Special Education, M.Ed.

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College of Education

Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation / Stroud Hall

570-422-3558

www.esu.edu/gradsped

Graduate Faculty

Graduate Coordinator:

Domenico Cavaiuolo, Ph.D., dcavaiuolo@po-box.esu.edu

Professors:

Teri Burcroff, Ph.D., BCBA, tburcroff@po-box.esu.edu

Joyce Burgener, Ph.D., jburgener@po-box.esu.edu

Diane Cavanagh, Ed.D, cavanagh@po-box.esu.edu

Caroline DiPipi-Hoy, Ph.D., cdippi-hoy@po-box.esu.edu

Heather Garrison, Ph.D., hgarrison@po-box.esu.edu

Gina Scala, Ed.D., chair, gscala@po-box.esu.edu

Daniel Steere, Ph.D., dsteere@po-box.esu.edu

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services is to provide every student with the best preparation for meeting the needs of a diverse population of individuals and their families.

National Accreditation

The M.Ed. in Special Education is accredited by the National Commission for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Master of Education in Special Education

  • 30 Credits – Thesis Option

    36 Credits – Non-Thesis Option

    Purpose of Degree

    The M.Ed. in Special Education is designed for the candidate who holds certification in Special Education and is seeking to enhance and improve upon their professional practice.

    Program of Study

    This program of study requires a core of M.Ed. course requirements (6 credits), and a core of Major course requirements (9 credits), five Major course electives (15 credits), and two Program electives (6 credits). This program can be combined with the Supervisory certification, the Applied Behavior Analyst certification, or an individually devised program designed with assistance from an academic adviser. The individually designed program takes into account the work experience and professional goals of the candidate to tailor the course work to the needs of the student.

    Thesis option

    M.Ed. Requirements

    6 credits

    ELED 570

    Introduction to Research

    Select one of the following four:

    PSED 504

    Philosophy of Education

    PSED 509

    History of Education

    PSED 510

    The Teacher and the School Community

    PSED 511

    Educational Sociology

    Major Requirements

    18 credits

    SPED 551

    Inclusionary Practices

    SPED 572

    Thesis I

    SPED 574

    Applied Behavior Analysis

    SPED 576

    Research Problems in Special Education

    SPED 582

    Seminar in Current Trends in Special Education

    and

    SPED ___

    Elective

    OR SPED 573

    Thesis II

    Program Electives

    6 credits

    Select two courses from a related field.

    Non-thesis option

    M.Ed. Requirements

    6 credits

    ELED 570

    Introduction to Research

    Select one of the following four:

    PSED 504

    Philosophy of Education

    PSED 509

    History of Education

    PSED 510

    The Teacher and the School Community

    PSED 511

    Educational Sociology

    Major Requirements

    24 credits

    SPED 551

    Inclusionary Practices

    SPED 570

    Collaboration in the Education Process

    SPED 582

    Seminar: Current Trends in Special Education

    SPED

    Elective Seminar (6 credits)

    SPED

    Elective Three Courses (9 credits)

    Program Electives

    6 credits

    Select two courses from a related field.

Master of Education in Special Education with Certification

  • 36 Credits

    Purpose of Degree

    This program of study is designed for the candidate who, currently hold an Instructional I Certification and are seeking to add a Special Education Certificate in addition to an M.Ed.

    Program of Study

    The program of study includes the following courses plus eight Special Education courses listed under the certification coursework that will serve as the major coursework.

    Requirements

    ELED 570

    Introduction to Research

    Select one of the following four:

    PSED 504

    Philosophy of Education

    PSED 509

    History of Education

    PSED 510

    The Teacher and the School Community

    PSED 511

    Educational Sociology

    Program Electives:

    Two courses (6 credits) in a related field are required. Examples of related field include but are not limited to: elementary education, professional and secondary education, media communication and technology.

Special Education Certification (Instructional I)

  • 30-59 credits (dependent upon previous coursework)

    Purpose of Program

    Certification in Special Education is required to teach students with disabilities in Pennsylvania. A Master of Education enhances skills, is necessary for salary increments, and is required by most school districts.

    Program of Study

    Undergraduate prerequisites include two courses in each of Math and English. Undergraduate course work/certification will be examined to determine the individual course work requirements for each prospective candidate. Candidates already certified in Elementary Education do not need to complete a student teaching experience.

    All other certification areas and those without a student teaching experience on their transcript will be required to participate in student teaching unless the department has approved a waiver. Passing PRAXIS examinations scores is required for certification.

    Professional Requirements

    ELED 502

    Psychology of the Elementary School Child

    PSED 516

    The Learner and the Learning Process

    MCOM 510

    Computers in Education

    REED 521

    Language and the Reading Process

    REED 527

    Reading in the Content Areas

    Select one from the following four courses:

    PSED 504

    Philosophy of Education

    PSED 509

    History of Education

    PSED 510

    The Teacher and the School Community

    PSED 511

    Educational Sociology

    Major Requirements

    SPED 550

    Nature and Needs

    SPED 551

    Inclusionary Practices

    SPED 554

    Curriculum and Instruction for Mild Disabilities

    SPED 555

    Curriculum and Instruction for Severe Disabilities

    SPED 568

    Early Intervention

    SPED 574

    Applied Behavior Analysis Principles I

    SPED 581

    Measurement and Evaluation

    SPED 584

    Seminar: Vocational and Career Education

    Student Teaching

    SPED 420

    Student Teaching I

    SPED 421

    Professional Practicum

Special Education Supervisory Certification

  • 18 credits

    Purpose of Program

    This program prepares candidates to function as a liaison between the school administration and certified professional staff of a public school in a fashion that will enhance the attainment of the institution's goals and objectives.

    Prerequisites

    Prerequisite to admission in the Supervisory Certification program is a minimum of three years of special education teaching experience with an Instructional I or II certification in special education or an out-of-state equivalent, three letters of recommendation, and full admission to the Graduate School.

    Program of Study

    SPED 570

    Collaboration in the Education Process

    SPED 574

    Applied Behavior Analysis Principles I

    SPED 580

    Seminar: Administration and Organization in Special Education

    SPED 589

    Curriculum Issues in Special Education

    SPED 596

    Internship in Special Education Supervision

    PSED 590

    Supervision of Instruction

Applied Behavior Analyst Certification

  • 15 credits

    Purpose of Program

    Completion of course work prepares the candidate for eligibility to apply to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) for entrance into the Board Certification examination. Additional requirements are described by the BACB.

    Prerequisites

    The Applied Behavior Analyst certification program can be completed as a concentration within a Master of Education for candidates holding certification in Special Education or as a stand-alone program for candidates holding a master's degree in Special Education or a related field.

    Program of Study

    SPED 574

    Applied Behavior Analysis Principles I

    SPED 575

    Applied Behavior Analysis Principles II

    SPED 576

    Research Problems in Special Education

    SPED 577

    Application of Behavior Principles with Low Incidence Disabilities

    SPED 578

    Systems Issues in Behavior Support

    Typical Time to Complete

    This program is a cohort program with each cohort group beginning the course sequence in the main summer session. The five-course sequence is then completed in the next four semesters. The BACB currently offers the examination numerous times per year.

    Admissions

    Admission decisions are granted each semester for all programs except the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program. The ABA program submission deadline is March 1 for summer (main session) admission.

    Admission to the M.Ed. in Special Education requires undergraduate certification in Special Education and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

    For Special Education Certification programs, admission criteria are as follows:

    • Undergraduate prerequisites
    • English Composition (3 credits)
    • English Literature (3 credits)
    • Mathematics (6 credits)
    • Written statement — a one-page typewritten description of career goals, reason for pursuing graduate work in special education, personal and professional attributes that will contribute to the profession.
    • Passing scores on Praxis I tests

    Graduate Assistantships

    Graduate assistantships are available through the department. These are awarded based upon merit and achievement to full-time students in the graduate program.

    Graduate assistants do not teach classes, but complete projects and tasks assigned by professors.

    The graduate assistantship is awarded for the first year of full-time study, with the possibility of extension through the first summer. Prospective students should apply for a graduate assistantship at the time of application to the program, using the application form online.

Course Descriptions

  • SPED 520 Teaching Reading to Students with Disabilities (3)

    • This course prepares teachers to use explicit, scaffolded instruction to effectively teach reading to students with disabilities. The course emphasizes research-validated literacy interventions and evidence-based instructional practices. It focuses on the components of reading and writing that pose challenges for students with disabilities.

  • SPED 535 Classroom Diversity: Creating a Positive Environment (3)

    • This course encourages educators to identify their own values, prejudices, and goals; to examine their thoughts and/or misconceptions about culturally diverse communities. Designed to help them create school climates that celebrate diversity and meet the needs of students of different races, ethnicities, gender, and ability levels.

  • SPED 540 Language Arts for Exceptional Individuals (3)

    • This course is designed to develop a knowledge of remedial techniques and special curricular considerations for teachers who work with individuals moderately, severely, or multiply disabled language impaired. (Not regularly offered)

  • SPED 550 Nature and Needs of Exceptional Individuals (3)

    • This course deals with individuals having educational impairments including: identification and etiological factors; psychoeducational needs of emotionally disturbed, mentally handicapped, learning impaired, or severely physically disabled persons; community and professional services. Required for those students with limited experience in special education.

  • SPED 551 Inclusionary Practices (3)

    • This course is intended for administrators, counselors, psychologists, curriculum supervisors, all teachers (regular, special), and school nurses concerned with proving appropriate educational experiences for students with special education needs in regular educational setting. Required for special education certification.

  • SPED 552 Together: Mainstreaming in Schools (3)

    • The purpose of the workshop is to cause meaningful interaction of special and regular education teachers. The interaction enables them to review and to develop positive models for their particular schools that allow for exceptional and non-exceptional children to learn together, to respect each other, to know each other. A major emphasis will be to devise, through group interaction, a plan for implementation of mainstreaming in the particular schools. The course is cross-listed with ELED 552 and PSED 552.

  • SPED 553 Creative Materials and Methods for Exceptional Individuals (3)

    • At the graduate level this course is designed for in-service regular classroom teachers anticipating students with multiple disabilities included in their classrooms, special educators, and other degree-holding persons planning to work with individuals with exceptionalities in a rehabilitative setting. Emphasis is on a case-by-case analysis of client or student needs, and development of appropriate projects for their training and rehabilitation. Small additional fee.

  • SPED 554 Curriculum and Instruction for Individuals with Mild Disabilities (3)

    • This course is designed to provide a basis for the development of individualized curriculum goals and instruction for students with mild disabilities. (Offered fall term and summer pre-session)

  • SPED 555 Curriculum and Instruction for Individuals with Moderate/Severe/Profound Disabilities (3)

    • This course is designed to provide a basis for the development of individualized curriculum goals and instructions for students with moderate/severe/profound disabilities. (Offered spring term, and summer main session)

  • SPED 567 Families in the Educational Process of Individuals with Exceptionalities (3)

    • The purpose of this course is to develop skills in working with parents of youths with exceptionalities. Attention will be given to conferencing, reporting, and instructing parents in the process of home training. Further attention will be given to directing parents toward community services and resources, developing school-initiated parent support groups. (Not regularly offered)

  • SPED 568 Early Intervention in Special Education (3)

    • This course is designed to develop skills in the identification and referral of preschool-age children with exceptionalities, determining training targets for this group, implementing alternative programs for individuals with multiple disabilities, developing appropriate preschool training environments, and implementing an adapted curriculum. (Offered fall term and summer main session)

  • SPED 570 Collaboration in the Educational Process (3)

    • This course is designed to prepare special educators to function as consultants to regular education teachers and other school personnel. The use of consultation is reviewed at the pre-referral, referral, and mainstreaming level of service. The goals for this course include student competence in consultation concepts and skills in working with classroom teachers. (Offered summer session)

  • SPED 572 Thesis I (3)

    • This course consists of the development of a thesis topic and review of the literature, writing and editing of the thesis, and submission of the final paper to peer-reviewed journal. Prerequisites: ELED 570; SPED 566.

  • SPED 573 Thesis II (3)

    • This course consists of the development of a thesis topic and review of the literature, collection of data, writing and editing of the thesis. Prerequisites: ELED 570;

  • SPED 574 Applied Behavior Analysis Principles I (3)

    • This course will cover the basic concepts of behavior analysis as applied to a variety of situations in teaching individuals with exceptionalities. Classroom management utilizing nonaversive behavior management techniques will be presented. Open to all students of graduate standing. (Offered fall, summer main session)

  • SPED 575 Applied Behavior Analysis Principles II (3)

    • This is an advanced examination of the basic principles of behavior and the development and application of each. This course will examine the principles of behavior in depth and focus on the use of these principles in applied settings with students and/or individuals with disabilities. The content of this course is determined by the Task List of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Prerequisites: SPED 574; permission of instructor. (Offered fall term)

  • SPED 576 Seminar: Research Problems in Special Education (3)

    • This course will develop student awareness of critical issues in special education which have relevance for research concerns. Additionally, appropriate and feasible research designs and techniques are discussed within the framework of current special education methods and procedures. Required for Master's thesis. Prerequisites: ELED 570; SPED 574. (Offered spring term)

  • SPED 577 Application of Behavior Principles with Low Incidence Disabilities (3)

    • This course will examine issues relevant to the development and application of interventions with individuals with low incidence disabilities. Specific interventions and strategies will be discussed. Content for this course was determined by the Task List of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and the Council for Exceptional Children Knowledge and Skill Statements. Prerequisites: SPED 574, SPED 575, SPED 576; permission of instructor. (Offered spring term)

  • SPED 578 Systems Issues in Behavioral Support (3)

    • This course will examine issues related to service delivery, systems change, and the staff development in the application of applied behavior analysis. The content of this course was developed in accordance with the Task List of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Prerequisites: SPED 574, SPED 575, SPED 576, SPED 577; permission of instructor. (Offered summer presession)

  • SPED 580 Seminar: Administration and Organization of Special Education (3)

    • The course is designed to review traditional and emerging leadership roles and organizational approaches in special education. The student will review, assess, and discuss implications of new mandates for human services. Objectives include evaluation of current delivery systems. (Offered summer main session)

  • SPED 581 Measurement and Evaluation in Special Education (3)

    • This course utilizes a variety of measures to assess and evaluate the educational, behavioral, and developmental areas of students with exceptionalities using traditional and alternative assessment instruments based upon the results of these measures. Prerequisite: SPED 550. (Offered fall and spring terms)

  • SPED 582 Seminar: Current Issues in Special Education (3)

    • This seminar is designed for all graduate students in the field of education who are interested in current issues arising out of litigation and legislated mandates within the field of special education. An emphasis will be placed upon issues which are presently affecting (and will continue to shape) services to learners with exceptionalities, regular and special education professionals, and administrators. Attention will also focus upon a class member's individual/professional concerns in the special education arena. (Offered spring term)

  • SPED 583 Seminar: The Emotionally Disturbed (3)

    • The course will provide the student with a current overview of the field of education for students with emotional disturbances. Objectives include an awareness of conceptual models and program activities toward ameliorating impact of maladaptive behaviors. Prerequisite: SPED 550. (Offered summer post session)

  • SPED 584 Seminar: Vocational and Career Education for Exceptional Individuals (3)

    • This course is designed to help the teacher to develop new skills and to find innovative means for career and vocational-technical planning and training with individuals with exceptionalities. Prerequisite: SPED 550. (Offered fall and spring terms)

  • SPED 588 Seminar: The Resource Room (3)

    • The course is designed to examine the Resource Room as an alternative delivery system in extending services to students with exceptionalities. Course work is designed to enhance students' skills in individualizing programs using diagnostic/prescriptive procedures. Prerequisite: SPED 550.

  • SPED 589 Curriculum Issues in Special Education (3)

    • This course will focus on the development, implementation, and evaluation of special education curriculum. This will include problems of programming for students with exceptionalities; different curriculum approaches and review of research implications. Prerequisite: SPED 550 or enrolled in the Special Education Supervisory Certificate Program. (Offered summer presession)

  • SPED 590 Seminar: Teaching Individuals with Learning Disabilities (3)

    • The purpose of this course is to broaden the in-service teacher's knowledge of the characteristics of the student with learning disabilities, instructional models and programmatic planning, solving real-life management problems, material problems, and teaching problems, in a sharing and seminar setting. Prerequisite: SPED 550.

  • SPED 591 Seminar: Assistive Technology (3)

    • This course describes the use of assistive technology services and devices as related services in the special education process. Emphasis is placed on consumer-driven technology selection and evaluation processes. Students will learn how to access assistive technology services as well as strategies for collaborating with experts in technology.

  • SPED 592 Seminar: Teaching Individuals with Physical Disabilities (3)

    • The course deals with appropriate educational interventions. Teaching skills are complimented with medical and technical advances. Objectives include amelioration of effects of physical disabilities toward possible mainstreaming. Prerequisite: SPED 550.

  • SPED 594 Seminar: Teaching Individuals with Mental Retardation (3)

    • This course will cover theories of intelligence, retardation, etiological factors of mental retardation, curriculum needs of mental retardation, methods and materials of instruction, an overview of career considerations, and emerging trends for adult services.

  • SPED 596 Internship in Special Education Supervision (3)

    • This supervised field experience is designed to provide the candidate for the Special Education Supervisor certificate with field experiences in personnel supervision, assessment techniques with the exceptional population, budgeting and financing for special class operation, participating in child study team conferences, curriculum development, and due process. Prerequisite: All courses listed for the Supervisory Certificate Program. (Offered summer pre-session)