Graduate Studies

Special Education - 2010-2011

Admission | Courses | Program | RequirementsProfile

Department Chairperson:  Cindy Dooley
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Sharon Maroney
Department Office:  Horrabin Hall 40
Department Telephone: (309) 298-1909 Fax: (309) 298-1779
Department E-mail: special-ed@wiu.edu
Website:  wiu.edu/sped
Location of Program Offering: Quad Cities

Graduate Faculty
Professors

  • Lyman W. Boomer, Ed.D., University of Kansas
  • Mary M. Jensen, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Sharon A. Maroney, Ph.D., University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
  • Linda L. Meloy, Ph.D., University of Iowa

Associate Professors

  • Lynda A. Conover, Ed.D., University of Virginia
  • Darlos K. Mummert, Ed.D., Illinois State University

Associate Graduate Faculty
Assistant Professor

  • Christine Anderson, Ph.D., University of Iowa

  Program Description 

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 adolescents with disabilities in schools, clinics, and residential facilities. For students who are certified to teach nonexceptional individuals, completion of this degree may qualify them for a special education teaching endorsement.

  Admission Requirements

Candidates for the Master of Science in Education degree in special education must meet the criteria for admission to the School of Graduate Studies. A teaching certificate is required to enter the Special Education master’s program.  A substitute teaching certificate does not meet this requirement. In addition, candidates should submit a letter of intent and three professional 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.

  Degree Requirements

I. Core Courses: 20 s.h.

SPED 514 Collaboration in Special Education (3)
SPED 518 Career Education and Transition (2)
SPED 581 Special Education Law and Supervision (3)
SPED 613 Families, Diversity, and Social Issues (3)
SPED 622 Action Research in Education (3)
SPED 624 Action Research Project (3)
EIS 500 Methods of Research (3)

II. Choose one of the following tracks: 18 s.h.

A. TRACK I

For individuals with a teaching certificate/endorsement but no background in special education who are seeking either professional development or initial certification/endorsement at Level I in Illinois or Iowa.  Evaluation for subsequent certification required for Illinois. If initial Iowa endorsement is LS II, additional coursework will be necessary beyond the master’s degree requirements. If students seek both LS I and LS II endorsements for Iowa, an additional 3 s.h. of SPED 580 must be completed.

SPED 517 Behavior Intervention (3)
SPED 519 Psychoeducational Assessment (4)
SPED 551 Characteristics of Learners with Mild/Moderate Disabilities (3)

Two of the following Methods courses:

SPED 523 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Moderate/Severe Mental Retardation (3)
SPED 526 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Mild Mental Retardation (3)
SPED 536 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (3)
SPED 546 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Learning Disabilities (3)
SPED 552 Instructional Methods for K–6 Learners with Disabilities (3)
SPED 553 Instructional Methods for Secondary Learners with Disabilities (3)

Directed Electives (1)

B. TRACK II

For individuals with one or more certifications/endorsements in special education who are seeking professional advancement or additional endorsements in Iowa.

SPED 505 Diagnostic Assessment for Program Planning (3)
SPED 600 Seminar in Curriculum (3)
SPED 617 Advanced Behavior Intervention (3)

One of the following Methods courses:

SPED 523 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Moderate/Severe Mental Retardation (3)
SPED 526 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Mild Mental Retardation (3)
SPED 536 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (3)
SPED 546 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Learning Disabilities (3)
SPED 552 Instructional Methods for K–6 Learners with Disabilities (3)
SPED 553 Instructional Methods for Secondary Learners with Disabilities (3)

Directed Electives (5)

TOTAL PROGRAM: 37 s.h.

  Course Descriptions 

505 Diagnostic Assessment for Program Planning. (3) Diagnostic assessment for IEP planning is mastered, along with progress monitoring approaches such as curriculum-based measurement and portfolios with rubrics. Prerequisite: SPED 519 or an equivalent norm-referenced testing course.

510 The Exceptional Individual. (3) Characteristics and implications for educational programming for students with a wide range of disabilities will be examined. (Students who are teachers or seeking teaching certification should take SPED 551.)

513 Families of Individuals with Disabilities. (2) An introduction to families in social context, this course examines the impact of a child with a disability on a family and the needs of the family throughout the life span.  Also, societal issues impacting families and schools are reviewed. Prerequisite: A survey of exceptionalities course.

514 Collaboration in Special Education. (3) Collaborative skills necessary to participate effectively in interactions with other professionals and parents, as well as to supervise paraprofessionals, are mastered.  Various co-teaching models are also explored. Prerequisite: A survey of exceptionalities course.

517 Behavior Intervention. (3) Strategies for providing positive behavioral supports to students on a classroom and individual basis are mastered. Prerequisite: A survey of exceptionalities course.

518 Career Education and Transition. (2) Procedures for planning and implementing career development and prevocational and vocational programming are examined, along with the assessments and legislation related to transition. Prerequisite: A survey of exceptionalities course.

519 Psychoeducational Assessment. (4) Measurement concepts and norm-referenced assessment are explored, and the application of the comprehensive special education evaluation process is mastered. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or equivalent.

523 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Moderate/Severe Mental Retardation. (3) Methods for developing and implementing educational programs for individuals with moderate to severe mental retardation 0-21 will be mastered. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or equivalent.

526 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Mild Mental Retardation. (3) Teaching methodologies, instructional strategies, and materials for use in developing educational programs for students aged 0–21 with mild mental retardation will be mastered. Prerequisites: SPED 551 or equivalent.

533 Special Problems in Special Education. (1–4, repeatable) Content-specific offerings aimed at professional development of general and special education teachers. (Degree candidates may receive credit on degree program only with the permission of the Departmental Graduate Committee and the student's adviser.)Graded S/U.

536 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders. (3) Teaching methodologies, instructional strategies, and instructional materials for use in developing educational programs for students aged 0–21 with emotional/behavioral disorders will be mastered. Prerequisites: SPED 551 or equivalent.

546 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Learning Disabilities. (3) Teaching methodologies, instructional strategies, and materials for use in developing educational programs for students aged 0-21 with learning disabilities will be mastered. Prerequisites: SPED 551 or equivalent.

551 Characteristics of Learners with Disabilities. (3) The unique characteristics of a wide variety of learners with mild and moderate disabilities will be examined, along with their broad educational, behavioral, and emotional needs as related to educational programming.

552 Instructional Methods for K–6 Learners with Disabilities. (3) Effective teaching methodologies, instructional adaptations, and program delivery options for students with mild/moderate disabilities, K–6, are mastered. Corequisite: SPED 580 as needed. Prerequisites: SPED 551 or an equivalent, a reading methods course, and a math methods course.

553 Instructional Methods for Secondary Learners with Disabilities. (3) Effective teaching methodologies, instructional adaptions, and program delivery options for students with mild/moderate disabilities, 7–12, are mastered. Corequisite: SPED 580 as needed.Prerequisites: SPED 551 or an equivalent, a reading methods course, and a math methods course.

580 Graduate Field Work in Special Education. (1–12, repeatable to 12) Practicum experiences are provided under the supervision of an appropriately certified teacher in a setting providing instructional services to students with disabilities. Prerequisite: Prior departmental approval which calls for completion or concurrent enrollment in an appropriate methods course.

581 Special Education Law and Supervision. (3) Federal and state laws, along with case law, that direct the delivery of special education services will be examined. Elements of supervision will also be outlined. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or an equivalent.

600 Seminar in Curriculum. (3) Investigation of research on best practices in developing and adapting curriculum and the impact on students with disabilities is required. The varying models that undergird curriculum and instructional approaches are examined with the aim of preparing leadership for school settings.  Prerequisites: SPED 552 or SPED 553.

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. Prerequisites: EIS 500 and approval of the Departmental Graduate Committee.

613 Families, Diversity, and Social Issues. (3) The unique social/emotional needs of families with children with disabilities and/or with children at-risk, the impact of poverty and other societal stressors, and the specific issues of diversity will be explored from a current research perspective with the aim of preparing informed leaders in educational settings. Prerequisite: SPED 513 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

617 Advanced Behavior Intervention. (3) Research-based approaches to positive behavior intervention will be examined with the intent of providing leadership for the establishment of school-wide environments based on positive behavior support for all learners. Prerequisite: SPED 517 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

622 Action Research in Education (3). Students master the principles of and strategies involved in conducting action research in school settings. Prerequisite: EIS 500 or evidence of appropriate course work in methods of research, and accepted into the Special Education graduate program.

624 Action Research Project. (3) Students design, conduct, analyze, and report the results of an action research project related to their area of expertise. Prerequisites: SPED 622 and Graduate Committee approval.