CURRICULUM SCHEDULE OF COURSES – 36 CREDITS
- Home School and Community for Diverse Learners (4 Credits)
- Language, Literacy and Learning in a Diverse Setting (4 Credits)
- Implementation of Professional Skills (Field Component) (4 Credits)
- School Based Assessment and Implementing Data-Driven Decisions (4 Credits)
- Thesis Seminar (2 credits)
- Interdisciplinary Studies in a Diverse Classroom (4 Credits)
- Inclusion (4 Credits)
- Capstone Research Project 1 (3 Credits)
- Assistive Technology (4 Credits)
- Capstone Research Project 2 (3 Credits)
Home School and Community for Diverse Learners (4 Credits)
This course provides teachers with an introduction to the current knowledge and understanding of children and adolescents with disabilities and the essential elements regarding positive home-school and community collaborations. Content includes: Special Education history, philosophy, legislation, etiology, characteristics, impact on families, family systems theory, school programming and options as it relates to Least Restrictive Environment, the impact on the school, the role of the Child Study Team, different community opportunities and outreach support systems. Students will see the relationship between the home, school, community from early intervention through school completion.
Language, Literacy and Learning in a Diverse Setting (4 Credits)
This course provides teachers with the philosophy of teaching reading to diverse learners along with the appropriate methods and materials for instruction. Major topics include the nature and needs of children with diverse reading abilities, emergent literacy, intervention strategies, settings for instruction, word recognition, writing, assessment (formal and informal) comprehension, study skills, adaptations of methods and materials, and organizational patterns.
Implementation of Professional Skills (Field Component) (4 Credits)
Students will have the opportunity to observe and work with experienced Special Education teachers in school settings to apply theoretical and practical concepts. The course covers the practical tools and strategies associated with teaching diverse learners. Topics will include: understanding and implementing Individualized Education Program’s (IEP’s), Functional Behavioral Assessment’s (FBA’s), portfolios and transition plans as well as designing group and individual behavior modification plans and the assessment process (via informal and formal observations, portfolios, inventories, progress monitoring, IEP) guides instruction. This field component requires a minimum amount of hours of working with diverse learners as well as a seminar component. This is designed for students who are not employed or working full or part time.
School Based Assessment and Implementing Data-Driven Decisions (4 Credits)
This course draws on the examination of trends in Special Education. Topics
include: a study of various techniques and strategies of educational research; scales of measurement, emphasis on understanding and interpreting data and research both qualitative and quantitative. Students will interpret data, (record keeping, grading, rubrics, formal and informal assessments, State assessments, authentic assessment, performance and portfolio assessment) and how the data relates to day to day classroom activities and educational trends. Students will understand the vocabulary and mathematics associated with reporting assessment results (validity, reliability, percentiles, stanines and standardization) as well as ethical issues (e.g., confidentiality of information, test bias and the use of inappropriate assessments for particular populations). A required outcome is for the students to conceptualize a preliminary proposal and formulate problems and/or topics for developing into individual projects as part of their thesis or capstone action research project.
Interdisciplinary Studies in a Diverse Classroom (4 Credits)
This course examines methods and materials for teaching grades K-5 math, social studies and science for diverse learners who are in either a variety of classroom settings. The course emphasizes methods of teaching these topics as well as creating interdisciplinary connections between all of the academic domains. Topics include discussing the various types of diverse learners and activities that could meet their needs.
Inclusion (4 Credits)
This course introduces teachers to the foundations and fundamentals of inclusive education. Students will examine practical issues, trends, concerns, collaboration theory and practice for diverse learners within an inclusionary environment. Topics such as establishing partnerships, team building, optimizing communication between colleagues, strategies, teaching methodologies, differentiated instruction, classroom management practices, modifications and instructional planning for diverse learners will be addressed.
Capstone Research Project 1 (3 Credits)
This course focuses on the planning and preparation that is needed to conduct empirical research and formulation of a problem and/or topic for developing into an individual projects as part of the thesis or capstone action research project. Students will complete the first three chapters of their master’s thesis.
Assistive Technology (4 Credits)
This introductory course will address the role of Assistive Technology for diverse learners in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible and enabling students to enhance their independence, communication, adaptive daily living and cognitive. It will address the impact of Assistive Technology on classroom design, program selection, IEP and Transition planning, curriculum design and instructional modifications both within an inclusion and non-inclusion setting. Students will review and examine various hardware and software programs, low-tech and high-tech devices, communication systems, and adaptive devices. They will become familiar with relevant legislation, the link between home and school, funding sources, the assessment process and the involvement of various agencies in acquiring the devices.
Capstone Research Project 2 (3 Credits)
This course focuses on conducting empirical research based on the first three chapters of the thesis or capstone action research project and the preparation of the “results” and “conclusions” chapters. Seminars and individual student conferences are devoted to methodological and statistical analyses, and the interpretation and the reporting of results.