College of Education2021-2022

Department of Educational Specialties

Special and Elementary Education, Bachelor of Science in Education

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The Special and Elementary Education undergraduate program prepares students to become a certified teachers of children and youth who have disabilities, as well as those who do not. The program provides a strong background in elementary education related to teaching methods of foundational content.

The coursework allows the candidate to demonstrate and apply their understanding of the elements of literacy critical for purposeful oral, print, and digital communication. It also presents major mathematics concepts, algorithms, procedures, applications/practices in varied contexts, and connections within and among mathematical domains. The program also emphasizes the understanding and integration of the three dimensions of science and engineering practices, cross-cutting concepts, and major disciplinary core ideas, within the major content areas of science. Additionally, the coursework focuses on candidate understanding, capabilities, and practices associated with the central concepts and tools in Civics, Economics, Geography, and History, within a framework of informed inquiry. These general educational programmatic emphases are richly augmented by an eclectic coursework in special education. From a foundational special education perspective, the program provides for an understanding of how the field of special education is an evolving and changing discipline based on philosophies, evidence-based principles and theories, relevant laws and policies, and diverse historical points of view. Through the varied coursework, the candidates demonstrate respect for their students first as unique human beings and demonstrate an understanding of the similarities and differences in human development and the characteristics between individuals with and without exceptional learning needs (ELN). Programmatic emphasis is placed on the importance of understanding the effects that an exceptional condition can have on an individual’s learning in school and throughout life that include beliefs, traditions, and values across and within cultures. Within the program, content is provided that helps the candidate select, adapt, and use these instructional strategies to promote positive learning results in general and special curricula and to appropriately modify learning environments for individuals with ELN. The program focuses on creating learning environments for individuals with ELN that foster cultural understanding, safety and emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and active engagement of individuals with ELN. It also emphasizes the need to understand typical and atypical language development and the ways in which exceptional conditions can interact with an individual’s experience with and use of language. The program recognizes how assessment is integral to the decision-making and teaching of general and special educators and candidates learn multiple types of assessment information for a variety of educational decisions. They also learn to use the results of assessments to help identify exceptional learning needs and to develop and implement individualized instructional programs, as well as to adjust instruction in response to ongoing learning progress. Emphasis is provided related to the teaching profession’s ethical and professional practice standards. Foundational to the program is the importance of how educators routinely and effectively collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways. Teaching practicums and fieldwork give direct experience in classrooms throughout the program in both general and special education.


Student Learning Outcomes

Outcomes align with Standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the Association for Childhood Education International, Council for Exceptional Children, and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium

 
Special Education Student Learning Outcomes
  • Foundations: Special educators understand the field as an evolving and changing discipline based on philosophies, evidence-based principles and theories, relevant laws and policies, diverse and historical points of view, and human issues that have historically influenced and continue to influence the field of special education and the education and treatment of individuals with exceptional needs both in school and society.
  • Development and Characteristics of Learner: Special educators know and demonstrate respect for their students first as unique human beings. Special educators understand the similarities and differences in human development and the characteristics between and among individuals with and without exceptional learning needs (ELN).
  • Individual Learning Differences: Special educators understand the effects that an exceptional condition can have on an individual’s learning in school and throughout life. Special educators understand that the beliefs, traditions, and values across and within cultures can affect relationships among and between students, their families, and the school community.
  • Instructional Strategies: Special educators possess a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to individualize instruction for individuals with ELN. Special educators select, adapt, and use these instructional strategies to promote positive learning results in general and special curricula and to appropriately modify learning environments for individuals with ELN.
  • Learning Environments and Social Interactions: Special educators actively create learning environments for individuals with ELN that foster cultural understanding, safety and emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and active engagement of individuals with ELN. In addition, special educators foster environments in which diversity is valued and individuals are taught to live harmoniously and productively in a culturally diverse world. Special educators shape environments to encourage the independence, self-motivation, self-direction, personal empowerment, and self-advocacy of individuals with ELN.
  • Language: Special educators understand typical and atypical language development and the ways in which exceptional conditions can interact with an individual’s experience with and use of language. Special educators use individualized strategies to enhance language development and teach communication skills to individuals with ELN. Special educators are familiar with augmentative, alternative, and assistive technologies to support and enhance communication of individuals with exceptional needs.
  • Instructional Planning: Special educators develop long-range individualized instructional plans anchored in both general and special curricula. In addition, special educators systematically translate these individualized plans into carefully selected shorter-range goals and objectives taking into consideration an individual’s abilities and needs, the learning environment, and a myriad of cultural and linguistic factors.
  • Assessment: Assessment is integral to the decision-making and teaching of special educators and special educators use multiple types of assessment information for a variety of educational decisions. Special educators use the results of assessments to help identify exceptional learning needs and to develop and implement individualized instructional programs, as well as to adjust instruction in response to ongoing learning progress. Special educators understand the legal policies and ethical principles of measurement and assessment related to referral, eligibility, program planning, instruction, and placement for individuals with ELN, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  • Professional and Ethical Practice: Special educators are guided by the profession’s ethical and professional practice standards. Special educators practice in multiple roles and complex situations across wide age and developmental ranges. Their practice requires ongoing attention to legal matters along with serious professional and ethical considerations. Special educators engage in professional activities and participate in learning communities that benefit individuals with ELN, their families, colleagues, and their own professional growth.
  • Collaboration: Special educators routinely and effectively collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways. This collaboration assures that the needs of individuals with ELN are addressed throughout schooling.
Detailed Elementary Education Student Learning Outcomes

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