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Master of Arts and/or 
certification in special education

Course Descriptions:
Early Childhood Special Education

The Early Childhood Special Education Program consists of required courses in the following areas:

  • Common Courses
  • Specialization Courses
  • Courses for Degree Only

Common Courses

SPED 600
Instructional/Assistive Technology
Instructional and assistive technology for individuals with more significant disabilities

SPED 604
Characteristics/Educational Adaptations: Developmental Disabilities
Characteristics and educational implications of physical, neurological, and sensory impairments; positioning, handling and other management strategies; programs for feeding, toileting, dressing and other motor skills; selection, design, and use of assistive technology; issues in disabilities such as accessibility, health and safety measures, controversial interventions.

SPED 605
Family/Professional Collaboration: Developmental Disabilities
Strategies and interpersonal skills for family partnerships, professional teaming, and interagency collaboration; issues in collaboration such as family autonomy, cultural differences, abuse/neglect.

SPED 606
Communication Intervention: Developmental Disabilities
Design and implementation of programs to develop communication skills; selection and use of augmentative and alternative systems; interventions to teach precursors, basic and advanced skills; issues in communication such as integrated therapy, cultural differences, bilingual education.

SPED 607
Formal/Informal Assessment: Developmental Disabilities
Principles and practices of assessment; formal and informal assessment procedures; report writing and program plan development; issues in assessment such as legal rights, cultural differences, adaptations for specific impairments.

Specialization Courses

SPED 610 
Typical/Atypical Development: Early Intervention
Theories, stages, and milestones of early development; causes and signs of atypical development; developmental interventions in home- and center-based settings; issues in development such as family autonomy, cultural differences, abuse and neglect.

SPED 611 
Early Learning Curriculum: Early Intervention
Design of developmentally appropriate curriculum; IEP/IFSP development; implementation of learning activities in developmental domains; accommodations for special needs; issues in curriculum such as inclusion, educator roles, family involvement.

SPED 612
Responsive Interventions: Early Intervention
Design, delivery, and evaluation of individualized instruction for young children and families; relationship- and routines-based interventions; planning settings, schedules, and materials; functional adaptations; computer-assisted instruction; issues in instruction such as natural environments, paraprofessional and peer roles, educational malpractice.

SPED 616
Behavior Guidance/Support: Early Intervention
Emotional and social development in young children with disabilities, delays, and at risk conditions; developmental guidance and positive behavior support strategies for individuals and groups in home and classroom settings; issues in identifying and managing challenging behavior in young children.

SPED 619
Culminating Practicum: Early Intervention
Clinical experience with infants, toddlers, or preschoolers with developmental disabilities, delays, at risk conditions.

Courses for Degree Only

SPED 675
Research to Practice
Identification of special education issues and action research strategies for investigating issues in educational practice.

SPED 680
Culminating Project
Completion of master’s program projects in applied research, curriculum development, or program design.