Curriculum

Special Education Certificate (CAS) (24 credit-hours)

Niagara University’s offers the Special Education Certificate that consists of coursework and fieldwork in various formats. The program will accept six graduate credit hours that may be transferred in and are required prerequisites. The six graduate prerequisite credit hours or their equivalents are:

  • EDU 528 Multiculturalism in Education
  • EDU 539 Characteristics of Students with Exceptional Needs

If you do not have these two prerequisite courses, you will be required to take them in addition to the 24 hours of coursework. All courses are required. No substitution is allowed without the written consent of each candidate’s education advisor.

Required Courses

24 credit hours

Required prerequisite – waiver may be available upon advisement based on prior coursework.

This course examines the theories and practices of multicultural education which are presented as central to teaching and learning, not as marginal or added on to the “regular” curriculum. Study of multicultural concepts (e.g., inclusion, accurate representation, multiple perspectives, indigenous scholarship) will reveal how diverse knowledge bases have been historically muted in educational and other discourses. In order to avoid replicating this exclusionary practice, prospective and practicing teachers will explore ways in which students’ (and their own) multiple identities are embedded in teaching and learning that accurately represents diverse knowledge bases. Such an approach is multicultural and therefore emancipatory because it encourages students to become thinkers and producers of knowledge- practices that increase students’ opportunities and life chances.

Credit Hours: 3

Required prerequisite – waiver may be available upon advisement based on prior coursework.

This course introduces prospective and practicing teachers to the characteristics of students with physical, cognitive and emotional/behavioral challenges. The parti- cipants will be introduced to legislation issues including ADA, IDEA, IEPs, transition services, inclusion, etc. Participants will explore the role of students, family and education professionals. As part of this course, participants will reflect upon 15 hours of observations and interactions with students with disabilities.

Credit Hours: 3

The intent of this course is to provide teachers with knowledge of various assessment practices, skills in the assessment of learners with disabilities, and an understanding of the legal, moral and social issues associated with assessment in special education. The course will focus on the assessment of the following four areas: intelligence, achievement, behavior, and social-emotional well-being. Teachers will work in teams to prepare an Indi-vidualized Education Plan for a student for whom all four types of assessments have been performed.

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 provide a 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 management 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 impairments. Curricula and instructional methodologies 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

This course is designed to provide candidates with advanced knowledge and application of consultation as a service delivery model for students with diverse needs and the application of collaboration as a framework for working in inclusive settings. The course focuses on pedagogical theories, skills for consultation and collaboration through field work and best practices for working as an effective educational consultant and collaborator.

Credit Hours: 3

Grades 1-6 will take EDU 768

Grades 7-12 will take EDU 770

This course is designed to guide practicing teachers through the exploration of recent special education research and teaching practices. Participants will become familiar with specific issues including the use of assistive and adaptive technology, curriculum adaptation and individualization, IEP development and implementation and collaboration among family and related service professionals for students with special needs. Teachers who take EDU 768/770 are required to complete 75 hours of field work in classes where students with disabilities attend. These could be resource room, consultant teaching classrooms, blended classrooms, inclusionary classrooms and/or self-contained settings.

Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to provide the teacher with knowledge and understanding of the competencies that are essential in meeting the needs of students with disabilities. The seminar focuses on topics such as classroom management, diversity in the classroom, effective research based strategies, issues in special education, etc. The course is structured to address the NBPTS and CEC Standards for teachers of students with disabilities. This course is taken in concert with EDU 795.

Credit Hours: 3

This field experience course of 100 hours takes place in a classroom composed of students with disabilities who have Individual Education Programs (IEPs). Students may be enrolled in resource rooms, consultant teaching classrooms, blended classrooms, inclusionary classrooms and/or self-contained settings. Teachers are expected to demonstrate attitudes, knowledge and skills essential to teaching children with exceptional needs. Supervision of the teaching experience is conducted by a college supervisor and mentor of the participating teacher’s choice.

Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to help practicing teachers develop greater effectiveness in teaching reading diagnostically in K-12 classrooms. Teacher participants will examine a variety of factors that influence literacy acquisition, discuss and identify various reading problems, learn to conduct a diagnostic assessment of a student’s reading performance, analyze the assessment, and plan for appropriate reading instruction.

Credit Hours: 3

Annotation in Severe Multiple Disabilities Course Requirements

12 credit hours

The required core courses are designed to meet the New York state requirements for appreved programs.

This course id designed to focus on a cross-categorial model for providing services to individuals with a variety of disabilities, behavioral disorders and physical impairments. Curricula and instructional methodologies relevant to support students with diverse needs in the least restrictive enviroment are covered.

Credit Hours: 3

This course prepares future teachers in the development, implementation, and evaluation of effective instructional practices for individuals with high support needs. Assessment measures, systematic instruction, evaluation of student learning, functional life skills including culturally competent educaiton, support to families and individuals, and other life domains will be addressed.

Credit Hours: 3

This couse 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, asscoiated learning styles, various strengths and weaknesses, and various evidence-based strategies. Resources for agency workers and parents will also be addressed.

Credit Hours: 3

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   /   Prerequisites: Taken concurrently with EDU 794