Use Your Passion for Teaching to Help Learners with Diverse Abilities

The College of Saint Mary special education major for kindergarten through grade six may be completed in conjunction with a dual major in either elementary education or a stand-alone degree in secondary education. We also offer an early child inclusive endorsement.

With your special education major from College of Saint Mary you may teach children and youth who are verified as having specific learning disabilities, speech language impairments (language verification only), behavior disorders, orthopedic impairments, autism, other health ailments and traumatic brain injury. You may also teach verified children and youth who are placed in multi-categorical programs.

The special education major supports our inclusive strategies and an endorsement in special education can be a beneficial addition to a bachelor degree in early childhood education, elementary education or secondary education or in our master of arts in teaching program. 

Required Courses in Your Major

Special Education/Elementary Education

You must fulfill all requirements in the major and all general education requirements to complete your degree program. Components listed here include only courses required in the major/emphasis/endorsement areas.

Introduction to Education

You will survey the historical development of education and analyze the role of personnel and career opportunities, problem areas and contemporary issues with an emphasis on the cultural diversity of American schools today.

Child Psychology

In this course, you will study physical, cognitive, social and emotional development from conception through adolescence.

Education Psychology and Measurement

You will study teaching/learning processes and learn the nature of educational psychology and applications of major learning theories.

Assessment of Learners

You will be introduced to key concepts and issues in classroom assessment and large-scale, standardized educational assessment.

Children’s Literature

You will interact with a variety of children’s literature representative of ethnic and cultural diversity, emphasizing critical appraisal of significant authors and illustrators, quality of writing and appropriateness of topic to age and/or experience level.

Teaching Reading and Language Arts — Elementary and Middle

You will study the theoretical background and identify Nebraska and National Standards in reading and Language Arts, with an emphasis on the organization of programs, effective teaching methods and varied instructional materials for students in elementary and middle school literacy settings.

Teaching Natural and Social Sciences — Elementary and Middle

You will learn about methodology and appropriate materials to effectively present social science in elementary and middle school setting, including integrating technology into instruction of content and pedagogy.

Teaching Mathematics — Elementary and Middle

You will learn current trends and strategies in teaching elementary and middle level math, including content, methodology and appropriate materials, including integrating technology into instruction of content and pedagogy.

Adapted Physical Education

You will study the special physical activity and exercise needs, interests and problems of the exceptional learner, with considerable emphasis on the development of methods and competencies in modifying physical activities. This course will enhance the skills of the teacher to orchestrate the learning environment for students with special needs.

Integrating Fine Arts Instruction into the Classroom

You will learn practical ways to integrate fine arts — including art, music, drama and dance — into your classroom curriculum. You will examine basic concepts and instructional techniques of each area with an emphasis of infusion into the academic curriculum.

Human Relations in a Multicultural Society

You will identify characteristics of various ethnic groups that relate to learning, working and living and develop strategies for assisting people in living jointly in our pluralistic society.

History, Philosophy and Trends in Education

You will compare philosophical foundations of historical and contemporary education and consider current issues using an informed discussion-centered approach. You will also assess political and social trends, laws, proper conduct and penalties for teachers, and shifts and technological changes related to contemporary and future educational planning.

Diagnosis and Evaluation of Reading

You will learn assessment procedures and effective instructional and diagnostic techniques in reading. You will participate in formal and informal testing including achievement, criterion references, observational and portfolio strategies. You will implement your knowledge with a directed reading practicum in a partner school.

Intro to Special Education

You will survey various areas of exceptionality — high ability learners, mental disability, behaviorally impaired, visually impaired, hearing impaired, learning disabled, orthopedically impaired, speech language impaired, autistic, Asperger’s, traumatic brain injury, multiple and severely handicapped, physically disabled and health impaired. You will discuss the history, philosophy and future trends of special education as they are relevant to educational implications.

Adaptive Technology in the Classroom

You will learn strategies for integrating instructional technology in curriculum planning and implementation. After receiving instruction in their use, you'll plan learning activities that include instructional media, the Internet, web page construction, production and organizational software and multimedia programs in classrooms. In addition to computers, you will use video equipment, digital cameras and scanners in preparing your lessons. We will also address methods for managing classrooms with varying levels of equipment.

Learners with Mildly-Moderately Handicapping Conditions

You will examine learning and analyze strategies used in I.E.P.s of mildly and moderately mentally handicapped, specifically learning disabled, behaviorally impaired, orthopedically impaired, autistic, other health impairments, speech language impaired and traumatic brain injured, with an emphasis on assisting learners in making healthy transitions between special education and regular classrooms. You will also learn about recent legislation and its impact on the regular classroom.

Assessment Techniques for Diverse Learners

You will examine techniques and methods of administering formal and informal assessments and analyze learning tasks in visual, auditory, motor, language and behavioral areas. You will examine and practice tying individualized education programs/individualized education service program (I.E.P/I.E.S.P.) process to assessment and will write appropriate instructional strategies, goals and materials to implement I.E.P./I.E.S.P. objectives or gifted program objectives based on analysis of learning tasks and instructional needs.

Instructional Strategies — Inclusive Practices

In this course, you will examine and practice tying I.E.P./I.F.S.P. process to instruction through modification of curricula. You will practice designing curricula for various areas of exceptionality for special needs populations.

Guidance and Classroom Management

You will learn techniques, models and psychological theories related to managing individual and small and large group learning activities including practical methods that enhance self-control and provide healthy classroom environments. You will learn the common behavior problems for pre-K through grade 12 students and exceptional children, along with assessment techniques.

Legal and Ethical Issues in Special Education

You will examine processes and use skills necessary to identify and verify special needs, the I.E.P./I.E.S.P process, plan for transitions and organize and maintain student special education records. You will become familiar with state and local resources for improving and strengthening educational programs for special populations with an emphasis on national, state and local laws, policies and procedures affecting special populations.

Critical Issues in Special Education

You will observe and implement effective approaches for remediation through supervised practicum experience in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms or inclusive settings. You will investigate, discuss and present critical issues, including current research and appropriate remediation techniques.

Student Teaching — Primary or Intermediate/Middle

Supervised teaching experience in a mainstream classroom under the direction of a college faculty member and a classroom teacher.

Student Teaching — Primary or Intermediate/Middle

Supervised teaching experience in a special education classroom under the direction of a college faculty member and a classroom teacher.

Student Teaching Seminar

This course will give you the opportunity to reflect on student teaching experiences, discuss specific topics of interest, share experiences and receive professional assistance and feedback.

Research Seminar

In this course, you will evaluate educational research and analyze procedures, logic and strategies implemented by researchers. You will complete a research project demonstrating effective research designs.

 

7-12 Special Education

You must fulfill all requirements in the major and all general education requirements to complete your degree program. Components listed here include only courses required in the major/emphasis/endorsement areas.

Introduction to Education

You will survey the historical development of education and analyze the role of personnel and career opportunities, problem areas and contemporary issues with an emphasis on the cultural diversity of American schools today.

Adolescent Psychology

You will develop a meaningful workable concept regarding the adolescent period by studying the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of the normal adolescent from puberty to young adulthood.

Education Psychology and Measurement

You will study teaching/learning processes and learn the nature of educational psychology and applications of major learning theories.

Assessment of Learners

You will be introduced to key concepts and issues in classroom assessment and large-scale, standardized educational assessment.

Teaching Reading — Middle and Secondary School

You will gain an understanding of developmental processes of reading and study techniques in middle grades and secondary education and identify Nebraska and National Standards and assessment techniques used in middle and secondary settings.

Teaching Middle School and Secondary Students

You will address the intellectual, physical, emotional and social needs of the changing early and later adolescent learners. You will develop skills and understandings that result the creation of effective learning environments for adolescent students. You will explore teaching methods, learning styles, motivation, teaming and classroom management, planning and presenting techniques and student evaluation.

Abnormal Psychology

In this class, you will consider the etiology and dynamics of abnormal behavior in relation to normal behavior. Emphasis is placed upon the principles of learning, motivation, perception and quantitative classification as related to deviant behavior.

Intro to Special Education

You will survey various areas of exceptionality — high ability learners, mental disability, behaviorally impaired, visually impaired, hearing impaired, learning disabled, orthopedically impaired, speech language impairments, autistic, Asperger’s, traumatic brain injury, multiple and severely handicapped, physically disabled and health impaired. You will discuss the history, philosophy and future trends of special education as they are relevant to educational implications.

Adaptive Technology in the Classroom

You will learn strategies for integrating instructional technology in curriculum planning and implementation. After receiving instruction in their use, you'll plan learning activities that include instructional media, the Internet, web page construction, production and organizational software and multimedia programs in classrooms. In addition to computers, you will use video equipment, digital cameras and scanners in preparing your lessons. We will also address methods for managing classrooms with varying levels of equipment.

Learners with Mildly-Moderately Handicapping Conditions

You will examine learning and analyze strategies used in I.E.P.s of mildly and moderately mentally handicapped, specifically learning disabled, behaviorally impaired, orthopedically impaired, autistic, other health impairments, speech language impaired and traumatic brain injured, with an emphasis on assisting learners in making healthy transitions between special education and regular classrooms. You will also learn about recent legislation and its impact on the regular classroom.

Assessment Techniques for Diverse Learners

You will examine techniques and methods of administering formal and informal assessments and analyze learning tasks in visual, auditory, motor, language and behavioral areas. You will examine and practice tying individualized education programs/individualized education service program (I.E.P/I.E.S.P.) process to assessment and will write appropriate instructional strategies, goals and materials to implement I.E.P./I.E.S.P. objectives or gifted program objectives based on analysis of learning tasks and instructional needs.

Instructional Strategies — Inclusive Practices

In this course, you will examine and practice tying I.E.P./I.F.S.P process to instruction through modification of curricula. You will practice designing curricula for various areas of exceptionality for special needs populations.

Guidance and Classroom Management

You will learn techniques, models and psychological theories related to managing individual and small and large group learning activities including practical methods that enhance self-control and provide healthy classroom environments. You will learn the common behavior problems for pre-K through grade 12 students and exceptional children, along with assessment techniques.

Legal and Ethical Issues in Special Education

You will examine processes and use skills necessary to identify and verify special needs, the I.E.P./I.E.S.P. process, plan for transitions and organize and maintain student special education records. You will become familiar with state and local resources for improving and strengthening educational programs for special populations with an emphasis on national, state and local laws, policies and procedures affecting special populations.

Critical Issues in Special Education

You will observe and implement effective approaches for remediation through supervised practicum experience in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms or inclusive settings. You will investigate, discuss and present critical issues, including current research and appropriate remediation techniques.

Diagnosis and Evaluation of Reading

You will learn assessment procedures and effective instructional and diagnostic techniques in reading. You will participate in formal and informal testing including achievement, criterion references, observational and portfolio strategies. You will implement your knowledge with a directed reading practicum in a partner school.

Transition and Life Skills

In this course, you will engage in extensive study in preparing students with disabilities to make transitions throughout their educational experience through adulthood. You will study strategies that enable you to prepare students and work with families to provide successful transitions throughout the educational experience, including postsecondary training, employment and independent living, which addresses an understanding of long-term planning, career development, life skills, community experiences and resources, self-advocacy and self-determination, guardianship and legal considerations.

Critical Issues II in Secondary Alternative Programs

You will observe and implement effective approaches for remediation through supervised practicum experiences in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms or inclusive settings, along with investigating, discussing and presenting information about critical issues. Issue might include the roles of the special education teacher, program design, NCLB, assessment, legal issues, IDEA, school reform, transition issues, inclusion, placement controversies, early intervention, family issues, research-based interventions, discrimination based on disability, differentiated grading policies, restraint and seclusion, bullying or outcomes-based education.

Student Teaching — Secondary

Supervised teaching experience in a special education classroom under the direction of a college faculty member and a classroom teacher.

Student Teaching Seminar

This course will give you the opportunity to reflect on student teaching experiences, discuss specific topics of interest, share experiences and receive professional assistance and feedback.

Research Seminar

In this course, you will evaluate educational research and analyze procedures, logic and strategies implemented by researchers. You will complete a research project demonstrating effective research designs.

 

Requirements for Graduation with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education from College of Saint Mary 

You must complete 128 credit hours for Special Education K-6 emphasis:

  • 45 credit hours in special education major courses
  • 44 credit hours in core curriculum requirements
  • 43 credit hours in elementary education major courses
  • 3 credit hours in supporting courses

You must complete 128 credit hours for the Special Education 7-12 emphasis:

  • 45 credit hours in special education major courses
  • 41 credit hours in core curriculum requirements
  • 29 credit hours in secondary education minor courses
  • 7 credit hours in electives
  • 6 credit hours in supporting courses

The Assurance of Accreditation

The assurance of regional accreditation means that our degrees have been evaluated for their outcomes — including how well they prepare you to meet the needs of your employers, yourself and our global society. College of Saint Mary is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The University is approved to offer work leading to teacher certification in elementary and secondary education by the Nebraska Department of Education, 888-285-2556.

Requirements for Admission to College of Saint Mary Undergraduate Education Program

  • High school transcript with GPA and class rank  (unofficial transcripts may be reviewed for admissions purposes, but official transcripts are required before you start classes)
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0
  • ACT score of 18 or higher or SAT score of 860 – 890 (verbal + math) or higher
  • Personal interview (if applicable)
  • Transcripts from any post high school institutions for transfer students (students who have earned 12 or more credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0 from other institutions qualify as transfers)
  • $30 application fee

 

Before or during your first semester of sophomore year, you will take the Core Academic Skills for Educators Test that is required for admission into the teacher education program. Application for formal admission must be submitted to the Teacher Education Committee by March 1 of your sophomore year (or the spring semester after you transfer). During that time, you will be evaluated and considered for formal acceptance into the teacher education program. 

Core Academic Skills for Educators test scores, academic performance, evidence of professional dispositions for successful teaching, practicum evaluations, interview, and command of oral and written language are factors considered in determining your acceptance into the teacher education program. You must provide evidence of academic competence and professional development by having attained a cumulative GPA of 2.65 in course work, providing an active digital portfolio of work that demonstrates professional and scholarly growth, having participated in the student professional organization and completing an interview with the Teacher Education Committee. 

You must submit an official background check during the first term you are enrolled in a practicum course. A second background check must be completed within 90 days of the beginning of your student teaching semester. Evaluation procedures result in acceptance, provisional status, or nonacceptance. Acceptance is granted to students who meet all of the requirements. Provisional status or non-acceptance is granted at the discretion of the committee.

Academic Description

Use Your Passion for Teaching to Help Learners with Diverse Abilities

The College of Saint Mary special education major for kindergarten through grade six may be completed in conjunction with a dual major in either elementary education or a stand-alone degree in secondary education. We also offer an early child inclusive endorsement.

With your special education major from College of Saint Mary you may teach children and youth who are verified as having specific learning disabilities, speech language impairments (language verification only), behavior disorders, orthopedic impairments, autism, other health ailments and traumatic brain injury. You may also teach verified children and youth who are placed in multi-categorical programs.

The special education major supports our inclusive strategies and an endorsement in special education can be a beneficial addition to a bachelor degree in early childhood education, elementary education or secondary education or in our master of arts in teaching program. 

Accreditation

The Assurance of Accreditation

The assurance of regional accreditation means that our degrees have been evaluated for their outcomes — including how well they prepare you to meet the needs of your employers, yourself and our global society. College of Saint Mary is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The University is approved to offer work leading to teacher certification in elementary and secondary education by the Nebraska Department of Education, 888-285-2556.

Admissions Requirements

Requirements for Admission to College of Saint Mary Undergraduate Education Program

  • High school transcript with GPA and class rank  (unofficial transcripts may be reviewed for admissions purposes, but official transcripts are required before you start classes)
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0
  • ACT score of 18 or higher or SAT score of 860 – 890 (verbal + math) or higher
  • Personal interview (if applicable)
  • Transcripts from any post high school institutions for transfer students (students who have earned 12 or more credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0 from other institutions qualify as transfers)
  • $30 application fee

 

Before or during your first semester of sophomore year, you will take the Core Academic Skills for Educators Test that is required for admission into the teacher education program. Application for formal admission must be submitted to the Teacher Education Committee by March 1 of your sophomore year (or the spring semester after you transfer). During that time, you will be evaluated and considered for formal acceptance into the teacher education program. 

Core Academic Skills for Educators test scores, academic performance, evidence of professional dispositions for successful teaching, practicum evaluations, interview, and command of oral and written language are factors considered in determining your acceptance into the teacher education program. You must provide evidence of academic competence and professional development by having attained a cumulative GPA of 2.65 in course work, providing an active digital portfolio of work that demonstrates professional and scholarly growth, having participated in the student professional organization and completing an interview with the Teacher Education Committee. 

You must submit an official background check during the first term you are enrolled in a practicum course. A second background check must be completed within 90 days of the beginning of your student teaching semester. Evaluation procedures result in acceptance, provisional status, or nonacceptance. Acceptance is granted to students who meet all of the requirements. Provisional status or non-acceptance is granted at the discretion of the committee.

Curriculum

Required Courses in Your Major

Special Education/Elementary Education

You must fulfill all requirements in the major and all general education requirements to complete your degree program. Components listed here include only courses required in the major/emphasis/endorsement areas.

Introduction to Education

You will survey the historical development of education and analyze the role of personnel and career opportunities, problem areas and contemporary issues with an emphasis on the cultural diversity of American schools today.

Child Psychology

In this course, you will study physical, cognitive, social and emotional development from conception through adolescence.

Education Psychology and Measurement

You will study teaching/learning processes and learn the nature of educational psychology and applications of major learning theories.

Assessment of Learners

You will be introduced to key concepts and issues in classroom assessment and large-scale, standardized educational assessment.

Children’s Literature

You will interact with a variety of children’s literature representative of ethnic and cultural diversity, emphasizing critical appraisal of significant authors and illustrators, quality of writing and appropriateness of topic to age and/or experience level.

Teaching Reading and Language Arts — Elementary and Middle

You will study the theoretical background and identify Nebraska and National Standards in reading and Language Arts, with an emphasis on the organization of programs, effective teaching methods and varied instructional materials for students in elementary and middle school literacy settings.

Teaching Natural and Social Sciences — Elementary and Middle

You will learn about methodology and appropriate materials to effectively present social science in elementary and middle school setting, including integrating technology into instruction of content and pedagogy.

Teaching Mathematics — Elementary and Middle

You will learn current trends and strategies in teaching elementary and middle level math, including content, methodology and appropriate materials, including integrating technology into instruction of content and pedagogy.

Adapted Physical Education

You will study the special physical activity and exercise needs, interests and problems of the exceptional learner, with considerable emphasis on the development of methods and competencies in modifying physical activities. This course will enhance the skills of the teacher to orchestrate the learning environment for students with special needs.

Integrating Fine Arts Instruction into the Classroom

You will learn practical ways to integrate fine arts — including art, music, drama and dance — into your classroom curriculum. You will examine basic concepts and instructional techniques of each area with an emphasis of infusion into the academic curriculum.

Human Relations in a Multicultural Society

You will identify characteristics of various ethnic groups that relate to learning, working and living and develop strategies for assisting people in living jointly in our pluralistic society.

History, Philosophy and Trends in Education

You will compare philosophical foundations of historical and contemporary education and consider current issues using an informed discussion-centered approach. You will also assess political and social trends, laws, proper conduct and penalties for teachers, and shifts and technological changes related to contemporary and future educational planning.

Diagnosis and Evaluation of Reading

You will learn assessment procedures and effective instructional and diagnostic techniques in reading. You will participate in formal and informal testing including achievement, criterion references, observational and portfolio strategies. You will implement your knowledge with a directed reading practicum in a partner school.

Intro to Special Education

You will survey various areas of exceptionality — high ability learners, mental disability, behaviorally impaired, visually impaired, hearing impaired, learning disabled, orthopedically impaired, speech language impaired, autistic, Asperger’s, traumatic brain injury, multiple and severely handicapped, physically disabled and health impaired. You will discuss the history, philosophy and future trends of special education as they are relevant to educational implications.

Adaptive Technology in the Classroom

You will learn strategies for integrating instructional technology in curriculum planning and implementation. After receiving instruction in their use, you'll plan learning activities that include instructional media, the Internet, web page construction, production and organizational software and multimedia programs in classrooms. In addition to computers, you will use video equipment, digital cameras and scanners in preparing your lessons. We will also address methods for managing classrooms with varying levels of equipment.

Learners with Mildly-Moderately Handicapping Conditions

You will examine learning and analyze strategies used in I.E.P.s of mildly and moderately mentally handicapped, specifically learning disabled, behaviorally impaired, orthopedically impaired, autistic, other health impairments, speech language impaired and traumatic brain injured, with an emphasis on assisting learners in making healthy transitions between special education and regular classrooms. You will also learn about recent legislation and its impact on the regular classroom.

Assessment Techniques for Diverse Learners

You will examine techniques and methods of administering formal and informal assessments and analyze learning tasks in visual, auditory, motor, language and behavioral areas. You will examine and practice tying individualized education programs/individualized education service program (I.E.P/I.E.S.P.) process to assessment and will write appropriate instructional strategies, goals and materials to implement I.E.P./I.E.S.P. objectives or gifted program objectives based on analysis of learning tasks and instructional needs.

Instructional Strategies — Inclusive Practices

In this course, you will examine and practice tying I.E.P./I.F.S.P. process to instruction through modification of curricula. You will practice designing curricula for various areas of exceptionality for special needs populations.

Guidance and Classroom Management

You will learn techniques, models and psychological theories related to managing individual and small and large group learning activities including practical methods that enhance self-control and provide healthy classroom environments. You will learn the common behavior problems for pre-K through grade 12 students and exceptional children, along with assessment techniques.

Legal and Ethical Issues in Special Education

You will examine processes and use skills necessary to identify and verify special needs, the I.E.P./I.E.S.P process, plan for transitions and organize and maintain student special education records. You will become familiar with state and local resources for improving and strengthening educational programs for special populations with an emphasis on national, state and local laws, policies and procedures affecting special populations.

Critical Issues in Special Education

You will observe and implement effective approaches for remediation through supervised practicum experience in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms or inclusive settings. You will investigate, discuss and present critical issues, including current research and appropriate remediation techniques.

Student Teaching — Primary or Intermediate/Middle

Supervised teaching experience in a mainstream classroom under the direction of a college faculty member and a classroom teacher.

Student Teaching — Primary or Intermediate/Middle

Supervised teaching experience in a special education classroom under the direction of a college faculty member and a classroom teacher.

Student Teaching Seminar

This course will give you the opportunity to reflect on student teaching experiences, discuss specific topics of interest, share experiences and receive professional assistance and feedback.

Research Seminar

In this course, you will evaluate educational research and analyze procedures, logic and strategies implemented by researchers. You will complete a research project demonstrating effective research designs.

 

7-12 Special Education

You must fulfill all requirements in the major and all general education requirements to complete your degree program. Components listed here include only courses required in the major/emphasis/endorsement areas.

Introduction to Education

You will survey the historical development of education and analyze the role of personnel and career opportunities, problem areas and contemporary issues with an emphasis on the cultural diversity of American schools today.

Adolescent Psychology

You will develop a meaningful workable concept regarding the adolescent period by studying the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of the normal adolescent from puberty to young adulthood.

Education Psychology and Measurement

You will study teaching/learning processes and learn the nature of educational psychology and applications of major learning theories.

Assessment of Learners

You will be introduced to key concepts and issues in classroom assessment and large-scale, standardized educational assessment.

Teaching Reading — Middle and Secondary School

You will gain an understanding of developmental processes of reading and study techniques in middle grades and secondary education and identify Nebraska and National Standards and assessment techniques used in middle and secondary settings.

Teaching Middle School and Secondary Students

You will address the intellectual, physical, emotional and social needs of the changing early and later adolescent learners. You will develop skills and understandings that result the creation of effective learning environments for adolescent students. You will explore teaching methods, learning styles, motivation, teaming and classroom management, planning and presenting techniques and student evaluation.

Abnormal Psychology

In this class, you will consider the etiology and dynamics of abnormal behavior in relation to normal behavior. Emphasis is placed upon the principles of learning, motivation, perception and quantitative classification as related to deviant behavior.

Intro to Special Education

You will survey various areas of exceptionality — high ability learners, mental disability, behaviorally impaired, visually impaired, hearing impaired, learning disabled, orthopedically impaired, speech language impairments, autistic, Asperger’s, traumatic brain injury, multiple and severely handicapped, physically disabled and health impaired. You will discuss the history, philosophy and future trends of special education as they are relevant to educational implications.

Adaptive Technology in the Classroom

You will learn strategies for integrating instructional technology in curriculum planning and implementation. After receiving instruction in their use, you'll plan learning activities that include instructional media, the Internet, web page construction, production and organizational software and multimedia programs in classrooms. In addition to computers, you will use video equipment, digital cameras and scanners in preparing your lessons. We will also address methods for managing classrooms with varying levels of equipment.

Learners with Mildly-Moderately Handicapping Conditions

You will examine learning and analyze strategies used in I.E.P.s of mildly and moderately mentally handicapped, specifically learning disabled, behaviorally impaired, orthopedically impaired, autistic, other health impairments, speech language impaired and traumatic brain injured, with an emphasis on assisting learners in making healthy transitions between special education and regular classrooms. You will also learn about recent legislation and its impact on the regular classroom.

Assessment Techniques for Diverse Learners

You will examine techniques and methods of administering formal and informal assessments and analyze learning tasks in visual, auditory, motor, language and behavioral areas. You will examine and practice tying individualized education programs/individualized education service program (I.E.P/I.E.S.P.) process to assessment and will write appropriate instructional strategies, goals and materials to implement I.E.P./I.E.S.P. objectives or gifted program objectives based on analysis of learning tasks and instructional needs.

Instructional Strategies — Inclusive Practices

In this course, you will examine and practice tying I.E.P./I.F.S.P process to instruction through modification of curricula. You will practice designing curricula for various areas of exceptionality for special needs populations.

Guidance and Classroom Management

You will learn techniques, models and psychological theories related to managing individual and small and large group learning activities including practical methods that enhance self-control and provide healthy classroom environments. You will learn the common behavior problems for pre-K through grade 12 students and exceptional children, along with assessment techniques.

Legal and Ethical Issues in Special Education

You will examine processes and use skills necessary to identify and verify special needs, the I.E.P./I.E.S.P. process, plan for transitions and organize and maintain student special education records. You will become familiar with state and local resources for improving and strengthening educational programs for special populations with an emphasis on national, state and local laws, policies and procedures affecting special populations.

Critical Issues in Special Education

You will observe and implement effective approaches for remediation through supervised practicum experience in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms or inclusive settings. You will investigate, discuss and present critical issues, including current research and appropriate remediation techniques.

Diagnosis and Evaluation of Reading

You will learn assessment procedures and effective instructional and diagnostic techniques in reading. You will participate in formal and informal testing including achievement, criterion references, observational and portfolio strategies. You will implement your knowledge with a directed reading practicum in a partner school.

Transition and Life Skills

In this course, you will engage in extensive study in preparing students with disabilities to make transitions throughout their educational experience through adulthood. You will study strategies that enable you to prepare students and work with families to provide successful transitions throughout the educational experience, including postsecondary training, employment and independent living, which addresses an understanding of long-term planning, career development, life skills, community experiences and resources, self-advocacy and self-determination, guardianship and legal considerations.

Critical Issues II in Secondary Alternative Programs

You will observe and implement effective approaches for remediation through supervised practicum experiences in self-contained classrooms, resource rooms or inclusive settings, along with investigating, discussing and presenting information about critical issues. Issue might include the roles of the special education teacher, program design, NCLB, assessment, legal issues, IDEA, school reform, transition issues, inclusion, placement controversies, early intervention, family issues, research-based interventions, discrimination based on disability, differentiated grading policies, restraint and seclusion, bullying or outcomes-based education.

Student Teaching — Secondary

Supervised teaching experience in a special education classroom under the direction of a college faculty member and a classroom teacher.

Student Teaching Seminar

This course will give you the opportunity to reflect on student teaching experiences, discuss specific topics of interest, share experiences and receive professional assistance and feedback.

Research Seminar

In this course, you will evaluate educational research and analyze procedures, logic and strategies implemented by researchers. You will complete a research project demonstrating effective research designs.

 

Degree Requirements

Requirements for Graduation with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education from College of Saint Mary 

You must complete 128 credit hours for Special Education K-6 emphasis:

  • 45 credit hours in special education major courses
  • 44 credit hours in core curriculum requirements
  • 43 credit hours in elementary education major courses
  • 3 credit hours in supporting courses

You must complete 128 credit hours for the Special Education 7-12 emphasis:

  • 45 credit hours in special education major courses
  • 41 credit hours in core curriculum requirements
  • 29 credit hours in secondary education minor courses
  • 7 credit hours in electives
  • 6 credit hours in supporting courses