COURSE LISTINGS FOR MASTER’S OF EDUCATION DEGREE (M.ED.) IN SPECIAL EDUCATION (SPED) AND EDUCATIONAL DIAGNOSTICIAN (DIAG) PROGRAM
This page will share course requirements for students who have concentrated their previous academic work in any area of education. All applicants should meet with their program adviser who is assigned to them by the College of Education’s Graduate Programs office before committing to a specialization area.
The four specialization areas within the SPED Master’s Program are:
- Bilingual Special Education (B/SPED)
- Learning Disabilities (LD)
- Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (E/BD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
The department also offers an additional Master’s Program for the Educational Diagnostician (DIAG) certificate.
Courses required for the DIAG master’s program are also listed below.
The following courses are required in all SPED Master’s programs, for all specialization areas. Requirements for DIAG majors also are listed below and are marked with an asterisk *.
Please make a note of any listed prerequisite requirements. Unless otherwise noted, all courses are restricted to SPED or DIAG majors and do not require additional departmental approval for majors.
*SPED 5320: Special Education: Historical & Legal Basis.
This course covers special education laws and history with an emphasis on litigation, legislation and laws pertaining to definitions of exceptional children including learning and behavior disorders, physical, mental, and sensory disabilities and the exceptionally gifted and talented student.
SPED 5322: Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners with Special Needs.
This course focuses on the needs of and teaching strategies for learners with special needs who have limited English proficiency and are from culturally diverse backgrounds.
*SPED 5347: Working with Parents of Learners with Special Needs.
Relevant approaches and techniques for professionals to work with parents of learners with special needs such as strategies for developing knowledge and skills associated with facilitating child growth by cooperative home-school planning.
SPED 5350/SPED 5309: (Elective) Writing for Research.
This course focuses on the fundamentals and conventions of professional writing. It can be substituted with TED 5304: Scholarly Writing.
*EDPC 5310: Applied Research Design for Educators.
This course focuses on the use of qualitative research methods in educational settings that serve diverse and/or special populations. Research design will include descriptive statistics, single-subject and qualitative research methods.
SPED 5378: Research and Applications in Special Education (Prerequisite: EDPC 5310).
Designed as a capstone course, this course will require students to conduct research and develop a project relevant to their local community or school with regard to the education of students with special needs. The research project should be suitable for distribution in the schools.
Departmental approval is required to register for this course; contact your assigned graduate adviser.
Additional Master’s-Level Courses
Each specialization area requires a minimum of 36 credit hours for completion. To round out the 15 credits above, additional courses are required. Unless otherwise noted, department approval is not required for these courses, but each course may have prerequisites and these courses are not open to non-majors without department approval.
The courses below are required in all four Master’s specialization (B/SPED, LD, ASD and E/BD) areas, and for completing the DIAG program, but not all courses are required for each specialization. A table that shows which courses are required by specialization can be found here.
SPED 5321: Topics in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education for Learners with Special Needs.
In depth exploration of strategies and instructional services for students with disabilities who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Nationally recognized issues and practices for these individuals will be reviewed.
*SPED 5330: Early Intervention for Young Children and Their Families.
Focuses on recommended intervention strategies for children from birth to eight years of age who have disabilities or who are at risk of having developmental delays; emphasizes typical and atypical development, family involvement, assessment, and natural setting interventions.
BED 5331: Survey Issues in Bilingual and Second Language Education.
This course focuses on the discourse of diverse paradigms in Bilingual/ESL Education and includes discussion of current pedagogical, theoretical, historical, legislative and other issues in the field. It will involve identification of program models in Bilingual/ESL Education, including their philosophical foundations, instructional frameworks, and the planning and design of program evaluation.
*EDPC 5334: Culturally Responsive Classroom Based Assessment.
This class covers theories and uses of norm and criterion referenced instruments in the classroom with an emphasis on curriculum-based, performance and informal assessments. Emphasis will be placed on response to intervention and working with culturally and linguistically diverse students.
*SPED 5337: Assessment: Disability and Cultural/Linguistic Factors.
Course content will focus on language acquisition, assessment of cultural variance in educational settings, selection of appropriate norm referenced assessment tools, administration and analysis of selected tests as it applies to students with, or suspected to have, a disability.
SPED 5340: Learning Theories across the Lifespan.
Analysis and application of learning theories, including cognitive, behaviorist, social and emotional learning processes in human development, with special emphasis on children and adolescents.
*SPED 5345: Interventions for Students with High Incidence Disabilities.
This course focuses on the role of the special educator in providing services to students with high incidence disabilities. It will incorporate strategies in team building, collaborative planning, and implementation as well as instruction in curricular and instructional modifications.
*SPED 5350: Special Topics in Special Education (Diagnosis and Placement) or Elective (if Undergraduate Special Education Major).
Selected topics will be considered for graduate students and teachers in special areas. It may be repeated when topic varies.
*SPED 5361: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).
This course provides an in-depth examination of functional assessment and behavioral intervention planning based on positive behavior support. Instructional interventions applying ABA principles and techniques to students with autism and emotional/behavioral disorders will be highlighted. This is restricted to SPED and DIAG majors.
SPED 5363: Education of Learners with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders.
Focuses on the theories and methods for promoting behavior change for students with emotional/behavioral disorders. This course will address current research and best practices in behavior interventions and support.
SPED 5369: Teaching Reading to Learners with Mild Disabilities.
This course provides information on assessment of learners with mild disabilities who have reading difficulties. It will include information about strategies in teaching decoding, word attack, comprehension, and other reading skills.
SPED 5370: Teaching Secondary Students with Mild Disabilities.
This course covers academic and behavioral challenges faced by adolescents with learning problems. It includes transition to post-secondary settings.
*SPED 5371: Teaching Students with Severe Disabilities.
We will study characteristics of students with severe disabilities to include assessment, program development, teaching methodology and design of learning environments. The focus will be on inclusionary/mainstreaming educational and community settings.
SPED 5372: Trends and Issues in Autism.
This seminar course provides an opportunity to explore relevant research and best practice in critical issues in autism. Topics explored will include educational programming, transition, social skills, working with parents and the communication process related to working with families of children with autism.
SPED 5373: Teaching Students with Autism.
This course will introduce learners to the characteristics of young children, elementary and adolescent students severely disabled with autism. It will include assessment, program development, teaching methodology, and intervention techniques such as programming for self-help, reading, mathematics, motor and language skills, and functional academic skills.
SPED 5374: Language Disorders in Students with Autism.
This course provides an overview of the foundations of language acquisition for understanding language and communication problems in students with autism spectrum disorders. Formal and informal assessment and intervention techniques/strategies for facilitating language and communication are emphasized. Additionally, assistive technology in fostering communication will be explored.
SPED 5376: Developmental Aspects of Autism.
This course will provide a comprehensive overview of the developmental aspects of autism, including cognitive, social, behavioral, and physiological perspectives. This course also will provide professionals with the essential knowledge to work effectively with community service providers. Issues related to diagnosis, etiologies, and characteristics of autism across the lifespan will be presented. Current "hot topics" in autism also will be discussed, including impact of diet and childhood immunizations.
Courses Required for DIAG Majors Only
The following courses are specialization courses that are required only for DIAG majors but can be made available to SPED majors in other specialization areas with instructor approval.
EDPC 5336: Advanced Educational Appraisal.
This course will provide students with experience in analysis, evaluation, administration, and interpretation of standardized achievement, diagnostic, and adaptive behavior measures. Interpretation and evaluation of results through written educational reports is required.
EDPC 5344: Use and Interpretation of Cognitive Measures.
Students will be instructed in techniques and procedures associated with standardized administration of several verbal and non-verbal cognitive assessments. A special emphasis is placed on the interpretations of results and connecting these to school-level programming decisions.
EDPC 5348: Application of Assessment for the Delivery of Instruction for “At-Risk Students.”
This is a pre-internship course that includes the supervised practice of testing procedures, full-written evaluations, and side-by-side comparisons of federal and state regulations for identifying and serving at-risk students in special education. EDPC 5375: Internship in Educational Diagnostician. This course includes supervised experience working in public schools alongside certified diagnosticians. Students will gain experience in completing comprehensive assessments, preparing written reports of assessments and other required paperwork, attending ARD meetings, and presenting tests data to educators and families. Periodic meetings with University faculty are required to establish goals and monitor progress.