SPED - Special Education

Courses numbered 500 to 799 = undergraduate/graduate. (Individual courses may be limited to undergraduate students only.) Courses numbered 800 to 999 = graduate.

SPED 506.  Introduction to the Education Profession for Special Educators   (2).

Provides students with an introduction to the education profession and situates within it the roles and responsibilities of the special educator. Students discuss the historical, philosophical, sociological, governance, organizational, legal and curricular foundations of education, including the integration of topics related to the evolution of the special education profession. Students learn how to carry out the important roles and responsibilities of the special educator, as well as gain a basic understanding of the various educational settings in which they may be employed. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): graduate standing.

SPED 556.  Introduction to Instructional Planning and Classroom Management   (2).

Provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of foundational skills related to planning instruction and supporting student behavior prior to entering the field as a special educator for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Students learn basic instructional planning techniques, accommodations and modifications, how to develop individualized educational programs, and strategies to effectively support classroom and individual student behavior. In addition, students learn how to access resources to further support the use of evidence-based and best practices within specific core content areas. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): graduate standing.

SPED 603.  Foundations of Early Childhood Unified   (2).

Candidates are provided with an introduction to working with young children (including those developing normally, those at risk due to environmental and biological issues, and those with special needs), their families, and professionals in community schools, agencies and programs. Emphasis is placed on professional development, positive dispositions, early childhood learning environments and early childhood standards of the professions. Students examine the ECU professions, characteristics of good teaching, the nature of teacher education, and basic historical and philosophical foundations of ECU education. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): admission to MEd in special education.

SPED 614.  ECU Assessment and Methods: Infants, Toddlers and Families   (3).

Provides knowledge, skills and dispositions for candidates regarding developmental principles, evaluation/assessment, and the development of services, supports and accommodations for infants/toddlers (birth through age 2) and their families. Includes competencies within both the early childhood and early childhood special education fields. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 603.

SPED 617.  ECU Assessment and Methods: Preschool   (3).

Provides knowledge, skills and dispositions for teacher candidates regarding development and learning at the preschool level (ages 3-5). Candidates learn to link theory and evidence-based practices to the preparation of the learning environment, the curriculum and instructional methods that are appropriate for all children. The course includes methods of screening and evaluation, adaptations and accommodations, and interventions to meet individual child needs, including those with exceptionalities. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 603.

SPED 703.  ECU Assessment and Methods: K-3   (3).

Provides knowledge, skills and dispositions for candidates working with families and young children from kindergarten through grade three. Covers theory, methodology, screening, evaluation, assessment and instructional practices including adaptations/modifications/assistive technology of general education curriculum/instruction for young children both with and without delays/diagnosed disabilities. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 603.

SPED 724.  Introduction to Teaching Strategies for Students with High-Incidence Disabilities   (3).

An introduction to the characteristics, assessment, educational planning and initial instructional interventions needed to ensure students with high-incidence disabilities are able to access the general education curriculum and make meaningful educational progress in school. Curriculum resources and inclusive intervention strategies for students with high-incidence disabilities are introduced with emphasis on tiered planning and implementation. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 784.

SPED 737.  Methods/Assessment: Gifted   (3).

Explores a variety of assessment instruments, both teacher-made and standardized, to determine a gifted student's cognitive functioning level and educational needs. Examines strategies and techniques for planning qualitatively differentiated curriculum to meet the academic needs of the gifted learner. WSU does not currently offer an approved Gifted program that would lead to an endorsement. This course is offered as an elective course that a candidate can utilize within a currently approved graduate-level endorsement and/or licensure program. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): admission to the graduate school.

SPED 742.  Introduction to Teaching Strategies for Students with Low Incidence Disabilities   (3).

Examines introductory assessments, curriculum and instruction related to students with severe and multiple disabilities. Includes competencies for 1) developing individual educational plans, 2) assessment for culturally responsive models of instructional planning, 3) planning and delivering research-validated individualized instruction, 4) monitoring and basing instructional decisions on performance data, 5) managing safe and conductive learning environments, and 6) strategies for working with students with moderate to severe needs in general and special education environments. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 784.

SPED 749A.  Practicum: High Incidence Learners   (3).

Students participate in practicum teaching opportunities located in a setting that includes students with high incidence learning needs. Students are placed in a setting where they gain experience teaching students at a different age and/or grade level than they have taught previously. Students work with a cooperating/supervising teacher(s), other professionals and university supervisor to plan, implement, assess and reflect on services and supports for students with high incidence learning needs. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 784, SPED 724 and practicum placement approval.

SPED 749F.  Practicum: Low Incidence Learners   (3).

Students participate in practicum teaching opportunities located in a setting that includes students with low incidence learning needs. Students are placed in a setting where they gain experience teaching students at a different age and/or grade level than they have taught previously. Students work with a cooperating/supervising teacher(s), other professionals and university supervisor to plan, implement, assess and reflect on services and supports for students with low incidence learning needs. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 784, SPED 742 and practicum placement approval.

SPED 749G.  Practicum: Gifted   (3).

Provides prospective special education teachers with participation in an educational setting for children and adolescents needing the gifted curriculum served in special education programs. Supervision is provided by a fully-qualified gifted education teacher and a university faculty member. Emphasizes research-validated teaching methods for students with gifted curriculum needs. WSU does not currently offer an approved Gifted program that would lead to an endorsement. This course is offered as an elective course that a candidate can utilize within a currently approved graduate-level endorsement and/or licensure program. Prerequisite(s): SPED 814 and SPED 737.

SPED 757A.  Integrated Seminar and Mentoring I   (1).

Provides students with a network of cohort and instructor support where they share, discuss and reflect upon their teaching practices to assist in assuming the responsibilities of their position as a special education teacher during their first semester of employment. Topics are chosen by students and the instructor that focus on cultivating emotional resiliency, as well as practices that are foundational to beginning a career as a professional educator. The course is individualized to focus on the developmental needs of students. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): graduate standing.

SPED 757B.  Integrated Seminar and Mentoring II   (1).

Provides students with a network of cohort and instructor support where they share, discuss and reflect upon their teaching practices to assist in continued professional growth during their first year as a special education teacher. Each course is individualized to focus on the developmental needs of candidates. Topics are chosen by students and the instructor that focus on cultivating emotional resiliency, as well as intermediate professional practices that are foundational to beginning a career as a professional educator. The course is individualized to focus on the developmental needs of students.   Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 757A.

SPED 757C.  Integrated Seminar and Mentoring III   (1).

Provides students with a network of cohort and instructor support where they share, discuss and reflect upon their teaching practices to assist in continued professional growth during their second year as a special education teacher. The course is individualized to focus on the developmental needs of candidates. Topics are chosen by students and the instructor that focus on cultivating emotional resiliency, professional licensure exams, as well as advanced professional practices that are foundational to beginning a career as a professional educator. The course is individualized to focus on the developmental needs of students. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 757B.

SPED 784.  Foundations of Special Education   (3).

Addresses the basic foundations of special education across exceptionality areas. A general history of special education and its relationship to general education trends (as well as the disability movement as a whole) is discussed. Students analyze important special education legislation and regulations and learn the role litigation has played in the development of identification, placement and discipline for students in special education. Students also recognize and summarize ethical issues in the provision of special education services. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): admission to MEd in special education.

SPED 796.  Family and Professional Collaboration   (2).

Assists the special educator in developing the skills to collaborate and consult with parents/family members, general educators, support personnel, paraprofessionals/teaching assistants and community agencies to facilitate the needs of children and youth with exceptionalities. Course includes diversity content.

SPED 812.  Transition Across the Life Span   (2).

Examines aspects of transition programming for individuals with exceptionalities across their life span. Addresses transitions from A) early childhood special education settings to the school environment, B) elementary to middle school, C) middle school to high school, D) one special education setting to another (e.g., self-contained classroom to resource room or general education classroom), and E) high school to postsecondary settings and independent functioning. Discusses roles of individuals with exceptional learning needs, parents, educators and community personnel. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 784.

SPED 814.  Advanced Teaching Methods for the Gifted Child   (3).

Develops strategies and techniques, including technology, for planning qualitatively-differentiated curriculum to meet the unique academic needs of the gifted learner. WSU does not currently offer an approved Gifted program that would lead to an endorsement. This course is offered as an elective course that a candidate can utilize within a currently approved graduate-level endorsement and/or licensure program. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 737. Corequisite(s): SPED 814A.

SPED 814A.  Internship/Practicum: Advanced Teaching Strategies for Gifted Students   (1).

Provides a supervised opportunity for students to implement and evaluate differentiated curriculum for gifted learners. WSU does not currently offer an approved Gifted program that would lead to an endorsement. This course is offered as an elective course that a candidate can utilize within a currently approved graduate-level endorsement and/or licensure program. Prerequisite(s): SPED 749G. Corequisite(s): SPED 814.

SPED 815.  Intensive Academic Intervention   (3).

Assists in developing knowledge and skills related to the process of intensive academic intervention, specifically for students with high incidence learning needs. This course helps prepare teachers to become competent in data-based individualization, and using knowledge of individual learner characteristics, learning environments, appropriate levels of intervention intensity, curricular standards, IEP goals, and relevant assessment data to plan and implement targeted, intensive academic interventions that are designed to meet the unique learning goals for students with high incidence learning needs. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 784, SPED 724. Corequisite(s): SPED 815A.

SPED 815A.  Internship/Practicum: High Incidence Learning Needs   (1).

Provides a supervised opportunity for students to implement and evaluate evidence-based practices with students with high-incidence disabilities. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 724. Corequisite(s): SPED 815.

SPED 818.  Positive Behavior Supports for Students with Exceptionalities   (3).

Develops knowledge and skills for conducting a functional behavior assessment along with a positive behavior support plan needed by classroom teachers to affect academic and social/emotional outcomes. Addresses connections of challenging behaviors to aspects of the learner's A) environments, B) cultural diversity, C) developmental and academic skills, and D) physiological needs along with an awareness of disability harassment, bullying and the social/emotional needs of the exceptional child. Course includes diversity content. Corequisite(s): SPED 818A.

SPED 818A.  Internship/Practicum: Positive Behavior Supports for Students with Exceptionalities   (1).

Provides a supervised opportunity for candidates to evaluate and implement positive behavioral supports for students with challenging behaviors, including functional assessment of problem behavior, design and implementation of behavior plans, and provision of ongoing positive behavior supports. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): full admission into the special education program, SPED 749A or SPED 749F or SPED 749G. Corequisite(s): SPED 818.

SPED 820.  Adv Teaching Strategies for Students with Low Incidence Disabilities   (3).

Assists students in developing strategies and techniques, including assistive technology, related to curriculum, instruction and planning of the learning environment within the functional curriculum. Students gain knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to meet the diverse cognitive, physical, social and emotional needs of students with severe and multiple disabilities. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 784 and SPED 742. Corequisite(s): SPED 820A.

SPED 820A.  Internship/Practicum: Low-Incidence Learning Needs   (1).

Provides a supervised opportunity for candidates to evaluate and implement learning experiences, including curriculum planning, environmental arrangements, instructional delivery and use of assistive technology, that develops cognitive, physical, social and emotional needs of students with severe and multiple disabilities. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 784 and SPED 742. Corequisite(s): SPED 820.

SPED 822.  Principles of Nondiscriminatroy Assessment for Students with Exceptionalities   (2).

Allows students to critique and administer standardized and informal evaluation techniques. This includes a critical evaluation of standardized tests, history of test bias, an understanding of the intelligence quotient, and each assessment's appropriateness for each specific special population (including school age individuals with exceptionalities and reading disabilities as well as young children and culturally and linguistically diverse learners). The course also gives students the opportunity to discuss and critique alternative methods of assessment and intervention techniques based on diagnostic profiles. Historically racial, gendered and social disproportionalities issues within special education are also addressed. Course includes diversity content.

SPED 847IT.  Internship/Practicum in ECU: Infant/Toddler   (3-4).

Candidates participate in practicum teaching opportunities located in an infant/toddler setting that includes young children both with and without special needs. Candidates work with a cooperating/mentor teacher(s), other professionals and a university supervisor to plan, implement and assess services and supports for young children at this level. Course includes diversity content. Pre- or corequisite(s): SPED 614.

SPED 847KG.  Internship/Practicum in ECU: K-3   (3-4).

Candidates participate in practicum teaching opportunities located in a K-3 setting that includes young children both with and without special needs. Candidates work with a cooperating/mentor teacher(s), other professionals and university supervisor to plan, implement, and assess services and supports for young children at this level. Course includes diversity content. Pre- or corequisite(s): SPED 703, SPED 818, SPED 815 or SPED 820.

SPED 847P.  Internship/Practicum in ECU: Preschool   (3-4).

Candidates participate in practicum teaching opportunities located in a preschool setting that includes young children both with and without special needs. Candidates work with a cooperating/mentor teacher(s), other professionals and a university supervisor to plan, implement and assess services and supports for young children at this level. Course includes diversity content. Pre- or corequisite(s): SPED 617.

SPED 862.  Capstone Research Project: Project Development   (2).

Each student in the Master of Education in special education degree program, with the cooperation of the capstone advisor, identifies and completes a capstone project. This project is designed to support understanding of issues in special education. The capstone presents an opportunity for students to demonstrate application of the principles, theory and content learned in their core courses. SPED 862 is a semi-independent or directed-study course wherein the student constructs the initial development of their project including, but not limited to, topic focus, collaboration with community partners, collaboration with parents, and school administrators. In this development course, the student completes their written project proposal which includes the background for the study, purpose and problem statement, research questions, review of literature, and methodology. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): all core courses for one SPED track, or instructor's consent.

SPED 863.  Capstone Research Project: Project Completion   (2).

Each student in the Master of Education in special education degree program, with the cooperation of the capstone advisor, identifies and completes a capstone project. This project is designed to support understanding of issues in special education. The capstone presents an opportunity for students to demonstrate application of the principles, theory and content learned in their core courses. SPED 863 is a semi-independent or directed-study course wherein the student completes their project initiated in SPED 862. In SPED 863, the student continues to execute the project, collect and analyze data to comprehend its meaning, craft a discussion on the implications of the project, reflect on how the project impacts their profession, and present these conclusions to a professional audience. The culminating product is the complete written report of the investigation and a formal presentation. Students are expected to be able to answer questions about their research and engage in professional dialogue about the topic during the formal presentation. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite(s): SPED 862.