Special Education - Courses

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GSPE 5703 | Introduction to Collaboration and IEPs* | 3 credits | 8 wks

This course is designed to prepare special education majors with the theoretical and research knowledge and the skills of consultation, working on teams with other professionals and collaborating with parents and professionals and community members who work with learners with special needs. This course provides participants with the skills needed to communicate with other professional community members who work with learners with special needs. It encompasses communication in the schools and with the Committee on Special Education (CSE) and Instructional Support Teams (IST), including models of collaboration used when working with families and other professional colleagues. Particular attention is given to program goals of affirming diversity and ethics. Students will be prepared to manage the paperwork of Special Education, as well as develop the skills and predispositions to collaborate with parents/ guardians in preparing the documents. This course will also include 25 Investigative Field hours.

GSPE 5700 | Philosophies of Inclusive Education | 3 credits | 8 wks

This course covers the evolution of special education (e.g., historical, legal, sociological, and political aspects). Attention is given to deconstructing disability in order to better understand the impact of policy decisions on educational practices. Attention is given to self-exploration of society’s assumptions about teaching and learning. Characteristics of diverse learners, including academically diverse students, culturally diverse students, students who are English Language Learners, and students across all 13 disability categories are reviewed. Provides exploration into the ways schools can stimulate the growth of responsive inclusive practices for all students with disabilities.

GSPE 5011 | Technologies for Responsive Programming | 3 credits | 8 wks

This course explores digital 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 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, as well as various assistive technology (at) devices used in classrooms and how to support learners in their use. Attention is given to devices and services for students with low-incidence disabilities, as well as use of at devices to gain access to the general education curricula. 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.

GSPE 6731 | Responsive Programming for Students with High-Incidence Disabilities** | 3 credits | 8 wks

This course provides responsive instructional practices for meeting the learning goals of students with high-incidence disabilities, including ASD. It includes evidence-based practices for providing access to grade level curriculum to students with mild/moderate disabilities. Outcomes include developing prescriptive individual educational plans for assisting students in mastering common core standards (integrating technology, adapting curricula, program accommodations). Certification students are expected to complete and document 25 hours of field experience along with this class*.

GSPE 5702 | Behavioral Programming for Students with Challenging Needs | 3 credits | 8 wks

This course introduces the effective use of applied behavior analysis to develop behavior programs for students exhibiting challenging problem behaviors, including the use of reinforcement, schedules of reinforcement, task analysis, as well as observation skills. It provides insights into issues of ecological considerations and environmental control to prevent student behavior problems (e.g. eliminating failure, modification of instruction and materials, social skills training, and utilization of management strategies). It focuses upon the creation of appropriate assessment devices to assist in the development of comprehensive behavior support program for students exhibiting a range of aggressive behaviors in a variety of delivery settings, and also includes systems-wide efforts to prevent violence and disruption.

GSPE 6745 | Advanced Assessment for Special Education | 4 credits | 8 wks

This course is centered upon assessment as a multi-faceted tool for special education teachers. Course material will focus upon varying roles and best practices of assessment in the special education process across all 13 federal disability classifications. Participants will examine and carry out IDEA assessment procedures (pre-referral interventions, screening, eligibility decisions, prescriptive decision-making), as well as creating capacities for using appropriate assessments to drive classroom instruction. Participants will make decisions based on norm-referenced/criterion-referenced test results, and informal/formal classroom assessments, standardized and non-standardized assessments, and learn how to adapt assessment techniques to accommodate students with moderate and severe disabilities. The course will focus on the use of technology to manage, and provide access to input and output. Additionally, they will determine appropriate test modifications and/or provide alternate assessment practices (authentic assessments, growth-based assessments) for students who have a variety of different needs: multiple deficits, physical disorders, behavioral disorders, cognitive impairments, neurological impairments, or communication deficits. Last, students will leave this course with the ability to make decisions regarding the NYS Alternate Assessment process, as well as to decipher and communicate diagnostic/prescriptive assessments specifically for students with involved needs.

GSPE 6743 | Applications for Prescriptive and Collaborative Teaming** | 3 credits | 8 wks

Effective collaboration is critical for meeting the needs of students with disabilities, and particularly essential for those with moderate and severe disabilities. This course examines the specializations that come into play for designing, and effectively implementing, appropriately responsive programming for students with disabilities, particularly those with multiple/severe disabilities; issues related to cooperation across agency and institutional boundaries; training and managing paraprofessionals; collaborative/ teaming practices for delivering instruction; team leadership; and involving parents and caretakers; special consideration is given to how a child with a disability impacts the family structure. Students seeking Initial Certification is Special Education must complete 25 hours of field work*.

GSPE 6741 | Responsive Programming for Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities*** | 3 credits | 8 wks

This course provides responsive instructional practices for meeting the learning goals of students with moderate/severe disabilities. It also includes evidence-based practices for providing access to grade level curriculum to students with complex and involved needs. Outcomes include developing prescriptive individualized educational plans for mastering common core standards (adapting curricula, assistive and adaptive technologies, program accommodations). Certification students are expected to complete and document 25 hours of field experience along with this class*.

GEDU 5901 | Reading in the Content Areas | 3 credits | 8 wks

This course presents skills and strategies that can be applied to reading in Science, Social Studies, and Math. The focus will be on reading to learn. Topics will include preparing students to read content area texts and trade books, comprehension of narrative and expository text, determining what is important while reading, organizing collected information, integrating reading with other subjects, and assessing student learning. Students will develop a repertoire of teaching strategies that support students as they read to learn, as well as supporting mastery of Common Core standards.

GSPE 5665 | Language Learning Disabilities | 3 credits | 8 wks

This course focuses upon the cognitive development associated with language development through multiple stages and across various disabilities and non-disabling conditions. Participants will review current theories on language development and acquisition in children to establish a background in how language and its development are impacted and impact academic and social development. Topics will include processing, storing, and retrieval of symbolic information, and assessment measures for diagnosis and remediation of metalinguistic difficulties across the broadest range of learners, including those with mild, moderate, severe or multiple disabilities.

GSPE 6730/40 | Introduction to Research in Mild Disabilities/Severe Disabilities | 3 credits | 8 wks

This course is designed to introduce students to the process of critically reviewing literature related to research in special education. Students will conduct a review of the research in an area of interest related to special education in preparation for the Master’s Thesis or Project. Topics will include quantitative and qualitative Research Design. Assignments provide opportunities to prepare for the Literature Review which will become Chapter Two of the Master’s Thesis or Project.

GSPE 7712/13 | Master’s Thesis/Project | 2 credits | 8 wks

This course is the second of two research courses for the Special Education Master’s thesis or project study requirement. At the completion of this course, students will have written and refined the first three of five chapters for the thesis study or project study. Students will build upon existing knowledge, skills and dispositions gained from the introduction research course in order to further their understanding of the current research, refine their own research focus, and design a study or project that will meet the criteria for the Master’s thesis or project.

GSPE 7710 | Student Teaching and Student Teaching Seminar* | 3 credits | 8 wks

This course consists of a student teaching practicum (which will run for approximately 7 weeks) and a weekly seminar class which parallels your student teaching practicum. Weekly seminar meetings must be offered in conjunction with the pre-determined timeframe of each student’s practicum.

**25 hours of fieldwork/OPE (Observation Participation Experience) accompany this course for Initial and Severe Track students

Related Majors

Childhood and Special Education, M.Ed. - Prepare for New York State teaching certification and earn a Masters in Childhood Education, as well as a Masters in Childhood Special Education (Grades 1-6) in an affordable and flexible dual certification program developed for time constrained adults.
Literacy Education, M.Ed. - Build on your existing certification as you take advantage of the growing demand for literacy specialists, with a Literacy Education, M.Ed. from Roberts Wesleyan University.
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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