Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities (SPE, MAP)

The Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities (SPEMA) prepares students to serve as decision makers in instructional settings for exceptional learners. The SPEMA faculty believe that a teacher preparation program should emphasize roles and responsibilities that integrate the strengths of learners, parents, general education teachers, special education teachers, related service professionals and the community. A combination of learning opportunities that include a coordinated knowledge base, diverse school-based and community-based practicums and internship experiences are designed to facilitate the development of logical, critical and reflective thinking skills. These skills will enable students to synthesize information and conceptualize knowledge to prepare them as future educators to plan, develop, problem solve and implement programs for diverse learners.

Success is a function of the interaction between the individual and the environment. Thus, the over-arching goal of teacher education programs offered by the Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities is the development, validation and use of techniques for maximizing students’ (with and without exceptionalities) attainment of their full potential.

The sequence of advanced study followed by the postgraduate student in special education is contingent on the skills and background brought to the program and on the student's career plans.
 
Special education faculty are involved in a number of demonstration and research projects designed to develop and evaluate innovative procedures for training professionals, paraprofessionals and parents to work with various types of exceptional children. These projects are also concerned with the development and evaluation of instructional programs and techniques for exceptional individuals. Students have access to an array of practicum and research opportunities from a variety of resources.

The department is not concerned only with teacher preparation: We also prepare researchers, academic scholars and other leaders, through our doctoral programs. Faculty and students pursue the discovery of interventions to improve children’s functioning and learning and to benefit their families and communities. We acculturate graduate students to the academic life and mentor them on their paths to careers in higher education. We also provide the experiences and expertise to shape future special education and early intervention administrators, agency heads and other leaders.

Visit Department Website

Faculty

Department Head and Professor
  • Robin McWilliam
Professors
  • Carol A. Donovan
  • Kristine Jolivette
  • N. Kagendo Mutua
Associate professors
  • Sara McDaniel
  • Jane Lumpkin Newman
  • Sandra Cooley Nichols
  • Nicole Cain Swoszowski
Assistant professors
  • Sunyoung Kim
  • Ragan McLeod
Clinical professor
  • Kathy Shaver Wetzel
Clinical assistant professors
  • John Myrick
  • Ashley Perry
Clinical instructors
  • Lisa Burgess
  • Cathy Gilliam
  • Sharron Maughn
 

Courses

SPE
500
Hours
3
Intro Exc Childr/Youth

Introduction to programs and problems of children and youth who deviate from the norm in physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics.

SPE
501
Hours
3
Diagnosis and Assessment of Exceptional Children and Youth

Comprehensive study of diagnosis and assessment, emphasizing concepts of tests and measurements, formal and informal assessment, test administration, and use of diagnostic results in educational intervention.

SPE
502
Hours
3
Adv Behav Mgt Spec Educt

Concepts and principles of behavior change and management; practical experience in developing plans to prevent and remedy behavior problems. Research project required.

SPE
503
Hours
3
Masters Seminar In Spe

Critique of research and research problems in current special education issues.

SPE
505
Hours
2
Professionalism

No description available.

SPE
506
Hours
3
Working W/Families

Examination of the effects of an exceptional child on the family, and the various approaches to intervention with the family.

SPE
509
Hours
2
The Learner

No description available.

SPE
514
Hours
3
Teach Consult Model Spe

Introduction to various direct and indirect service delivery models for students with mild disabilities; consultant techniques demonstrated.

SPE
516
Hours
1
Communication & Collaboration

No description available.

SPE
517
Hours
1
Facilitating Learning

No description available.

SPE
518
Hours
6
Field Experience

No description available.

SPE
527
Hours
2
Professionalism

No description available.

SPE
528
Hours
2
The Learner

No description available.

SPE
530
Hours
2
Communication & Collaboration

No description available.

SPE
534
Hours
2
Facilitating Learning

No description available.

SPE
535
Hours
3
Field Experience

No description available.

SPE
538
Hours
1
Research Seminar

No description available.

SPE
550
Hours
2
Professionalism

No description available.

SPE
554
Hours
2
The Learner

No description available.

SPE
556
Hours
2
Communication & Collaboration

No description available.

SPE
557
Hours
2
Facilitating Learning

No description available.

SPE
558
Hours
3
Field Experience

No description available.

SPE
560
Hours
1
Research Seminar

No description available.

SPE
571
Hours
3
Educ Yng Child W/Disablt

An introductory course to the field of early childhood special education, including rationale, legal issues, and characteristics of children from birth through kindergarten.

SPE
575
Hours
0-6
Practicum in Early Childhood Special Education (0-8 years)

Involves a demonstration of teaching expertise of candidate with students identified with severe/profound and/or multiple disabilities in special and general education classrooms.

SPE
576
Hours
3
Assessment Young Childrn

Selection, administration, and interpretation of assessments of young children (birth through kindergarten).

SPE
578
Hours
3
Meth Tch Yng Child W/Dis

Use of curricula, materials, and management techniques for young children (birth through kindergarten) with disabilities.

SPE
579
Hours
3-6
Intern Ed Yg Child Div Abil

Fourteen week split internship providing supervised teaching experience in classrooms for young children. Offered spring and fall only. Application for internship must be made the semester prior to internship (excluding summer term) through Office of Educational Field Experience.

SPE
581
Hours
3
Psy Gift Tal Chld Yth

Examination of the nature of youth with high potential in multiple areas. Contemporary theory, research, and the relationship between definition/identification and educational planning are considered.

SPE
582
Hours
3
Teach Gifted And Taltd

Use and evaluation of teaching-learning methods for education of the gifted and talented, including consideration of roles, expectations for learning, and organizational procedures.

SPE
583
Hours
3
Creative Prob Solving

A guided sequence of exercises and experiences leading to increased personal creative behavior, with emphasis on methods for nurturing creative talent in students of all ages.

SPE
584
Hours
3
Spec Populatn Gift Educ

Examination of a variety of administrative designs, curriculum options, instructional models, and strategies to meet the unique cognitive and affective needs/abilities of special populations of gifted students.

SPE
585
Hours
3
Teaching Thinking Skills

Survey of existing thinking-skills programs and techniques for creating new programs for thinking. Emphasis is on integrating thinking skills into gifted education and regular education.

SPE
586
Hours
3
Socl Emotl Compnts Talent Dev

This course will explore current research, psychological theory and practical counseling techniques relevant to the social and emotional components of giftedness. Some topics include perfectionism, gender issues, underachievement, and special populations.

SPE
587
Hours
3
Indiv Needs Talents Classroom

This course will outline instructional and managerial techniques that can be used in the grade level or heterogeneous classroom to address the individual lerning needs, strengths, styles, and preferences of all students.

SPE
589
Hours
3-9
Internship Gift/Talent

Intensive, supervised teaching experience in programs for gifted and talented.

SPE
590
Hours
3
Intro Mild Disabilities

An intensive study of the background and current perspective on mild disabilities. Emphasis on developing professional knowledge base.

SPE
591
Hours
3
Adv Academc Methods Elem

Designed to develop skills in the use of curriculum, materials, and strategies for students with disabilities at the elementary school level.

SPE
592
Hours
3
Adv Academc Methods Sec

Designed to develop skills in the use of curriculum, materials, and strategies for students with disabilities at the secondary level.

SPE
593
Hours
3
Intro Severe/Profound Disabili

An intensive study of the background and current perspective on severe disabilities. Emphasis is on developing professional knowledge.

SPE
594
Hours
3
Methods Severe Disabilty

Emphasizes educational programming, subject matter, professional responsibilities of teachers and related service personnel, curriculum development, communication, and physical management and handling procedures of individuals with severe disabilities.

SPE
595
Hours
0-6
Practicum in Severe Disabilities Education (K-12 grades)

Involves a demonstration of teaching expertise of candidate with students identified with severe/profound and/or multiple disabilities in special and general education classrooms.

SPE
596
Hours
0-6
Practicum in Collaborative (K-6 or 6-12 grades)

Involves a demonstration of teaching expertise of candidate with students identified with severe/profound and/or multiple disabilities in special and general education classrooms.

SPE
597
Hours
3
Transition In Special Ed

Focuses on the strategies, methods, curriculum, and measurement for facilitating an effective transition from school to adulthood of adolescents with disabilities.

SPE
598
Hours
3-9
Internship In Special Ed

Intensive, supervised teaching experience in a special education program.

SPE
600
Hours
3
Doctoral Seminar Spe

Required for all first-year doctoral students; diagnostic in function. Activities include examination of career goals and assessment of skills in written and oral presentations. Offered fall semester.

SPE
601
Hours
3
Sem Col Teachg In Spe

Course structure, lecturing and other delivery techniques, student evaluation, and practicum supervision are included among topics that are reviewed to develop skills in college training. Offered fall semester.

SPE
602
Hours
3
Seminar Research Spe

Focuses on the unique aspects of the exceptional population in relationship to typical statistical and research design procedures. Offered spring semester.

SPE
606
Hours
3-6
Topical Seminar In Spe

May be repeated for credit. Selected topics, review and critique of current literature, research problems, and methodology.

SPE
609
Hours
3-6
Practicum In Spe

Designed for advanced graduate students. Students practice effective supervision skills or college teaching skills under the direction of the course instructor.

SPE
611
Hours
1-6
Ind Study In Spe

Intensive investigation of a specific aspect of special education, by one student under the supervision of a faculty member in the student's area of concentration.

SPE
612
Hours
1-6
Readg Research In Spe

For doctoral students, an opportunity to initiate, develop, and successfully defend a dissertation topic dealing with a problem of magnitude in the field of special education.

SPE
613
Hours
3
Consult Proc Spe Progs

Training in human-relations techniques and administrative strategies designed to facilitate communication and interaction with individuals and groups in special education programming.

SPE
614
Hours
3
Assmt Tch Lrn In Spe

Strategies for curricular designs, teaching methods, and program models using informal and observational techniques to assess teaching effectiveness and learner outcomes (academic and behavioral) in special education programs.

SPE
616
Hours
3
Advanced Professional Development

Theories and types of training and development programs will be reviewed and analyzed, needs assessments will be explored and conducted, and professional development sessions will be developed, facilitated, and evaluated.

SPE
617
Hours
3
Special Education Leadership, Policy and Law

This course is designed to instruct the ethical, legal, and leadership principles that govern the field of special education. It includes emphasis on preparing for administrative positions in special education programs in local education agencies.

SPE
621
Hours
3
Issues in Special Education: Early Childhood

Discussion of current research and investigation of major issues in the education of young students with disabilities, focusing on best practices, assessment and learning, programming, evaluation, community involmement, and facilitation.

SPE
622
Hours
3
Advanced Curriculum Workshop: Early Childhood Special Education

This course assists leaders in early childhood special education in applying studies in basic disciplines to the development and implementation of appropriate curriculum for young students with disabilities. It includes emphasis on application of diverse teaching models and the use of a variety of program alternatives and skills in designing, managing, and evaluating program alternatives.

SPE
623
Hours
3
Issues in Collaborative Education

Discussion of current research and investigation of major issues in the education of students with disabilities, focusing on best practices, assessment and learning, programming, evaluation, community involvement, and facilitation.

SPE
624
Hours
3
Advanced Curriculum Workshop in Special Education:Collaborative

This course assists leaders in collaborative education in basic disciplines to the development and implementation of appropriate curriculum for students with disabilities. It includes emphasis on application of diverse teaching models and the use of a variety of program alternatives and skills in designing, managing, and evaluating progam alternatives.

SPE
681
Hours
3
Issues In Gifted Educ

No description available.

SPE
682
Hours
3-6
Adv Curr Workshp Gift Educatio

No description available.

SPE
699
Hours
1-12
Dissertation Research

No description available.