

This online course allows teacher candidates from various disciplines to explore methods and supports for delivery of instruction to students with high incidence disabilities. A foundations will laid for acquiring the necessary background and skills in the process(es) of universal design, differentiated instruction, and co-teaching. With an emphasis on literacy development, candidates will become familiar with adapting curriculum based on student learning needs, IEP, and 504 plan goals and objectives, and environmental considerations.