Courses

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M.A. Special Education, Core Courses

  • School-wide Systems Field Experience (EDUC595)

    Structured observational experiences at K-12 levels in Inclusive Education settings. Students will observe school-wide systems as they relate to discipline, diversity, and inclusiveness, Professional Learning Communities, and Child-Study Meetings. Students will also interview professionals in the areas of English Language Specialists, Gifted Talented Specialists, Media/Tech Specialists, and Cultural Liaisons as to their roles in the school as a whole. Graded on an S/U basis.

    1 credit

  • Educational Research (EDUC614)

    Focus is on understanding and reporting educational and psychological research. Learners will conduct online computer searches, appraise the quality of professional literature, cite research using APA style, and understand the options of writing a master’s thesis or conducting an action research project. Course is required of all master’s degree-seeking learners and is strongly recommended for learners seeking a license. Course should be taken with a cohort of the learner’s same major except with program director’s permission. Graded on an S/U basis.

    1 credit

  • Spec Ed Student Teaching Semin (EDUC751)

    Many of the skills and much of the knowledge introduced in prior courses will be practiced concurrently in student teaching and this course. Focus is on the development of reflective professional qualities and instruction and evaluative skills while producing an educational teaching professional assessment. Enhancing communication skills, adjusting to diverse student needs, and development of effective learning environments are significant elements of the course. Graded on an S/U basis. Following completion of the educational teacher performance assessment, students will be required to pay for and submit their edTPA to the testing company identified by the Minnesota Board of Teaching. This is a Minnesota Board of Teaching requirement.

    3 credits

  • Preparing the Thesis/Action Research Project (EDUC755)

    Assists learners in preparing their master’s thesis or conducting an action research project. Focus is on the design process and includes the following topics: information on the nature and scope of the master’s thesis/action research project; selection and refinement of topic; APA style; and the oral examination process. Graded on an S/U basis.

    1 credit

    Prerequisite Courses: EDUC614

  • Writing the Thesis/Action Research Project (EDUC790)

    Exploration of a significant educational issue relevant to the learner’s professional involvement through an independent, individually supervised thesis or project. Graded on an S/U basis.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: EDUC614, EDUC755

  • School-wide Systems Field Experience (SPED603)

    Structured observational experiences at K-12 levels in Inclusive Education Settings. Learners will observe school-wide systems as they relate to discipline, diversity, and inclusiveness, Professional Learning Communities, and Child-Study Meetings. Learners will also interview professionals in the areas of English Language Specialists, Gifted Talented Specialists, Media/Tech Specialists, and Cultural Liaisons as to their roles in the school as a whole. Students will complete an electronic portfolio of their experiences. S/U graded. Must be registered concurrently with SPED605, SPED600, and SPED608.

    1 credit

  • Introduction to Special Education (SPED605)

    An examination of historical and legal issues of special education as well as the basic characteristics of mild-moderate disabilities. State and federal laws, due process, data privacy requirements, and exclusionary rules will be discussed. Historical and philosophical background of special education and attitudes toward the exceptional child will also be discussed. The course provides a thorough examination of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a review of significant litigation related to the education of special education students, as well as preview into the child with LD, EBD, OHD, DCD or ASD. (1 credit, Weekend course; 1st semester: SPEG)

    1 credit

    Corequisite Course: SPED600

  • Norm-Referenced Assessment (SPED610)

    Introduction to the role of special education teachers in the assessment process. Focus is on norm-referenced, standardized assessment as part of the identification and instructional planning process for students with emotional/behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, other health disabilities, autism spectrum disorder or developmental cognitive disabilities. Examination of issues of test quality (reliability, validity, standardization), scoring, and interpretation. Survey of instruments commonly used in assessment. Assessment materials fee: $10.

    3 credits

  • Foundations of Instructional Strategies for Students with Mild-Moderate Disabilities (SPED618)

    Course provides teacher-students a framework for designing, implementing, and evaluating instructional methods to teach exceptional studentw writing, mathematics, social skills, organizational skills and transition skills. Examine and apply evidence-based instruction while making instructional modifications and accommodations to address the needs of students with a range of disabilities and needs.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600

  • Reading Foundations (SPED620)

    Covers the major components of reading and the instructional strategies that support the development of literacy for K-6 students including those students with mild-moderate disabilities. The course also provides an overview to the structure of the English language and basic linguistic analysis. A 30 hour reading clinical, SPED 621, will run concurrently with this course.

    3 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED621

  • Reading Field Experience (SPED621)

    Students will practice reading assessment and instructional techniques with students who have mild-moderate disabilities. Reading Field Experience will take place in a K–12 school setting.

    1 credit

    Corequisite Course: SPED620

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED620

  • Special Education: Planning and Programming (SPED625)

    Focus is on different special education delivery systems; central to all delivery systems is the individual education plan (IEP). Students will use assessment data to write academic and behavioral goals and objectives to be incorporated into an IEP. Development of skills necessary to evaluate available service delivery options in order to choose the most appropriate setting to meet individual student need. Emphasis is on accomplishing this task through an effective multidisciplinary team process with due consideration of the influence of diversity and language on eligibility and placement decisions and on programming.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED603, SPED608, SPED610, SPED655, SPED670

  • Classroom-Based Assessment (SPED655)

    Focus is primarily on non-standardized assessment techniques including curriculum-based assessment/measurement; observations; functional behavioral assessment; learning styles/multiple intelligences; and ecological, authentic, and portfolio assessments. Review of behavior rating scales and various assessment data in evaluation reports. Learners practice techniques in actual classrooms. Taken concurrently with SPED670 when seeking license. Graded on an S/U basis. Prerequisite: SPED610.

    3 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED670

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED610

  • Assessment Clinical Field Experience (SPED670)

    18-week clinical field experience designed for students to demonstrate understanding and competent application of student assessment. Through assessment, students recognize specific educational needs. They will also judge eligibility for special education or RTI process. Emphasis on both formal, norm-referenced assessment as well as informal, classroom-based assessment. Taken concurrently with SPED610 and SPED655.

    1 credit

    Corequisite Course: SPED655

    Prerequisite Courses: EDUC610, SPED610, SPED655

  • Consultation, Collaboration & Resources (SPED675)

    Focus is on the communication skills necessary to consult and collaborate effectively with parents, administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and agency personnel about the special needs of students. Students will become acquainted with outside agencies, as well as transition needs and services. Clarifying personal beliefs and adjusting to diverse student needs within their student teaching environments are critical elements of this course.

    2 credits

Concentrations

Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Characteristics of ASD (SPED601)

    Examination of the spectrum of Autism. Information will be accessed regarding theories, research, medical, and legal requirements of autism. Personal viewpoints and ethics from a biblical perspective will be examined regarding educational approaches to autism. Introduction to educational criteria, identification and assessment, teaching strategies, and family issues. Introduction to behavior management: behavior management philosophy, practical strategies, and skills related to children identified with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Prerequisites: (SPED600 and SPED605), or qualifying special education license, or enrollment in certificate in ASD program.

    3 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED603

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED605

  • Evaluation, Communication and Intervention Strategies in ASD (SPED611)

    Examination of ASD assessment procedures to identify needs and develop intervention plans; review current tools and strategies used to understand communication, language and social skills including in-depth descriptions of research-based interventions and video examples; discuss ethical and moral issues from a biblical perspective. Prerequisites: SPED600, SPED601, and SPED605; or SPED601 and qualifying special education license; or SPED601 and enrollment in Certificate in ASD program.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED601, SPED601, SPED605

  • Planning, Instruction & Consultation for ASD (SPED612)

    This course will examine educational planning, collaboration and how that impacts instruction for students with mild, moderate, and severe Autism Spectrum Disorders from birth to grade 12. Focus will revolve around planning appropriate educational plans based on evidence of disability. Create and modify lessons and units to meet and address the needs of students with mild, moderate, and severe Autism Spectrum Disorders. Examine collaboration methods that prove successful in the educational programming and success of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Pre-requisites: SPED 601, SPED 611.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED601, SPED611

  • Autism Field Experience (SPED671)

    Learners will complete required ASD competencies within settings targeting students ages Birth-21, including a variety of educational settings, covering mild-severe ranges of Autism. Evidence illustrating completion of competencies will be contained in a comprehensive portfolio that includes evaluations, IEP goals and objectives, behavior plans, communication strategies, classroom strategies and consultation reports.

    1 credit

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED601, SPED611, SPED612

Select one:
  • ASD: Student Teaching (SPED781)

    Complete required competencies within an educational setting for students with ASD for 12 weeks. IEP goals and objectives, assessments, behavior plans, communication strategies, and classroom strategies will be completed and included in a portfolio. Taken concurrently with SPED675. Lab fee: $150-$400, ASD student teaching fee: $150, out-of-region fee: $100, out-of-state fee: varies. Graded on an S/U basis. Prerequisites: SPED601, SPED605, SPED610, SPED611, SPED612, SPED618, SPED620, SPED621, SPED625, SPED655, and SPED670.

    4 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED675

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED601, SPED605, SPED610, SPED611, SPED612, SPED618, SPED620, SPED621, SPED625, SPED655, SPED670

  • ASD: Practicum (SPED787)

    Complete required competencies within an educational setting for students with ASD. IEP goals and objectives, assessments, behavior plans, communication strategies and classroom strategies will be completed and included in a portfolio.

    3 credits

Academic Behavioral Strategist
  • Introduction to Academic Instruction and Behavior Management for the Exceptional Learner (SPED608)

    This course will prepare special education teachers for their unique role as academic instructors and skillful classroom managers. Students will become familiar with a wide range of evidence-based teaching and behavior management methods that include approaches for one to one, small group and class-wide delivery. An emphasis on universal design as it relates to the needs of both typically developing and exceptional learners will accompany a foundational introduction to Behavioral management through antecedent-based intervention and environmental arrangement.

    2 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED605

  • Responsive Instruction, Intervention, and Assessment (SPED631)

    Preparation of special education teachers for their role in the screening, monitoring, and early intervention processes related to good instructional practice. Students will understand data collection and analysis practices that integrate multiple sources of information in a collaborative model. Emphasis will be on evidence-based instructional strategies for all students, as well as research-based interventions for students with a variety of needs. The focused content area will be reading. Prerequisite: SPED600 or qualifying special education license.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600

  • Introduction to Behavioral Methods & Mental Health for Mild to Moderate Special Needs (SPED641)

    Introduction to behavior methods and foundations of mental health for students with mild to moderate SPED needs. Analyze classroom behavior methods/interventions with emphasis on brain-based research. Explore mental health and behaviors within behavioral, social, emotional, educational, cognitive, physical, communication and functional contexts. Explore foundations of cognitive/emotional development and informal screening tools.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600

Select one:
  • Student Teaching - Academic Behavior Strategist (SPED780)

    Prior course knowledge and skills will be practiced under the supervision of a cooperating teacher and a university supervisor while students teach for 12 weeks. Student teaching will take place with students under the mild-moderate disability categories of LD, EBD, OHD, DD, and ASD, from referral and assessment through placement and instruction. Includes opportunities to work in collaboration with other educational personnel as well as parents. An electronic portfolio including artifacts from required Minnesota special education standards is submitted by the student, culminating their student teaching experience. Lab fee: $150-$400, ABS student teaching fee: $150, out-of-region fee: $100, out-of-state fee: varies. Graded on an S/U basis. Prerequisites: SPED600, SPED605, SPED608, SPED610, SPED618, SPED620, SPED621, SPED625, SPED631, SPED655, SPED670. Corequisites: SPED641, SPED675.

    4 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED641;SPED675

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED605, SPED608, SPED610, SPED618, SPED620, SPED621, SPED625, SPED631, SPED655, SPED670

  • ABS: Practicum (SPED786)

    For learners who hold a current teaching license and are seeking an add-on license, a minimum seven-week experience working with children who have mild-moderate special education needs in the areas of LD, EBD, DCD, OHD and ASD (the grade level needs to be the opposite level of their 100 hours of clinical experiences leading up to student teaching). The student teaching experience involves teacher candidates in all aspects of programming in a special education setting, including referral review, assessment, IEP development, placement, and instruction in academic and social skills areas. Teacher candidates are expected to demonstrate all standards required of special education ABS teachers. Teacher candidates will also work with other educational personnel (regular and special education teachers, administrators, school psychologists, paraprofessionals, etc.) in a consultative/collaborative manner. Practicum fee: $100, out-of-region fee: $100, out-of-state fee: varies. Graded on an S/U basis.

    3 credits

Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
  • EBD: Child & Adolescent Psychopathology (SPED604)

    Survey of major clinical perspectives, psychological disorders, terminology, and issues important to the field of child and adolescent psychopathology with emphasis given to areas of special relevance to the educational setting. Provides learners with the background to be informed communicators with mental health professionals with whom they will collaborate in serving students having emotional/behavioral disorders. Improves learner’s proficiency at distinguishing between problems falling in the normal and clinical ranges.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED605

  • Interventions for Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities (SPED613)

    An introduction to the role of the special education teacher as an implementer of social/emotional and behavioral interventions to meet the individual needs of students with moderate to severe behavioral disabilities. Special attention is given to the development of skills necessary to function on a multidisciplinary team to implement school-based behavior management programs. Both individual and group intervention strategies will be presented, incorporating an emphasis on social skills training and academic adaptations necessary for mastery of general education curriculum. The importance of observation, assessment, and intervention sequence and crisis management will be presented and discussed.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED604

  • Introduction to Behavioral Methods & Mental Health for Mild to Moderate Special Needs (SPED641)

    Introduction to behavior methods and foundations of mental health for students with mild to moderate SPED needs. Analyze classroom behavior methods/interventions with emphasis on brain-based research. Explore mental health and behaviors within behavioral, social, emotional, educational, cognitive, physical, communication and functional contexts. Explore foundations of cognitive/emotional development and informal screening tools.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600

Select one:
  • EBD: Student Teaching (SPED783)

    For students seeking an initial license, a 12-week student teaching experience is required. Experience working with children or youth from various grade levels who have emotional/behavioral disorders. Involves students in all aspects of programming in a special education setting, including referral review, assessment, IEP development, placement, and instruction and management of behaviors. Students are expected to demonstrate all proficiencies required of special education teachers. Students will also work with other educational personnel (regular or special education teachers, administrators, school psychologists, etc.) on a consultative/collaborative basis. A portfolio, including artifacts from required Minnesota special education standards, is submitted by the student, culminating their student teaching experience. Taken concurrently with SPED675. Lab fee: $150-$400, EBD student teaching fee: $150, out-of-region fee: $100, out-of-state fee: varies. Graded on an S/U basis. Prerequisites: SPED604, SPED605, SPED610, SPED613, SPED618, SPED620, SPED621, SPED625, SPED641, SPED655, and departmental approval.

    3 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED675

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED604, SPED605, SPED610, SPED613, SPED618, SPED620, SPED621, SPED625, SPED641, SPED655

  • EBD: Practicum (SPED788)

    SPED 788 is a seven-week practicum experience with K-12 students who have moderate to severe emotional/behavioral disorders (M/SED). The course plan aligns with Minnesota State Standards for Special Educators and includes all aspects of school-based program planning and service provision for students with M/SED. Graded on an S/U basis.

    3 credits

Learning Disabilities
  • Basic Concepts of Lrning Disab (SPED606)

    Intensive study of the field of learning disabilities to provide basic information and foundation skills for understanding and working with students who have learning disabilities. Emphasis is on definition, etiology, characteristics, and impact on an individual’s cognitive, academic, social, and behavioral development and achievement. Consideration of the multidisciplinary nature of services for students with learning disabilities, including identification, service delivery, and transitional needs. Exploration of various theoretical approaches related to cognition, instruction, and behavior.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED605

  • Strategies for Teaching Students with LD (SPED614)

    Development and evaluation of remedial strategies for students with learning disabilities. Examination of specific techniques to address deficits in conceptual and organizational skills, problem solving, study skills, and learning strategies, along with curricular approaches to address the social/affective needs of students with learning disabilities. Strategies will be considered within a clinical teaching model.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED605, SPED606, SPED606

  • Responsive Instruction, Intervention, and Assessment (SPED631)

    Preparation of special education teachers for their role in the screening, monitoring, and early intervention processes related to good instructional practice. Students will understand data collection and analysis practices that integrate multiple sources of information in a collaborative model. Emphasis will be on evidence-based instructional strategies for all students, as well as research-based interventions for students with a variety of needs. The focused content area will be reading. Prerequisite: SPED600 or qualifying special education license.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600

  • LD: Student Teaching (SPED785)

    For learners seeking an initial license, a 10-week student teaching experience is required. For learners who hold a current teaching license and are seeking an add-on license, a minimum 8-week student teaching experience is required. Experience working with children or youth from various grade levels having learning disabilities, from referral and assessment through placement and instruction. Includes opportunities to work in collaboration with other educational personnel (regular and/or special education teachers, administrators, school psychologists) as well as parents. A portfolio including artifacts from required MN Special Education standards, is submitted by the learner culminating their student teaching experience. Graded on an S/U basis.

    3 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED675

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED605, SPED606, SPED610, SPED614, SPED618, SPED620, SPED621, SPED625, SPED630, SPED655, SPED670