Fifth-Year General Special Education K-12 Certification

This concentration is designed for the professional who would like to engage in intensive training to gain knowledge and skills in the field of special education. The fifth-year program follows a prescribed sequence of coursework paired with a special education internship. Through this intensive format, candidates receive a Master of Education (MEd) with endorsement for New Hampshire General Special Education K–12 certification in one year. Taught by faculty who are specialists and leaders in the field, courses are designed to provide candidates with the knowledge and skills crucial to teaching effectively in today’s inclusive classrooms.

Courses in the program are designed in scope and sequence to allow candidates to apply course concepts in school settings, to collaborate with professionals in the field, and to collaborate within a cohort model.

Beginning in the summer term, candidates progress through the program three courses at a time over one year. In addition, candidates engage with students with exceptionalities through an internship in the fall, winter and spring terms, providing candidates with a variety of opportunities for field-based project completion and practical application of course concepts.

Program Requirements

The candidate must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree in K–3, K–8, K–12, 5–12, or 7–12 teacher certification or related educational field, such as Adventure Education, Early Intervention or Social Work.

The candidate must successfully complete an interview with the special education program coordinator in addition to meeting graduate admissions requirements. Application materials must be received by May 15 of the admitting year with courses to begin in July.

Required Courses

The cohort groups will be formed at the onset of the program and will be monitored by the special education program coordinator. Students entering the program must meet the following prerequisites: courses in human development, diversity, general exceptionalities, philosophy and literacy.

Program of Study

  • 3

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  • 3
    Knowledge and understanding of the commonly accepted research designs. Study of research instruments and statistics used in educational research. Wide reading in various types of research design. Critical analysis of research design.
  • 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 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 will deal with the specifics of cognitive impairment focusing on mental retardation, autism, Asperger, PDD, communication disorders and all their subgroups. Specific definitions, special education rights and legislation will be discussed in terms of these special populations. Assessment of intellectual functioning, assessment procedures, classroom adaptations, behaviors, causes and prevention, developing curriculum and goals, independent life skills, transitions to career and functional life skills will be discussed in detail.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 3
    Focuses on the ethics of special education laws, regulations and policies. Students will use case studies that pose ethical dilemmas in order to understand the complex issues underlying such issues as inclusion, labeling, IDEA, least restrictive environment (LSE) compliance, due process, parent involvement, awareness of ethical responsibilities, ethical decision making, confidentiality, record keeping, and informed consent. The spirit versus the letter and the morality of special education will also be explored. A special focus will be on transacting an ethic of care in school best practices that promote democratic decision making, advocacy, and the empowerment of parents.
  • 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 is designed especially for mainstream teachers who want to know more about how to better meet the needs of English language learners (ELLs) in their classroom. It provides an in-depth examination of widely-used, evidence-based techniques for teaching non-native speakers of English within the mainstream classroom. In addition to an overview of current theories for teaching English language learners, the course foregrounds strategies and practical hands-on ways for engaging, teaching and assessing ELLs within the K-12 mainstream classroom. Participants gain a theoretical grounding as well as practice with scaffolding content for language learners, and developing individualized learner strategies. This course includes instruction in using CALLA, the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach, and SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol), with ELLs.
  • 3
    This course is designed to assist candidates in acquiring the skills, knowledge and competencies necessary for curriculum development as it relates to special education and the general education curricula. Each participant will have the opportunity to examine models of curriculum-based assessment designed to generate better educational programs for students with disabilities. Each student will demonstrate an understanding of the instructional process with emphasis on students with disabilities. Keys to this understanding will include management considerations, instructional practices and evaluative and collaborative activities.
  • 9
    A supervised field experience in one of several cooperating institutions. The purpose is to gain meaningful work experience through applying knowledge learned in course work to the on-the-job situation. Commitment includes 12 hours per week within the school environment over 3 days, and one three hour seminar per month. Supervision is done by the cooperating school and overseen by Plymouth State University faculty.
  • Total for MEd in Special Education, Fifth-Year General Special Education K-12 Certification – 42 credits

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