Graduate Program Coordinator:
Dr. Waseem Mazher
The Graduate Special Education program is based on a conceptual framework, which focuses on the following perspectives: Academic Scholar, Collaborative Practitioner, Reflective Practitioner, and Professional Dispositions. The preparation of skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who understand reflective and inquiry-based teaching is also emphasized. The program is based on the notion that all students can achieve. Graduate teacher candidates learn how assessment drives instruction and the importance of data-based decision making.
The program is designed to produce teachers who understand the purpose of education as well as the developmental aspects of learning. Another major program emphasis is placed on preparing teacher candidates to perform skillful and continuous monitoring of students’ learning.
The program further provides the candidate with a foundation for the teaching and management of students with disabilities based on current knowledge, research, and practice in the field. Action research is emphasized to document the efficacy of teaching methodology. The candidate is expected to demonstrate an understanding of students with disabilities relative to their cultural, emotional, social, academic, cognitive, transitional, and physical needs. Candidates become proficient in the use of computer technology, and application of behavior management techniques. As an extension of the inclusion model, candidates learn to work collaboratively with other staff members in an interactive process in order to generate creative solutions to mutually defined problems.
The program is generic in nature and focuses on students with mild and moderate disabilities from elementary through middle school (grades 1-8). The program consists of 36 credit hours grouped sequentially to provide the student with a hierarchy of knowledge and skills. The program requires three field-based experiences.
All prospective graduate special education candidates whose undergraduate degrees are not in the field of education are required to complete foundation courses. The exact number of courses required is based on an evaluation of each student’s transcript. The student’s advisor will conduct transcript evaluations.
Students are required to have three semester hours in Human Growth and Development prior to entry into the program and maintain a 3.25 average during the program. Students are also required to pass Praxis I as an entrance requirement and Praxis II as an exit requirement. A program of study is also required and must be completed by a University assigned advisor with appropriate signatures prior to the candidate taking any courses.