Academics

Special Education

Special Education

It’s a very rigorous program. You have so much field experience that by the time you are done student teaching, you are ready to be in the classroom and be in charge.
Jessica Dilyard Tillotson ‘13
Teacher, Onsted Elementary School, Onsted, Michigan
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  • About: Special Education
  • Meet the SE Faculty
  • 3 Things: Special Education
  • Accreditation
  • Career Opportunities
  • Field Practice

The primary goal of the Special Education program is to develop self-confident, inquisitive, and thoughtful educators who are grounded in the breadth and depth of Learning Disabilities and Cognitive Impairments.

Offering both bachelor’s and master’s degree 
options, the philosophy of the Special Education program is based on beliefs that influence the nature and content of instructional offerings. Emphasis is placed on incorporating practical application with theoretical discussion and legal/ethical aspects of facilitating learning of children with disabilities.


 
Learning Disabilities

The philosophy of the endorsement program of learning disabilities is based on beliefs that influence the nature and content of instructional offerings. Beliefs related to this program are:

  • All exceptional children and adults can benefit from educational programs.
  • All facets of learning must be addressed: academic subjects as well as social skills and study skills.
  • Education for persons with a learning disability should begin as early as possible and continue as long as needed. Attention should be paid to the periods of transition.
  • Exceptional individuals have the right to be placed in the educational setting that is least restrictive. Consulting teachers, resource programs, and inclusive settings can be alternatives for most children with learning disabilities.
  • Special educators are a resource to the educational community. Through their knowledge and skills, special educators provide both direct service to exceptional children and supportive services to other persons, both professional and lay, who are responsible for teaching exceptional children.

Cognitive Impairment

Siena Heights University’s philosophy of preparing special education students to teach individuals with cognitive impairment is built on 10 major points:
 
1.  Education is for all individuals.
2.  Individuals with cognitive impairment are better served when programs are determined by individual learning needs and not categorical labels.  
3.  Accurate data is the driving force of educational programs and are the foundation for goals and objectives of an educational program.
4.  The full continuum of placements and all educational and community resources must be available to the individuals with cognitive impairment. The determination of the least restrictive placement must be based on assessment data. 
5.  The education of individuals with cognitive impairment should begin as early as possible and continue as long as needed. In all facets of life, transitions from one period to the next are critical. 
6.  The program for preparing teacher education candidates to teach individuals with cognitive impairment should cover all areas of learning including academic, social, daily living, and prevocational/vocational. The program must be based on research data and best practice.
7.  The standard curriculum is the base for building an individual educational program for individuals with cognitive impairment.
8.  The schools, as well as the teachers and other school professionals, are an integral part of the community. The special education teacher should provide both direct and indirect services and support to the community. 
9.  A role of a teacher education program is to meet the educational needs of Michigan individuals. 
10. The Michigan Department of Education’s curriculum standards and current best practices should be the platform on which the teacher education program builds.  A goal of the program is to provide leadership in the development of improved instructional program.   


For more information on the Special Education program, click here.

BACHELOR OF ARTS

Bachelor of Art Degree for K-12 Certification

The primary goal of the Special Education program is to develop self-confident, inquisitive and thoughtful educators who are grounded in the breadth and depth of Learning Disabilities and Cognitive Impairments.

Offering both bachelor’s and master’s degree options, the philosophy of the Special Education program is based on beliefs that influence the nature and content of instructional offerings. Emphasis is placed on incorporating practical application with theoretical discussion and legal/ethical aspects of facilitating learning of children with disabilities.

Course Type
Required Credit Hours
Course Type REQUIRED
Required Credit Hours 3762Semester Hours
Course Type COGNATE
Required Credit Hours 13Semester Hours
Course Type COMMON CORE COGNATE
Required Credit Hours 3539Semester Hours
Course Type LIBERAL ARTS
Required Credit Hours 35Semester Hours
Total for major
120149Semester Hours
Course Name
Course Type
Credit Hours
Course Name Methods & Strategies for Teaching Individuals w/Moderate to Severe Cognitive Impairment
Course Type CI
Credit Hours 2
Course Name Methods and Strategies for Teaching Individuals w/Mild Cognitive Impairment
Course Type CI
Credit Hours 2
Course Name Nature and Need of Individuals with Cognitive Impairment
Course Type CI
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Secondary Methods
Course Type CI
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Strategies for Fundamental Reading and Functional Reading
Course Type CI
Credit Hours 2
Course Name Transition & Career Education for Individuals with Cognitive Impairment
Course Type CI
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Assessment & Evaluation of Students with Disabilities
Course Type COGNATE
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Assistive Technology
Course Type COGNATE
Credit Hours 1
Course Name Behavior Management
Course Type COGNATE
Credit Hours 2
Course Name Collaboration in Special Edu
Course Type COGNATE
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Directed Teaching
Course Type COGNATE
Credit Hours 811
Course Name Directed Teaching Seminar
Course Type COGNATE
Credit Hours 1
Course Name Diversity in Special Education
Course Type COGNATE
Credit Hours 1
Course Name Early Chilhood & Special Edu
Course Type COGNATE
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Parent-School Partnership: Special Education
Course Type COGNATE
Credit Hours 2
Course Name Procedures in Special Education
Course Type COGNATE
Credit Hours 2
Course Name Intro to Learning Disabilities
Course Type LD
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Methods & Strategies for Tchng Children w/Learning Disabilities
Course Type LD
Credit Hours 4
Course Name Strat Teach Rdg Stdts Learng Dis
Course Type LD
Credit Hours 1
Course Name Elementary Core Methods
Course Type COMMON CORE COGNATE
Credit Hours 4
Course Name Strategies for Teaching Reading
Course Type COMMON CORE COGNATE
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Strategies for Teaching Reading
Course Type COMMON CORE COGNATE
Credit Hours 3
Assistant Professor of Education and Coordinator of Special Education
Education
Adrian
517-264-7899
Assistant Professor of Education
Education
517-264-7887
#1. Graduate hiring rate of 100 percent

#2. A total of 74 percent of courses have clinical field experience

#3. Hands-on modeling of instruction

Siena Heights University’s Teacher Education Program was granted Accreditation by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) for a period of seven years, from May 3, 2013 to May 3, 2020. This accreditation certifies that the forenamed professional education program has provided evidence that the program adheres to TEAC’s quality principles.

For a Summary of the Case, click here.

Career opportunities

Candidates who graduate from the Teacher Education Program in Special Education from Siena Heights University will apply for initial certification from the State of Michigan. These candidates are prepared to teach in both general and special education classrooms. The general education certification is either elementary or secondary, but the special education certification includes kindergarten through twelfth grade in either the area of learning disabilities or cognitive impairments.

The special education settings can include:
• full inclusion
• resource room
• self-contained
• center-based 
• transition

Special education careers can also occur outside of the typical school settings, for example:
• post-secondary transition centers
• day-treatment programs
• correction centers
• adult service provider
• early intervention

Students can also pursue a master’s degree at Siena Heights in the area of special education in the areas of learning disabilities and cognitive impairments. Other career opportunities that can occur through continued education are:
• administrators
• special education coordinators
• consultants
• early childhood special educators

Field experience

The special education program is heavily based in field experiences illustrating the balance of theory into practice. Field hours for special education are in addition to the required hours for the general education courses. Some courses have field activities, but the following core special courses have field experiences and hours to fulfill:


SED 312 Introduction to Special Education
Semester hours: 3
Field Experience: 30 clock hours in a classroom with students with learning disabilities. This can be in a resource room, self-contained classroom, or inclusion classroom. Students tutor individual children/youth. Students spend a minimum of 15 hours in a special education classroom and 5 hours in an inclusion setting. 

SED 342 Parent-School Partnership: Special Education
Semester hours: 2
Field experience: 10 clock hours working with a family. Observing the interaction of the family, interviewing the family, and developing a family plan related to the IEP are some of the field activities. This can be MAPS or another family planning model. 

SED 343 Assessment And Evaluation Of Students With Disabilities 
Semester hours: 3
Field Experience: 10 clock hours in face-to-face assessment time in a K-12 school. Six of the hours must be spent in individual assessment and four hours in group assessment. At least one assessment must be from the elementary level and at least one assessment from the secondary level.

SED 349 Special Education in an Urban Setting
Semester hours: 1  
Field Experience: 20 clock hours completing field activities in a special education classroom in an urban setting teaching both small and large group lessons.  This course is taken during the junior year and placements are made directly into classrooms concurrently with EDU 349.

SED 351 Behavior Management
Semester hours:  2
Field Experience: 10 clock hours working closely with the classroom teacher in developing behavior plans for managing individual, small group, or large group behavior in a special education classroom. This course is taken during the junior year concurrently with EDU 351.

EDU 334 Strategies For Teaching Reading In The Elementary School 
Semester hours: 3
Field Experience: 20 clock hours where students will use and apply course materials with K-8 students. Students instruct children in reading using a variety of method and techniques. Students will demonstrate their understanding of strategies for creating interactive, child-centered classrooms that facilitate the construction of meaning from a literacy perspective. 
 
EDU 335: Strategies For Teaching Reading Through The Content Areas In The Secondary School
Semester hours: 3
Field Experience: 20 clock hours where students will use and  apply course materials with secondary level students. Using the content areas, the university student will instruct the student in reading skills. A variety of content areas will be used. The student will use materials appropriate for age and reading level.

SED 344 Early Childhood and Special Education
Semester Hours: 3
Field Experience: 20 hours of field experience in a special needs or inclusion program is required.During the field hours observation and interactions occur in a one-on-one manner. A case study is then developed based on the experience.

Field Experiences Specific to the Learning Disabilities Program:

SED 334: Strategies For Teaching Reading to Students with Learning Disabilities 
Semester hours: 1
Field experience: 10 clock hours teaching reading to students identified with a learning disability. Students teach individual students and small groups in reading skills. This course is taken concurrently with EDU 335 or EDU 334.

SED 361 Introduction to Learning Disabilities
Semester hours: 3
Field Experience: 30 clock hours observing, tutoring and instructing of children with learning disabilities in a classroom setting. The instruction must be for a minimum of five consecutive lessons in each of three skill areas, i.e. math, reading, written expression. Lessons plans are to be approved by the cooperating teacher before lessons begin.

SED 362 Methods And Strategies For Teaching Children With Learning Disabilities
Semester hours: 4
Field Experience: 30 clock hours in a learning disabilities setting. If the field experience in SED 361 Introduction to Learning Disabilities course was in an elementary setting, the field experience in this methods course must be either a middle grades or secondary setting. After being assigned a group of students, the candidate will develop, implement, and evaluate 5 sequential lessons in two skill areas and one social skill or one study skill area. The lessons may be designed for individual, small group or large group. The cooperating teacher must approve the lessons prior to teaching.

Field Experiences Specific to the Cognitive Impairment Program:

SED381 Nature And Need For Individuals Cognitive Impaired
Semester hours: 3
Field Experience: 30 clock hours observing, tutoring and instructing of children with learning disabilities in a classroom setting. The instruction must be for a minimum of five consecutive lessons in each of three skill areas, i.e. math, reading, written expression. Lessons plans are to be approved by the cooperating teacher before lessons begin.
 
SED382 Methods And Strategies For Teaching Individuals With Mild Cognitive
Impairment
Semester hours: 2
Field Experience: 20 clock hours in a setting for students with mild cognitive impairment. If the field experience in SED381 Nature And Need For Individuals Cognitive Impaired course was in an elementary setting, the field experience in this methods course must be either a middle grades or secondary setting. After being assigned a group of students, the candidate will develop, implement and evaluate 5 sequential lessons in two skill areas and one social skill or one daily living skills skill area. The lessons may be designed for individual or small group. The cooperating teacher must approve the lessons prior to teaching. 
 
SED383 Methods And Strategies For Teaching Individuals With Mild Cognitive
Impairment
Semester hours: 2
Field Experience: 20 clock hours in a setting for students with mild cognitive impairment. After being assigned a group of students, the candidate will develop, implement, and evaluate 5 sequential lessons in two skill areas in two different domains. The lessons may be designed for individual or small group. The cooperating teacher must approve the lessons prior to teaching. 

SED385 Strategies For Fundamental Reading and Functional Reading
Semester hours: 2
Field experience: 20 clock hours teaching reading to students identified with a cognitive impairment. Students teach individual students and small groups in reading skills related to functional living and functional living. 

Additional Info

Degree:

  • Bachelor of Arts

Division:

  • Education Division

Location(s):

Siena Heights University Main Campus. 1247 E. Siena Heights Dr. Adrian, MI 49221.
(800) 521-0009