Catalog • 2011-2012

Special Education Courses

SPE 243 The Exceptional Child - 3 credits

Provides the prospective teacher with a functional understanding of the various types of exceptional children and legal responsibilities of teachers and school districts in regard to exceptional children. This introductory course will explore both special and regular education practices, and the impact these practices have on exceptional children, families, and educators within today’s society.
Prerequisite: EDU 150.

SPE 245 Field Experience IV - 1 credit

Prospective teachers spend three hours per week in an inclusive elementary, middle, or secondary classroom. Emphasis is placed on observation and participation related to the application and content in SPE 344, including examining curricula content, effective teaching strategies, collaboration, adaptations and modifications. Students will observe the implementation of IEPs under the supervision of a cooperating mentor teacher. Students will also participate in four class sessions to process the field experience and discuss related research studies related to inclusion. Students will respond to guided questions through the development of a comprehensive journal related to their Field Experience.
Co-requisite: SPE 243.

SPE 250 Teaching Students with Behavioral Challenges - 3 credits

Students will learn about the impact of learning and behavioral exceptionalities and how to plan and adapt instructional strategies to enhance effective learning through constructs of applied behavioral analysis. The course will focus on historical perspective, legal procedures and responsibilities, and implementing behavioral approaches in a diagnostic-prescriptive format. Case-scenario instruction will offer a problem solving approach so students develop a repository of viable strategies based on research-based designs.
Prerequisite: SPE 243

SPE-310 Intensive Reading, Writing and Mathematics Intervention Approaches - 3 credits

Students will be provided an overview of research-based practices that offer intensive reading, writing, and math interventions designed for students who do not respond to the core curriculum. This course includes a review of the Response to Intervention (RtI) framework, diagnostic assessment methods, progress monitoring, and research-based instructional strategies that support reading, writing, and math standards. This course will review the neuropsychological causes of dyslexia, dysgraphia, and math disabilities and effective supporting interventions. In addition, the course will address principals and standards of reading and math instruction as identified by the National Reading Panel and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) respectively.
Prerequisites: EDU-150 and SPE 243

SPE 315 Teaching Students with Pervasive Developmental Disorders - 3 credits

Students will explore the communication and social and relationship issues faced by individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and investigate the best practices and programs for increasing academic achievement for students on the spectrum. This course will discuss issues of identification, placement, and evidence-based approaches instructional strategies found effective for students with ASD. This course includes the major theoretical perspectives of applied behavior analysis, developmental and social-relational approaches, and the theoretical approach of TEACCH.
Prerequisite: SPE 243

SPE 320 Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities - 3 credits

Participants in this course will be provided an overview of the impact of specific learning disabilities (SLD) on school-age children. Children with SLD are average to above average intelligence and exhibit specific learning impairments. This course will explore the diagnostic process to determine SLD and specific research-based remedial techniques to support the SLD learner.
Prerequisite: SPE 243

SPE 333 Screening, Assessment, and IEP Development for Teachers - 3 credits

Designed to provide a thorough review of theories and techniques of educational and psychological testing as applied to the educational setting, this course offers students the opportunity to understand and interpret basic psychometric principles that apply to psychological, educational, and diagnostic assessments. This course will offer the opportunity for educators to explore the administration, scoring, and interpretation procedures used in a psycho-educational battery; understand the ethical standards for use and administration; and be able to both interpret and contribute to the psycho-educational process. Students will have a functional understanding of “Response to Intervention” practices and be able to identify the reliability and validity constructs as they pertain to student assessments.

SPE 342 Middle Level Field Experience IV - 1 credit

Students will spend 30 hours per semester in inclusive education classrooms. Emphasis will be placed on application of content learned in SPE –344, including examining content, using effective teaching strategies, and adaptation and modification of instructional plans. A college supervisor will maintain contact with the cooperating teacher.
Co-requisite SPE 344

SPE 344 Adaptations, Modifications, and Assistive Technology for the Exceptional Child - 3 credits

Today’s educational world is inclusive and diverse. This course will introduce educators to the range of expectations required to accommodate the special education and Section 504 qualifying students. Historical and legal aspects of special education will be reviewed including the evaluation and individual educational plan process. Research-based practices to support students with high and low incidence disabilities will be explored through journal reviews. Students will design, modify lesson plans, and prepare a research review in an area of linked interest to this course.
Prerequisite: SPE 243 and EDU 150.

SPE 346 Collaborative Partnerships in Inclusive Settings (PK-8) - 3 credits

This course explores the collaborative practices of teamwork that facilitates inclusive practices in the classroom through hands-on, interactive activities. Students are introduced to best practice strategies. They will build collaborative skills, models of co-teaching structures, communication patterns and strategic planning. Students will also implement models of collaboration that will enhance the participation of special education students within the general education environment.
Prerequisite: SPE 344.

SPE 347 Classroom Management - 3 credits

Intrinsic to a well-run classroom is a classroom based on the theoretical constructs of a positive behavior support plan. This course focuses on school-wide, classroom, and individual behavioral approaches appropriate for the regular and special education environments. Emphasis will be placed on the participant’s understanding of “personal fit” which matches one’s core philosophy to theories of: rules and consequences, confronting and contracting, and relationships and listening. Seminal work of renowned theorists will be explored while participants conclude their study by designing a system that addresses: limit setting, administrative backup systems, incentives, encouragement systems, and management and classroom structures that are supported in research-based practices.

SPE 348 Teaching Students with Low Incidence Disabilities - 3 credits

Prospective teachers are provided with an overview of classification, learning characteristics, and research-based strategies relevant to the education of students with moderate to severe disabilities. Emphasis is on assessing, planning instruction, and implementing a functional curriculum for students with significant cognitive delays and multiple disabilities. Students will review and summarize a series of journal articles that highlight peer-reviewed, research-based practices to support students with low incidence disabilities.

SPE 375 Practicum in Special Education - 3 credits

Students spend half of the semester working with professional in a special education classroom. Weekly observations and conferencing with a college supervisor foster the development of the knowledge base and skills acquired in SPE 346, 347, 348, and 350. There is a $150.00 cooperating mentor teacher honorarium charged for this course.

*The Director of Student Teaching and Field Experiences arranges intern assignments well in advance. The student should, therefore, check with his/her advisor during the junior year to obtain the due date for intern applications [see page 85 of this catalog]. The intern teacher is responsible for transportation arrangements and expenses in getting to the assigned practicum site. During the Spring Term, the intern teacher will be expected to teach during the College Spring Break. If a student is a resident student, she may remain in the residence hall but will be responsible for her own meals.