Special Education

Gwen Bass, Placement Coordinator

Amy Nichols, Senior Administrative Assistant

The Special Education module provides students with the core competencies they need to be able to apply independently to Massachusetts for a license in Moderate Disabilities (PreK - 8 or 5 - 12).

These courses are specifically designed to provide opportunities for current students pursuing initial licensure or teachers with the appropriate licensure to earn and independently apply for an Additional License in Special Education. These courses are taken individually as part of the regular January or summer session PaGE (Professional and Graduate Education) course offerings. They may be taken in any order with the exception of Practicum Two, which can only be taken after the successful completion of Practicum One.

Course Offerings

X.SPED-426 The Inclusive Classroom: Strategies and Interventions for Promoting Learning and Positive Outcomes for All Students

Credits: 3

This course surveys the etiology, diagnosis, and remediation of learning differences including dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, autism, as well as factors that influence a child's readiness to learn. Students present, discuss, question, and exchange ideas that contribute to an overall understanding of special education in the field. With an emphasis on inclusion in schools, students explore the impact of current policies, assessments, and practices. The focus is on adapting the learning environment, classroom structures, and approach to teaching so that all children, regardless of learning strengths and needs are supported to reach their potential and achieve meaningful goals.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
G. Bass
Instructor permission required.

X.SPED-436 Moderate Disabilities Practicum I: Student Teaching in Self-Contained Classrooms

Credits: 2

Students are expected to complete a supervised field experience of at least 60 hours in a self-contained special education classroom in a public school setting. Placements can be located within or outside of the Five College area. In addition to the field experience component, students attend three course meetings. Reading and writing assignments focus on a survey of learning disabilities, descriptions of special education programs, understanding Individuals with Disabilities Education Act policies and placement options, interpreting Individualized Education Program plans, and planning curriculum for self-contained special education classrooms.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
B. Bell, N. Stephen

X.SPED-438 Moderate Disabilities Practicum II: Student Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms

Spring. Credits: 3

Students are expected to complete a supervised field experience of at least 100 hours in an inclusive classroom in a public school setting. Placements can be located within or outside of the Five Colleges area. In addition to the field experience component, students attend weekly course meetings. Reading and writing assignments focus on a survey of learning disabilities, descriptions of special education programs, understanding Individuals with Disabilities Education Act polices and placement options, interpreting Individualized Education Program plans, and planning curriculum for inclusive classrooms.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
G. Bass
Instructor permission required.

X.SPED-441 Differentiated Instruction for Diverse Learners

Credits: 3

This course will focus on design or modification of curriculum, instructional materials, and general education classroom environments for students with moderate disabilities. Students will learn ways to prepare and maintain students with disabilities to succeed in general education classrooms. Coverage will include instruction on assistive technology, including AAC, to support students with disabilities to learn in the least restrictive environment.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
F. Brady
Instructor permission required.

X.SPED-463 Foundations of Reading: Development, Comprehension, Instruction, and Assessment

Credits: 4

Reading development, assessment, comprehension and instruction are central to the course. Through a combination of readings, lectures, & experiences, this course will provide students with the knowledge & skills to assess literacy needs and implement effective language arts instruction for all learners. The course includes a study of the writing process, with coverage of phonics, spelling, & grammar. The Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts and Literacy is addressed, as are all content objectives for the Foundations of Reading MTEL test required of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8 and 5-12) licensure candidates in the Commonwealth.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
S. Frenette
Instructor permission required.

X.SPED-481 The Law, Transition and Collaboration

Credits: 3

This course will review state and federal laws and regulations which represent the requirements for special education. Participants will be introduced to concepts including educational terminology for students with mild to moderate disabilities; preparation, implementation and evaluation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs); knowledge of transition services and services provided by other agencies; review of federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to special education; and strategies for building and maintaining collaborative partnerships with team members.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
L. Peltier
Instructor permission required.