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. 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.

    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, EDUC752, EDUC754, 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 or learning disabilities. Examination of issues of test quality (reliability, validity, standardization), scoring, and interpretation. Survey of instruments commonly used in assessment.

    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)

    This course 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 will run concurrently with this course.

    3 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED621

  • Reading Field Experience (SPED621)

    A practicum designed to give learners clinical experience. Application of best practices in assessment and analysis of data. Select materials and plan instruction for students who are in need of an intervention or remediation. Application of effective practice in teaching students in a clinical experience in either an elementary, middle level, or high school program. Prerequisites: SPED600, SPED603, SPED605 and SPED608.

    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). Learners 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.

    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; and ecological, authentic, and portfolio assessments. Review of behavior rating scales and various assessment data in evaluation reports. Learners practice techniques in actual classrooms.

    3 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED670

    Prerequisite Courses: EDUC610, 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 learners. Learners will become acquainted with outside agencies as well as transition needs and services. Clarifying personal beliefs and adjusting to diverse student needs within special education are critical elements of this course. Prerequisites: SPED600, SPED603, SPED605, SPED608, SPED610, SPED618, SPED620, SPED621, SPED625, SPED630, SPED641, SPED655, SPED670.

    2 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED780

Concentrations

Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Characteristics of Mild-Moderate Disabilities (SPED600)

    Overview and introduction to the mild-moderate range of 5 disability categories represented under Academic Behavior Strategist (ABS) including: Learning Disabilites (LD), Emotional and Behavior Disorders (EBD), Other Health Disabilites (OHD), Developmental Disabilities (DD), and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Definitions, eligibility criteria, characteristics, and contemporary issues of each will be studied. Thorough examination of historical and legal issues of special education including a thorough review of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

    3 credits

  • Characteristics of ASD (SPED601)

    Course examines characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Course content will prepare special education teachers for their unique role as academic instructors and skillful classroom managers for students with ASD. Instruction will draw from theories, research, medical, diagnostic, and legal criteria for autism. Personal viewpoints and ethics from a biblical perspective will be examined regarding educational approaches to autism. This course begins with an introduction to educational criteria, identification and assessment, teaching strategies and socio/cultural family issues. The course later progresses through an overview of behavior management philosophy and practical strategies and skills related to the instruction of children identified with autism spectrum disorder. Course objectives are congruent with current standards mandated by the Minnesota Department of Education for special education teachers working with students with autism spectrum disorders.

    3 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED603

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED605

  • Communication, Assessment and Intervention of ASD (SPED611)

    Examination and communication characteristics and challenges often associated with autism spectrum disorders. Current tools and strategies used to assess speech, language, and interaction skills. Ethical and moral issues from a biblical perspective will be discussed. Use of assessment results to identify needs and develop intervention plans. Creation of an Autism Tool Kit (defined in the assessment section), including techniques and interventions for building receptive and expressive language, as well as social communication skills of children with ASD.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED601, SPED601, SPED601, SPED603, SPED605

  • ASD: Identification, Evaluation, Planning and Consultation (SPED612)

    Focus is on the process of identification, assessment, and educational planning for students with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Using appropriate tools for evaluation of autism spectrum disorders, effective utilization, and reporting results. Examine and/or design critical elements of consulting in an educational and family environment specifically for students identified with autism spectrum disorders.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED601, SPED601, SPED601, SPED605, SPED611, SPED611, SPED611

  • Directed Study (SPED760)

    1 credit

  • ASD: Student Teaching (SPED781)

    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. Taken concurrently with SPED675.

    4 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED675

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, 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

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED601, SPED611, SPED612

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 (SPED630)

    The goal of SPED 630 is to prepare 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.

    2 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600

  • Responsive Instruction, Intervention, and Assessment (SPED631)

    The goal of SPED 631 is to prepare 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.

    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

  • Student Teaching - Academic Behavior Strategist (SPED780)

    EDUC 781 is designed to provide a 10-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. Graded on an S/U basis. May be taken concurrently with EDUC 641 and EDUC 646. Prerequisites: All ABS courses except for EDUC 613.

    4 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED675

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED605, SPED608, SPED610, SPED618, SPED620, SPED621, SPED625, SPED630, SPED641, SPED655, SPED670

Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
  • Characteristics of Mild-Moderate Disabilities (SPED600)

    Overview and introduction to the mild-moderate range of 5 disability categories represented under Academic Behavior Strategist (ABS) including: Learning Disabilites (LD), Emotional and Behavior Disorders (EBD), Other Health Disabilites (OHD), Developmental Disabilities (DD), and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Definitions, eligibility criteria, characteristics, and contemporary issues of each will be studied. Thorough examination of historical and legal issues of special education including a thorough review of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

    3 credits

  • 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: SPED600, SPED605

  • Intervention Strategies for EBD (SPED613)

    Introduction to the role of the special education teacher as an implementer of the social/emotional and behavioral interventions designed to meet individual student needs. Special attention will be paid to developing the skills necessary to help design and implement, with other multidisciplinary team members, a student behavior management program. Both individual and group intervention techniques, incorporating an emphasis on social skills training. Discussion of the importance of the observation, assessment, and intervention sequence.

    2 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600, SPED604, SPED604, SPED605

  • 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

  • Directed Study (SPED760)

    1 credit

  • EBD: Student Teaching (SPED783)

    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 who have emotional/behavioral disorders. The experience involves learners in all aspects of programming in a special education setting, including referral review, assessment, IEP development, placement, and instruction and management of behaviors. Learners are expected to demonstrate all proficiencies required of special education teachers. Learners 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 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, SPED604, SPED605, SPED610, SPED613, SPED618, SPED620, SPED621, SPED625, SPED641, SPED655

Learning Disabilities
  • Characteristics of Mild-Moderate Disabilities (SPED600)

    Overview and introduction to the mild-moderate range of 5 disability categories represented under Academic Behavior Strategist (ABS) including: Learning Disabilites (LD), Emotional and Behavior Disorders (EBD), Other Health Disabilites (OHD), Developmental Disabilities (DD), and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Definitions, eligibility criteria, characteristics, and contemporary issues of each will be studied. Thorough examination of historical and legal issues of special education including a thorough review of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

    3 credits

  • 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 (SPED630)

    The goal of SPED 630 is to prepare 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.

    2 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600

  • Responsive Instruction, Intervention, and Assessment (SPED631)

    The goal of SPED 631 is to prepare 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.

    3 credits

    Prerequisite Courses: SPED600

  • Directed Study (SPED760)

    1 credit

  • 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