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Special Education Minor

The Special Education minor is designed for individuals who desire to learn more about teaching students with special needs. The five courses in this minor will address neurodiversity, teaching, and assessment strategies specific to the field of special education, and how to work with families of exceptional learners. Teacher candidates who complete this minor will be well-positioned to add on certification as a K-12 Mild/Moderate Cross-Categorical Disabilities educator after initial certification in Elementary, Middle, or Secondary Education has been earned.

The Special Education minor requires 18 credit hours of coursework.

EDUC 225: Neurodiversity in Society and Why it Matters
3 credit hours

This course will explore the many types of neurodiversity and how each is a natural form of cognitive functioning. Included will be many examples of types of diversity and ways to incorporate all differences in a successful life.

EDUC 340: Education of the Exceptional Child
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 205. This course surveys all areas of exceptionality. It is designed to help the prospective teacher identify and understand the problems of students with atypical learning patterns.

EDUC 357: Families of Exceptional Learners
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 340. Children learn best when close cooperation exists between school and home. For children with learning problems, it is all the more necessary for skills learned in school to be reinforced in the home. This course will include the study of legal aspects specific to working with families of children with exceptionalities including the rights of families. In addition, requirements will include researching and reporting on effective practices and resources to support families and their children. Objectives and assignments will address the effects of exceptionalities on children’s learning and on family dynamics. The impact of primary language, culture, and familial backgrounds on children’s academic and social abilities, their attitudes, values, interests, and career options will be examined. Students will review techniques for advocacy and collaboration with families and others who are involved in students’ educational programs.

EDUC 351: Introduction to Language Development of the Exceptional Child
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 340. This course will include an in-depth study of the form and function of language patterns of typically developing children as compared to those patterns of children with exceptionalities. Students will use analysis of language samples as a basis for developing prescriptive interventions.

EDUC 368: Introduction to Evaluation and Assessment
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 302. This course will include an overview of varied assessment methods, procedures, and tools. Students will review administration and interpretation procedures for formal and informal assessments used in the evaluative processed for identifying education disabilities of school-age students. Psychometric principles of assessment will be presented. Emphasis will be placed on developing knowledge and skills related to assessment across domains including social, communication, academic, cognitive, and adaptive. Students will participate in application activities to include the review of case history data and collection of data to apply to the development of evaluation plans. Students will demonstrate professional dispositions related to the ethics of testing and practice using assessment data to design and execute educational programming. Roles of multidisciplinary team members will be discussed including general educators, special educators, administrators, students, and family members. Supporting the assessment needs of diverse learners to include individuals with disabilities and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds will be emphasized.

EDUC 369: Introduction to Mild/Mod Disabilities
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: EDUC 340. The physical, psychological, social, and educational characteristics of school-age children with mild/moderate disabilities will be reviewed in this course. In addition, Federal and State criteria for identification of categorical disabilities as well as supporting legal mandates will be reviewed. Students will learn strategies for differentiation of instruction, approaches for integrating these students into regular education classrooms, and methods for collaborating with other educators to identify and address the needs of students with disabilities. Course content will also address assessment procedures and practices used to identify children with disabilities and monitor their performance across academic settings. Students will complete applied activities and discussions, case analyses, and literature reviews.