Special Education Course Information

Special education courses can be found within undergraduate and graduate programs offering bachelor's, masters, and doctoral degrees in special education. Rad on to learn more about the types of courses available in a special education program.

Essential Information

Both undergraduate and graduate programs commonly offer areas of specialization, including learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. While many undergraduate and graduate programs are geared towards individuals seeking initial licensure for positions in elementary and secondary schools, some graduate programs are designed for currently licensed teachers and may prepare students for research or administrative careers. Common concepts taught in special education programs include:

  • Case management
  • Legal requirements
  • Behavior intervention
  • Adaptive technologies
  • Effective accommodations

List of Common Courses

Some of the most common course offerings in special education are summarized below.

Introduction to Special Education Course

The introductory course provides historical and legal background information on educating diverse students with exceptionalities. Individuals enrolled in this course learn to identify characteristics of children with learning, behavioral, physical, mental and sensory disorders, as well as students with extreme talents. Other areas of focus include adapting the learning environment for students with special needs of all levels, effective instructional strategies and developing curriculum. Legalities associated with discrimination and parental involvement are also covered.

Diversity and Special Needs Course

Diversity courses teach students about the types of needs special education students may have and prepares them to teach their own students someday. A special education student's needs may range from learning to behavioral, physical to sensory. The course covers unique teaching strategies that may be applied to different types of students, as well as problem-solving skills that may be utilized in the classroom.

Behavioral Analysis and Intervention Course

Students with behavior disorders may cause disturbances in the classroom, so educators need to be prepared to handle the situation if it does occur. The behavior analysis and intervention course focuses on changing a student's behavior, while helping them to develop and grow. Intervention strategies and techniques for students that have conflicts in the classroom are also covered in this class.

Families of Students with Disabilities Course

An important aspect of working with exceptional students is getting their families involved. Because students are constantly learning, even when they leave school, it is necessary for parents to understand what they need to do at home in order for growth to continue. This course trains future educators to effectively collaborate and communicate with parents, while developing their knowledge and skills.

School Law

Students learn the complex set of state and federal laws that govern the public school environment. Special attention is given to those laws that protect students with special needs in the classroom, especially those regarding parental rights, student rights to accommodations, and legal definitions of the least restrictive environment.

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