Special Education (SPED)

SPED 279  Foundation and Philosophy of Inclusive Education 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): WRIT 105 or HONP 100. This course provides an overview of the historical and ideological trends that impact the education of children in inclusive settings. Students explore the historical, political, and legal foundations of inclusive education; principles of inclusive planning, consultation, and collaboration; resources and services for effective inclusion and inclusive transition programs; characteristics of high and low-incidence disabilities; and implications for students with and without disabilities. This course includes a field experience in which students engage in reflective observation of inclusive classrooms. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 367  Language-Based Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 279 or ECEL 279. This course focuses on research-based instructional practices for inclusive education. In this course, students explore approaches to reading and writing instruction for students with diverse learning needs and consolidate these into a repertoire of instructional strategies that can be used to meet the needs of students with disabilities at various stages of skill mastery. Procedures addressed in this course are applicable in inclusive as well as more restrictive settings, and address the needs of students from a broad array of cultural, linguistic, and economic backgrounds. Students explore such issues as: special education identification and why large numbers of students fail; the importance of explicit instruction for students with learning problems; lesson planning for multiple learning environments; characteristics of students with mild-to-moderate disabilities in reading, writing, and spelling; components of research-based instruction in reading, written expression,, and spelling; modifications, accommodations, and materials for teaching students with disabilities in inclusive settings; and professional standards, including New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS) and New Jersey Professional Teaching Standards. 3 hour lecture.

SPED 468  Content Area Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 367. SPED 468 is an extension of SPED 367: Inclusive Methods. The course focuses on inclusive strategies for content area instruction, as well as collaborative planning, teaching, and transition services. In this course students learn to develop instructional approaches for diverse learners. They learn specific practices for teaching math, such as focusing on big ideas, providing explicit links between math lessons and skill, and explicitly teaching both computation and problem-solving. For teaching other content areas, they learn about the strategies instruction model (SIM) and peer assisted learning which incorporate varied approaches for teaching students who struggle to read, write, and organize themselves. Students learn a variety of instructional strategies for diverse learners, drawing on various types of information including Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs). They also explore models of collaboration with other education professionals and paraprofessionals, strategies and tools for effective co-teaching, and transition planning. This course includes a fieldwork component in which students engage in reflective observation and tutoring of students with learning difficulties in inclusive classrooms. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 469  Inclusive Methods for Middle and Secondary Schools 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 367. This course enhances the ability of future educators to provide access to the curriculum for students with disabilities in middle and secondary schools. Educators learn how to apply principles of developmentally appropriate practice and curriculum design to improve the learning of students who exhibit abilities across a wide range. The emphasis is on research-based and practical techniques and strategies that can be utilized in the certification area in an inclusive setting, focusing mainly on the Strategies Intervention Model. Students explore resources for adapting content area curriculum. This course requires a field experience working in schools tutoring students who are experiencing academic or basic skills difficulties. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 488  Promoting Prosocial Behaviors in Inclusive Settings 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 279 or ECEL 279. In this course, future teachers develop knowledge of theory and skills of practice related to the development of appropriate prosocial behaviors for students with disabilities within inclusive classroom settings. This course focuses on social behavior and the developmental and environmental factors that influence its expression. Students learn how to conduct a functional analysis of behavior, promote appropriate behavior, and develop a classroom setting that fosters prosocial behaviors. They explore principles of social/emotional learning, social skills development, data collection processes, schedules of reinforcement, monitoring of progress, social problem solving, and the promotion of a positive behavior plan. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 566  Creating Curricular Access for Adolescents with Disabilities 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 586. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI) or Master of Education (MED). This course presents an overview of teaching approaches that promote access to content-area instruction for adolescents with disabilities. The course emphasizes the use of assistive technologies to promote access to communication and text, and which support the development of language and critical thinking. The use of metalinguistic and metacognitive strategies is stressed. Students develop a repertoire of instructional strategies and technologies that can be employed in inclusive classroom settings. 25 hours of field-based study required. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 567  Instructional Planning for Students with Disabilities in Inclusive Settings 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 579. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). This course is designed to provide educators with the skills necessary to meet the needs of students with disabilities in K-5 inclusive classrooms. Educators will learn how to use developmentally appropriate practice and universal design curriculum to enhance the learning of students who display competencies across a wide range. The major focus will be on practical techniques and strategies that can be used to provide quality instruction in inclusive settings. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 568  Teaching Methods for Inclusive Education 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 586. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), or Master of Education (MED). This course will enhance the ability of future educators to provide effective planning and instruction for students with disabilities in 6-12 inclusive classrooms. Educators will learn how to apply developmentally appropriate practice and curriculum design to improve the learning of students who exhibit competencies across a wide range. The emphasis will be on practical techniques and strategies that can be utilized in an inclusive setting. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 578  Evaluation and Planning for Students with Learning Problems I 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 579. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). This course presents the role of the LDT-C on the Child Study Team, the administration and interpretation of standardized and functional assessment methods for identifying learning difficulties and disabilities, training to facilitate data-based decision making, formulation of an instructional plan based on assessment data, assessment regulations in law code, and legal and ethical issues. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 579  Special Education for Students with Disabilities 3 Credits


An overview of instruction for students with special needs; characteristics of special populations, federal and state legislation, educational implications of disabling conditions, principles for instruction and planning for inclusion are presented; community resources and special issues related to the education of students with disabilities are discussed. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 581  Evaluation and Planning for Students with Learning Problems II 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 578 and department approval. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). Continuation of SPED 580 providing advanced training in the identification of and planning for students with learning problems; models for the formulation of assessment plans, administration and analysis of diagnostic batteries, special issues in evaluation, the use of evaluation data to make decisions regarding eligibility and instructional planning are presented; case study methods are used to simulate Child Study Team practice. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 583  Educating Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 367 or SPED 567 or SPED 568 (depending on the student's program). Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). In this course, students learn about characteristics, etiology/causation, and service delivery options in the education/habilitation of individuals with moderate/severe disabilities. Students explore services for these students and current issues and best practices in providing them with education and related services that best meet their unique needs. Students examine the changing role of the teacher in the coordination of ancillary personnel, implementation of empirically based educational programs, educational/behavioral assessment strategies, systematic instructional programming, and assimilation of parents into the educational process. They also explore ecological reviews of curriculum issues such as functional, chronologically age-appropriate activities; community-referenced and community-based instruction; ecological inventories; and knowledge of inclusionary/collaborative strategies for students with moderate/severe disabilities. Students conduct observations in approved schools or programs for persons with moderate/severe disabilities. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 584  Assessment in Special Education and Classroom Practice 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 579. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). This course is designed to be an introduction for pre-service teachers in the field of Special Education assessment and accountability. The course introduces students to elements of traditional assessment, including record keeping, grading, objective and essay testing, theories of validity as well as authentic, performance, and portfolio assessment. The keeping of anecdotal records, inclusion, heterogeneous groups, and accommodations are also key components of this course. 20 hours field-based study required.

SPED 585  Technology for Inclusive Classrooms 2-3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 579. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). The course is designed to provide educators with an understanding of how to use technology as a seamless part of the teaching and learning experience for students with disabilities in inclusive settings. Two main purposes for students with disabilities will be emphasized. Teachers will learn how to provide access to the curriculum for students with disabilities by using the principles of Universal Design for Learning as a framework for curriculum design. They will learn how to utilize technology to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities in order for them to attain maximum independence and participation in all environments.

SPED 586  Educational Planning for Adolescents with Disabilities 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): This course examines the principles and processes of educational planning for students with disabilities. Topics include: determining eligibility for special services; developing individualized educational programs; planning for transition from school to adult life; and community resources for adults with disabilities. The course provides an overview of disability experiences and diagnostic criteria, and emphasizes collaborative assessment and planning, self-advocacy, and self-determination for individuals with disabilities. 15 hours of field-based study required. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 587  Advanced Instructional Techniques for Students with Learning Problems 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 567 or SPED 568. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). The Learning Strategies Model for assisting students with learning problems to become independent will be used as framework; techniques for inclusion in regular educational settings, collaboration, strategies for planning instruction to meet diverse needs of students with mild disabilities, and special issues related to instruction will be presented. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 588  Positive Behavior Supports for Diverse Learners 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 579. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). This course is designed to provide future teachers with theory and practice related to the development of appropriate prosocial behaviors within inclusive classroom settings for students with disabilities. This course will focus on behavior and the developmental and environmental factors that influence its expression. Emphasis will be placed on functional analysis of behavior, how to promote appropriate behavior, and how to develop a classroom setting that fosters prosocial behaviors. Principles of social/emotional learning, social skills development as well as data collection, schedules of reinforcement monitoring progress, social problem solving, and promotion of positive behavior plans will be explored.

SPED 589  Research in Learning Disabilities 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 587 and permission of graduate advisor. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). Significant problems in the field of learning disabilities are investigated, and published research projects evaluated. Critical analysis and experimental design are emphasized. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 590  Practicum: Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 578, SPED 587, Departmental approval. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). Supervised practice of the Child Study Team process in assessment and planning; administration of evaluation procedures and analysis of results; decision-making regarding eligibility and instructional planning, consultation and collaboration as a member of a Child Study Team will be emphasized. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 591  Teaching Organization and Study Skills for the Inclusive Classroom 2-3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 469, SPED 568 or SPED 587. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). In this course, future and practicing teachers who work with students with disabilities in middle and secondary school learn how to enable those students to become more effective learners so they can have greater access to the general education curriculum. Increased inclusion has led to higher expectations for students with disabilities and the need to meet the more rigorous demands of the general education classroom. This requires study and organization skills, which students with disabilities often lack as a result of the impact of their disability. In this course, teachers become familiar with research-based study and organization strategies as well as effective instructional methods for systematic and explicit instruction to teach these strategies. Through these strategies, they can help students compensate for their disability characteristics and become more independent, engaged learners. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 594  Independent Study 1-3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): Departmental approval. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). Students select an area of Special Education and, with advisement, study the literature in the field, observe related programs at special schools and centers and write reports on findings. Regular conferences with instructor for guidance and evaluation. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6.0 credits.

SPED 595  Medical and Physical Bases of Disabilities 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). Critical dimensions of the neurological and biological growth in the context of developmental disabilities are discussed. The relevance of the pediatric and neurological examinations for understanding disabilities is provided. The medical treatment of disabilities is presented. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 596  Advanced Practicum: Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 590 and Departmental approval. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). Continuation of SPED 590; students will enroll in SPED 596 to fulfill the 150 hour time requirement and the meeting of competency standards to practice as a Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant begun in SPED 590. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 597  Practicum and Seminar in Teaching Students with Disabilities 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 566, SPED 584, SPED 585, SPED 588, and permission of graduate advisor. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). This course provides students with direct experience in teaching children and adolescents with special education needs in a controlled internship program. Students learn to analyze and carry out individualized education programs developed by child study teams that will help children and adolescents with learning difficulties be successful in regular and special education settings. The emphasis is on instruction of children and adolescents with mild to moderate disabilities. In addition to 90 hours of direct instruction of children and adolescents with special needs in an approved placement, each practicum student must participate in class seminars, conferences and planning sessions.

SPED 668  Consultation Methods in Psychoeducational Settings 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 587. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). This course is designed to provide students with theory and practice about the consultation process. The course will identify a collaborative, problem-solving model of consultation in psychoeducational settings and define the intrapersonal, interpersonal and systemic factors associated with successful consultation. Students will locate consultation cases and function under direct supervision and monitoring. Cross listed with Psychology, PSYC 668. 3 hours lecture, 1 hour other.

SPED 680  Selected Topics in Special Education 1-3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). Emphasis is on current issues in special education, with the focus on practices to foster inclusion. Topics will vary in accordance with need, concerns, or requests of school districts, teachers, LDT-Cs, or professional organizations desiring additional study in a particular area of special education. Current problems, concerns, research, methods of instruction and assessment, and issues are given priority. Credits are dependent upon number of hours, workshops and/or seminars that are appropriate to the topic. May be repeated twice for a maximum of six semester hours as long as the topic is different.

SPED 690  Action Research in Inclusive Settings 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): SPED 587. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). This course represents a capstone course for graduate students in the process of theory, conceptualization, research methods, operationalization, and analysis in the completion of an action research project. This course will link all of the practical aspects of conducting action research with the scholarly tools that support the cycle of reflective practice, thereby showing prospective and practicing teachers how to make action research a natural part of their teaching and to utilize action research to enhance inclusive education for students with disabilities. The course will help define action research and clarify its nature, providing a clear description of the relationship between qualitative and quantitative research. Students will then be offered step-by-step procedures for planning, implementing, and evaluating the kind of research projects that help pre-service teachers use their own understanding and expertise to work systematically through finding a solution to the problem they are investigating. Students will make an oral presentation of their project results through a departmentally approved review process or an approved graduate symposium. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 691  Issues, Policies and Trends in Inclusive Education 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): Completion of 12 Graduate credits in the program. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). The culminating experience for the BA/MAT Dual Certification programs, this course focuses on policies, issues, and trends related to the education of students in inclusive settings. Relevant sociological and cultural persepectives focused on the social construction of disability are examined as well as their implications for the schools. Students synthesize, analyze, andevaluate issues of relevance to inclusive education that will impact their professional careers as teachers in inclusive environments and the future of inclusive education. Students also conduct an empirical research project on inclusion. 3 hours lecture.

SPED 692  Culminating Project Extension 1 Credit


Prerequisite(s): SPED 690. Students must be enrolled in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Instructional Teaching Certificate (CRI), Educational Services Certificate (CRE) or Master of Education (MED). Continuation of culminating project. Students who do not complete their culminating project in SPED 690 will register for this class and work with a faculty mentor until the project is completed. Registration for this class is required each semester until the project is completed.