Dual Certification – Elementary Education, K-8 and General Special Education, K-12

New for Fall 2014
Students may now choose to pursue a dual-certification option to obtain Elementary Education K-8 and General Special Education K–12 certifications. Students may complete the dual-certification program on its own or in conjunction with a Master of Education (MEd) degree with a double major in Elementary Education and General Special Education.

Certifications-only Option: Students would complete 54 credits as listed below, excluding the Master’s Core Component.

  • Elementary Education Component – 27 credits
  • 3
    An introduction to the teaching profession and the realities of teaching in today's schools. A series of seminars includes such topics as the history and structure of education, societal issues, the role of the teacher, instructional planning, legal rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, learning styles and effective teaching. A school observation/participation experience of a minimum of 30 hours is required.
  • 3
    Provides the pre-service elementary education classroom teacher with knowledge of theories of children's growth and development for the purpose of building capacity for developmentally appropriate decision-making ('habit of mind') throughout the career. Examines the characteristics and needs of children, and the multiple interacting influences and the interrelated domains of development - physical, cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic, and aesthetic. Reviews child development knowledge base, research, and theoretical perspectives. Introduces a multitude of means for assessing children's growth and development in schools, including, but not limited to: observation and record keeping, informal and formal classroom assessments, district-wide standardized test data, interviews with families and/or caregivers, children's self-assessment, and testing done to determine the presence or absence---and nature of---an "educationally handicapping condition", as defined by federal special education law. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Prepares pre-service elementary education professionals to design curricular units of study in the content areas. Familiarizes candidates with state and national standards for children's learning in the social studies, sciences, and health education, and the integration of the Common Core Standards into content-area instruction. Introduces a curriculum design model that utilizes the alignment of learning goals and assessments as the anchor for instructional practices. Students are required to design a content-rich unit of study for an elementary classroom. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Designed for both pre-service educators, as well as practicing teachers, the course introduces differentiation in the elementary classroom as a means to educational equity and excellence. Introduces cognitive frameworks of differentiation including student characteristics (readiness, interest, learning profile) and curricular elements (content, process, products). Examines the process of planning instruction and assessment that affords all children with access to learning. Considers the impact of differentiation applied to the learning environment, and supports teachers to ?unlearn? classroom management in favor of learning classroom leadership. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Seeks to examine the manner in which the behavior, feelings, or thoughts of one individual are influenced by the behavior or characteristics of others. Topics to be considered include social perception, attitudes, gender, social cognition, conflict, social influence, intercultural awareness, prejudice, discrimination, aggression, and group behavior. Fall, spring, and summer.
  • 3
    Introduces to pre-service elementary education professionals, and renews in practicing teachers, the values of inclusive education, and the belief that all children can learn. Provides basic information about special education laws and systems, and outlines the role of the classroom teacher in the identification, instruction, and evaluation of children with disabilities. Considers the current deficit-driven categorical framework for special education, and introduces the concept of neurodiversity in it's place. Supports candidates to understand and implement a menu of classroom supports and accommodations for children with and without disabilities, teachers, related service providers, and families, including but not limited to: Universal Design for Learning, assistive technology, educational specialists and related service providers, peer and adult supports, and social relationships. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Prepares the pre-service elementary educators to teach mathematics to all children in K-8 public school settings. Teaches mathematical concepts and pedagogical skills via active engagement and self-reflection in learning concepts such as fractions, ratio and proportion, Geometry, and measurement. Familiarizes students with national and state math standards for elementary educators. Thoroughly examines the Common Core Standards in Mathematics for K-8 learners. Considers the developmentally appropriate use of technology in math education. Finally, considers the differentiation of "scripted curriculum" so that all children---regardless of their diverse learning needs----can access mathematical learning opportunities in the classroom. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Provides the pre-service elementary education classroom teacher with the foundations and framework for designing and implementing literacy instruction, with an emphasis on curriculum, methods and materials for the primary grades. Introduces foundations of reading and writing instruction taught in the context of one another, and thoroughly examines the Common Core Standards for Language Arts for K-8 learners: literature, informational text, foundational skills, writing, speaking and listening, and language, including visual literacy and visual representation. Focuses on word study, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, core reading programs and stages of writing development in a balanced reading framework. Considers the differentiation of language arts instruction, assessment and environment so that all children---regardless of their diverse learning needs---can access language arts learning opportunities in the classroom. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Practicum-based course introduces students to the value and practical application of incorporating the arts into educational, cultural, recreational, and human service settings. In addition to classroom lecture and discussion, a series of workshops with professional artists and teachers will allow students to observe a variety of teaching methods and philosophies. Basic skills and materials will be developed and discussed in creative drama, puppetry, music, theatre, poetry, art, and movement.
  • Special Education Component – 12 credits
  • 3
    This three-credit course will give participants a greater understanding of both federal and New Hampshire special education law. Time will be spent on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This course is designed and intended for teachers and special education administrators. You do not need to be a law student to succeed in this class. There is a heavy emphasis in this course on theory to practice, "practical news you can use" the next day in your profession. Students will review the most current cases and trends in special education law, analyze cases, and learn how to research both statutory and case law.
  • 3
    This course is designed to provide teachers with increased understanding of the needs of children who display maladaptive behaviors associated with conduct disorders in school settings. Students will investigate specific causes, diagnosis, assessment methods, interventions, etiology, co-morbidity, subtypes, pharmacotherapy, the role of the classroom teacher, and possible resources.
  • 3
    This course will focus on administering, scoring, interpreting and reporting on achievement, special skill and diagnostic tests used in special education and school psychology. The emphasis will be on diagnosis and prescriptive writing. It is restricted to special education and school psychology students.
  • 3
    This course is designed to assist participants in examining the nature of collaboration in organizations, the consultation process and essential leadership skills in special education. Students will learn about the nature of collaboration and examine examples of effective collaboration skills, as well as participate in guided practice of those skills. Emphasis will be given to concepts of intervention, management models and an analysis of the variety of special education needs. Prerequisites: SE 5300, SE 5400, SE 5600, SE 5770, and SE 6040.
  • Learning Technology Component – 3 credits
  • 3
    This course provides an in-depth look of the use of technology with diverse learners. An overview of two federal laws (IDEA and NCLB) and the examination of the research of learning technologies will be presented. Students will be engaged in hands-on experience with desktop software, online resources and specialized software designed to support diverse learners. Opportunities will be provided for students to develop classroom activities and curriculum planning guidelines for integrating technology tools into the content areas to accommodate a range of student learning differences.
  • Literacy Component – 3 credits
  • 3
    This introductory course will cover the following areas: definition of LD, reading problems, language deficits both oral and written, mathematics underachievement, social skills deficits, attention and behavioral problems, academic achievement, and comorbidity with other disabilities, prevalence, environmental factors, standardized, criterion referenced, informal reading, curriculum-based measurement, and testing. Educational approaches such as explicit instruction, content enhancement, and placement alternatives will be explored. Current issues and future trends in the field of LD will be discussed.
  • Capstone Experience (passing PRAXIS II scores required before starting field experience)
  • 3
    This culminating field-based teaching experience for elementary certification candidates affords the candidate with an opportunity to apply theory to practice, and to build upon the dispositions, understandings, knowledge and skills developed thus far in the program. The successful candidate does not leave the experience knowing fully "how to teach", but instead has a strong and balanced practice, and knows how to learn to teach---an important distinction given the dynamic nature of the field, and of our times. The successful candidate will demonstrate competence in all state and national initial teacher certification standards for elementary education professionals and document these competencies in a professional portfolio. Candidates will work with a University supervisor and field-based mentor teacher to determine a schedule for the experience that includes observation, co-teaching, and solo teaching. Four (4) observations will be conducted by the University supervisor. The mentor teacher provides daily feedback. Both will complete formal midterm and final evaluations of candidate's teaching. Participation in an online seminar is required of all teaching interns. There are three (3) options for scheduling 300 hours of the teaching internship experience: 1. a focused 300 hour (12 weeks) full-time public school placement approved by the Office of Educator Preparation. 2. a part-time (minimum 2 days per week) public school placement totaling 300 hours approved by the Office of Educator Preparation. 3. 300 hours integrated into the work responsibilities of an employed elementary education paraprofessional or professional, per approval of the employing school district and the Office of Educator Preparation. Candidates must submit passing Praxis II Scores to the University prior to registration.
  • 3
    A supervised field experience in one of several cooperating institutions or agencies. The purpose is to gain meaningful work experience through applying knowledge learned in previous coursework to the on the- job situation. Commitment includes a negotiated number of hours per week. Supervision is done by the institution or agency concerned and by PSU faculty.
  • Mater’s Core Component (to be taken last)
  • 3
    Understanding the Imagination, Creativity and Innovation Continuum and its place in education and the work place, plays an increasingly important role in the success of learner and workers in our society. The ability to imagine or to conceive of something new, leading to the creation of new realities and possibilities that advance current practice in our classrooms, businesses and organizations in new and innovative ways is an essential skill set needed in the 21st century. Whether in a classroom of learners, a non-profit organization or the boardroom of a major corporation, imagination, creativity and innovation are an essential component of success, leading to increased engagement, ownership and vision in all that human beings touch. This course is an exploration of the important role imagination, creativity and innovation play in our everyday lives, seeking to demystify and honor the creative process, unlocking the power of possibility in each one of us.
  • 3
    This course is designed to provide a background in qualitative classroom-based research. Students design a research project in which they find and frame a research question that they will investigate through interview, observations, participant observations and/or analysis of artifacts. They will write up and present the results of this limited study.
  • - OR -
  • 3
    • Total for MEd in Elementary Education K-8 Certification, and MEd in General Special Education K–12 Certification – 60 credits

For more information, visit the Educational Leadership, Learning and Curriculum Department website.

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