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Special Education Certification Course Descriptions

SPE 600 Current Issues in Special Education: Theoretical Practice and Procedures (3 credits)
This course is a critical study of the contemporary and controversial issues within the field of special education. Consideration will be given to the philosophical, psychological, and sociological basis of teacher education, including an analytical review of research-based curricula, programmatic innovations, policy issues and their effects, and ethical practices. Discussions will focus on evidence-based core concepts that contribute to effective program planning; investigation of cognitive, academic, behavioral, and psycho-social solutions and implications for those working with exceptional students; and future implications for the advancement of special education diagnostic and instructional services.

SPE 602 Diagnostic Assessment and Progress Monitoring (3 credits)
This course will provide an in-depth presentation of the complex issue of assessment, including an examination of evaluation procedures, from pre-referral intervention, eligibility/placement/ program decision-making to progress monitoring of scientifically-based instructional interventions based on Response to Intervention (RTI). Focus will include academic, affective, work-study skill, adaptive functioning, fine motor, and environmental measures. Content coverage will consist of an overview of assessment models including traditional, informal, dynamic, performance, curriculum-based, and alternative techniques. Addition course topics will address legislation, regulations, topical issues, emerging evaluation trends, test modifications/accommodations, parent involvement and assessment/progress reporting.

SPE 603 Theory and Instructional Practice: Students with High Incidence Disabilities (3 credits)
This course is a comprehensive study of theoretical issues and research-based diagnosis, instructional planning and programmatic organization of instruction for children with learning problems. Content will cover curriculum design, development of programs of differential instruction involving evidence-based interventions that meet students' needs based on formative assessment, developmental and educational information; integrated learning experiences; specialized adaptations and resources; practices and procedures validated for specific characteristics of learners and settings; prevention and intervention strategies from multiple theoretical approaches for individuals at-risk for academic or behavioral failure; systematic implementation of instructional variables; and systems management necessary for effective instruction of children with disabilities. Focus will also be given to the development and implementation of differentiated curriculum and curricular enhancements, and concepts and teaching practices related to the development and implementation of effective instructional programs for students with high incidence disabilities.

SPE 604 Research-based Models and Procedures: Literacy, Written and Oral Language, and Reading in the Content Areas (3 credits)
This course will focus on the development of competency in the implementation of explicit and systematic evidence-based instructional strategies designed to teach accuracy, fluency, comprehension, and monitoring strategies in literacy and content area reading to students with disabilities, including exceptional children in regular classroom, with emphasis on applying findings from research in reading to classroom practices, including children who are linguistically and culturally diverse. Content will include diagnostic-prescriptive techniques for remediation of reading and written language and associated learning disabilities.

SPE 605 Research-based Models and Procedures: Mathematics and Science Procedures (3 credits)
This course will focus on the development of competency in the implementation of explicit and systematic evidence-based instructional strategies designed to teach mathematics and content area subjects, including science and social studies. A study of theory and practice of effective teaching methodologies, combined with principles of differentiated instruction. Attention will be on teaching models and methods supported by research and emphasis will be placed on development of effective teaching procedures.

SPE 606 Theory and Instructional Practice: Students with Emotional/Social and Behavioral Disorders (3 credits)
This course covers personal, social, and emotional disorders in an educational setting, including methods of identification, assessment, and instructional planning; develops skills in effective classroom management and creating classroom climate conducive to learning and growth. It also provides comprehensive coverage of a variety of models of disciplines and aids students in building systems and conceptual models of total discipline, emphasizing activities promoting pupil motivation and classroom management and organization of the environment, instruction, behavior and record keeping.

SPE 607 Theory and Instructional Practice: Students with Low Incidence Disabilities (3 credits)
This course addresses the definitions, characteristics, assessment and specific techniques for students needing adaptive and functional curriculum. Characteristics are addressed in relation to why and how specialized instruction can meet the learning and developmental needs of these individuals, specifically in the areas of instruction, assistive learning, and language-communication. This will include research validated instructional strategies, adaptive and assistive technologies including, augmentative communication systems, and communication and social interaction alternatives for non-speaking individuals. In addition, the course reviews behaviorally-based educational models for students with autism and other moderate and severe disabilities, and presents methods aimed at enhancing functional skill development in major life domains, with emphasis on community-based training and self-determination.

SPE 608 Families, Schools, and Communities: Communication and Collaboration (3 credits)
This course focuses on the home-school partnerships, issues of family and professional collaboration and diversity, and methods of promoting adult communication and management strategies. It applies the knowledge of cultural and linguistic diversity and the significance of socio-cultural and political contexts as they relate to the family, culture and society. It identifies the members of teams designed to support and optimize children's educational needs and social-emotional development and the network of community services and resources available to individuals, families and groups affected by social, environmental, health and related problems.

SPE 612 Inclusive Classroom Practices
This course is a comprehensive study of theoretical issues and research-based diagnosis, instructional planning, and programmatic organization of instruction for children with disabilities in inclusive environments. Content will cover curriculum design, development of programs of differential instruction involving evidence-based interventions that meet students' needs based on formative assessment, developmental and educational information; integrated learning experiences; specialized adaptations and resources; practices and procedures validated for specific characteristics of learners and settings; prevention and intervention strategies from multiple theoretical approaches for individuals at-risk for academic or behavioral failure; systematic implementation of instructional variables; systems management necessary for effective instruction of children with disabilities; and the underlying theories, issues and methods for managing classroom environments.

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