Evening & Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in Special Education

Course Descriptions

Apply Now! The Master of Arts in Special Education is a thirty-six (36) credit hour program. The program is designed to assure that graduates meet qualifications established by the Kansas State Department of Education in order to receive a teaching endorsement in the area of High Incidence (formerly Adaptive) Special Education or Gifted Special Education.

The degree program prepares candidates to meet exceptional learning needs. The High Incidence (formerly Adaptive) program prepares teachers to effectively instruct children and youth who have learning needs in high incidence range. The Gifted program prepares teachers to effectively instruct children and youth who have gifted learning needs.

SPED 700 — INTRODUCTION AND CHARACTERISTICS OF STUDENTS WITH ADAPTIVE LEARNING NEEDS

This course prepares the teacher with an understanding of students’ diverse learning needs and characteristics that support their cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and career development needs. The teacher will develop an understanding of the philosophical, historical, and legal foundations of the interrelatedness of education and special education.

Three credit hours
 

SPED 701 — INTRODUCTION AND CHARACTERISTICS OF GIFTED LEARNERS

This course prepares the teacher with an understanding of gifted students’ diverse learning needs and characteristics that support their cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and career development needs. The teacher will develop and understanding of the philosophical, historical, and legal foundations of the interrelatedness of education and gifted education.

Three credit hours

 

SPED 702 — HIGH INCIDENCE INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS AND STRATEGIES: K-6 AND/OR 5-8

This course prepares the teacher to plan and implement effective instructional methods and strategies to meet the needs of diverse adaptive learners in the K-6 and/or 5-8 classrooms. Prerequisite SPED 700.

Three credit hours

SPED 703 — HIGH INCIDENCE INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS AND STRATEGIES: 6-12

This course prepares the teacher to plan and implement effective instructional methods and strategies to meet the needs of diverse adaptive learners in the 6-12 classrooms. Prerequisite SPED 700.

Three credit hours

SPED 704 — INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES AND METHODS FIELD PRACTICUM (High Incidence or Gifted)

The teacher in this field-based practicum demonstrates knowledge and skill in planning and implementing effective instruction, which is built upon standards-based goals for content, students, and community. The teacher promotes a supportive learning environment that encourages student participation. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment in SPED 702, SPED 703 or SPED 709.
Forty-five hours of supervised practicum required.

Three credit hours

SPED 705 — EDUCATING STUDENTS WITH SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL NEEDS

This course instructs the teacher in understanding the characteristics of diverse learners with social, emotional and behavioral needs and in assessing and developing effective strategies to address those needs. Prerequisite SPED 700 or 701.

Three credit hours

SPED 707 — METHODS FOR LANGUAGE and LITERACY (K-6)

This course prepares the special educator for critical elements of language and literacy; identifies and uses evidence-based interventions to meet the instructional needs specific to reading, writing, math and other content areas; and includes the principles of universal design for learning and the use of technology to support literacy and to make data-based decisions.

Three credit hours

SPED 708 — ASSESSMENTS FOR STUDENTS WITH DIVERSE LEARNING NEEDS

This course prepares the teacher to screen, assess, and identify the needs of diverse learners and then effectively link the information gathered to intervention strategies and methods during the MTSS process. Prerequisite SPED 700 or SPED 701.

Three credit hours

SPED 709 — ASSESSMENTS FOR STUDENTS WITH DIVERSE LEARNING NEEDS

This course prepares the teacher of students who need gifted curriculum and learning opportunities plan and implement effective instructional methods and strategies to meet the needs of diverse gifted learners. Prerequisite SPED 701.

Three credit hours

SPED 710 — COMMUNICATION/COLLABORATION AND COMMUNITY BUILDING IN THE SCHOOL SETTING

The course prepares the special educator to develop and refine communication, collaboration and leadership skills to work effectively with para-educators, administrators, teachers, parents, volunteers, and other school personnel to foster a supportive learning environment and advocate for special education students. Prerequisite SPED 700.

Three credit hours

SPED 711 — METHODS – TRANSITIONING TO ADULTHOOD

(for students seeking licensure at 6-12 OR K-6 and 6-12)

 This course prepares the special educator to assess the skills, interests, and preferences of students as they plan for their future, to help adaptive learners understand their needs, and to know how to articulate those needs in public school settings and beyond. Prerequisite SPED 700.

Three credit hours

SPED 712 — CREATING OPTIMAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR STUDENTS WITH DIVERSE LEARNING NEEDS

This course prepares the teacher to develop the knowledge and skills in behavior management to foster positive relations, promote student self-advocacy and student problem-solving to facilitate learning. Prerequisite SPED 700 or 701.

Three credit hours

SPED 714 — INQUIRY, DATA COLLECTION, AND RESEARCH

This course is designed to assist teachers in developing knowledge of data collection and research techniques that will enable them to design a research project that addresses a specific educational practice in a classroom setting with students with adaptive learning needs or with gifted education learners. Emphasis will be made regarding ethical considerations when working with special education populations. The action research plan will be implemented in SPED 716 practicum.

Three credit hours

SPED 716 — ADVANCED PRACTICUM (Adaptive or Gifted)

This advanced field-based practicum focuses on the teacher as a facilitator of effective instruction in their selected concentration area, developer of supportive learning environments, and a promoter of social skills demonstrating professional, ethical, collaborative, and effective communication skills. The research project designed in SPED 714 will be conducted during this practicum. Prerequisite SPED 714.
Forty-five hours of field practicum required along with seminar meetings with peers in same concentration program.

Three credit hours

SPED 726 — ADVANCED METHODS AND CURRICULUM DESIGN FOR GIFTED LEARNERS

This advanced field-based practicum focuses on the teacher as a facilitator of effective instruction in their selected concentration area, developer of supportive learning environments, and a promoter of social skills demonstrating professional, ethical, collaborative, and effective communication skills.  The research project designed in SPED 714 will be conducted during this practicum.  Prerequisite SPED 714.
Forty-five hours of field practicum required along with seminar meetings with peers in same concentration program.

Three credit hours

SPED 728 — TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION

This course focuses on technology integration that can be used in schools, education systems and specific to meeting the unique needs of special education learners. Candidates research, discuss, and develop projects related to technology in instruction, assessment, personal/professional productivity, and communication.

Three credit hours

SPED 729 — LEGAL ISSUES AND ETHICS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

This course examines the general structure, theory, and background of law as it applies to education in general and to special education specifically. Attention is given to constitutional and civil rights issues; teacher, student, and parent rights; court decisions, ethics and legal procedures.

Three credit hours

SPED 737 — LEADERSHIP AND ADVOCACY IN SPECIAL EDUCATION (CAPSTONE)

This course focuses on the leadership with an emphasis on applications to instruction, professional learning and advocacy for special education. Emphasis is placed the capstone portfolio for the program.

Three credit hours