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Courses

Educating Special Needs Students

This course meets Florida state standards for teaching students with disabilities. For more information on this requirement, please click here

This course is designed for all educators and related providers who work with students with learning disabilities, attention deficits (with or without hyperactivity), developmental delays, behavior problems or other distinctive disorders. Participants will also gain understanding of students with dyslexia, autism and multiple disabilities. Federal laws will be explored: IDEA, No Child Left Behind, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, along with many required applications to the classroom. Participants will develop a clinical eye toward all students (with or without an IEP) and will be able to apply classroom accommodations, developmental teaching techniques and designed modifications. Each course participant will organize and complete a case study based on one selected student. We will review symptoms, describe individual deficits and customize an educational plan that will accommodate that student's weakness. That plan will be put into effect and monitored as per course assignment. Various group activities will be utilized to maximize learning and provide interactions among participants.

Carlow University ED 609 • Madonna University EDU 5960.16 • Notre Dame College ED 615 D • The College of Saint Rose EDC 684


Graduate participants earn 3 semester hours of graduate credit and will receive a transcript from one of our partner institutions below. Professional development participants will receive a certificate of completion for 45 hours of professional developments credit for face-to-face classes and 60 hours of professional development credit for online classes.

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Course Schedule

  • 10/8/18 - 1/8/19
  • 12/11/18 - 3/12/19
  • 2/12/19 - 5/14/19
  • 4/9/19 - 7/9/19
  • 6/11/19 - 9/10/19
  • 8/13/19 - 11/12/19
  • 10/8/19 - 1/14/20
  • 12/10/19 - 3/10/20

Session/Module 1: Special Education in the Classroom

Objective: To introduce the history of special education including regulations and developments; to define the role of classroom teachers within those parameters
Contents:

  • Definition and history of Special Education
  • IDEA law and regulations
  • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
  • Mainstreaming
  • Necessary documents (The IEP and Psychological Report)
  • District/Teacher responsibilities
  • Common integration models

Session/Module 2: Eligibility for Special Ed. Services and Possible Categories Therein

Objective: To outline procedures that identifies and assists students with special needs; to review all categories of disabilities
Contents:

  • Criteria for eligibility
  • Developmental delays
    • Physical development
    • Cognitive development
    • Communication development
    • Social/Emotional development
    • Adaptive development
  • Categories of Disabilities (13)

Session/Module 3: Learning Disabilities

Objective: To review the study of learning disabilities; to allow educators opportunities as diagnosticians
Contents:

  • Types of Learning Disabilities
  • Classroom teachers as diagnosticians
  • Symptomatic checklist to facilitate educational diagnosis
  • Establishing a profile and developing a clinical eye
  • Group project

Session/Module 4: Behavior Problems in the Classroom

Objective: To introduce the full gamut of behavior problems and facilitate plans for improvements
Contents:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Childhood depression
  • Section 504 (Of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973)
  • Medication
  • Behavior Improvement Plan (BIP)
  • Behavior modifications

Session/Module 5: Autism and Other Distinctive Disorders

Objective: To review and distinguish the difference between Autism and other forms of PPD; to outline a plan for a student case study
Contents:

  • Autism and PPD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder)
    • Definition
    • Criteria
    • Social issues
    • Communication concerns
    • Stereotypical Behaviors
    • Intervention/teaching method
  • Other distinctive disorders
    • Tourette's Syndrome
    • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
    • Selective Mutism
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Session/Module 6: The Referral Process

Objective: To provide a timeline for making referrals and establishing criteria within that timeline
Contents:

  • School-Based Intervention Team (SBIT)
  • Elementary and Secondary pre-referral strategies
  • The Special Ed. Referral timeline
  • The Committee of Special Education (CSE)
  • Being prepared, developing your file and presenting your case at CSE
  • Voting members and possible outcomes

Session/Module 7: No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB)

Objective: To introduce regulations and provisions of NCLB; to review changing roles and accountability for all educators
Contents:

  • Facts and mandates
  • Student testing
  • National Assessment of Educational Progress (Nation's Report Card)
  • Adequate yearly progress (AYP)
  • Aligning Special Education with NCLB
  • New requirements for teachers and paraprofessionals

Session/Module 8: Adapting/Modifying Curriculum

Objective: To provide educators with plans and strategies for modifying curriculum of all special needs students
Contents:

  • Alternative ways of teaching
  • Suggestions for academic/related accommodations
  • Testing Modifications: Purpose and Eligibility
  • Modifying the Classroom
  • Practical Academic Strategies
  • Group project

Session/Module 9: Building Partnerships

Objective: To strategize opportunities for cooperative partnerships that will strengthen and support all educators
Contents:

  • Working with parents
  • Administrators lend a hand
  • Getting help from special care providers and support staff
  • Collaborative Teaching
  • Aides and Paraprofessionals

Session/Module 10: Becoming Advocates

Objective: To offer opportunities for educators to become clinicians and advocates for all students
Contents:

  • Developing sensitivity towards the special-needs student
  • Remember to honor the IEP
  • Rebuilding self-esteem
  • Protecting the vulnerable student
Objectives
  • Outline the history of special education, including current regulations and developments.
  • Distinguish the roles of the classroom teacher and other educators within the parameters of current regulations and developments.
  • Appraise recent statistics concerning children with disabilities.
  • Assess and recognize developmental delays and procedures that identify students with special needs.
  • Examine and recognize the 13 types of disabilities as defined by IDEA.
  • Compare and contrast the characterizations of learning disabilities by comparing the particular traits of each type of learning disability.
  • Illustrate methods for adapting instruction.
  • Compare and contrast numerous behavioral disorders that may be encountered in the classroom environment.
  • Evaluate, characterize, and recognize behavior modification plans, and locate resources that are available to assist teachers in designing/utilizing those plans.
  • Compare and contrast Section 504 (of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and compare/contrast it with IDEA.
  • Appraise and distinguish between autism and other pervasive developmental disorders (PDD).
  • Characterize additional disorders and syndromes that he/she may encounter among future students.
  • Assess the role of the school-based intervention team in addressing behavioral issues.
  • Appraise pre-referral strategies that he/she may adapt for use in his/her classroom.
  • Examine the legally mandated timeline for progressing through the special education referral process.
  • Locate and research guidelines for referring his/her student(s) to the Committee of Special Education (CSE) in his/her district.
  • Appraise the regulations and provisions of the NCLB Act.
  • Evaluate the changing roles and accountability practices applicable to all educators under the NCLB Act.
  • Compare National Assessment of Educational Progress and Adequate Yearly Progress.
  • Interpret how special Education processes are aligned with the NCLB Act.
  • Appraise strategies and devise plans specifically aimed at modifying curriculum and instruction for students with special needs.
  • Assess alternative teaching methods and strategies which provide adapted instruction for students with special needs.
  • Compare and contrast a multitude of approved testing modifications which are designated for accommodating students with special needs.
  • Design instruction that incorporates differentiations which characterize accommodations for students with special needs.
  • Assess opportunities for educators to form cooperative partnerships with administrators, parents, and primary service providers that will provide the strength and support necessary for maintaining a productive educational environment.
  • Evaluate methodologies which promote favorable opportunities for advocating parental support and involvement.
  • Distinguish between various service providers who support classroom teachers in catering to students with special needs.
  • Appraise opportunities for educators to recognize all students’ potential, and to facilitate intervention as is necessary to empower students to achieve success.
  • Evaluate means of assessing the particular needs of his/her students, and develop habits that exemplify sensitivity towards students (especially those with special needs) and how to best support them in the educational environment.
  • Characterize behaviors/practices that prioritize protection of vulnerable students by comparing various methods/considerations which serve to promote high self-esteem within students, especially those who exhibit waning or non-existent self-confidence.
Partner Universities

Our Partners are well-established regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities, recognized for academic excellence and their commitment to teachers.

Important Information

Online 3-graduate credit courses are 13 weeks in length.

Face-to-face courses are held Friday evening from 6:00pm-9:00pm and Saturday/Sunday, 8:30am-5:30pm.

Weekday courses are Monday-Friday from 8:00am- 6:00pm.

It is the responsibility of the student to check with their state, county, district, or school to ensure that all requirements are being met by the course you're taking.  

Check the Partner Universities tab for specific university information as well as course numbers which are specific to the university partner. 

Students are to purchase their own textbook, the information for which can be found here.  Most courses require a book but some do not, so check the list for your specific course. If no book is required it will be specified. 

Professional development (PD) participants receive a certificate of completion from TEI for 45 hours of PD credit for face to face classes and 60 hours of PD credit for online classes. These certificates are mailed within one week of the end of the class.