Masters in Special Education Curriculum

Foundation courses

  • SED500 Current Issues in Special Education (3)
  • SED501 Support and Collaboration – Special and General Education, Parents, Professionals and Agencies (3)
  • SED502 Human Development for Special Education (1)
  • SED503 Law and Policy for Special Education (3) Learning Disabilities Concentration

Learning Disabilities Concentration

  • SED504 Classroom Management and Development of Social Competence for Students with Special Needs (3)
  • SED520 Elementary Methods for Language Arts and Mathematics (3)
  • SED521 Secondary Methods for Content Area Reading, Study Skills and Transition (3)
  • SED522 Language Development and Instruction (3)
  • SED523 Assessment and Evaluation in Special Education (3)
  • SED524 Assistive Technology (3)
  • SED525 Curriculum and Instruction (3)
  • SED550 Student Teaching and Seminar (5)

Autism Spectrum Disorder Concentration

  • SED530 Introduction to ASD (3)
  • SED531 Language and Communication Development (3)
  • SED532 Assessment and Intervention for ASD (3)
  • SED533 Technology (2)
  • SED534 Collaboration and Transition Planning for Students with ASD (2)
  • SED535 Behavior Programming for Students with ASD (3)
  • SED536 Curriculum and Instructional Methods for Students with ASD (3)
  • SED550 Student Teaching and Seminar (5)

Master of Arts in Special Education Course Descriptions

SED500 Current Issues in Special Education (3)
Introductory overview of the special education field. The focus will be the needs of students with disabilities: knowledge of handicapping conditions, educational implications, legal considerations, procedures for identification and placement of student with disabilities, due process and privacy requirements, historical and philosophical background of special education and the instructional strategies applied in educational settings.

SED501 Support and Collaboration – Special and General Education, Parents, Professionals and Agencies (3)
Provides information on identifying and accessing resources relevant to persons with disabilities, and in creating a positive climate that facilitates learning and cooperation between all stakeholders. These resources may be within the school setting or from outside agencies. The course will also address factors that impede and facilitate the use of these resources and self-analysis of strengths and weaknesses for the purpose of becoming a more effective communicator and team member. Instruction will be provided on the development of interpersonal skills needed to establish a positive social-emotional climate in the classroom that works collaboratively with and for differentiated student needs and relationships, and brain based strategies for effectively communicating with students, parents, colleagues, and outside agencies. The course will also focus on important aspects of inclusion and the requirements for developing communication methods to make inclusion work. Modeling methods that facilitate participation on teams within the school, and effective strategies to supervise and empower the classroom aide, volunteers, and paraprofessionals to be effective will also be discussed.

SED502 Human Development for Special Education (1)
Complements an educational psychology course with emphasis on the exceptional development of special education students. Common mental, emotional, neurological, environmental, and physiological conditions that affect learning will be explored.

SED503 Law and Policy for Special Education (3)
Includes a study of the history of special education laws, each law’s intent, and the working state and federal laws. Special emphasis placed on IDEA and the evolution of the Reauthorization of IDEA 2004. The learner will also be able to effectively communicate the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. Knowledge of institutional and administrative factors, which facilitates or impedes delivery of services, will be studied. An understanding of the roles and organizational structures that regular and special education play in providing total services including the development of appropriate IEPs.

SED 523 Assessment and Evaluation in Special Education (3)
Provides instruction in appropriate procedures for the assessment and reporting of the student’s reading, writing, mathematical and social skills.  Emphasis will be placed on assessment methods that lead directly to diagnosing skill deficits and determining current level of functioning, which can be translated directly into goals, objectives, and statements of progress on the child’s IEP. Methods of evaluating instructional outcomes will be explored so that an ongoing instructional plan can be adjusted to meet the student’s needs.

SED550 Student Teaching and Seminar (5)
This course consists of mentored special education teaching in a K-12 setting. The student teacher will have opportunities to manage the classroom and learning activities of special education pupils. The student teacher assumes responsibility for directing the classroom. The seminar portion of the course will focus on research topics specific to the special education field, practical aspects of assessing students, planning and implementing instruction, evaluating and revising student programs, consulting with teachers and other professionals and parents. Student teachers will develop and implement a research plan. They will conduct data collection, analysis, and interpretations leading to recommendations. Those not seeking an endorsement will complete the research component as relevant to their area of service.

SED504 Classroom Management and Development of Social Competence for Students with Special Needs (3)
Designed to provide students with a practical foundation in the principles of individual and group management structures. The course will enable students to not only understand basic behavioral management concepts but also demonstrate their ability to develop, implement and incorporate appropriate behavioral management techniques. The maintenance of appropriate academic and social behaviors in the special education classroom will be emphasized as well as the development of strategies in the areas of prevention, assessment, identification and intervention. These strategies will be used to help the LD student develop the self-management skills required for constructive social participation and independent learning. Many students with learning disabilities face challenges in the area of socialization therefore this class will include developing appropriate social behavior.

SED520 Elementary Methods for Language Arts and Mathematics (3)
Focuses on the educational methods and strategies to meet the needs of the student with learning disabilities at the elementary level. Emphasis will be placed on the understanding of remedial techniques for reading, mathematics and written expression. Students will develop implement lesson plans in an elementary classroom.

SED521 Secondary Methods for Content Area Reading, Study Skills, and Transition (3)
Focuses on the instructional methods and strategies to meet the needs of the student with learning and behavior challenges at the secondary school level. Emphasis will be placed on the understanding of techniques for academic supports within the content areas of reading, mathematics and written expression. This course focuses on the goals of secondary special education that are to provide services to students with disabilities that will enable them to acquire the skills they need to function successfully in employment and community settings. This course will examine the teacher’s role in transition planning and coordination.

SED522 Language Development and Instruction (3)
Provides skill and techniques in understanding learning problems by focusing on the development of language as it relates to reasoning, thinking, listening, speaking, reading, writing and spelling. Emphasis will be placed on understanding of the components of language, knowing how the assessment of these skills is conducted and what effect disorders in listening, speaking and thinking have on learning to read, write and spell. Finally, instruction will be provided on teaching strategies to help the language learning disabled student and additional information will be provided on resources the teacher can utilize to become a more effective teacher.

SED523 Assessment and Evaluation in Special Education (3)
Provides instruction in appropriate procedures for the assessment and reporting of the student’s reading, writing, mathematical and social skills. Emphasis will be placed on assessment methods that lead directly to diagnosing skill deficits and determining current level of functioning, which can be translated directly into goals, objectives, and statements of progress on the child’s IEP. Methods of evaluating instructional outcomes will be explored so that an ongoing instructional plan can be adjusted to meet the student’s needs.

SED524 Assistive Technology (3)
Provides an understanding of how adaptive technology may be used to enhance the education of students with disabilities. It teaches a framework for assessing special needs students’ abilities, environment, required tasks and assistive tools. Students will investigate high tech, mid tech, low tech and no tech responses to the needs of students’ with disabilities. The focus will include a full range of disabilities and emphasis on using assistive technology to access the general education curriculum, development of assessment and lesson plans.

SED525 Curriculum and Instruction (3)
Includes a study of research based curriculum designs and strategies for the student with learning disabilities. Topics include preplanning, principals of curriculum decision making, effective schools research, and participatory strategies for the curriculum and instruction. The types of learning disabilities and the characteristics of each is discussed in light of curriculum design. Emphasis is places on differentiating instruction for the child with learning disabilities. Educators will acquire skills that will enhance student learning.

SED530 Introduction to ASD (3)
This course provides students with an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder. It addresses the process and methods of identification. Social issues and the implications of Autism Spectrum Disorder on an individual’s life will be introduced. Current treatments and research will be introduced with a focus on evidence based practices for students with ASD.

SED531 Language and Communication Development (3)
This course examines procedures for assessment of communication, language and speech of students with autism spectrum disorder and it will review strategies for promoting language and communication skills across the different environments.

SED532 Assessment and Intervention for ASD (3)
This course will cover diagnosis criteria in the identification of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Students will understand the importance of early diagnosis and become familiar with recommended screening instruments for autism. Particular focus is placed on linking assessment data to implementation of meaningful interventions in all educational settings.

SED533 Technology (2)
This course will cover assistive technology applications for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Emphasis will be placed on proper assessment, informed choices of equipment, training and implementation in the use of assistive technology devices, and progress monitoring of the impact of the use of assistive technology.

SED534 Collaboration and Transition Planning for Students with ASD (2)
This course introduces students to the idea of collaboration as a special education professional. Prevocational and vocational planning as well as transitional issues will be discussed. Using supported employment, community-based instruction and skillful assessment of a young person’s goals, strength, and skills.

SED535 Behavior Programming for Students with ASD (3)
In this course, students will review legal and ethical guidelines affecting behavior planning, as well as learning evidence-based practices for behavior interventions as related to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Focus will be placed on collaboration to determine impact of multiple variables upon student behavior, to develop interventions based upon group consensus, and to review and modify interventions based upon data.

SED536 Curriculum and Instructional Methods for Students with ASD (3)
This course will examine the most recent topics in the education of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Participants in this course will examine evidence-based practices and effective interventions for students with ASD throughout the educational system. Research-based practices will be examined in this course along with the effective implementation of techniques and strategies in a variety of educational settings. In addition, the collaboration of all team members, including parents and guardians of students with autism, will be explored. This course will be a blended learning environment which will include course materials and lectures online in addition to pre-determined campus meetings with participants. The primary objective of this course is to prepare course participants to meet the educational needs of their students with autism and to collaborate effectively with all team members.