Rio Salado College Partnership – Special Education

This program is designed to enable those who have completed a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program at Rio Salado College to earn a Master of Education (MEd) in Curriculum and Instruction.

The 33 credit program consists of six Plymouth State graduate courses (18 credits) and a portfolio representing work that students completed during their post-baccalaureate program (15 credits).

Curriculum Requirements

  • Master’s Core Component – 15 credits
  • 3
    This course will provide an in-depth study of the social/cultural basis of behavior and examine the role of mythology as a vehicle for intrapersonal and interpersonal understanding. The major theoretical, empirical, and applied lines of work in the following topics in contemporary social psychology will be explored, including social cognition, interpersonal perception, attitudes, stereotyping and prejudice, the self, and interpersonal and group relations. Mythology will be employed as a mechanism for cross-cultural comparison and as a unifying construct to enhance multicultural understanding.
  • 3
    A study of the historical, philosophical, and social-philosophic foundations of education. Emphasis is placed upon the ideas of the classical, medieval, Enlightenment, and post-Enlightenment periods that have influenced types of American educational systems relative to their mission and purpose. Analysis of how these systems have defined ethics and the characteristics of the virtuous person.
  • – OR –
  • 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
    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
    Participants in this course will utilize myPlymouth to access email, online course, and Lamson Library and Learning Commons' resources along with navigate and operate within Moodle, download resources, and upload documents. Participants will research using Google Scholar and Lamson Library's online resources, identify and critique scholarly literature, practice synthesizing literature, format writing and identify sources using APA formatting, and critique others' writing offering suggestions for substantive improvement.
  • 3
    This course is designed to investigate the principles of assessment educational technology that relate to the design, development, and assessment of electronic portfolios. Students will learn about the history, types, components, process, delivery, presentation, and assessment of electronic portfolios. Student will be expected to define the assessment approach, construct an electronic portfolio, and collaboratively design assessment tools that will be used to evaluate electronic portfolios. Additional areas of study in the course may include the influence of educational policy on the implementation of electronic portfolios, the role of the electronic portfolios in professional development and recertification, or innovate technologies used in electronic portfolio development.
  • Specialization Component (minimum of 15 credits in partnership with Rio Salado College)
  • 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
    Analysis of models and dynamics involved in planning, teaching, and evaluating environments for special needs students. An overview of special education, characteristics of individuals with disabilities, individualized educational plans, functional behavior assessment, practical teaching strategies, and the New Hampshire Special Education Process and Policies. An observation component of 15 hours will be required of all students not presently in a school or teaching situation.
  • 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 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.
  • Capstone Experience – 3 credits
  • 3
    The purpose of the graduate capstone is to apply knowledge learned in previous coursework through an approved project. Capstone projects should focus on the following questions: How will the theories learned throughout the program be integrated into a coherent project or experience? How will this work enhance individual career goals? Who are the stakeholders and how will this work assist them? How does this work serve the professional community? How will this work help move the profession forward? Process: Students should plan for approximately 40 hours of work per credit to be earned. The total number of credits earned must be approved by their advisor and noted on their program contract. Candidates must submit Graduate Capstone Project forms with their registration and Capstone Projects must be approved by candidates' advisors and the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies. Once completed, candidates are expected to present their final products to their adviser and/or PSU faculty members. Students who anticipate working on their project for more than one term should register for the appropriate number of credits in each term so that they remain registered throughout the course of the project. Repeatable up to 12 credits.
    • Minimum Total for MEd in Curriculum and Instruction, Rio Salado College Partnership, Special Education – 33 credits

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