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.
  • – OR –
  • 3
    A course for special education teaching practitioners in which a school-based problem is examined from the standpoint of how it can be best addressed given what is known about evidence-based practices in the field of special education. A blueprint for solving the problem is prepared including a statement and purpose for the action research (including essential definitions), what is known about the issue in the special education literature, the scope, assumptions and limitations of the project, and research questions and hypotheses. Course culmination will include collection of data, analysis of that data, conclusions and recommendations based on the impact on students with disabilities and student outcomes.
  • Learning Theory Component – 12 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.
  • – OR –
  • 3
    This course offers the most recent research findings related to the brain and learning and how they provide the basis for the neurodevelopmental approach to teaching. Participants will be introduced to a framework which includes eight broad neurdevelopmental categories, or constructs (e.g., attention, memory, language) that educators can use to observe, examine and describe student learning. These eight constructs (and their receptive sub-categories) also provide teachers, parents and students with a shared lens and language to better understand and discuss learning. In addition, through examination of a case study, observation of students with whom they work and self-examination of their own unique learning profile, participants will practice the skill of using the neurodevelopmental lens to observe for evidence of learning strengths and weaknesses and how to link them to academic performance. Since a major component of this course requires observation, participants must have access to a student/students on a regular basis. This course is appropriate for anyone who works with students (child-adult). The only pre-requisite is that you must be currently teaching or have permission of the instructor.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 – 42 credits

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