M.Ed. Special Education Courses



  • This course focuses on understanding laws at the national and state levels, policies and procedures, as well as current legal trends and issues that impact students with disabilities. Emphasis is placed on eligibility procedures including providing services and developing and implementing the Individualized Education Program In addition, information regarding disability categories, characteristics and how they manifest in the classroom, as well as approaching disability from a culturally responsive asset-based perspective will be addressed.

  • Instructional Approaches I prepares candidates to provide safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments for students with disabilities. Candidates will develop knowledge, skills, and dispositions to deliver evidenced-based instruction that promotes positive academic and behavioral outcomes. Candidates will use knowledge of Common Core Curriculum standards to individualize learning and instruction. In addition, an emphasis is placed on encouraging student self-determination and successful transitions. Field experience required.

  • 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.
  • Candidates completing Instructional Approaches II will continue to expand their professional knowledge base of individualized learning and the context of schools, families, and communities. They will identify, select, and implement a repertoire of evidence-based intervention strategies for students with disabilities to include assistive technology and information literacy. Candidates will use current research in teaching as a rationale for strategy selection. Field experience required.
  • 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.
  • Candidates develop a basic understanding of educational research paradigms including qualitative, quantitative and action research designs. Candidates will develop expertise as consumers and producers of research, critically examining the use of data in policy aimed at improving student outcomes. Major topics include use of district-state wide assessment data to inform instruction, the ethical use of data, and teacher evaluation.
  • This course focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of literacy instruction for P-12 students with disabilities. The teaching methodology emphasized is explicit, systematic, intensive, and developmental. Course topics include: (1) Manifestations of reading disabilities, (2) Trends and issues, such as Response to Intervention, including assessments to determine instructional decision-making, (3) Features of effective instruction, (4) Explicit evidence-based phonological awareness, word study, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing strategies, and (5) Collaboration. Field experience required.
  • The course fulfills the teacher certification requirement for a full-time internship in a K-12 accredited school in a classroom of the intern’s area of certification. It provides a synthesis of the candidates’ program of study and provides an opportunity to connect personal experiences, university coursework, and applied experiences in order to develop a broader understanding of the context of schooling in the United States. Field experience is required.