College of Education University of Nevada, Reno Special Education Professional Degree Program ADVISEMENT & APPLICATION MANUAL

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1 College of Education University of Nevada, Reno Special Education Professional Degree Program ADVISEMENT & APPLICATION MANUAL Thank you for your interest in our Professional Degree Program in Special Education. This program is for candidates with a baccalaureate degree who are interested in starting a career in special education, but who do not wish to pursue a master s degree. The College of Education also has Master s Degree programs in special education leading to licensure. Please consult program faculty to consider both options. If after reading this manual you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office. The Professional Degree Program in Special Education leads to the Nevada special education teaching license: Generalist Endorsement (for students with learning disabilities, emotional disturbance and mental retardation with mild to moderate needs for intervention). If you have earned a bachelor s degree in another area and are seeking a teaching credential in special education you will be classified by the university as a GRADUATE SPECIAL student (not seeking a master s degree). All graduate special students who plan to take courses leading to a special education teaching license must be admitted to the Professional Degree Program. Current teachers on the options program should seek advisement about specific courses needed for licensure. Application Procedures for the Professional Degree Program Deadlines for application are October 1 for spring admission and March 1 for fall or summer admission. Application requires two components-- The following must be submitted to UNR s Office of Admissions and Records: 1. Application for admission to the university as a graduate special student (the form is downloaded from 2. Transcripts (official copies) that are required in order to admit you at the graduate level as a Graduate Special student. The following materials must be submitted to the College of Education Student Advisement Center: 1. The Professional Degree Application form (attached to this manual) 2. The Teacher Education Candidate Professional Behaviors And Dispositions Form (Attached) 3. Evidence of passing scores in reading, writing and mathematics sections of the 7/27/11 1

2 PRAXIS I (PPST) or CBEST. Students who already have a master s degree may submit evidence of this degree in lieu of the testing. 4. Two letters of recommendation 5. A typed 1-2 page essay entitled Qualities I Bring to the Teaching Profession 6. Unofficial transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate work so that your GPA can be determined. A 2.75 GPA is required in all college-level work. Admission to the SPECIAL EDUCATION program entitles you to enroll in advanced methods courses (i.e., EDS courses numbered 300 or higher). For further information on testing and application procedures for admission to teacher education, please contact the Student Advisement Center in the College of Education at IMPORTANT PROGRAM INFORMATION Performance Assessment in Special Education Becoming a special education teacher requires more than just taking courses. It means that you have a specific body of knowledge and are able to demonstrate certain skills and attitudes. At UNR, every teacher candidate is evaluated throughout their program in a system called PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT. Performance assessment begins when you first apply to a teacher preparation program at UNR. It continues by measuring your performance through the professional education and field experience (practicum) courses. This phase of the assessment culminates when you submit the Professional Performance Portfolio I and are accepted into the Supervised Internship. During your internship, your performance is measured through direct observations of your teaching, using specific criteria established by the department. You achieve the status of an approved program completer when you have finished your internship, successfully demonstrating the knowledge and skills of a beginning teacher. A Performance Assessment Manual is available from the EDS Department office once you have been admitted to the program. In addition, your assigned faculty advisor can provide you more information about the performance assessment process. Application for the Supervised Internship. Application for the Supervised Internship must be completed during the semester BEFORE you plan to intern. Applications for FALL semester are due approximately MARCH 15; for the SPRING semester, approximately SEPTEMBER 15. This form is available in the office of the Director of Field Experiences. Criteria for approval of the internship include: Bachelor's degree and completion of ALL required courses. 1. A minimum GPA of 2.75 in all education courses. 2. Passing scores on the minimum competency testing (PPST, C-BEST or GRE) 3. A current valid substitute teaching license for the State of Nevada. 4. Approval of the faculty and approval of the Performance Assessment Portfolio I If you wish to be placed outside of this geographical area for your Supervised Internship, you must have an overall GPA of 3.0 and complete a special request for 7/27/11 2

3 placement. See the Director of Student Teacher Services for this form. PRAXIS II Testing. One of the requirements to be a program completer is that you pass the special education test and the professional knowledge test of the PRAXIS II. Even if you successfully complete the Internship, you are not listed as having completed UNR s teacher preparation program until this testing is successfully completed. For more information, please consult the Student Advisement Center in the College of Education. Application for the Teaching License. The license is granted by the Nevada Department of Education in Carson City, Nevada. You must obtain the application form from the Nevada Department of Education in Carson City. As an approved program completer, your materials will be processed in a timely manner once all application materials, fees, and supporting documentation are submitted. The University does not grant the license. Additional Licensure Requirements In addition to the course requirements listed for licensure, prospective teachers must also demonstrate knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, Nevada Constitution and Nevada school law. The U.S. Constitution. This requirement has been completed if you graduated from any UCCSN institution. Requirements may be met in two ways: (1) successful completion of a U.S. history or political science course that covered the appropriate time period, or (2) by passing the test given periodically through the Educational Leadership Department in the College of Education. The Nevada Constitution. This requirement has been completed if you graduated from any UCCSN institution. This requirement may be met in three ways: (1) passing one of several three-credit courses offered at UNR or a state community college (PSC 103, PSC 208, HIST 102, HIST 111, HIST 217, WT 203); (2) passing a one-credit correspondence course offered through Independent and Correspondence Study (PSC 10Oc); or (3) passing the Nevada Constitution test administered by the Educational Leadership Department in the College of Education. Nevada School Law. This requirement may be met in three ways: (1) successful completion of EL 101, EL 401, EL 498, or EL 735; or (2) passing a course through Correspondence Study at UNR in Nevada school law; or (3) passing the Nevada school law test given by Educational Leadership Department in the College of Education. The tests covering US Constitution, Nevada Constitution, and Nevada School Law are offered regularly at a modest price. Study materials for these exams are available at the UNR Bookstore. Please call the EL Department Office at for more information. 7/27/11 3

4 Transfer coursework. Coursework taken as an undergraduate and/or at a different university may, in some cases, meet requirements for courses in the College of Education. Students who believe they have met some course requirements at institutions other than UNR should provide their advisor with a copy of the course description and a transcript showing a grade and credits earned. If the course seems appropriate, the advisor will complete a SUBSTITUTION/WAIVER FORM and submit it to the associate dean of the college for approval. Substitution/ waiver forms should be completed as soon as possible after beginning classes in the College of Education. If you have further questions concerning the contents of this manual, please contact the Student Advisement Center at or one of the special education faculty members listed below: Dr. Steve Rock Dr. Tammy Abernathy Dr. Bob Ives Dr. Ann Bingham Dr. Shanon Taylor Dr. MaryAnn Demchak /27/11 4

5 Requirement Educational Psychology & Human Development Introduction to Special Education Characteristics of Mild to Moderate Disabilities Reading Methods (6 credits) Math Methods Teaching Approaches in Special Education (Take concurrently) Adolescent Approaches and Transition (Take concurrently) Behavior Management Assessment Course Requirements Professional Degree Program in Special Education Course Selections EPY 330a Educational Psychology * EDU 203 Introduction to the Exceptional Child OR EDSP 4/611 Students with Disabilities in General Education Settings EDU 208 Students with Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds OR EDU 711 Characteristics of Students with Mild/Mod Disab EDRL 642 Literacy Instruction I AND EDRL 643 Literacy Instruction II EDSP 663 Assessment and Instruction in Mathematics for Struggling K-12 Students EDSP 643 Special Education Curriculum: General Methods AND EDSP 482 Practicum in Special Education: Elementary Level EDSP 644 Special Education Curriculum: Approaches for Adolescents AND EDSP 483 Special Education Practicum: Secondary Level EDSP 653 Behavior Management Techniques for Students with Disabilities EDSP 652 Assessment for Special Education Teachers EDSP 632 Serving Individuals with Disabilities and Their Working with families Families EDUC 585 B Supervised Internship in Special Education Student teaching AND EDSP 494 Internship Seminar in Educational Specialties * This course meets two licensure requirements In addition to the courses listed above, the student must satisfy the requirement for the U.S. and Nevada Constitutions and Nevada School Law 7/27/11 5

6 Suggested Course Sequence for Full Time Students without Prior Education Background Semester A EDSP 611 or EDU 211 Characteristics requirement EPY 330a EDSP credits Semester C EDSP 643 EDSP 482 EDRL 652 EDRL 642 EDSP 663 Semester B Semester D 13 credits EDRL 643 EDSP 644 EDSP 483 EDSP credits EDUC 585 Supervised Internship in Special Education (9-12 cr) 9-12 credits Notes: The Nevada School Law, Nevada Constitution, and US Constitution requirements may be met by taking courses or tests not listed. Graduate students with experience in education have met the requirements for some of the courses listed 7/27/11 6

7 Application for Admission to Professional Degree Licensure Program In Special Education (Generalist Resource) College of Education University of Nevada, Reno Application Deadlines: October 1 and March 1 Application Date: Social Security No. Full Legal Name: Current Mailing Address: City: State: Zip: Home Phone: Work Phone: Bachelor s Degree: Date Completed: Name of Institution: Major: Undergraduate GPA: Graduate Coursework (if any): Name of Institution: Years included: Number of Credits: graduate GPA: PPST or CBEST Scores: PPST: Reading CBEST: Reading Date Taken: Writing Writing Math Math I certify that all of the information I have provided is true and accurate: Student Signature: Date of Signature: Applications should be submitted to: Student Advisement Center/286 College of Education University of Nevada Reno, NV /27/11 7

8 TEACHER EDUCATION CANDIDATE PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIORS AND DISPOSITIONS College of Education University of Nevada, Reno All teachers are expected to adhere to a professional code of conduct. How teachers interact with children, parents, and their professional colleagues is as important as their knowledge of content and teaching strategies. The College of Education at the University of Nevada, Reno has adopted a set of professional behaviors or dispositions that we feel are essential for prospective teachers. These dispositions apply to the university setting, courses, practicum experiences, and the supervised internship and are assessed at different points during the teacher education program. Failure to demonstrate one or more of the dispositions may lead to an individualized plan for improvement and, in extreme cases, could lead to removal from the teacher preparation program. The list of dispositions is not exhaustive. Depending on the situation, there could be other dispositions and professional behaviors that might be relevant to becoming a professional educator that do not appear on the list, but which could be considered in an evaluation of overall readiness to become a teacher. Candidates are to read and sign this form and attach it to their application for admission to teacher education. Reflective Practitioner Professional Ethics. The candidate adheres to standards of ethical conduct including academic honesty and confidentiality. Collaboration. The candidate works effectively with professional colleagues and other adults. Commitment to Teaching. The candidate values the profession of teaching. He or she exhibits a positive attitude toward schools, teaching, students, and parents. Emotional Maturity. The candidate responds to frustration and stress appropriately. Professional Demeanor & Responsibility The candidate is prompt, is not unnecessarily absent, notifies appropriate individuals when absence is necessary, completes assignments on time, and follows through on commitments. The candidate dresses appropriately for the situation and wears appropriate attire for teachers in the school during practicum and internships. The candidate is poised and professional in his or her demeanor. The candidate is flexible and is able to make adjustments to changing student needs and circumstances. Professional Feedback The candidate is receptive and responsive to professional feedback incorporating suggestions into practice. Self-Reflection The candidate reflects on and evaluates his or her own behavior and work. He or she is willing to consider multiple perspectives of his or her own performance. The candidate is 7/27/11 8

9 willing and able to recognize own difficulties or deficiencies and begin to develop potential solutions. Multicultural and Democracy Student Focus The candidate recognizes and respects students as valued and unique individuals. Commitment to Diversity The candidate values multiple aspects of diversity. He or she respects children and adults of varied cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, social classes, abilities, political beliefs, and disabilities. Love of Learning & Strong Fund of Knowledge Initiative The candidate is independent and goes beyond minimum expectations. Problem Solving The candidate is an active and effective problem solver. Commitment to Learning The candidate is curious and interested in learning more about students and content areas. The candidate seeks out and takes advantage of opportunities for professional growth beyond the minimum expectations of what is required in classes. I have read the dispositions and professional behaviors above and I understand they describe a set of expectations for candidates enrolled in teacher education programs in the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Reno. I further understand that as a teacher education candidate if I do not exhibit these behaviors based on the professional judgment of program faculty, I may be asked to leave the program. Candidate Signature: Date: The dispositions and professional behaviors contained in this assessment were adapted with permission from materials from the University of Eastern Michigan 7/27/11 9

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