SPED (Special Education)

SPED (Special Education) Course Descriptions

SPED 501 Theory, Foundations and Ethics for Special Educators
1 hour. This course will focus on the historical foundations and purpose of special education, theory, special education law and policy, including legislation and litigation, and ethics. The course provides the foundational knowledge needed to understand exceptionalities of all kinds.

SPED 511 Developmental Psychology and Learning Theory
1 hour. The theoretical and practical aspects of human development with emphasis on - birth through young adult – and the connection to developmental psychology and learning theory. Functional knowledge of exceptionalities: autism, dyslexia, executive functioning are developed as it relates to learning. 

SPED 512 Structures for Teaching and Learning: Academic
3 hours. This course prepares candidates to meet the needs of school students with high incidence learning disabilities in general education classrooms.   Develops curricular modifications and adaptations to evaluate content curriculum, and to provide assistance to general education teachers. Develops knowledge and skills to adjust curriculum content using Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and informal assessments to provide information on student progress in the general education curriculum. 

SPED 513 Structures for Teaching and Learning: Functional
3 hours. This course prepares candidates to meet the needs of school students with low incidence disabilities. Candidates explore, discuss and learn how to plan and implement curriculum that includes CCSS as well as informing disability eligibility decisions as well as instruction in academic and functional low incidence disabilities including: intellectual disability, hearing impairment, visual impairment, deaf/blindness, communication disorder, emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairment, traumatic brain injury, autism spectrum disorder, and other health impairments. Functional living skills are incorporated into content planning. 

SPED 521 Assessment and Evaluation
4 hours. This course addresses assessment and evaluation as the means for informing special education disability decisions as well as instructional decisions. The candidate will learn and practice multiple ways of assessing students. These include informal assessment, progress monitoring, formal evaluations, and standardized achievement tests. Candidate will learn to write formal reports that emphasize proper administration of assessments and ethical complications of the evaluation process to synthesize all that data to create a cohesive picture of the student’s standing, and continue to use the appropriate assessment tools to generate the information needed to make curricular and program decisions. 

SPED 524 Assistive Technology & Specialized Support
1 hour. This course will focus on developing candidates’ ability to evaluate technological and assistive supports and determine appropriateness for exceptional learners. Candidates will design and develop assistive technology tools for use in academic and functional settings.

SPED 531 Case Management
2 hours. Candidates will gain knowledge and skills in writing effective, compliant Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and acquire communication and collaboration strategies to facilitate IEP meetings and interactions with families. Candidates will identify key issues that could lead to litigation. Course content includes communication, organization, compliance and administrative management.

SPED 550 Behavior Support and Classroom Management
3 hours. This course will focus on preparation of candidates to work with students who demonstrate significant emotional/behavioral, trauma, and fetal alcohol/drug issues and use interventions that are research-based. Candidates are instructed on the methods of behavior analysis and accommodation strategies to include development of behavior support plans. 

SPED 552 Community Supports and Transitional Programs
2 hours. This course will focus on the families, individuals, and community supports for individuals with disabilities ages birth - 21. Candidates will identify age-appropriate services such as Head Start, early intervention, vocational educational programs, community experiences, employment and other post-school adult living objectives, acquisition of daily living skills, if appropriate, and access to state and federal services. Candidate will also learn all required federal/state requirements for secondary transition plans. They will learn how to apply and develop an individual Education Plan for students of transition age. 

SPED 576 Practicum: Mild to Moderate
2 hours. This practicum will be completed at either early childhood elementary, or elementary middle, or middle level and high school, in settings with students identified with mild to moderate disabilities. Candidates will complete a work sample during this practicum. Candidates will complete a minimum of 90 hours of clinical practice in a mild to moderate disability placement. 

SPED 577 Practicum: Moderate to Severe
2 hours. This practicum will be completed at either early childhood elementary, or elementary middle, or middle level and high school, in settings with students identified with moderate to severe disabilities. Candidates will complete a minimum of 90 hours of clinical practice in a moderate to severe disability placement. 

SPED 585 Selected Topics
1-3 hours.  Occasional special courses chosen to fit the interests and needs of students and faculty. 

SPED 595 Special Study in Special Education
1 hour. Individualized and clinical observation/research in an area of special interest to the student which is outside the regular offerings of the program.