EDU 502: Foundations of Early Childhood

This course will be an introduction to the educational policies, programs, practices, and services specific to infants, toddlers, preschool, and early elementary children (K-Grade 2). The course also emphasizes the historical, social, and legal foundations of special education. It will also include information related to young children who demonstrate delays and disabilities. Students will acquire an understanding of important theoretical and philosophical foundations upon which early childhood education and early childhood special education are based. Natural settings for early childhood development, cultural sensitivity, activity-based interventions, and individualized developmentally appropriate practices will be emphasized. Instructional strategies and
programs as well as inclusive environments for young children with special needs will be explored and discussed. Students will learn how programs differ in providing accessible learning environments, social play experiences, and language-based learning for all young children. Practices will engage students in the highest level of learning in preparation of knowledge, skills, and continued growth in the area of early childhood and learning and behavioral characteristics of learners in special education. With regard to Special Education, the course will discuss foundations of early education as future programs lead to preparation for employment and independence for individuals with disabilities as adults. Students will learn to apply skills to effectively communicate and interview teachers and administrators in early childhood settings where young children with disabilities participate. Skills in creating a safe and bias-free environment that furthers developmentally appropriate practices for young children will be shared. At the completion of the course, teacher candidates will present their written narratives of an early childhood program that includes young children with special needs, based on
student observation, teacher and director interviews, and student reflection. This course will culturally relevant, evidence- based practices for team collaboration that encourages mutual respect and strengthening of school/family partnerships. Fieldwork with an individual child in a school setting is required.

EDU 521: Observation Course

This course will emphasize student understanding of the role of assessment and evaluation in early childhood settings through observing, recording, analyzing and interpreting the behavior/characteristics and learning of young children. Practices will engage students in the highest level of learning in preparation of knowledge, skills, and continued growth in the area of assessment. Students will study and use a range of assessments including standardized tests, criterion-based tests, and arena/team assessments, as well as behavioral surveys. The effects of testing and use of standardized tests related to students who are diverse, multicultural, multilingual, high risk, gifted/talented or have disabilities will be discussed in classroom groups. Students will learn to apply skills to effectively communicate and interview teachers and parents of young children, including English language learners and students with disabilities. Skills in creating a safe and bias-free testing environment that furthers the best testing practices will be shared. At the completion of the course, teacher candidates will present their written evaluation of a student, based on student observation, parent/teacher interviews, student assessment, and including recommendations for classroom strategies and modifications. This course will include best practices for team collaboration that encourages mutual respect and strengthening of school/family partnerships.
Fieldwork is required.

EDU 524: Arts, Play

This course will emphasize culturally relevant evidence based approaches to earlychildhood education emphasizing play and the arts for diverse groups of learners, including English Language Learners. The objectives, organization, methods, and materials for the integration and evaluation of the specialty areas of play, music, movement, and art throughout the curriculum (including Mathematics and Literacy) will be emphasized. The course will also focus on authentic music from a variety of cultures, appropriate for use in a variety of early childhood settings including home, community-based programs, preschool and early elementary classrooms. Strategies for including young children with disabilities across settings and activities will be covered throughout the course. Students will learn games, game-songs, dances, and recreational/social songs and rhythms, as well as a variety of art projects encourage participation, social skill development and appropriate behavior. Alignment with NYS Common Core Standards will be reinforced throughout the course.

EDU 529: Literacy Instruction for Students with Special Needs

Principles, approaches, and strategies used in the diagnosis and remediation of reading disabilities for students in elementary and middle school will be studied. Emphasis will be on the application of remedial strategies and the development of individualized reading programs designed to match student needs. 15 hours of fieldwork is required.

EDU 530: Multi-Sensory

This course will explore the stages of language acquisition and literacy development by native English speakers and students who are English language learners — and increase proficiency of educators to develop the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills of all students. Fifteen hours of field experience working with ELL and at-risk learners in language acquisition and literacy development is required.

EDU 531: Mathematics Instruction for Students with Special Needs

This course will address curriculum development, instructional planning and multiple research-validated instructional strategies for teaching students within the full range of mathematical abilities. Accommodations and modifications for students with special learning needs will be discussed and examined. It will increase skill in l designing and offering differentiated instruction that provides methods of enrichment and remediation enhancing the learning of all students in mathematics. This course will emphasize the Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Content and Practice; Technology and manipulatives that augment the ability to plan and implement a developmentally appropriate curriculum in mathematics will be introduced. Appropriate methods for working with English Language Learners and students from diverse backgrounds will be discussed. The importance of the reading, writing, speaking, listening and language components expected of Math will also be stressed. The course will emphasize evidence-based culturally responsive instructional practices. Fifteen hours of fieldwork is required (approximately half of the hours in grades 1-3and the other half in grades 4-6).

EDU 541: Classroom Management for Special Education

This course ‘Will emphasize the relationship of learning processes, motivation, communication, and classroom management in effective teaching. Practices will be founded to stimulate and sustain student interest, cooperation, and achievement enabling each student’s highest level of learning in preparation for productive work, citizenship in a democracy, and continuing growth. The nature of students within the full range of disabilities and special health-care needs, and the effect of those disabilities and needs on learning and behavior will be considered. Skills in applying understanding to create a safe and nurturing learning environment that furthers the health and learning of all students will be shared. At the completion of the course, teacher candidates will prepare their own classroom management plan that promotes the deve1opment of positive social interaction skills–fostering a sense of community, encouraging mutual respect, and strengthening school/family partnerships. The course will emphasize attention to family and student diversity and strategies for supporting children who are English Language Learners. Ten field experience hours are required in inclusive (5 hours) and special education self-contained (5 hours) settings to compare and contrast styles of classroom management.

EDU 553: Instructional and Assistive Technology

This course will explore uses of technology, including instructional and assistive technology, in teaching and learning– and skill in selecting technology and teaching students to use technology to acquire information, communicate, and enhance learning. It also concentrates on how assistive technology can be used in schools to create accessible classrooms that increase the teaching and learning of students with disabilities. Ten hours of field experience including a visit to a center dedicated to the use of instructional and assistive technology is required.

EDU 555:

This course provides graduate students with an overview of typical and atypical development and the characteristics in young children with disabilities and how services under federal and state regulations/statutes are determined. Family systems, parent/family advocacy, and the influence of cultural perspectives on the education of young children with disabilities will be covered in this course. Best practice models for inclusive classroom (general education settings) learning will be presented in consideration of educating culturally diverse groups of young children and with an emphasis on differentiation in teaching. In this course, the following learning domains will
be discussed: cognitive, communication, social/emotional, motor, and daily living and how these may be addressed in an inclusive environment. Models of Co-teaching will be covered in the course. Team models and planning for instruction will be discussed.
Professional and ethical practices will be covered related to the legal, historical, and social foundations for early childhood special education. Fieldwork hours are required.

EDU 557: Teaching Students with Autism and Severe Disabilities

This course provides graduate students historical, social, and legal foundations and skills for working within a framework of collaborative partnerships for supporting children with autism or severe disabilities across varied classroom settings. The roles of family members and consideration of diversity and multicultural backgrounds in educating children with severe disabilities and autism will be covered. Students will learn characteristics of severe disabilities, autism, and special health care needs. This course will include a discussion of common core standards, methods of planning individualized instruction, instructional strategies that support students with Autism and Severe/Profound Disabilities that prepare these learners to their highest levels of academic achievement and independence. In addition, technology applications for these populations will be discussed. 12 Field hours required.

EDU 600: Research Seminar in Special Education

This capstone course will provide the means to update knowledge and skills in the field of childhood special education and to interpret research. Teacher candidates will conduct independent research in the form of a qualitative case study. They will be expected to identify an issue/problem prevalent in their own or another teachers’ classroom. They will state the issue/problem in the form of a research question, search and synthesize the prevailing current literature relative to the question, prepare methodology for qualitative research, report the findings, and relate implications for practice while identifying future related research topics. They will submit their research proposals for review to members of the college’s IRRB. A final presentation will be made to the department, college, and peers. They will also refine and submit their work for possible publication. This is a Writing-Across-the-Curriculum course.

EDU 682: Student Teaching Seminar in Special Education

The course will directly link theory with practice in a concentrated fieldwork setting. Two distinct yet related experiences of 20 school days each will be provided: one in an inclusive classroom and one in a specialized school focusing on a special need. The two experiences may be in the context of one or two semesters. One experience must be with students in grades 1-3 and the other in grades 4-6. For students not employed as a teacher, EDU 682 may be held in the context of the school year. For students currently employed in a school, EDU 682 will be a supervised summer practicum. Weekly seminars will be held for reflection, feedback, and planning.