M.A.T. Special Education - Courses



  • A study of life span development (with an emphasis on adolescents and young adults) addressing social, moral, emotional, physical, cognitive, and psychological development. Theories and principles of learning and motivation are examined and related to development. A 30-hour field experience is required in this course.

  • This course examines the demographic changes in America’s schools that influence teaching and learning. Attention is given to assisting candidates in developing a socio-cultural consciousness and the disposition that all students, including those with disabilities, can learn complex content. Candidates engage in in-depth study of students with disabilities and their educational needs as well as the creation of culturally responsive and inclusive classrooms that support all students.

  • This hybrid course examines the characteristics of exceptional learners by exploring the cognitive, psychological, sociological and medical aspects of high incidence disabilities as well as learners who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Current research-based best practices will be introduced within the context of how the brain learns. The course will explore the prevalence, identification procedures, causes, characteristics, educational/instructional considerations and assessment strategies relating to mild disabilities including autism. Note: Proof of professional liability insurance is required for clinical placement.

  • Curriculum Development for Diverse Learners prepares teachers to develop curriculum and instruction that is universal in design and based on best practices research in General Education, Special Education, and Teaching Speakers of Other Languages. The proposed curriculum model follows the precepts of Universal Design for Learning and provides built-in adaptations to lessons that reduce the amount of time needed to create individual accommodations and modifications for diverse students (i.e., students with exceptionalities and those who are culturally and linguistically diverse). Key concepts addressed in this course include Curriculum Mapping, Backwards Design, Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP), Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Interdisciplinary Unit Development. Additional attention will be paid to the Core Curriculum and other Georgia Performance Standards as they continue to unfold from the Georgia Department of Education.

  • This course focuses on assessment practices aligned with legislative demands in special education. Candidates develop competencies in administration, development, and interpretation of norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, curriculum-based, observation, checklists/rating scales, authentic and informal assessments. Special emphasis is placed upon completion of case studies to apply progress monitoring skills to address academic and behavioral levels of students with disabilities and/or who are culturally and linguistically diverse.

  • The focus of this course is for candidates to develop skills in implementing proactive strategies for positive behavior management. The basic application of school-wide positive behavior support strategies (e.g., RtI), functional behavioral assessment, creating a positive classroom environment, using classroom positive behavior support strategies, and cultural influences on student behavior will provide the course’s framework. Candidates will learn and apply research-based principles and strategies through the development of an application project while working in the field with one or more students with challenging behaviors.

  • This course is designed to assist candidates in developing culturally responsive collaborative, communicative, and consultative skills necessary for working with diverse families, school and community personnel, and others to facilitate delivery of appropriate research-based instruction and services for diverse learners. Emphasis is placed on developing skills and dispositions to build and sustain effective family partnerships. Candidates will participate in a field experience focused on developing and implementing a co-taught lesson plan as well as a family needs assessment.

  • This hybrid course focuses on understanding laws, policies and procedures, as well as current legal trends and issues that impact both students with disabilities and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Emphasis is placed on eligibility procedures, providing services, and the Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Professional ethics as it relates to diverse students are addressed. Candidates will also develop basic understanding of educational research paradigms.

  • This course is designed to develop a knowledge base about culture, its influence on learning and teaching, and its role in intercultural classroom settings. In this course, prospective ESOL teachers will examine major theories related to educating a culturally diverse student body, and teachers will develop strategies for ensuring that ESOL students develop knowledge of mainstream culture as they become proficient in English.

  • This course is a study of the foundations of literacy. This course examines theories of language development, language structure, and acquisition of reading and writing as well as the theoretical foundations for a range of instructional practices related to the five dimensions of reading. Historical perspectives of literacy as well as prominent researchers and theorists are also studied. This course serves as a prerequisite to the other two courses in the reading endorsement.

  • This course is designed to prepare prospective special education teachers for development of instructional materials and implementation of effective teaching methods and management techniques. Candidates will be placed in two different supervised field placements among elementary, middle, and high school levels. This course requires approximately 15 hours per week in the field, verification of liability insurance, and a weekly hour-long seminar where candidates will have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on their teaching experiences.

  • This course provides an introduction to reading assessment instruments and intervention strategies used for understanding and meeting the individual and diverse reading needs of P-12 students. Students in this course will examine both informal and formal assessments including technology-based assessment as well as research supported intervention strategies. Students will use assessment data to plan, evaluate, and revise effective reading intervention instruction that meets the diverse needs of students. A field component is included. Please note that no more than 15 hours of field experience is required. EDRD 6715 is the prerequisite for EDRD 6717. EDRD 6718 may be taken out of sequence.

  • Principles of linguistic systems and their acquisition as they occur in first and second languages. Candidates will explore the relationship of oral and written language and become familiar with assessment techniques and devices for evaluation of the development of English as an additional language.

  • This supervised clinical experience is designed to provide candidates with a full-time classroom experience. Candidates will be placed in an appropriate school setting where they will have the opportunity to apply and practice concepts addressed in previous courses. Candidates must pass this course in order to graduate. This course requires approximately 35 hours per week in the field, verification of liability insurance, and bi-weekly seminars to reflect upon teaching, action research, and present their professional portfolio. Note: This course may be repeated, if competencies are not met. Proof of professional liability insurance is required prior to beginning this course.

  • This course is a study of the key considerations and research-supported strategies to facilitate effective learning and reading instruction in content area classrooms. This course explores components of the reading process related to content area reading instruction including methods of collaborative grouping. Candidates will plan instruction that support readers before, during, and after they read. Emphasis will be placed on supporting the unique reading needs of diverse P-12 learners. A field component is included. Please note that no more than 15 hours of field experience is required. The prerequisite for EDRD 6718 is EDRD 6715. Candidates may enroll in EDRD 6717 out of sequence.