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Special Education Course Descriptions

EDU 551: Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment 3 credits

This course offers approaches to curriculum, instruction and assessment designed to engage students in an integrated process of teaching and learning. Students design units and create supporting lesson plans using the backward design framework geared towards meeting content area standards. Students use internet resources, practice collaboration skills and apply peer review processes aimed at improving unit design and lesson plans. 

SED 552: Assessment & Differentiation 3 credits

This course builds upon content introduced in EDU 551 to prepare candidates to assess the effects of instruction on student performance. Emphasis is placed on theories and concepts of assessment relating them to the backward design framework in order to meet the needs of a wide range of learners. Differentiation is applied in terms of assessment of individual, small group and whole group instruction and learning.

EDU 553: Designing & Managing Effective Learning Environments for Diverse Learners 3 credits

This course addresses the design and management of the classroom environment to provide meaningful learning for diverse groups of students. The educational implications of the characteristics of diverse learners are explored. Research in practices of effective teaching is examined, with specific emphasis on teacher and student behaviors. Techniques for developing effective communication with parents and community are practiced. Field-based experiences required. 

SED 555: Pre-Professional Practicum in Learning Disabilities 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

The Pre-professional Practicum in Learning Disabilities requires thirty-five hours of supervised observation and participation with students identified learning disabled in a school or community setting. The course features seminar discussion of classroom observation, theories of learning disabilities, ethical issues, and development of a personal theoretical framework. 

SED 556: Language Development and Disorders 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

Relationship of language development and psycholinguistics to the child’s motor, emotional, and cognitive development is covered, with special reference to the educational process and difficulties of students with learning disabilities. Focus on teaching strategies and multi-media approaches.

SED 564: Characteristics of Students With Learning Disabilities 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

SED 564 focuses on the etiology, guidelines, and legal definition of learning disabilities, as well as how learning disabilities affect individuals across the life span. Multiple theories of disability, including the social construction of disability, multicultural influences on diagnosis, and the role of social organization and structure are discussed.

SED 565: Teaching Students With Disabilities 3 credits

Prerequisite: SED 564

SED 565 focuses on the appropriate methods and techniques for meeting the educational needs of students with mild disabilities. Psychological information about groups and individuals; strategies for achieving integration in regular education; organizational structures of schools, and strategies for teaching reading, math, and study skills are covered in this course. 

SED 567: Teaching Writing to Students With Disabilities 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

SED 567 provides an overview of the literature on the psychology of written language for individuals with learning disabilities from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Information and specific strategies for identifying oral and written language difficulties in students with disabilities are provided. Emphasis is on theory and educational applications—designing and implementing instruction for students with disabilities.

SED 570: Students With Disabilities: School, Family, and Community Interaction 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

In this course candidates develop flexible theoretical frameworks, practical skills and sensitivity in working with families of students with disabilities. The theoretical basis for current approaches to supporting families, the anomalies and challenges presented by the growing diversity of U.S. society, and development of a critical awareness of formal and informal supports for families is investigated.

SED 573: Assistive Technology in Special Education 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

SED 573 introduces the use of adaptive technology, methods for linking technology and instruction of students with special needs, techniques for selecting and utilizing computer based instructional programs, and methods for developing interactive instructional materials.

SED 575: IEP Development 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

SED 575 covers pre-referral and referral processes for students, assessment plans, eligibility criteria for services, due process, and development of the individual education plan (IEP). The course includes consideration of students’ assistive technology needs, transitions, modifications, functional behavior analyses and intervention plans.

SED 601, 602, & 603: Seminar in Learning Disabilities 1 credit each of three semesters

Prerequisites: none

This series of one-credit seminar courses require a minimum of three semesters in the Special Education Master’s Degree Program. Monthly meetings on campus engage candidates in work around current issues and trends in Special Education. These on campus meetings are supplemented by regular meetings with mentor teachers who model and collaborate with candidates in field-based settings.

SED 625: Teaching Reading to Students With Disabilities 3 credits

Prerequisite: SED 565

SED 625 offers a wide range of research based, multisensory, technology-enhanced strategies and techniques for teaching reading, spelling, and written expression skills in an integrated process. 

SED 650: Teaching Mathematics to Students With Disabilities 3 credits

Prerequisite: SED 565

SED 650 introduces approaches to teaching and assessing mathematics for special needs students. Candidates learn to examine, evaluate, and apply teaching approaches used in both general and special education settings. 

SED 699: Student Teaching in Learning Disabilities 4 credits

Prerequisites: none

SED 699 includes observation and guided full-time, 8-12 week professional laboratory experience in a classroom or community setting with students identified as learning disabled.  

EDU 602: Introduction to Educational Research 3 credits

Identical to EDL 602. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses.

Prerequisites: none

This course examines the principles and procedures for studying and conducting educational research. The course introduces basic vocabulary, concepts, and methods of educational research. Students learn to analyze educational research, plan and conduct their own research studies, and report research findings accurately, with emphasis on application of research principles.

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