The curriculum for the Special Needs programs leading to licensure in Severe Disabilities addresses theories of language development, including the differences between first and second language acquisition and the effects of disabilities on learning and vocabulary development. The program explores diagnosis and assessment of that development, innovative instructional practices for students with handicapping conditions, functional curriculum development and educational planning, and the availability and operation of assistive technologies that support the learning needs of the severely disabled child. This preparation program for Initial licensure requires a pre-practicum and practicum experiences as described below.
At the completion of the program the student will:
1. Have knowledge of the cognitive development of children and adolescents, learning theory, for all learners, the philosophical implications for regular education integration, and the utilization of behavioral management principles.
2. Know the educational terminology for students with moderate or severe disabilities and of services provided by other agencies as well as knowledge of federal and state regulations pertaining to special education.
3. Have assessment skills in reporting informal information, sensory motor checklists, pre-school screening, and receptive and expressive language development.
4. Know how to adapt curriculum goals; create materials; select technologically appropriate tools; and prepare, implement, and evaluate individual education programs
5. Gain experience and information about the role of families and the community-at-large in dealing with various mild-to-moderate and severe disabilities of all learners.
Admission Criteria for Master of Education in Severe Special Needs
• Application form and a $50 application fee
• Statement of professional goals
• Official transcripts of all academic work
• Two letters of recommendation
• Official score report of either the Miller Analogies Test or
Graduate Record Examination
• An admission interview with the program director or
associate dean of the program
• TOEFL required for all students for whom English is not
a first language; 79 is minimum score for iBT and 550 for
the pen and pencil test.