Special Education (2003-2004)
Department Chairperson: Linda L. Tomlinson
Associate Graduate Faculty
The Department of Special Education provides comprehensive graduate programs for students desiring professional careers in special education. Students completing the master’s degree in special education usually assume positions as classroom or collaborating teachers of children and youth with disabilities in schools, clinics, hospitals, and residential centers. For students who are certified to teach nonexceptional individuals, completion of this degree may qualify them for a special education teaching endorsement.
Candidates for the Master of Science in Education degree in special education must meet the criteria for admission to the School of Graduate Studies. In addition, candidates should submit a letter of intent and three letters of reference to the department. The Departmental Graduate Committee will evaluate the application materials and make appropriate recommendations for acceptance or rejection into the program. Upon admission to the Department of Special Education, the student is assigned an adviser.
Completion of a minimum of 36-39 semester hours of graduate credit is required for this program.
Areas of emphasis for directed electives:
Students with undergraduate preparation in special education may receive permission to substitute courses.
All degree requirements must be completed within six years.
421G Introduction to Mental Disabilities. (3) A study of the four major areas in mental retardation classification, etiology and incidence; psychological and biological aspects; sociological aspects; and learning and education. Prerequisites: SPED 310 or 510.
431G Introduction to Behavior Disorders. (3) Basic understanding of behavior disorders including causes, characteristics, and implications for educational planning. Prerequisite: SPED 310 or 510.
441G Introduction to Learning Disabilities. (3) A theoretical frame of reference within which to view the learning disorders of children including a functional definition of learning disorders, the probable causes of learning disorders, and the characteristics of children with learning disorders. Prerequisite: SPED 310 or 510.
450G Professional Workshop. (1–3) Intended to meet the professional needs of teachers. Workshops may be organized in appropriate areas. Students will prepare a paper for senior or graduate level. Prerequisite: 18 semester hours in education and psychology coursework.
505 Program Design in Special Education. (3) Curriculum-based measurement and informal assessment approaches will be mastered as integral activities of the Individual Education Plan process. Prerequisites: SPED 419 or SPED 519.
510 The Exceptional Individual. (3) Focuses attention on the characteristics, talents, needs, and problems of children who are atypical in the mental, physical, emotional, sensory, and social areas, and presents some of the procedures employed in their identification, care, supervision, and education.
513 Families of Individuals with Disabilities. (2) The course addresses the unique social/emotional needs of the families of individuals with disabilities and explores current societal stressors on all families. Assists special educators to work with/support the families with whom they share educational responsibilities. Prerequisite: SPED 310 or 510.
514 Collaboration and Consultation in Special Education. (2) This course provides students with the collaborative skills necessary to participate effectively in interactions with other professionals and parents in the schools. Prerequisite: SPED 310 or SPED 510.
517 Behavior Management in the Classroom. (3) This course provides strategies for changing inappropriate behaviors and prompting the acquisition of adaptive behaviors through positive management procedures. Prerequisite: SPED 310 or SPED 510.
518 Career Education and Transition for Students with Special Needs. (3) This course examines the problems, trends, and procedures used in planning career development, prevocational and vocational programs for individuals with disabilities. Prerequisite: SPED 421 or SPED 431 or SPED 441, or graduate equivalents.
519 Advanced Psychoeducational Assessment. (3) An in-depth study of norm-referenced assessment and the application of the comprehensive evaluation process in special education. Co-requisite: One semester hour of SPED 580. Prerequisite: SPED 310 or SPED 510.
523 Methods: Individuals with Moderate Mental Disabilities. (3) This course focuses on the methods for developing and implementing educational programs for individuals with moderate mental disabilities. Prerequisites: SPED 421, or graduate equivalents.
524 Methods: Children with Mild Mental Disabilities. (2) Provides teaching methodology specific to the teaching of children with mild mental disabilities at the elementary level. Prerequisite: SPED 421.
525 Methods: Adolescents with Mild Mental Disabilities. (2) Provides teaching methodology specific to teaching students with mild mental disabilities at the junior high and high school levels. Prerequisite: SPED 421.
533 Special Problems in Special Education. (1–4, repeatable) Designed to provide a group of students an opportunity for further professional growth and to apply problem-solving approaches in dealing with a specific educational problem in an actual school setting. (Degree candidates may receive credit on degree program only with the permission of the Departmental Graduate Committee and the student's adviser.)
534 Methods: Children with Behavioral Disorders. (2) A study of specific teaching methods and instructional materials for use with elementary children with behavioral disorders. Topics will include classroom organization and management and individualized behavior programming. Prerequisite: SPED 431.
535 Methods: Adolescents with Behavioral Disorders. (2) A study of specific teaching methods and instructional materials for use with secondary students with behavioral disorders. Topics will include classroom organization and management and individualized behavior programming. Prerequisite: SPED 431.
544 Methods: Children with Learning Disabilities. (2) This course is designed to provide an in-depth exploration of specific strategies used with the teaching of elementary children with learning disabilities. Prerequisite: SPED 441.
545 Methods: Adolescents with Learning Disabilities. (2) Designed to develop skills in teachers working with adolescents with learning disabilities. This course will focus on in-depth study of the areas specific to the needs of secondary level students. Prerequisite: SPED 441.
551 Characteristics of the Mildly Disabled in a Multicategorical Setting. (2) Provides an introduction to children with mild disabilities and a framework for understanding the special education needs from a multicategorical perspective. Prerequisite: SPED 510.
552 Teaching K-6 Mildly Disabled in Multicategorical Settings. (1) Teaching methods, strategies, curriculum options and delivery systems for children with mild disabilities in multicategorical settings. Corequisite: SPED 580 as needed. Prerequisites: SPED 510 and 551 or equivalents.
553 Teaching Mildly Disabled Adolescents (grades 7-12) in Multicategorical Settings. (1) Teaching methods, strategies, curriculum options, and delivery systems for adolescents with disabilities in multicategorical settings. Corequisite: SPED 580 as needed. Prerequisites: SPED 510 and 551 or equivalents.
580 Graduate Field Work in Special Education. (1–12, repeatable to 12) Graduate practicum experiences to be acquired under the direct supervision of an appropriately certified teacher. Prerequisite: Prior departmental approval which calls for completion or concurrent enrollment in an appropriate methods course. A maximum of six semester hours may be used to meet minimum degree requirements.
581 Administration and Supervision of Special Education. (3) Emphasis will be given to the function and underlying principles to be observed in the organization, administration, and supervision of special education programs. The selection and in-service training of teachers, problems of supervision, specialized equipment, fiscal management, transportation, agency cooperation, and legal aspects will be considered. Prerequisite: SPED 310 or 510.
599 Independent Study. (1–2, repeatable to 4) An investigation of problems related to the student's major areas, not specifically covered in other courses. A substantial written report, as well as an informal oral report, will be required. Students will meet regularly with an instructor during the course on a period-arranged basis. No more than a total of four hours may be earned. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
601 Thesis. (3) Thesis direction under the guidance of a major professor to meet the needs of the student engaged in a research project. A written thesis will be presented to the Departmental Graduate Committee. Prerequisite: EIS 500 and approval of the Departmental Graduate Committee.
602 Professional Experience in Special Education. (3) The professional experience involves supervision, consultation, an internship, or other in-depth educational experience. The process must encompass collection, analysis, integration, organization and accountability dimensions of special education. This activity ends in a written report or computer, media, or other technologically-based product outcome. Prerequisite: EIS 500 and approval of Departmental Graduate Committee.
603 Comprehensive Examination in Special Education. (0) The student will complete a written comprehensive examination. The examination will be graded S/U and will be administered once each semester. The student may take the examination two times. Prerequisite: Approval of Departmental Graduate Committee.