Special Education

Special Education Course Offerings

Special Education course offerings will be found under the 4 letter code of EDSE in the course listings.  

512 – General and Special Education Goals and Practices: Middle and Secondary (3)

Prerequisite: EDSE 531 or EDSE 390. This course provides an introduction to instructional strategies and organization of activities, including Universal Design for Learning, curriculum, media, materials, and physical environment for students in grades 6-12 accessing the general Standards of Learning curriculum.  Candidates will develop skills to plan and deliver instruction in a variety of educational setting such as inclusive classrooms, resource rooms ad self-contained classrooms.  A continued focus will be on students’ response to intervention, and selecting evidence-based practices that have the greatest likelihood of success.  Field experience required.

519 – General and Special Education Goals and Practices: Elementary (3)

Prerequisite or corequisite: EDSE 531 or EDSE 390. This course focuses on the characteristics of students with mild disabilities and the application of elementary school curriculum through teaching and learning models for general and special education. This course allows the prospective teacher to explore and develop ways to adapt curriculum and accommodate students with disabilities in a variety of educational settings. Topics include characteristics and educational needs of students with disabilities who are accessing the general curriculum, instructional planning, individualized education planning, mathematics education, assessment and evaluation techniques, and the use of assistive technology. Field experience required.

521 – Language and Literacy for Special Populations (3)

Prerequisite or corequisite: EDSE 531 or EDSE 390. The study of language development provides a context for understanding and diagnosing language and reading problems. Topics include normal and abnormal language development patterns, basic reading skills, explicit phonics instruction, multi-sensory structured language programs, comprehension, assessment and evaluation, and effective language, reading and writing instructional strategies for students with disabilities. Field experience required.

531. Survey of Special Education: Characteristics and Legal Issues (3)

This course presents an overview of the historical basis and regulatory requirements related to special education, including the individual education program (IEP) as a legal document and the rights and responsibilities of parents, teachers, and schools. The characteristics of learners with disabilities and their educational and medical implications are also examined, as well as the cultural, familial, and ethical issues involved.

533 – Positive Approaches to Behavior Management (3)

Prerequisite or corequisite: EDSE 531 or EDSE 390. This course focuses on how to utilize a variety of positive behavior management strategies within the classroom to increase the learning of students with disabilities and enable them to learn as close to the general education setting as possible. Applied behavior analysis and positive behavioral support provides the basis for the implementation of classroom and individual behavior management plans.

534 – Assessment, Evaluation, and Instructional Planning (3)

Prerequisite or corequisite: EDSE 531 or EDSE 390. This course examines a variety of formal and informal approaches to assessing and evaluating student learning and behavior. Experiences are provided in selecting, administering, and  interpreting norm-referenced, criterion referenced, and curriculum-based measures; participating in eligibility decisions and response to intervention programs; developing instructional plans; and monitoring the progress of students with disabilities in the K-12 setting.

535 – Collaborative Consultation and Transition Planning (3)

Prerequisite or corequisite: EDSE 531 or EDSE 390. This course is designed to enhance collaboration, consultation, and communication skills as they relate to working with other teachers and professionals, assisting others in working effectively with students with exceptionalities, and involving families in the education of their children with disabilities. The course also emphasizes coordination with community agencies, other professionals, and the family to plan for life transitions, including self-advocacy, post-secondary training, career development, and life skills.

537 – Characteristics of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (3)

This course provides educators with data related to disabilities under the category of Autism Spectrum Disorders, with an emphasis on autism, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. This course includes a discussion of the core behavioral and secondary characteristics, as well as the known physiological components associated with these disorders. Students learn about the prevalence of the disorders, as well as the common theories on etiologies. Dual diagnoses, co-morbidity, and medical issues are discussed. Additionally, a review of the characteristics across the lifespan, from infancy and childhood through adulthood, is provided. Family concerns and considerations are discussed in the context of age, development, and need for support.

538 – Methods for Teaching and Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (3)

This course teaches educators how to review assessment data to choose and implement effective teaching strategies and curricula for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. This course reviews current research-based strategies used to support students with autism in the areas of communication, sensory issues, social skills, and academic learning. Interventions covered include structured teaching, social skill development, aspects of applied behavior analysis, language/communication interventions, and sensory integration. Educators gain exposure to various curricula to support students in these areas.

539 – Characteristics of Students Accessing an Adapted Curriculum (3)

Prerequisite or corequisite: EDSE 531. This course provides an examination of characteristics of students with various disabilities that may require functional, academic, and community support in their educational plan. Medical, sensory, positioning, and communication interventions are discussed. Person-centered planning and social skill development, in addition to academic adaptations and functional curriculum are addressed. Field experience required.

541 – Goals and Practices for Students Accessing an Adapted Curriculum (3)

This course provides an understanding of educational models, methods, and resources employed in teaching students with developmental disabilities requiring an adaptive curriculum. Planning and implementing group/IEP programs for students of all ages is emphasized. Topics include: collaboration with families/professionals, classroom structure, teaching social skills through play, utilizing adaptive technology to improve communication, and understanding core deficits to modify curriculum and instructionally accommodate students with developmental delays, including autism. Students will run UMW Play Lab, part of the UMW Autism Clinic.

552: Special Education M.Ed. Internship for Initial Licensure Five Year Pathway (9)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the Special Education Initial Licensure Five Year Pathway coursework and permission of the  department. This is the capstone experience of the Special Education Initial Licensure Five Year Pathway. The prospective special education teacher is challenged to blend personal and educational experience to teach in the classroom under the mentorship of a skillful practicing teacher. The internship is a 14-week field-based teaching experience in two different special education settings and grade levels. Self-analysis and reflection on planned and implemented instruction, and conferencing the mentor teacher and university supervisor are prominent aspects of the experience. Prospective teachers meet as a group throughout the experience for seminars and workshops. The experience and seminars are designed to assist the teacher candidate with performance of the required program standards and competencies, which must be demonstrated to successfully complete the special education initial licensure program.