Specialization Course Descriptions

The course descriptions for specializations within the Master of Education in Special Education program follow.

Specialization Courses: Early Childhood — 12 required credits

SPED 630 Development in Early Childhood  (3 credits)

This course equips educators to explore child development in various domains (i.e., motor/physical, social and emotional, language/communication, and cognitive) for young children (prenatal – primary grades) with a range of ability levels. Particular emphases will be placed on examining theories of development, and how those theories apply to young children with differing ability levels in the assessment and intervention process. (For Master’s in ECSE)

SPED 631 Introduction to Early Childhood Supports and Services  (3 credits)

This course provides information for professionals to understand the legal basis for and requirements related to providing early childhood supports and services to young children with disabilities and their families.  Topics include federal and state rules, guidelines and regulations, service delivery components and practices, current trends and issues, and professional and ethical guidelines and considerations. (For Master’s in ECSE)

SPED 632 Methods in Early Childhood SPED  (3 credits)

This course presents program models, instructional methods, and curricula in early childhood special education. Emphases are on developmentally appropriate practice, supporting transitions, methods for collaboration, and development of meaningful learning progressions for young children with disabilities. Coaching strategies to support families in implementing routine-based interventions are also explored. (For Master’s in ECSE)

SPED 633 Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood SPED  (3 credits)

This course is designed to prepare early childhood educators to use multiple methods of assessment and data-sources to guide educational decisions for young children with disabilities. Emphasis is on observing, recording, assessing, and interpreting behavior and interactions among children and families, as well as using assessments to work toward quality learning and performance. (For Master’s in ECSE)

Specialization Courses: K-12 — 9 required credits

SPED 640 Classroom and Behavior Managament  (3 credits)

This course on classroom and behavior management is based on the principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis. Emphasis is on the impact of language delays and disabilities on behavior, as well as, implementing and evaluating proactive strategies that promote learning and pro-social behavior and reduce challenging behavior. (For Master's in SPED K-12)

SPED 641 Assessment in SPED  (3 credits)

This course is designed to prepare teachers to administer, score, and interpret standardized educational instruments; use standardized assessments to make eligibility, placement, and program decisions for students with disabilities; and develop and use formative educational and adaptive behavioral assessments to make data-based instructional decisions. Students will be expected to generate an assessment report based on assessment results. (For Master's in SPED K-12)

SPED 642 Methods for Working with Students with Disabilities  (3 credits)

This course focuses on effective teaching for students with or at-risk for disabilities in general education settings, spanning grades K-12. Emphasis is placed on research-based instructional methods for effective instruction of math, reading, and other academic content areas; as well as methods for effective behavioral supports and interventions. Integration of national, state, and local curricula standards will also be addressed. (For Master's in SPED K-12)

Elective Courses — ECSE majors select two courses (6 credit hours) and K12 majors select three courses (9 credit hours) 

These courses must be completed prior to students beginning the core and required specialization classes.