Initial Adolescence and Special Education - Courses

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This is the course format for a full-time student in this program with 16 week terms. For more information about this program or part time options, please call 585.594.6600 or email

GEDU 5010 | Planning, Instruction, and Assessment | 3 credits

This course introduces how teachers develop curriculum, plan and deliver instruction, and assess student learning in inclusive classroom settings. Students will create lesson and unit plans, identify and use various teaching strategies, monitor and adjust methods during instruction, and conduct informal and formal assessments. Students will learn to adapt instruction to meet students’ learning differences and align instruction with New York State learning standards.

GEDU 5011 | Social Foundations of Education For Every Student | 3 credits | Offered Online

This course serves as an introduction to the historical, cultural, and social foundations of education for all students in the United States. Students will examine the roots of current educational theories, policies, practices, and questions regarding the diverse and rich nature of secondary schools today. Additionally students will be presented with the role of inclusive education and the responsibilities and rights of all educators involved. Students will begin exploring current research in education. Introduces students to sources of research on inclusion and on various disabilities; students read and report on current research on a particular disability.

GEDU 5012 | Historical Foundations of Special Education | 3 credits | Offered Online

This course provides an introduction to the historical foundations of special education and exceptionalities as defined in federal and state laws and regulations. Students will learn the historical perspective, definitions, etiology, characteristics, needs, and service delivery systems within each area of exceptionality. Students will develop an understanding of the needs of students with disabilities, and how to provide instruction that will promote the participation and progress of students with disabilities in the general education curriculum, consistent with New York State requirements for general and special education teachers. The nature and requirements of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) will be introduced as well as the ways that the New York State standards are addressed for students with disabilities.

GEDU 5016 | Literacy Theory and Practice | 3 credits

This course explores the reading and writing process from a theoretical and practical perspective. Learning-to-read and reading-to-learn strategies will be examined so students develop a clear understanding of the purposes for reading and the problem solving strategies fluent readers use to create meaning from text. The course will address issues of second language acquisition, bilingualism, literacy enrichment, intervention with at-risk and struggling readers, and the importance of contributing to district initiatives in literacy.

GEDU 5017 | Differentiated Planning and Teaching Strategies | 3 credits | Offered Online

This course prepares students for the development of learning objectives and lesson plans based on the Universal Design Model for an inclusive classroom. Emphasis is given to the planning of lessons that take into consideration NYS standards and the strengths and needs of every student. This course introduces students to assessment, including criterion-referenced tests, portfolios, standardized tests and other forms of summative and formative classroom assessments. Students read and reflect on current research in one of the main topics of the course.

GEDU 5020 | Application of Literacy Theory | 3 credits

Students will explore in greater depth the key instructional strategies used to effectively guide all students to comprehend content area texts. Best practices in the application of various literacy strategies will be examined. Writing and reading will be examined as reciprocal processes, key to learning in the content areas. Students further explore the uses of multimedia technology in their content areas, developing ways to engage learners and scaffold learning. Additionally, visual literacy skills will be applied to content area textbooks in order to make the content subject matter more meaningful and available to all learners.

GEDU 5021 | Instructional Management for Productive Learning Environments | 3 credits | Offered Online

This course explores instructional management and how to adapt various classroom configurations to be more effective for adolescent learners. Students will research and evaluate various approaches to understanding and managing adolescent behavior. Discussion topics include bullying and system-wide efforts to prevent violence and disruption, what do the actions really mean.

GEDU 5023 | Assessment For Student Learning | 3 credits

This course provides knowledge and understanding of the purposes and forms of assessment for student learning in the inclusive classroom. Students will learn diagnostic-prescriptive teaching strategies for assessment both individual and groups. Students develop and present differentiated lesson plans that address the needs of individual students. The application of knowledge gained from assessment to plan for individual student learning will be stressed.

GEDU 5026 | Master's Project | 3 credits

Students are guided through the completion of their M.Ed. Thesis or Curriculum Project through weekly seminars, supplemented by regular meetings with the chosen Reader.

GEDU 5027 | Child and Adolescent Development and Learning | 3 credits | Offered Online

This course is designed to engage students in a meaningful exploration of human development and learning from prenatal experience through adolescence. Students will examine the nature of development across major domains (physical, cognitive, social-emotional, and moral), the impact of context (familial, school, community, and culture) on development, and the construction of identity. Attention will also be given to theories and processes of learning, and their implications for teaching. Throughout the course, the focus will be on using knowledge of learners and learning to develop evidence-based, developmentally appropriate teaching practices for increasingly diverse classrooms.

GEDU 5031 | Instructional and Adaptive Technology | 3 credits | Offered Online

This course explores instructional technology as a tool to facilitate learning for all students. Students will explore the use of technology as "mind tools" to stimulate and engage student interest and participation in learning; students also consider the use of technology and adaptive technology to scaffold learning for all students. The class features hands-on with hardware, software, and networks that are typical in today's schools, including Smart boards, cameras, data projectors, office packages, content-specific software, web-based inquiry and collaborative multimedia projects. Students will consider issues and opportunities with emerging technologies, with an emphasis on media literacy and opportunities to further literacy with technology. Using research methods they have learned, students gather data and analyze results to further their understanding of technology impact.

GEDU 5032 | Methods of Content Instruction | 3 credits

This course focuses on instructional methods specific to the content area. The New York State Learning Standards are emphasized and used in developing a conceptual understanding of how teachers interpret required curriculum standards in their fields and use those standards to plan and implement meaningful instruction in the middle / high school classroom. Unit planning is emphasized; students are expected to develop a unit plan with accompanying lessons in their content area. Students develop and share their understanding of discipline-specific literacy with those in other disciplines.

GEDU 6007 | Capstone Seminar | 2 credits

This is a weekly seminar that accompanies student teaching, in which students address issues that arise in student teaching. In addition, the course uses the student's portfolio to set goals for growth during student teaching. Topics to be considered include: adapting instruction for students with disabilities, managing a positive classroom environment, integration of technology, school law, school culture, professional ethics; reflective practice, the portfolio, and the job search.

GEDU 6008 | Student Teaching | 7 credits

Students will complete a supervised student teaching experience that allows them to work in an adolescent setting in their designated content area under the supervision of a teacher holding the appropriate content area certification and supervised by a Roberts Wesleyan University faculty member. Student teachers participate in planning and teaching with increasing responsibility. In the accompanying weekly seminar, student teachers engage in reflective, self-evaluative discussions of teaching experiences.

Total credits: 45

Students in the Adolescence Education programs must also complete the following requirements for New York State certification:  

  • Field Experience Requirement | Students must complete 150 hours of fieldwork
  • SAVE | Mandatory Workshop
  • Child Abuse | Mandatory Workshop
  • DASA - Dignity for All Students | Mandatory Workshop
  • Autism Workshop | Mandatory Workshop
  • EAS | Educating All Students Test
  • CST | Content Specialty Test in Appropriate Content Area
  • MST | Multi-Subject Test (7-12)
  • SWD | Students with Disabilities
  • Teacher Performance Assessment
  • Student Teaching Practicum | 14 Weeks

Related Majors

School Psychology, M.S. - Our Masters in School Psychology program prepares students to evaluate, diagnose, and treat children and adolescents, in consultation with parents and teachers.
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