General Special Education K-12 Certification

Courses in special education address competencies in such areas as classroom management, survey of exceptionalities, human development, foundations, assessment, and teaching strategies. This concentration is aligned with the Council of Exceptional Children standards.

Certification-only Option: Students would complete 30 credits as listed below, excluding the Master’s Core Component.

  • Master’s Core Component – 9 credits
  • 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
    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.
  • Learning Theory Component – 9 credits
  • 3
    An overview of current theories concerning the brain, development, and learning. Analysis of developmental concepts from birth through adolescence and adulthood. Discussion of language acquisition, thinking and learning styles, multiple intelligence, and creativity. Topics include teaching, learning, and assessment issues related to cultural diversity, technology, and 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
    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.
  • Specialization Component – 15 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 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.
  • 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 – 6 credits
  • 6
    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.
  • Total for MEd in Special Education, General Special Education K-12 Certification – 39 credits

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