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Special Education (2004-2005)

Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements

Department Chairperson: Linda L. Tomlinson
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Linda Loxley Meloy
Department Office: Horrabin Hall 25
Department Telephone: 309/298-1909 Fax: 309/298-1779
Department E-mail: S-Education@wiu.edu
WWW Address: www.wiu.edu/users/misped/
Location of Program Offering: Quad Cities

Graduate Faculty

  • Professors
    • Lyman W. Boomer, Ed.D., University of Kansas
    • Mary M. Jensen, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin–Madison
    • Sharon A. Maroney, Ph.D., University of Minnesota–Minneapolis
    • Linda L. Meloy, Ph.D., University of Iowa
    • Linda L. Tomlinson, M.Ed., Phillips University
  • Associate Professors
    • Donald E. Healy, Ph.D., University of Iowa
    • Darlos K. Mummert, Ed.D., Illinois State University

Associate Graduate Faculty

  • Assistant Professors
    • Lynda A. Conover, Ph.D., University of Virginia
    • Philip Nordness, Ph.D., University of Nebraska—Lincoln
  • Instructor
    • Judith K. Sadler, Ed. S., Western Illinois University

Program Description

The Department of Special Education provides comprehensive graduate programs for students desiring professional careers in special education. Students completing the master’s degree in special education usually assume positions as classroom or collaborating teachers of children and adolescents with disabilities in schools, clinics, and residential facilities. For students who are certified to teach nonexceptional individuals, completion of this degree may qualify them for a special education teaching endorsement.

Admission Requirements

Candidates for the Master of Science in Education degree in special education must meet the criteria for admission to the School of Graduate Studies. A teaching certificate is required to enter the Special Education master’s program. A substitute teaching certificate does not meet this requirement. In addition, candidates should submit a letter of intent and three professional letters of reference to the department. The Departmental Graduate Committee will evaluate the application materials and make appropriate recommendations for acceptance or rejection into the program. Upon admission to the Department of Special Education, the student is assigned an adviser.

Degree Requirements

Completion of 38 semester hours of graduate credit is required for this program.

  • Core Requirements 14 s.h.
    • SPED 514 Collaboration in Special Education (3)
    • SPED 518 Career Education and Transition (3)
    • SPED 581 Special Education Law and Supervision (3)
    • SPED 620 Competency Portfolio (0)
    • SPED 622 Action Research in Education (2)
    • SPED 624 Action Research Project (3)

Choose one of the following tracks:

Track I

For individuals with a teaching certificate/endorsement but no background in special education who are seeking either professional development or initial certification/endorsement at the I Level in Illinois or Iowa. If initial Iowa endorsement is LS II, additional coursework will be necessary beyond the master’s degree requirements. If students seek both LS I and LS II endorsements for Iowa, an additional 3 s.h. of SPED 580 must be completed.

Prerequisites:

  1. An exceptionalities course
  2. A reading methods course
  3. A math methods course
  4. A computer technology course
  • Core Requirements 14 s.h.
  • SPED 513 Families of Individuals with Disabilities 2 s.h.
  • SPED 517 Behavior Intervention 3 s.h.
  • SPED 519 Psychoeducational Assessment 4 s.h.
  • SPED 551 Characteristics of Learners with Mild/Moderate Disabilities 3 s.h.
  • SPED 552 Instructional Methods: Mild/Moderate Disabilities K-6 3 s.h.
  • SPED 553 Instructional Methods: Mild/Moderate Disabilities 7-12 3 s.h.
  • SPED 580 Graduate Field Work in Special Education 3 s.h.
  • EIS 500 Methods of Research 3 s.h.
    TOTAL PROGRAM 38 s.h.

Track II

For individuals with one or more certifications/endorsements in special education who are seeking professional advancement or additional endorsements.

  • Core Requirements: 14 s.h.
  • Select one of the following areas of study:
    • Curriculum Specialist - IL: 24 s.h.
      • SPED 505 Diagnostic Assessment for Program Planning (3)
      • SPED 552 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Mild/Moderate Disabilities K-6 (3)
      • SPED 553 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Mild/Moderate Disabilities 7-12 (3)
      • SPED 600 Seminar in Curriculum (3)
      • SPED 610 Contemporary Issues in Special Education (3)
      • SPED 613 Families, Diversity, and Social Issues (3)
      • SPED 617 Advanced Behavior Intervention (3)
      • Elective in a curriculum area (3)
    • Behavior Interventionist - IL: 24 s.h.
      • SPED 505 Diagnostic Assessment for Program Planning (3)
      • SPED 552 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Mild/Moderate Disabilities K-6 (3)
      • SPED 553 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Mild/Moderate Disabilities 7-12 (3)
      • SPED 580 Graduate Field Work in Special Education (3)
      • SPED 605 Seminar in Behavior Intervention (3)
      • SPED 610 Contemporary Issues in Special Education (3)
      • SPED 613 Families, Diversity, and Social Issues (3)
      • SPED 617 Advanced Behavior Intervention (3)
    • Behavior Learning - IA: 24 s.h.
      • SPED 505 Diagnostic Assessment for Program Planning (3)
      • SPED 536 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Emotional/Behavior Disorders (3)
      • SPED 546 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Learning Disabilities (3)
      • SPED 580 Graduate Field Work in Special Education (3)
      • SPED 610 Contemporary Issues in Special Education (3)
      • SPED 613 Families, Diversity, and Social Issues (3)
      • SPED 617 Advanced Behavior Intervention (3)
      • Elective in psychology or counseling (3)
    • Mental Disabilities - IA: 24 s.h.
      • SPED 505 Diagnostic Assessment for Program Planning (3)
      • SPED 523 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Moderate/Severe Mental Retardation (3)
      • SPED 526 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Mild Mental Retardation (3)
      • SPED 580 Graduate Field Work in Special Education (3)
      • SPED 610 Contemporary Issues in Special Education (3)
      • SPED 613 Families, Diversity, and Social Issues (3)
      • SPED 617 Advanced Behavior Intervention (3)
      • Elective in growth and development (3)
    Total Program: 38 s.h.

Course Descriptions

421G Introduction to Mental Retardation. (3) The causes, characteristics, and implications for educational programming for students with mental retardation will be examined. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or an equivalent survey of exceptionalities course.

431G Introduction to Emotional/Behavioral Disorders. (3) The causes, characteristics, and implications for educational programming of students with emotional and behavioral disorders will be examined. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or an equivalent survey of exceptionalities coures.

441G Introduction to Learning Disabilities. (3) The causes, characteristics, and implications for educational programming of students with learning disabilities will be examined. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or an equivalent survey of exceptionalities course.

450G Professional Workshop. (1–3) Content-specific workshops aimed at professional development of educators. Assignment completion for grade. No prerequisite.

505 Diagnostic Assessment for Program Planning. (3) Diagnostic assessment for IEP planning is mastered, along with progress monitoring approaches such as curriculum-based measurement and portfolios with rubrics. Prerequisite: SPED 519 or an equivalent norm-referenced testing course.

510 The Exceptional Individual. (3) Characteristics and implications for educational programming for students with a wide range of disabilities will be examined.

513 Families of Individuals with Disabilities. (2) An introduction to families in social context, this course examines the impact of a child with a disability on a family and the needs of the family throughout the life span. Also, societal issues impacting families and schools are reviewed. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or an equivalent survey of exceptionalities course.

514 Collaboration in Special Education. (3) Collaborative skills necessary to participate effectively in interactions with other professionals and parents, as well as to supervise paraprofessionals, are mastered. Various co-teaching models are also explored. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or an equivalent survey of exceptionalities course.

517 Behavior Intervention. (3) Strategies for providing positive behavioral supports to students on a classroom and individual basis are mastered. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or an equivalent survey of exceptionalities course.

518 Career Education and Transition. (3) Procedures for planning and implementing career development and prevocational and vocational programming are examined, along with the assessments and legislation related to transition. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or an equivalent survey of exceptionalities course.

519 Psychoeducational Assessment. (4) Measurement concepts and norm-referenced assessment are explored, and the application of the comprehensive special education evaluation process is mastered. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or an equivalent survey of exceptionalities course.

523 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Moderate/Severe Mental Retardation. (3) Methods for developing and implementing educational programs for individuals with moderate to severe mental retardation 0-21 will be mastered. Prerequisites: SPED 421G or equivalent.

524 Methods: Children with Mild Mental Disabilities. (2) Provides teaching methodology specific to the teaching of children with mild mental disabilities at the elementary level. Prerequisite: SPED 421.

525 Methods: Adolescents with Mild Mental Disabilities. (2) Provides teaching methodology specific to teaching students with mild mental disabilities at the junior high and high school levels. Prerequisite: SPED 421.

526 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Mild Mental Retardation. (3) Teaching methodologies, instructional strategies, and materials for use in developing educational programs for students aged 0—21 with mild mental retardation will be mastered. Prerequisite: SPED 421G or graduate equivalent.

533 Special Problems in Special Education. (1–4, repeatable) Content-specific offerings aimed at professional development of educators. Assignment completion for grade. (Degree candidates may receive credit on degree program only with the permission of the Departmental Graduate Committee and the student's adviser.)

534 Methods: Children with Behavioral Disorders. (2) A study of specific teaching methods and instructional materials for use with elementary children with behavioral disorders. Prerequisite: SPED 431.

535 Methods: Adolescents with Behavioral Disorders. (2) A study of specific teaching methods and instructional materials for use with secondary students with behavioral disorders. Prerequisite: SPED 431.

536 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders. (3) Teaching methodologies, instructional strategies, and instructional materials for use in developing educational programs for students aged 0-21 with emotional/behavioral disorders will be mastered. Prerequisite: SPED 431G or graduate equivalent.

544 Methods: Children with Learning Disabilities. (2) An in-depth exploration of specific strategies used in teaching elementary students with learning disabilites. Prerequisite: SPED 441.

545 Methods: Adolescents with Learning Disabilities. (2) An in-depth exploration of specific strategies used in teaching secondary students with learning disabilities. Prerequisite: SPED 441.

546 Instructional Methods: Individuals with Learning Disabilities. (3) Teaching methodologies, instructional strategies, and materials for use in developing educational programs for students aged 0-21 with learning disabilities will be mastered. Prerequisite: SPED 441G or graduate equivalent.

551 Characteristics of Learners with Mild/Moderate Disabilities. (3) The unique characteristics of a wide variety of learners with mild and moderate disabilities will be examined, along with their broad educational, behavioral, and emotional needs as related to educational programming.

552 Instructional Methods: Mild/Moderate Disabilities K-6. (3) Effective teaching methodologies, instructional adaptions, and program delivery options for students with mild/moderate disabilities, K–6, are mastered. Corequisite: SPED 580 as needed. Prerequisites: SPED 551 or an equivalent.

553 Instructional Methods: Mild/Moderate Disabilities 7-12. (3) Effective teaching methodologies, instructional adaptions, and program delivery options for students with mild/moderate disabilities, 7–12, are mastered. Corequisite: SPED 580 as needed. Prerequisites: SPED 551 or an equivalent.

580 Graduate Field Work in Special Education. (1–12, repeatable to 12) Practicum experiences are provided under the supervision of an appropriately certified teacher in a setting providing instructional services to students with disabilities. Prerequisite: Prior departmental approval which calls for completion or concurrent enrollment in an appropriate methods course.

581 Special Education Law and Supervision. (3) Federal and state laws, along with case law, that direct the delivery of special education services will be examined. Elements of supervision will also be outlined. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or an equivalent.

599 Independent Study. (1–2, repeatable to 4) Students investigate a specific content area not covered in other course work, under the supervision of a faculty member. A formal written report of the investigation is expected for a grade. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

600 Seminar in Curriculum. (3) Investigation of research on best practices in developing and adapting curriculum and the impact on students with disabilities is required. The varying models that undergird curriculum and instructional approaches are examined with the aim of preparing leadership for school settings. Prerequisites: SPED 552 and SPED 553.

601 Thesis. (3) Thesis direction under the guidance of a major professor to meet the needs of the student engaged in a research project. A written thesis will be presented to the Departmental Graduate Committee. Prerequisite: EIS 500 and approval of the Departmental Graduate Committee.

602 Professional Experience in Special Education. (3) The professional experience involves supervision, consultation, an internship, or other in-depth educational experience. The process must encompass collection, analysis, integration, organization and accountability dimensions of special education. This activity ends in a written report or computer, media, or other technologically-based product outcome. Prerequisite: EIS 500 and approval of Departmental Graduate Committee.

603 Comprehensive Examination in Special Education. (0) The student will complete a written comprehensive examination. The examination will be graded S/U and will be administered once each semester. The student may take the examination two times. Prerequisite: Approval of Departmental Graduate Committee.

605 Seminar in Behavior Intervention. (3) Investigation of current landmark research on behavior, including theoretical approaches; classroom management theories; crisis prevention/intervention; and facilitation, maintenance, and generalization of behaviors across environments is required with the aim of preparing leadership for school settings. Prerequisite: SPED 517 or graduate equivalent.

610 Contemporary Issues in Special Education. (3) Recent special education literature will be used to explore the current issues in the field of special education with the aim of preparing informed leaders in educational settings. Prerequisite: SPED 551 or an equivalent.

613 Families, Diversity, and Social Issues. (3) The unique social/emotional needs of families with children with disabilities and/or with children at-risk, the impact of poverty and other societal stressors, and the specific issues of diversity will be explored from a current research perspective with the aim of preparing informed leaders in educational settings. Prerequisite: SPED 513 or graduate equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

617 Advanced Behavior Intervention. (3) Research-based approaches to positive behavior intervention will be examined with the intent of providing leadership for the establishment of school-wide environments based on positive behavior support for all learners. Prerequisite: SPED 517 or graduate equivalent.

620 Competency Portfolio (0). Students will prepare and submit for evaluation an electronic portfolio at three different times during the student’s program as a formative assessment. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and the completion of at least twelve hours for initial registration.

622 Action Research in Education (2). Students master the principles of and strategies involved in conducting action research in school settings. Prerequisite: EIS 500 or evidence of appropriate course work in methods of research.

624 Action Research Project. (3) Students design, conduct, analyze, and report the results of an action research project related to their area of expertise. Prerequisites: SPED 622 and Graduate Committee approval.

Western Illinois University.

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