2014–15 Undergraduate Catalog
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SPECIAL EDUCATION DEGREES
Special Education: Certification Requirements: Elementary
Special Education: Certification Requirements: Secondary
Special Education: Educational Ministry Emphasis
Special Education: General Emphasis

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Special Education is the only undergraduate major housed in the School of Education. The Special Education major prepares students to work with individuals with disabilities in various capacities.

Programs are tailored for students interested in P–12 teaching, disability policy, research, and careers that support individuals with disabilities in community settings. The School of Education works with the School of Theology to offer programs in Special Education that work in various types of church ministries.

Students interested in the Special Education major are encouraged to indicate their intent upon admission to SPU. Indication of interest does not commit the student to the program, but it assures advising and continuing receipt of current information about the special education program requirements. To change your intended major to Special Education, you may contact Student Academic Services.

Since many courses are offered only once a year, planning is especially important for all students who desire to complete their undergraduate degree in a timely fashion. A student must complete the major requirements in effect when the student is admitted to the major.

In order to become a P-12 certified Washington state teacher students must complete the Elementary Emphasis with Certification or the Secondary Emphasis with Certificiation. If a student does NOT want to become a P-12 school teacher, they should choose the General Emphasis or Educational Ministry Emphasis.

Special Education: Teaching Track

The primary purpose of the Special Education major with teaching is to develop teachers who have the knowledge and skills necessary to design and implement appropriate education for students with disabilities.

  • Students must major in Special Education: Elementary Emphasis with Certification or Special Education: Secondary Emphasis with Certification.
  • The P12 Special Education Certification requirements for Special Education are maintained by the School of Education certification office and listed by emphasis.
  • The Special Education major requirements are maintined by the Special Education department and program chair
  • Transfer students must complete a minimum of 15 upper-division credits in special education course work prior to the internship.

As of Autumn 2013, Washington state requires that teacher candidates pursing an endorsement in Special Education must also earn a second endorsement in a content area.

Pursuing a content endorsement will also ensure that Special Education teachers meet the federal Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirement. Special Education majors will work with the certification advisor to develop a "Plan of Study" for earning a second endorsement.

Admission to the Major

For students interested in the P–12 teaching track, formal admission to the major is usually accomplished during the first or second quarter of their junior year. Transfer students can apply after their the second quarter of residence.

To qualify for admission to the Special Education major with an emphasis in Elementary or Secondary education, a student must successfully complete the Foundations Quarter, PSY 1180, PSY 2470, EDSP 3107, and two upper division SPED courses with a grade of "C" or better. An overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better is needed to be admitted to the major.

Students should use the general Major or Minor Application form (PDF) to apply and must be approved by each student's faculty advisor as well as the department chair. A student must complete the major requirements in effect when the student is admitted to the major.

Certification Requirements for Special Education

Students should choose a focus in elementary or secondary special education. This will drive the courses students take for certification as well as their placements during student teaching. Basic requirements for certification are the same and listed below but the certification courses vary based on emphasis. 

Certification Requirements:

For a complete overview of the Residency Teacher Certification Program, visit the School of Education in this Undergraduate Catalog.

Foundations Quarter
Prerequisites include:

  • Official admission to SPU
  • Sophomore standing (45 credits)
  • Cumulative 2.8 GPA, or 3.0 GPA in last 30 credits
  • Starting a file in the School of Education (contact the education office to obtain paperwork)
  • Approved general psychology or general sociology class with a grade of "C" or better

Methods and Skills Courses

These courses may be taken independently of each other and the professional quarters.  See specific course descriptions because these courses are prerequisites for continuation in the certification sequence.

A student must receive a grade of "C" or better in all Methods and Skills courses and a grade of "B" or better in the lab and internships to be recommended for certification.

Methods Quarter
Prerequisites include:

  • Successful completion of the Foundations Quarter
  • Junior standing (90 credits)
  • Accepted into the Special Education major
  • Admission to the School of Education
  • Cumulative 3.0 GPA, or 3.3 in the last 45 credits
  • Pass School of Education interview (if taking Foundations autumn 2012 or later)
  • Pass ENG 3301 with a grade of C or better (if admitted to the University autumn 2012 or later)
  • Successful completion of MAT 1560, MAT 2561, MAT 3562, and EDRD 2000 with agrade of C or better
  • Fingerprint clearance
  • Passing the Washington state "basic skills" testing requirement for teachers
  • Take the appropriate Washington state endorsement specific test for each endorsement sought

Integrated and Internship Quarters
Prerequisites include:

  • Successful completion of the Methods Quarter
  • Completing 15 upper-division credits in a major
  • A passing score on the appropriate Washington educator skills endorsement test(s)
  • Participate in an internship placement interview
  • Senior standing (135 credits)

Students need to plan to pass the appropriate endorsement test(s) at least ONE quarter prior to registering for Integrated Quarter. Passing scores must be received by SPU before students will be given permission to register for Integrated Quarter.

Integrated (A) and Internship (B) quarters must be taken sequentially in the same academic year (Winter-Spring) and a grade of B or better is required for Internship A and B.

Special Education Major: Non-Teaching Tracks

The primary purpose of the non-teaching track in Special Education is to prepare professionals to work with individuals with disabilities outside the classroom setting. This major serves three general interest areas for the following students:

  • Students pursuing a Special Education degree who plan to work with state, local, or nonprofit agencies that serve individuals with disabilities. This includes direct- service providers and advocacy groups.
  • Students who wish to work with individuals and families with disabilities in faith-based or church settings.
  • Students who wish to pursue advanced degrees in special education or related fields (e.g., researchers in special education, speech therapists, occupational therapists and physical therapists).

Acceptance to the major

For students interested in the P-12 Special Education non-teaching tracks, formal admission is usually accomplished during the first or second quarter of the junior year or in the case of transfer students typically in the second quarter of residence.

To qualify for admission to the Special Education: General Emphasis or Educational Ministries Emphasis, a student must successfully complete PSY 1180, PSY 2470, and EDSP 3107 with a grade of "C" or better. An overall cumulative GPA of 2.8 or better is needed to be admitted to the major.

The internship and practicum experiences for the non-teaching tracks are tailored to each student and require advanced planning with a Special Education advisor.

Students should use the general Major or Minor Application form (PDF) to apply and must be approved by each student's faculty advisor as well as the department chair. A student must complete the major requirements in effect when the student is admitted to the major.

 

Special Education: General Emphasis

In collaboration with a Special Education advisor, students are placed in community-based settings working directly with individuals with disabilities, working in agencies that serve students with disabilities, or working alongside professors on research projects dealing with disability issues.

A minimum of 10 Practicum credits are required to complete the major. This Practicum is set up in collaboration with a Special Education advisor. This Practicum is not for teacher certification.

Special Education: Educational Ministry Emphasis

Students in this track benefit from a partnership with the School of Education and the School of Theology. Coursework from both programs provide students with a foundation in both disability studies and educational ministry.

Graduates from this program are prepared to address disability issues in church and parachurch organizations. Internship/Practicum requirements for this emphasis reflect this need, and graduates are prepared to address methods for including all people in worship and church life.

A minimum of 10 practicum credits are required to complete the major. The practicum is in collaboration with the School of Theology.




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