2017-18 Catalog

Special Education

The Special Education program offers two degrees, a Master’s Degree in Education in Special Education (M.Ed) and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Special Education (Ph.D.).

Students have options within the master’s degree program to pursue Pennsylvania state teacher certification.  All teacher certification programs are fully accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  These options include:

  • Dual certification in special education PreK-8 and PreK-4,
  • Dual certification in special education 7-12 and secondary education 7-12,
  • Certification in elementary/middle level special education PreK-8, and
  • Certification in secondary special education 7-12. 

The special education program also offers options for Pennsylvania state teacher certification in special education without earning a master's degree. 

For individuals already certified in special education, students may enroll in a post-certification Master’s in Special Education degree program to build upon their professional expertise.  Students may pursue course work toward the Board Certification Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) Examination within the post-certification master's degree program.

Students who complete the master’s degree and/or certification programs are fully qualified to teach special education in school settings within the grade band of their certification. Teacher graduates may assume a variety of roles as teachers in self-contained classrooms, co-teachers in inclusive classrooms, itinerant support or consultants, and transition coordinators.  Some graduates choose to work in community settings, providing behavioral support or services to non-school age individuals with disabilities.

Students who complete the Ph.D. program are fully prepared to conduct research and teach in college or university settings.  Alternatively, some graduates assume leadership positions, directing school, district, or state-level programs or participating in state or national educational policy or teacher training initiatives.

The Special Education program emphasizes the use and development of evidence-based and other innovative practices that make meaningful differences in the lives of individuals with disabilities.  Working collaboratively the Teaching, Learning, and Technology program, our master’s students learn a variety of effective practices to prevent disabilities and to support students with disabilities in inclusive settings.  Students are also trained in intensive academic and behavioral interventions.  The Ph.D. program is individualized and emphasizes the development of professional competencies in research, teacher training, and dissemination.  Two unique features of our program are our small Ph.D. cohorts, which allow for personalized faculty-student mentoring, and cross-collaboration with other programs within the college (for example, School Psychology; Educational Leadership; and Teaching, Learning and Technology).

Special Education faculty members are continuously immersed in research and service projects that bring nationally recognized innovations to schools and community settings that support individuals with disabilities.  Students may have the opportunity to work with faculty on projects supported by competitive university, state, foundation and federal grants and contracts.  Recent projects/programs include: 

  • Developing comprehensive intervention packages for high school students with emotional and behavioral problems,
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of Tier 2 and Tier 3 math interventions for primary grade students,
  • Providing behavioral and academic interventions for young children with or at risk for disabilities in preschool classrooms,
  • Evaluating peer-mediated interventions to improve the social-communication skills of high school students with autism, and
  • Demonstrating an individualized transition program of support for adolescents with intensive learning and behavioral needs.

For additional information about the program, please visit: http://coe.lehigh.edu/academics/disciplines/sped

Lehigh undergraduates may enroll in either of the College of Education's 5-year teacher certification areas: Elementary Education (grade levels preK through 4) and Secondary Education (grade levels 7 through 12). A Minor in Education is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences. 

For information on the 5-year programs, see below. For information on the Education Minor, see the College of Arts and Sciences 'Minor Programs in the College'.

5-YEAR MASTER OF EDUCATION IN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION AND PREK-4 TEACHER CERTIFICATION

The College of Education offers a five-year degree program that is designed to allow students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years instead of the traditional six.  The combined degree program leads to either a B.A. or B.S. degree in an academic discipline from the College of Arts and Sciences, the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, or the College of Business and Economics, and an M.Ed. degree in Elementary Education.  In addition, students also earn eligibility for an Instructional I teaching certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) in grades PreK-4.

PROGRAM OF STUDY FOR PREK-4 CERTIFICATION:

B.A. or B.S. plus Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Elementary Education and PA Certification eligibility.  This 42-credit (minimum) master’s program prepares students for certification as PreK-4 teachers. Students complete coursework in three categories:

Core Course Work (21 credit hours)
SPED 332Education and Inclusion of Individuals with Special Needs in K-123
TLT 380Child Development and Cognition3
TLT 404Diversity,Families, and School Collaborations in K-123
TLT 405Principles and Applications of K-12 Assessment3
TLT 407Instructional Design for K-12 Classrooms3
TLT 409K-12 Classroom Environment and Management3
TLT 411Early Childhood Education3
Development of Professional Skills (18 credit hours)
TLT 412Social Studies in PreK through 4th Grade3
TLT 420Reading and Literacy in PreK through 4th Grade3
TLT 422Language Arts in PreK through 4th Grade3
TLT 426Science in PreK through 4th Grade3
TLT 428Mathematics and Numeracy in PreK through 4th Grade3
SPED 465Advanced Inclusionary Practices in K-123
Extended Field Experience (3 credit hours)
TLT 444General Education Student Teaching and Seminar1-6

In order to be eligible for PreK-4 certification, by the time a student finishes the program he or she must have demonstrated competence in the core content areas for that certification. At time of acceptance, each student will be informed of any additional content-area coursework he or she will be required to complete in order to demonstrate competence in the PreK-4 core content areas. The student is responsible for completing this coursework prior to applying for PreK-4 certification. The credits for this coursework are not included in the master’s degree.

Distribution of coursework across undergraduate and graduate study:

Sophomore Year (3 credit hours)

Junior Year (3 credit hours)

Senior Year (12 credit hours)

College of Education - Summer (12 credits)

College of Education - Fall (9 credits)

College of Education - Spring (6 credits)

Students in the 5-year program will take 18 credits pre-bachelor’s and an additional 27 credits post-bachelor’s.  However, the University requires that master’s degrees carry at least 30 credits minimum.  This means students in the 5-year program must have at least 3 credits “left over” from their bachelor’s program to move across to the College of Education to put toward their master’s degree.

5-YEAR MASTER OF EDUCATION IN SECONDARY EDUCATION AND 7-12 TEACHER CERTIFICATION 

The College of Education offers a five-year degree program that is designed to allow students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years instead of the traditional six.

The combined degree program leads to (1) a B.A./B.S. degree in an academic discipline from the College of Arts and Sciences, the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, or the College of Business and Economics, and (2) an M.Ed. degree in Secondary Education. In addition, students also earn eligibility for Instructional I teacher certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) in one of the 8 subject areas below:

  • Biology 7-12
  • Chemistry 7-12
  • Earth and Space Science 7-12
  • English 7-12
  • General Science 7-12
  • Mathematics 7-12
  • Physics 7-12
  • Social Studies 7-12

PROGRAM OF STUDY:

B.A. or B.S. plus Master of Education (M.Ed., 33 credits minimum) and Pennsylvania teacher certification eligibility. In addition to meeting the requirements for the bachelor's degree, students must satisfy the Pennsylvania Department of Education guidelines for demonstrated content-area competence (see below).

Students complete coursework in three categories:

Core Coursework (15 credits)
SPED 332Education and Inclusion of Individuals with Special Needs in K-123
TLT 404Diversity,Families, and School Collaborations in K-123
TLT 405Principles and Applications of K-12 Assessment3
TLT 407Instructional Design for K-12 Classrooms3
TLT 409K-12 Classroom Environment and Management3
Development of Professional Skills (12 credits)
Content-area teaching methods course with approval of adviser (one of the following):
TLT 431Social Studies in Middle Level and High School Education3
TLT 434English in Middle Level and High School Education3
TLT 436Science in Middle Level and High School Education3
TLT 438Mathematics in Middle Level and High School Education3
Plus:
TLT 432Reading and Critical Thinking in Middle Level and High School Education3
SPED 465Advanced Inclusionary Practices in K-123
TLT XXX Elective with adviser approval 3
Extended Field Experiences (6 credits)
TLT 440Pre-professional Seminar3
TLT 444General Education Student Teaching and Seminar1-6

In order to be eligible for secondary certification, by the time a student finishes the program he or she must have demonstrated competence in the subject matter area of that certification. Each student upon admission meets with the content-area specialist in the field in which that student seeks secondary certification. The content-area specialist, who is a faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences, reviews the student’s transcripts and compares that student’s coursework with the content-area guide sheet approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Following this audit, the content-area specialist will identify what additional coursework in the content-area is needed, if any. The student is responsible for completing this coursework prior to applying for secondary certification. The credits for this course work are not included in the M.Ed. degree.

Students in the secondary teacher-preparation program are expected to have completed almost all their content area coursework prior to going out to student teach. This is important because student teachers need to have mastery of their content in order to fulfill their responsibilities to their students and to derive maximum benefit from the student teaching experience.

Distribution of coursework across undergraduate and graduate study:

Sophomore Year (3 credit hours)

Junior Year (6 credit hours)

Senior Year (6 credit hours)

College of Education - Summer (6 credits)

College of Education - Fall (9 credits)

College of Education - Spring (3 credits)

Students in this program unable to accrue enough credits outside their undergraduate degree programs may need to take additional credits after beginning graduate study in order to reach the 33-credit minimum.

Students in this program who wish to obtain the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree rather than the M.Ed. degree may petition to change to that degree after admission to graduate study.  The M.A. degree requires 42 credits instead of 33 credits and has specific content-area expertise requirements.  See the M.A. degree description for its requirements.

Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education

This 60 credit post-master's degree program is individualized and emphasizes applied research, faculty-student mentoring, and the development of professional competencies such as writing for publication, college teaching, grant writing, and program administration.

Doctoral Core (12 credits)
SCHP 496Doctoral Seminar in School Psychology3
and/or
SPED 490Doctoral Seminar in Special Education3
Research Core (18 credits)
Required:
EDUC 410Univariate Statistical Models3
EDUC 411Multivariate Statistical Models3
Other:
EDUC 408Introduction to Statistics3
EDUC 409Analysis of Experimental Data3
EDUC 461Single-Subject Research Design3
SCHP 473Advanced Research Methods in Applied Psychology1-3
SPED 495Independent Study in Special Education1-6
Other courses with approval of adviser.
Special Education Major Core (15 credits)
Choose from special education courses or independent studies in special interest areas with approval of adviser.
Related Areas (9 credits)
EDUC 471Diversity and Multicultural Perspectives3
Other courses with approval of adviser.
Apprenticeship (6 credits)
Supervised mentored experiences such as college teaching, student teaching supervision, writing for publication, participation in research projects, presentations at national conferences, grant writing, or educational leadership in schools and community.

Master of Education in Special Education

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Special Education is designed for the college graduate who holds instructional certification in special education and who is interested in pursuing advanced studies in special education. The mission of this special education master’s program is to enhance the skills of highly qualified special educators who are not only skilled practitioners, but also leaders in establishing effective teaching and learning environments for individuals with disabilities in their schools and communities.

Core Course Work (15 credits)
SPED 404Diversity, Families, and School Collaborations in K-123
SPED 429Professional Seminar3
SPED 432Positive Behavior Support3
SPED 452Assessment in Special Education3
SPED 465Advanced Inclusionary Practices in K-123
Area of Study (3 credits, must choose one of the following; courses not chosen here may be taken as Electives, below)
SPED 416 Autism Spectrum Disorders and Evidence-Based Practices3
SPED 418Alternative Curricular Approaches3
SPED 419Academic Interventions: PreK-83
SPED 421Academic Interventions: Secondary Level3
Electives (12 credits; the one course chosen above under Area of Study may not also be counted toward fulfilling Electives credits)
SPED 330Special Topics in Special Education1-3
SPED 338Emotional and Behavioral Disorders of Children3
SPED 402Applied Behavior Analysis3
SPED 409K-12 Classroom Environment and Management3
SPED 410Behavior Analysts: Ethics and Professional Conduct 3
SPED 411Early Childhood Education3
SPED 416 Autism Spectrum Disorders and Evidence-Based Practices3
SPED 418Alternative Curricular Approaches3
SPED 419Academic Interventions: PreK-83
SPED 421Academic Interventions: Secondary Level3
SPED 423Transition to Post-school Life3
SPED 430Advanced Seminar in Special Education3
SPED 440Early Academic Intervention3
EDUC 461Single-Subject Research Design3
EDL 432Special Education Law3
EDL 479School Law and Ethics3
SCHP 412Consultation Procedures2
SCHP 426Advanced School and Family Interventions3
Other electives as approved by adviser

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has verified the following course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify (http://bacb.com/bcba-requirements/).

SPED 402Applied Behavior Analysis3
SPED 409K-12 Classroom Environment and Management3
SPED 410Behavior Analysts: Ethics and Professional Conduct 3
SPED 416 Autism Spectrum Disorders and Evidence-Based Practices3
SPED 432Positive Behavior Support3
EDUC 461Single-Subject Research Design3

Courses

SPED 330 Special Topics in Special Education 1-3 Credits

Current issues in the education of individuals with special needs. Titles vary.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

SPED 332 Education and Inclusion of Individuals with Special Needs in K-12 3 Credits

Overview of social, developmental, legal, and educational issues and practices related to the special education of individuals with disabilities. Covers social, environmental, and physiological etiology; development; identification; learning characteristics; and needs of individuals identified for special education. Emphasizes meeting diverse needs of students in general education classrooms through evidence-based practices and adaptations matched to learner needs. Addresses legal rights of students and their families, as well as legal responsibilities of teachers as required by IDEIA and other related special legislation.

SPED 338 Emotional and Behavioral Disorders of Children 3 Credits

Definition, classification, etiology, treatment, and historical perspective of children and adolescent disorders.

SPED 402 (SCHP 402) Applied Behavior Analysis 3 Credits

Theory and application of behavior modification methods in classroom and clinical settings. Topics include behavior analysis, outcome research, task utilization, and single case research.

SPED 404 (TLT 404) Diversity, Families, and School Collaborations in K-12 3 Credits

Cultural and linguistic diversity as critical variables in educational equity for all learners, including ELL. Explores home-school partnerships, family and professional collaboration, and teacher self-awareness. Implementing culturally sensitive and responsive classroom practices as well as forming collaborative relationships with families that respect diversity of family contexts. Collaborative, multidisciplinary teaming to support, optimize, and advocate for student’s educational needs and connect to community services and resources available to individuals and families. Addresses family mental health issues and wraparound services.

SPED 405 (TLT 405) Principles and Applications of K-12 Assessment 3 Credits

Assessment applied to learning in classroom learning environments, including universal screening and progress monitoring. Discusses assessment approaches, ways to implement assessment, and use of assessment tools to monitor all students, including ELL and students with disabilities. Use of data-management and grading systems. Addresses diagnostic assessments for student placement and analysis of assessment data to tailor instruction to diverse student needs. Emphasis on research-based practices of assessment to inform instructional decision-making consistent with the RtII framework.

SPED 409 (TLT 409) K-12 Classroom Environment and Management 3 Credits

Designing inclusive classroom environments that maximize learning. Emphasis on fostering a community of learners using connections among classroom arrangement, classroom management, and cognitive development to create positive learning outcomes for all students, including ELL learners and students with disabilities. Addresses the tiered model of prevention and positive behavior support, including the role of functional assessment and individual positive behavior support plans in classroom management. Highlights the ways a positive climate for learning involves establishing and maintaining partnerships with families.

SPED 410 Behavior Analysts: Ethics and Professional Conduct 3 Credits

This course is designed to provide students an in-depth review of the BACB Professional and Ethics Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts and other relevant content and readings that further support student understanding of the topic area. Class discussions, review of case studies, and student-lead small group problem-solving activities will enable students to apply ethical and professional standards to their work, further promoting quality interactions between the children and adults they serve, families, teachers, and others stakeholders.

SPED 411 (TLT 411) Early Childhood Education 3 Credits

Introduction to development of early childhood education in the U.S. Emphasizes evidence-based methods and materials to assist young children in the learning process, including arrangement of indoor/outdoor space, developmentally appropriate practices, and the design of instruction to foster young children’s emotional, social, language, cognitive, physical, and creative development. Includes embedded instruction and adaptations for students with identified disabilities, children at risk for developing disabilities, and children with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and family collaboration within the instructional planning process.

SPED 416 Autism Spectrum Disorders and Evidence-Based Practices 3 Credits

This course provides an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and an introduction to the evidence based practices (EBPs) for practitioners, based on recently published and publicly available reports and other supporting materials. Assignments help students translate EBPs, grounded in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), into concrete goals and practices that have a meaningful impact on the day-to-day functioning of students with ASD.

SPED 418 Alternative Curricular Approaches 3 Credits

Curricular and instructional methods for students with pervasive support needs (e.g., intellectual disabilities, autism) who follow an alternative or modified curriculum. Methods for developing an individualized curriculum, embedding instruction and accessing the general education curriculum, systematic instruction, and instruction for full participation in school, home, and community settings are covered. Strategies for facilitating emergent social and communication skills, teaching augmentative and alternative communication, and use of assistive technologies to enhance self-directed learning are included.

SPED 419 Academic Interventions: PreK-8 3 Credits

Methods course designed to address the needs of students with disabilities to increase knowledge of instruction of comprehensive pre-literacy and literacy skills and their components. Additionally, pre-reading, reading, language arts, mathematics, and content area reading literacy skills in primary and elementary settings will be addressed. Emphasis on instructional planning, differentiated instructional strategies, appropriate assessments modifications, and adaptations needed for use with individuals with disabilities through a conceptual foundation in the components of reading and the integration of research validated interventions.

SPED 420 Field Experience: Special Education Certification 1-3 Credits

Intensive practice in the application of principles of teaching in a supervised experience in the schools for students who already hold another content area certification (e.g., elementary, middle school, secondary). Consent of the program.

SPED 421 Academic Interventions: Secondary Level 3 Credits

Methods course designed to increase knowledge of core components of reading in secondary settings, language arts, mathematics, and content area literacy skills for students with disabilities and those who are culturally and/or linguistically diverse. Emphasis on instructional planning, differentiated instructional strategies, appropriate assessments, modifications, and adaptations needed for use with individuals with disabilities through a conceptual foundation in the components of reading and the integration of research validated interventions.

SPED 423 Transition to Post-school Life 3 Credits

Best instructional practices for preparing students for post-school adult life: employment, post-secondary education, and community participation in inclusive settings. Topics include transition planning, personcentered and work-based assessments, family and interagency collaboration, innovative post-school and inschool transition services, and self-determination. Evidence-based practices to promote positive student outcomes are emphasized.

SPED 429 Professional Seminar 3 Credits

Master’s seminar on current issues in the area of special education and research design. Must have 18 graduate credits in special education.

SPED 430 Advanced Seminar in Special Education 3 Credits

Advanced issues relating to the field of special education. Titles will vary.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

SPED 432 Positive Behavior Support 3 Credits

Design of comprehensive, multi-component behavior support plans for individuals with a variety of disabilities who engage in problem behavior. Topics include functional assessment, antecedent and setting event interventions, replacement behaviors, consequence and crisis procedures, lifestyle interventions, and teaming strategies. Assessment focuses on the link between curriculum, academic performance, and behavior problems. Promotes consideration of diverse populations for understanding behavioral differences. Describes strategies for ongoing monitoring and maintenance of behavior reductions.

SPED 434 Applied Research Practicum 1-3 Credits

Designing and conducting research projects in applied settings.

SPED 440 Early Academic Intervention 3 Credits

Explores the potential effectiveness of interventions to prevent academic failure of children at risk for learning difficulties. Emphasis on research-based interventions in the areas of beginning reading, language and vocabulary, writing and spelling, awareness of print and exposure to print, and mathematics (number sense).

SPED 442 (TLT 442) General Education and Special Education Student Teaching and Seminar 1-6 Credits

Intensive practice in the application of principles of teaching for both general and special education settings in a supervised internship in the schools (for dual certification). Regular meetings among student teachers for critical analysis and discussion of classroom instructional practices, as illustrated by the student teachers’ experiences in the schools. Practical mentoring on professionalism, applying differentiated instructional models in real-world setting, and aligning instruction with standards. Consent of program director required.

SPED 448 Practicum/Seminar in Positive Behavior Specialist 1 3 Credits

Introductory supervised field work with emphasis on conducting functional assessments, designing positive behavior support plans, and teaming with families and professionals. Requires one-hour weekly meetings with faculty and other practicum students. This course is restricted to students enrolled in the Positive Behavior Specialist program.

SPED 450 Practicum/Seminar in Positive Behavior Specialist 2 3 Credits

Advanced field work with emphasis on resolving difficult case problems in positive behavior support. Requires one-hour weekly meetings with faculty and other practicum students. This course is restricted to students enrolled in the Positive Behavior Specialist program.

SPED 452 Assessment in Special Education 3 Credits

Identification, administration and interpretation of a variety of assessments used for planning and to determine special education eligibility and to assess social, emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning. Discusses strengths and limitations of various models and assessment, both formal and informal, instruments used to evaluate the need for special education. Describes strategies to enhance the relationship between assessment and service delivery. Addresses assessment practices to identity curricular needs consistent with the RtII framework.

SPED 465 Advanced Inclusionary Practices in K-12 3 Credits

Advanced techniques grounded in current research-based methods and best practice for educating and assessing students with disabilities, students from diverse backgrounds, and English language learners using a standards-aligned system. Accommodations, modifications, planning for physical and instructional inclusion through embedded strategic instruction, adaptations, and curriculum overlapping. Addresses decision hierarchies for level of instructional adaptation and social inclusion methods through social facilitation techniques. Explores critical factors in developing, implementing, and modifying curriculum using evidence-based practices. Explores collaborative co-planning and co-teaching models.
Prerequisites: SPED 332

SPED 482 Practicum in University Teaching: Special Education 1-4 Credits

Mentored and guided co-teaching focused on the design, organization, pedagogy and assessment of university courses in Special Education. Students in this course will work with a faculty member to apply best practices in university teaching with feedback while co-teaching students in a course in the College of Education. Students taking the course must meet the college standards for participation and be approved by the program director and department chair. May be repeated for credit.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

SPED 490 Doctoral Seminar in Special Education 3 Credits

Advanced knowledge of issues and research in the education of individuals with special needs. Topics will vary. Must be admitted for doctoral studies.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

SPED 499 Dissertation 1-15 Credits

Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

Professors. Linda M. Bambara, EdD (Vanderbilt University); Lee Kern, PhD (University of South Florida); Gary M. Sasso, PhD (University of Kansas)

Associate Professor. Brenna K. Wood, PhD (University of Arizona)

Assistant Professors. Minyi Shih Dennis, PhD (University Texas, Austin); Esther Lindstrom, MEd (Vanderbilt University)