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Special Education

Interim Chairperson: Dr. Cindy Dooley
Office: Horrabin Hall 40
Telephone: (309) 298-1909
Website: wiu.edu/specialed
Faculty: Anderson, Boomer, Conover, Jensen, Maroney, Meloy, Mummert.

Adjunct Faculty: Clark, Dillard, Jennings, McCall, Pumo, Wiley.

The Department of Special Education offers a major in special education. Students who successfully complete the special education major will qualify for certification as a Learning Behavior Specialist I. Instructional time in the major typically begins in the freshman year and increases through the senior year. Students participate in the assessment and instruction of children with special needs in a variety of classroom settings in the local schools. Sixteen weeks of student teaching are required with the time distributed equally between the elementary and secondary levels. Upon graduation, students will qualify to teach exceptional children K-age 21 as LBS I teachers. Students are urged to contact the special education adviser in Horrabin Hall 91 to obtain assistance in planning their programs to meet certification requirements. All majors must be accepted into the Teacher Education Program (TEP) and must meet all TEP and departmental requirements to continue in the program. Students may complete a dual certification program for Special Education and Elementary Education.

Honors Curriculum - Academically qualified students in this department are welcome to complete an honors curriculum in University Honors, Upper Division Honors, or Lower Division Honors. All Honors students must complete the one-hour honors colloquium (G H 299). Lower Division Honors includes General Honors coursework. Upper Division Honors includes honors work in the major. University Honors combines Upper and Lower Division Honors. For more information about honors curricula visit the Centennial Honors College website at www.wiu.edu/Honors

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Education—Special Education

All students seeking the Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a major in Special Education must complete I, II, and III. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h.

In accordance with the Illinois State Board of Education certification rules, all candidates seeking teacher certification are required by Western Illinois University to obtain a grade of “C” or better in all directed general education courses, all core courses, and all courses in the option. Note C- is below a C.

  1. University General Education Curriculum:   43 s.h.
    (including MATH 106, a Biological and a Physical Science–one of which must be a lab, POLS 122, HIST 105 or 106, SOC 100)
  2. Core Courses:  36 s.h.
    SPED 200, 250, 280, 300, 320, 350, 370, 400†, 420, 430, 440, 445, 460
  3. Content Requirements:  34 s.h.
    CS 111; IDT 278, 285; MATH 206, 364; RDG 383, 384, 433; RPTA 330; SPED 360; SCED 364; SSED 365; KIN 393
  4. Professional Education (27 s.h.)
    1. EIS 201, 301, 302, 401:  11 s.h.
    2. Student Teaching: STCH (K–6), (7–12):  16 s.h.

†SPED 400 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) graduation requirement.

Students who wish to work toward certification in both special education and elementary education may do so as a special education major. Dual certification students take all required special education courses as well as additional elementary content classes.

Course Descriptions

SPECIAL EDUCATION (SPED)

200  Introduction to Special Education. (3)  Historical foundations of special education including litigation, legislation, models, theories, and philosophies. Introduction to professional ethics, conduct, and professional growth and reflection. A grade of C or better is required to continue in the major. Corequisite: SPED 280.

250  Language Development and Exceptional Individuals. (2)  Normal language development from birth through age 21, children’s progression through language development stages at differing rates, and the effects of disabilities on language development. Course will include effects of cultural and linguistic diversity on language development. Prerequisite: SPED 200.

280  Field Work in Special Education. (1, repeatable to 2)  Educational experiences acquired in practical service situations. Repeatable in different settings with permission. Graded S/U only. Corequisite: SPED 200.

300  Characteristics of the Learner. (3)  Development of cognitive, emotional, physical, social, and communication skills of students with disabilities. Practices that support the intellectual, social, and personal growth of all students. A grade of C or better is required to continue in the major. Prerequisite: SPED 200.

310  The Exceptional Individual. (3)  A survey of the characteristics of individuals with diverse mental, physical, behavioral, learning, or communication needs. This course emphasizes the identification and education of exceptional learners. For non-majors only.

320  Learning Environment. (3)  Exploration of individual and group motivators and behavior management techniques. Strategies for creating learning environments that promote positive social interaction and active engagement in learning. A grade of C or better is required to continue in the major. Prerequisite: SPED 200.

350  Collaborative Relationships and Transition. (3)  Factors that promote effective communication and collaboration with individuals, parents, families, school and community personnel. Elements of effective transition of students with disabilities across age span. A grade of C or better is required to continue in the major. Prerequisite: SPED 300.

360  Health Issues of Special Needs Students. (2)  Introduction to health issues of children with disabilities. Includes basic knowledge of common medical conditions, treatment, effects on physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and educational behaviors; basic skills for physical accommodation; and roles and responsibilities in identifying, assessing, and providing services. Prerequisites: SPED 200 and 300, or permission of instructor.

370  Assessment. (4)  Educational assessment processes and strategies to support instructional planning for students with disabilities. A grade of C or above is required to continue in the major. Prerequisites: SPED 280, 320, 350; fully accepted into the Teacher Education Program (TEP).

383  Field Work in Special Education. (1)  Pre-student teaching clinical experiences in special education under supervision of a department instructor and a certified special education teacher. A grade of C is required for teacher education majors.

390  Classroom Adaptions. (1)  Provides information and practice in using various strategies to help general educators serve children with special needs in their classrooms. Response to Intervention discussed. Practice using University Design to plan for all students included. Non-majors only. Prerequisite: SPED 310.

400  Planning for Instruction. (4)  Instructional planning, design, and adaptations to support the learning of students with disabilities. A grade of C or better is required to continue in the major. Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) course. Prerequisite: SPED 370.

420  Instructional Delivery–Pre-K-Elementary Level. (3)  Instructional strategies to encourage inquiry, problem solving, and critical thinking. Best practices in providing access to general curriculum for Pre-K-Elementary students with disabilities through inclusion or modified curriculum. Grade of C or above is required to continue in the major. Prerequisite: RDG 384; SPED 400, 460.

430  Fieldwork in Special Education: Elementary. (3)  Clinical experiences in planning, implementation, and assessment of instruction with students with disabilities in the elementary grades. A grade of C or above is required to continue in the major. Prerequisite: RDG 384; SPED 400, 460.

440  Instructional Delivery–Secondary Level. (3)  Instructional strategies to encourage inquiry, problem solving, and critical thinking. Best practices in providing access to general curriculum for secondary students with disabilities through inclusion or modified curriculum. A grade of C or above is required to continue in major. Prerequisite: SPED 420, 430.

445  Fieldwork in Special Education: Secondary. (3)  Clinical experiences in the planning, implementation, and assessment of instruction with students with disabilities in secondary settings. A grade of C or better is required to continue in major. Prerequisite: SPED 420, 430.

460  Fieldwork in Special Education. (1)  Experience in the planning, implementation, and assessment of developmentally appropriate instruction of students with disabilities in different settings. A grade of C or above required to continue in major. Prerequisite: SPED 370.