Special Education Courses
SPE 220 Evidence Based Approaches - 3 credits
This course focuses on the use PA Academic Core Standards and Anchors, and information from formative, summative, and local assessments to design instruction for students with specific learning disabilities (SLD). This course will explore the diagnostic process and specific evidence and research-based instructional strategies to support all learners, including the SLD learner. Students will apply assessment data to lesson planning, re-teaching, and unit planning.
SPE 242 The Exceptional Child: Special Education Process - 3 credits
This course provides the prospective teacher with a functional understanding of the various types of exceptional children and legal responsibilities of teachers, school districts and charter schools in regard to exceptional children. This introductory domain course will explore practices of special education identification procedures, service delivery models, and the impact these practices have on exceptional children, families, and educators within today’s society. This course will expressly focus on the special education process and the exceptional child at the pre-school and elementary level; including the transition process from early intervention to school-age programming. This course is aligned with the Pennsylvania Framework for Special Education, Pre K – 8 grades, Program Guidelines PA Department of Education (PDE).
SPE 243 The Exceptional Child: Special Education Process, Transition (7-12) – 3 credits
This course provides the prospective teacher with a functional understanding of the various types of exceptional children and legal responsibilities of teachers, school districts and charter schools in regard to exceptional children. This introductory domain course will explore the practices of special education identification procedure, service delivery models, and the impact these practices have on exceptional children, families, and educators within today’s society. This course will expressly focus on the special education transition process, specifically Indicator 13. Indicator 13 is one of the 20 State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicators for special education, and it focuses on the development of IEPs that meet transition requirements, including coordinated, measurable, annual IEP goals that will reasonably enable students to meet post-secondary outcomes. This course is aligned with the Pennsylvania Framework for Special Education, 7th -12th grades, Program Guidelines PA Department of Education (PDE).
SPE 245 Field Experience IV - 1 credits
Prospective teachers spend three hours per week in an inclusive and/or special education early childhood, middle, or secondary classroom. Emphasis is placed on observation and participation related to the application and content in domain special education courses (SPE 342/542, SPE 243/543, SPE 320/520, and SPE 344/544) 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 research studies regarding inclusion and ethical practices. Students will respond to guided questions through the development of a comprehensive journal related to their Field Experience.
SPE 250 Subject Area Content Access - 3 credits
This course will address the skills, knowledge and competencies necessary to meet the needs of students with disabilities in the content area classroom. Students will explore the current theory and practice of working with students with learning, emotional, and behavioral disorders in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Students will learn to plan effectively for possible accommodations and/or modifications which may be necessary to implement effective instructional practices needed to make content accessible to students with learning disabilities.
SPE-310 Intensive Reading, Writing and Mathematics - 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.
SPE 315 Pervasive Developmental Disorders - 3 credits
This course 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 research-based strategies such as TEACCH and other strategies that demonstrate strong evidence-based findings.
SPE 333 Screening, Assessment, and IEP Development - 3 credits
This course will emphasize screening, diagnostic and the progress monitoring assessment process. Various approaches to assessment will be explored including: norm–referenced standardized tests, curriculum-based assessment and measurement, criterion referenced assessments, performance-based, authentic, and portfolio assessment; observations, interviews, and conferences. The process and procedures for special education eligibility determination, including the response to instruction and intervention framework and the secondary transition processes (7-12) will be taught.
SPE 344 Adaptations, Modifications, and Assistive Technology - 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.
SPE 346 Collaborative Partnerships 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.
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 a mastery of functional behavioral assessment methods and the development of individual behavioral plans.
SPE 348 Low Incidence Disabilities - 3 credits
This course focuses on evidence-based effective instruction for low incidence disabilities. Students will be provided an overview of classification, learning characteristics, and research-based techniques relevant to the education of students with moderate to severe disabilities. An emphasis will be on examining assessments, planning instruction and implementing curriculum for students with significant cognitive delays and multiple disabilities. Students will review peer-reviewed, research-based practices to support students with low incidence disabilities.
SPE 375 Special Education Student Teaching - 3 credits
This is a capstone experience for the candidate seeking the special education certificate. The candidate must have earned a general teaching certificate (PreK-4th, 4th-8th or 7th-12th content area) or a reading specialist certificate. Or, the candidate can earn the special education certificate concurrently to the general education teaching certificate/dual certificate. The student spends half a semester working under the mentorship of a special education professional. The college supervisor will observe the candidate weekly and conference with the candidate and mentor teacher with the goal of fostering development of knowledge, skills, and values taught with the special education teacher program.