Curriculum

Master’s Degree Program (30 credit hours)

Developmental Disabilities Planning Guide

Niagara University offers the master of arts degree in developmental disabilities. This program requires 18 credit hours of foundational work, nine credit hours in a concentration, and a culminating practicum of three credit hours. Tuition assistance is available for the first two courses taken.

Required Foundation Courses

18 credit hours

The course will consider social structures operating within a community. Principles and techniques of working with school personnel, organizations and members of the community will be the focus of the course with a view to promoting better public relations.

Credit Hours: 3

This course provides an overview of ways technology can be used to facilitate the education of learners with disabilities. It also offers advance study of various technological devices that assist individuals with disabilities in performing functional tasks and achieving independence. The course emphasizes the integration of assistive technology into the home, community, school, and workplace. The course also provides opportunities in the use of software such as word processing, database management, graphics, and electronic spreadsheet to enhance the personal productivity of special educators.

Credit Hours: 3

Credit Hours: 3

This course addresses the challenges transition to adult life pose for individuals with mild to moderate disabilities. The goal of independent living will be explored through the integration and collaboration of various resources including the individual, the family, the school, support systems and the community. Advocacy and self-determination will a focus

Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to provide candidates with the various theories, principles and practical applications of behavioral strategies as they relate to the diverse nature of students that represent schools today. Specific techniques drawn from various theories and principles will providea framework for exploration, discussion and analysis. Candidates will be required to observe and analyze both student and teacher behaviors within the classroom. Based upon the observation, classroom and/or individual behavior man- agement plans will be developed.

Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to focus on a cross- categorical model for providing services to individuals with a variety of disabilities, behavioral disorders and physical impair- ments. Curricula and instructional method- ologies relevant to support students with diverse needs in the least restrictive environment are covered. Through field work and projects, the needs of individuals with moderate/severe disabilities and their families will be explored.

Credit Hours: 3

Electives - Concentration I (Clinical)

Select 9 credit hours from the following:

Credit Hours: 3

This course provides in-depth under- standing of the concepts related to the transition of young adults with exceptional learning needs, specifically, young adults with developmental disabilities. Issues, challenges, and practices involved in assisting them transition to a variety of options and participate to the fullest degree in society will be examined.

Credit Hours: 3

This course investigates the current state of Autism and the unique nature of Asperger's Syndrome. Topics under study include history of autism and Asperger’s syndrome, theoretical perspectives, characteristics, identification and assessment, associated learning styles, various strengths and weaknesses, and various evidence-based strategies. Resources for agency workers and parents will also be addressed.

Credit Hours: 3

Electives - Concentration II (Leadership)

Select 9 credit hours from the following:

Credit Hours: 3

Credit Hours: 3

This course examines the legislative process and patterns of health legislations. Students analyze the issues and political processes involved in the current health legislation and health legislative proposals at the national and state levels. Upon completion, students will develop an indepth understanding of the persistent issues facing the healthcare system, the law and its application to the industry and be able to think critically about current and future issues in healthcare management.

Credit Hours: 3

Credit Hours: 3

Required Culminating Experience

3 credit hours

Taken concurrently with EDU 794

This course is designed to enable the practicing teacher to develop competence in teaching students with special needs. Practicing teachers will be observed by university-designated supervisors as they perform the activities of a special education teacher in inclusion, self-contained and consultant contexts. Practicing teachers are expected to demonstrate attitudes, knowledge and skills commensurate with effective teaching for all students.

Credit Hours: 3