Special Education Overview
The Special Education Program is designed for people seeking or holding special or general education teacher certification who wish to study student exceptionalities, including gifted and talented. There are two strands in the Master of Science in Special Education. Candidates seeking initial special education teacher certification complete the Teaching Students with Mild to Severe Disabilities strand. Teachers currently certified and not seeking initial special education teacher certification complete the In-Service strand. The Special Education program provides experiences across several disciplines looking beyond just understanding. Students apply learning through projects and assignments that are practical and connected to their professional fields.
The Special Education program follows the guidelines it teaches. Universal Design and differentiated instruction are embedded in the courses and the professional portfolio requirement. Courses offered are blended on-campus and online or fully online. For student convenience, courses that meet on-campus are in the evenings or on weekends.
Special Education currently offers one undergraduate core course in Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship; ADS 300: Ethics and Youth with Exceptionalities.
Special Education Core Values:
- Educators interact with others based on a belief in the infinite possibilities of and for human growth and development; all youth have the potential to learn and express knowledge through their unique styles of acquiring and demonstrating knowledge.
- Educators are responsible for supporting and guiding each student on his/her journey from potentials to performances through personally meaningful, respectful, and accessible pathways.
- Educators create learning opportunities that honor and enhance the gifts and talents of each individual and make possible the contributions of each student to self and to society.
- Educators create learning environments where every child feels welcomed and accepted for their unique attributes, including her/his cultural background, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Educators always use person-first language and thinking; everyone is valued and viewed as a whole person, not strictly by a label or one characteristic.
- Educators use scientifically-based instructional practices to improve the academic achievement and functional performance of children with disabilities (IDEA, Section 1400)
- Educators use multiple assessments and evaluations when measuring students’ successes and abilities and in understanding their needs.
- Educators are collaborative, respectful, and supportive with all educators they come in direct and indirect contact with, including parents, maintenance workers, and administrative assistants.
- Educators base all of their behaviors on the belief that each individual has intrinsic and global value to the evolution of human kind.