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1 master of art s in special educat i on empowering future special education teachers with the tools and experience to unlock every child s potential for learning C ata l o g

2 Join the special education experts who have become master teachers at assumption.

3 the learning was practical, deep, and insightful. Every one of my experiences in the program was relevant to the work I m doing in the Worcester school system. the learning was practical, deep, and insightful. thanks to an outstanding group of instructors, I developed tremendous confidence, and can draw upon a comprehensive toolbox of skills and knowledge which, in my experience, is proven to help kids succeed. lynn-anne Handleman, m.a. 06 Evaluation Team Chair Department of Special Education Worcester Public Schools Worcester, MA Assumption College Graduate School 500 Salisbury Street Worcester, MA (508) (888) FAX (508)

4 We do everything to help you achieve your educational and career goals. Learnpractical,cutting-edgetechniquesfrominstructors whoareexpertteachersandcounselorsinlocalschoolsystems. Enjoysmallclasses,personalattention,andhighly accessiblefaculty. Establishyourfoundationforsuccesswitharigorous, comprehensiveprogrammodeledonmassachusetts Departmentof ElementaryandSecondaryEducation guidelines. Joinstudentswhoareconsistentachieversonthe MassachusettsTestsforEducatorLicensure. Systematicmonitoringofstudentprogressisprovided throughouttheprogram. Topcareerguidanceandsupportservicesareoffered. Graduatesteachinurbanandsuburbancommunities, inpublicandprivateschools. 2

5 the program bridges the gap between theory and practice by providing graduate students with knowledge that is proven to be effective in the classroom. our goal is to help beginning special educators to achieve success, and to provide experienced teachers with an opportunity to extend and refine their knowledge and skills. We also recognize the importance of using technology and illustrate practical ways to harness it to improve teaching and learning for children and adolescents with diverse special needs. 3

6 What you ll learn in the special education program at assumption the program is designed to build students awareness of how to maximize the development of each child in a variety of settings. It emphasizes the integration of theory, research, and practice. e Mission of the MA in Special Education program at Assumption College seeks to prepare its graduate students for successful careers in teaching students with special needs in both inclusive and non-inclusive classroom environments. e program also strives to educate its graduate students to exemplify good character and integrity in all aspects of their professional lives. e Master of Arts in Special Education program primarily prepares students for a career as teacher of students with mild to moderate disabilities. e competency-based program is founded upon the principles of effective instruction and the philosophy of inclusive education. e courses that comprise the program emphasize connections among theory, research, and practice to build students awareness of how to maximize the development of each child in a variety of settings. Accordingly, the students in our program develop a repertoire of instructional, diagnostic, consultative, and collaborative skills and strategies critical to the role. ey also develop an understanding of the full continuum of services available to individuals with exceptionalities. For qualified students who seek Initial or Professional teacher licensure, a field-based pre-practicum and practicum or performance assessment complements their progress through the program, providing the means by which they establish their competence as teachers of students with mild to moderate disabilities in accordance with state licensure regulations. 4

7 at assumption, the goal of educational assessment is to constantly refine the lens through which we examine a child s ability to learn. special educators are aided in achieving this goal by an understanding of the brain s functioning and what it s capable of receiving during a child s critical growth periods. our graduate students are exposed to a broad range of current educational assessments and interventions, including neuropsychological or brain-based methods. special educators can put this learning into practice immediately in their work, making more effective interventions that heighten the learning of their students. - Joe Vandergrift, Ph.D. Lecturer 5

8 Graduate degree program in special education initial license Admissions Requirements - Candidates for Initial License Enrollment in the Special Education program is open to any qualified individual who meets the admissions standards. AllcandidatesforInitial Licensure mustmeetthefollowing criteria: 1. Possess a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree; 2. Have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0. Candidates for the Massachusetts Initial License for Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8 or 5-12) are not required to have passed the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) prior to applying to the program, however, to be eligible to enroll in the practicum, students must submit evidence of passing scores on all MTEL required for licensure. CandidatesseekingalicenseforPreK-8mustpassthe followingtests: 1. Communication and Literacy Skills; 2. Foundations of Reading OR Reading Specialists; and 3. General Curriculum, including two subtests (i.e., multi-subject and mathematics subtests). Candidatesseekinglicensurefor5-12mustpassthe followingtests: 1. Communication and Literacy Skills; 2. Foundations of Reading OR Reading Specialists; and 3. General Curriculum, including two subtests (i.e. multi-subject and mathematics subtests) OR one of the subject matter tests (i.e., General Science, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, English, History, Mathematics, Middle School Mathematics, Physics, or Political Science/Political Philosophy). Candidates for the Initial License who do not already hold a Massachusetts teacher license may be required, at the discretion of the special education faculty, to take additional coursework in the content areas and/or curriculum and methods of teaching prior to enrollment in the practicum. NOTE:Candidates who complete the state-approved program and thereby earn a first Initial License, are eligible for licensure reciprocity with the approximately 45 other state that are parties to the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Contract. PracticumforMassachusettsInitial License In most cases, students are considered eligible for the practicum once they have successfully completed all prerequisite courses or when they take such courses concurrently. A candidate s eligibility for and enrollment in the practicum will be approved by the Special Education Program Director based upon: 1. a review of the student s transcript, existing teacher licensure, and professional experience; 2. successful performance in required graduate courses; 3. evidence of passing scores on all of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) for Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities. The practicum is a semester-long (i.e. 14-week) commitment governed by criteria outlined in the Massachusetts Regulations for Educator Licensure. Accordingly, candidates must complete at least three (3) weeks, if not all of the practicum in an inclusive classroom setting. Students must be prepared to spend full days at the practicum site(s) during the practicum semester. For information concerning Commonwealth of Massachusetts teacher licensure, contact the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Bureau of Teacher Preparation Certification and Placement 350 Main Street Malden, MA (781) CandidatesWhoDoNotSeekMassachusetts EducatorLicensure(nonlicensurestudents) Prospective students for the MA program only must meet the following criteria: 1. Possess a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree; 2. Have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0. For those students interested in earning a Master of Arts in Special Education only, they are not required to hold a Massachusetts license nor are they required to pass any of the Massachusetts educator tests while they are in the program. Such students may enroll in any Special Education course except for the practicum course or the performance assessment course required for Massachusetts Initial or Professional licensure. Students are required to pass an oral examination or present a case study to complete requirements for the degree. Applicants who do not seek Massachusetts Educator Licensure are to follow the same application procedure outlined below for Initial License applicants. 6

9 initial license Applying to the Program - Initial License The program uses a rolling admissions procedure, and candidates may submit their application to the Graduate Office at any time during the year. The complete application package will be forwarded to the Special Education program admission committee for their review. Candidates will be informed of the committee s decision in writing from the Graduate School office. AcompleteapplicationfortheInitial License program includesthefollowing: 1. An application form and application fee (fee waived for Assumption students or alumni/ae); 2. Official transcript(s) of undergraduate and graduate records; 3. Three (3) letters of recommendation. These letters must be academic or professional in nature and should be from a professor who has taught the candidate for at least one course or from an individual who has supervised the candidate in a work setting. It is important that the letters are from people who can speak to the candidate s potential for successful graduate school studies, academic ability and actual or potential teaching ability; 4. A current resume detailing the candidate s academic and work experiences; 5. A personal essay describing the academic preparation, work experiences, and skills that the candidate brings to this graduate program, what he or she hopes to accomplish academically, and his or her professional goals; 6. A copy of teacher licensure documents if the candidate already holds a license in Massachusetts or another state. 7. An interview is recommended but not required. The Special Education admissions committee reserves the right to require a personal interview for a candidate, based upon their review of the candidate s written application. NOTE: 1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required. 2. Candidates are welcome to contact the Program Director at any time with questions about the program. 3. The Special Education admissions committee reserves the right to request additional material in support of the candidate s application. Candidatesaretonotethefollowing: 1. All documents, transcripts and other papers submitted for admission become the property of the College and will not be returned. 2. Courses taken by correspondence will not satisfy prerequisite or program requirements. 3. A student is not officially admitted or denied admission until he/she has been notified by the Director of Graduate Enrollment. Applicants are notified of their status in writing. 4. After official notification of acceptance, application material and transcripts are kept on file for one year. If the candidate has not matriculated with that year, he/she ordinarily reapplies and is subject to the rules and regulations that are in effect at the time of the new application. 5. Incomplete dossiers are kept on file no longer than one year. 6. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that, prior to attending classes, graduate students must be immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B and meningitis. For specific information call the Graduate Medical Secretary at (508) Conditional Acceptance Under extenuating circumstances, the admissions committee may recommend that the applicant be accepted conditionally. In these cases, formal admission to the graduate program is deferred until an individual has successfully met criteria specified by the admissions committee. For those students who were conditionally accepted into the program, they will be informed in writing of the status of their acceptance into the program. I feel very fortunate to hold my master s in Special Education from assumption. assumption s approach is so in line with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requirements that it has given me a clear advantage in the field, with its emphasis on best practices, research, and using proven strategies that produce results for students. We were exposed to everything that school district administrators are looking for in Special Ed teachers, including inclusion, differentiated instruction, universal design for learning (UDl), and the use of technology to support learning. christine cheney, m.a. 08 7th Grade Learning/Inclusion Specialist Knox Trail Junior High School Spencer, MA 7

10 Graduate degree program in special education Fifth Year Option for the Master of Arts in Special Education Initial License The Special Education program offers a special five-year program that enables an Assumption College student to complete requirements for both the Bachelor of Arts degree in an area of the liberal arts and sciences and the Master of Arts in Special Education degree leading to eligibility for the Massachusetts Initial License for Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8 or 5-12). Students enrolled in this program will be eligible for Massachusetts licensure as elementary, middle, or secondary teacher and teacher of students with moderate disabilities. Undergraduate students who are admitted to the graduate program on early decision must be eligible for an Initial License as elementary, middle, or secondary teacher. If admitted to the program, they may begin taking graduate courses during the senior year and complete the master s degree requirements in a fifth year of study at the College. Assumption undergraduate students who are considering early admission for the fifth-year master s program should consult with the Director of the Special Education program during the spring semester of the junior year to discuss eligibility and application procedures, and to plan a course of study. Fifth Year Option Admission Requirements Assumption College undergraduates who seek early admission to the Master of Arts in Special Education program must meet the following standards: 1. Have at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 GPA in their major field of study; 2. Have a major in one of the core academic subjects taught in 5-8 or 8-12 for which the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issues a license and for which the College has a state approved program. To apply for early admission to the fifth-year program, candidates must submit a complete application to the Office of the Graduate School, ordinarily by the first day of the fall semester of the senior year. Application requirements can be found under Applying to the Program Initial License on page 7. Prior to enrollment in the practicum, Assumption students who seek Massachusetts Initial Licensure as elementary, middle, or secondary teacher and teacher of students with moderate disabilities must pass all of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) required for licensure in their specific field(s). Requirements for the Master of Arts in Special Education: Initial License for Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8 or 5-12) Candidates for the degree of Master of Arts in Special Education are required to complete a rigorous ten-course, 30-credit program to develop systematically the knowledge and skills essential to demonstrate competence as a teacher of students with mild or moderate disabilities. Some flexibility is afforded those students not seeking Massachusetts educator licensure. For those seeking teaching licensure, institutional endorsement for the Massachusetts Initial License for Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8 or 5-12) requires, at a minimum, successful completion of all ten listed courses or their equivalents. Enrollment in some courses, including the practicum may require the prior approval of the Special Education Program Director and/ or the completion or prerequisite course(s) beyond the ten required courses listed. Requirements for the Master of Arts in Special Education: Initial License for Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8 or 5-12) EDU 512 SED 560 PSY/SED 562 PSY/SED 564 PSY/SED 566 PSY/SED 568 SED 570 EDU 552 EDU 572 EDU 574 SED 590* Introduction to Research in Education Foundations of Special Education Physical, Cognitive and Language Developmental Pathways and Challenges Social and Emotional Developmental Pathways and Challenges Assessment of Special Learning Needs of Children and Adolescents Behavioral Assessment and Interventions Inclusion: Theory and Classroom Practice Foundations of Teaching Reading OR Teaching Children and Adolescents with Reading Problems (prerequisite: EDU 325, EDU 552, OR equivalent course OR evidence of passing score on MTEL Foundations of Reading Test) Teaching Children and Adolescents with Problems in Mathematics Practicum and Seminar: Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities * Those degree candidates who do not seek Massachusetts teacher licensure must substitute an approved elective for the practicum; they may not enroll in the practicum. Oral Examination or Case Study All students in the Master of Arts in Special Education program are required either to pass an oral examination or present a case study to complete requirements for the degree. 8

11 Graduate degree program in special education professional license Admissions Requirements Candidates for Professional License Enrollment in the Special Education program is open to any qualified individual who meets the admissions standards. All candidates for Professional Licensure must meet the following criteria: 1. Possess a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree; 2. Have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0; 3. Possess an Initial license as a Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities or Elementary Education from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; 4. Have at least one year of full-time employment in an educational setting. For information concerning Commonwealth of Massachusetts teacher licensure, contact the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Bureau of Teacher Preparation Certification and Placement 350 Main Street Malden, MA (781) Note: The following is required for a Professional Licence. For more information, visit a. 3 years of employment under an Initial License b. Completion of a teacher induction program Applying to the Program Professional License The program uses a rolling admissions procedure, and candidates may submit their application to the Graduate Office at any time during the year. The complete application package will be forwarded to the Special Education program admission committee for their review. Candidates will be informed of the committee s decision in writing through the Graduate School office. AcompleteapplicationfortheProfessional License includes thefollowing: 1. An application form and application fee (fee waived for Assumption students or alumni/ae); 2. Official transcript(s) of undergraduate and graduate records; 3. Three (3) letters of recommendation. These letters must be academic or professional in nature and should be from a professor who has taught the candidate for at least one course or from an individual who has supervised the candidate in a work setting. It is important that the letters are from people who can speak to the candidate s potential for successful graduate school studies, academic ability and actual or potential teaching ability; 4. A current resume detailing the candidate s academic and work experiences; 5. A copy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts educator s license; 6. A statement of intent describing the academic preparation, work experiences, and skills that the candidate brings to this graduate program, what he or she hopes to accomplish academically, and his or her professional goals; 7. A writing sample demonstrating the applicant s ability to write in a comprehensible and professional manner. This sample may be in the form of a recent term paper or a narrative report of a student evaluation based on the use of formal/informal assessments. Note: This writing sample is in addition to the statement of intent requirement. Note: 1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required. 2. An interview is not required, however, candidates are welcome to contact the Program Director at any time with any questions about the program. 3. The Special Education admissions committee reserves the right to request additional material in support of the candidate s application. Candidatesaretonotethefollowing: 1. All documents, transcripts and other papers submitted for admission become the property of the College and will not be returned. 2. Courses taken by correspondence will not satisfy prerequisite or program requirements. 3. A student is not officially admitted or denied admission until he/she has been notified by the Director of Graduate Enrollment. Applicants are notified of their status in writing. 4. After official notification of acceptance, application material and transcripts are kept on file for one year. If the candidate has not matriculated with that year, he/she ordinarily reapplies and is subject to the rules and regulations that are in effect at the time of the new application. 5. Incomplete dossiers are kept on file no longer than one year. 6. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that, prior to attending classes, graduate students must be immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, Hepatitis B and meningitis. For specific information call the Graduate Medical Secretary at Conditional Acceptance Under extenuating circumstances, the admissions committee may recommend that the applicant be accepted conditionally. In these cases, formal admission to the graduate program is deferred until an individual has successfully met criteria specified by the admissions committee. For those students who were conditionally accepted into the program, they will be informed in writing of the status of their acceptance into the program. 9

12 Graduate degree program in special education professional license Courses: Professional License For Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8 or 5-12) RequiredCourses(8) EDU 512 Introduction to Research in Education OR EDU 703 Advanced Research Seminar ONE of the following language and literacy courses: - EDU 553 Teaching Writing - EDU 554 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (5-12) - SED 551 Speech and Language Development and Interventions - EDU 572 Teaching Children and Adolescents with Reading Difficulties - EDU 650 Seminar: Literature for Children and Young Adults EDU 575 Seminar: Strategies in Teaching Mathematics to Students with Moderate Disabilities SED 567 Seminar: Advanced Assessment of Special Learning Needs SED 571A Curriculum and Methods for Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8) OR SED 571B Curriculum and Methods for Students with Moderate Disabilities (5-12) SED 580 Learning Disabilities SED 585 Educating Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders SED 591A Performance Assessment and Seminar: Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8) OR SED 591B Performance Assessment and Seminar: Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (5-12) ElectiveCourses(2) EDU 515 Diversity in Schooling EDU 520 Teaching and Learning EDU 553 Teaching Writing EDU 554 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (5-12) EDU 572 Teaching Children and Adolescents with Reading Difficulties EDU 600C All History is Local: Using the Massachusetts History & Social Sciences Framework SED 551 Speech and Language Development and Interventions SRS 500A Introduction to Developmental Disabilities: Theory and Practice SRS 525 Psychosocial and Environmental Aspects of Disabilities EDU/SED 600 Special Topics EDU/SED 700 Directed Study Students who have not had equivalent course content in the professional licensure program may also take courses from among the following listed options. Whether or not students have had equivalent courses is determined in transcript review. PSY/SED 562 PSY/SED 564 PSY/SED 566 PSY/SED 568 SED 570 EDU 574 Physical, Cognitive, and Language Developmental Pathways and Challenges Social and Emotional Developmental Pathways and Challenges Assessment of Special Learning Needs of Children and Adolescents Behavioral Assessment and Interventions Inclusion: Theory and Classroom Practice Teaching Children and Adolescents with Problems in Mathematics Those degree candidates who do not seek Massachusetts teacher licensure must substitute an approved elective for the performance assessment; they may not enroll in the performance assessment. Oral Examination or Case Study Students in the Master of Arts in Special Education program are required either to pass an oral examination or present a case study to complete requirements for the degree. 10

13 Performance Assessment for Massachusetts Professional License Students are considered eligible for the performance assessment once they have successfully completed all prerequisite courses or when they take such courses concurrently. A candidate s eligibility for and enrollment in the practicum will be determined by the Special Education Program Director based upon: 1. A review of the student s transcript, existing teacher licensure, and professional experience (the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires at least three (3) years of teaching experience under the Initial License in order to be eligible for a Professional License); 2. Successful performance in required graduate courses; 3. Evidence of passing scores on all of themassachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) required for the Initial License for Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities. The performance assessment is a semester-long (14-week) commitment governed by criteria outlined in the State regulations. Accordingly, candidates must complete a portion, if not all, of the performance assessment in an inclusive classroom setting. They must be prepared to spend full days at the teaching site(s) during the semester. Advising All students who are accepted into the graduate program are assigned a faculty advisor and should consult with their advisor regularly concerning their progress in the program. Students seeking either Initial or Professional teacher licensure are required to schedule an advising meeting with designated program personnel as specified in the letter of admission. It is the student s responsibility to schedule that appointment for appropriate and timely advising about current licensure regulations and for planning an appropriate course of study. Group advising sessions are held at least three times a year, and matriculated students will receive notice of such meeting. Those sessions provide information about upcoming courses offered and other program information. For candidates seeking to obtain a Professional License, in addition to completing designated graduate courses, they must fulfill all of the criteria recorded for this state of licensure in the current state regulations to qualify for the Massachusetts Professional License. Review of Student Performance Special Education program faculty review all students progress each semester and expect that students will make satisfactory progress toward program completion. Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 or who earn below a B- in any course are placed upon academic probation. Students are expected to raise their GPA to a 3.0 by the following semester, and if they do not, students may be withdrawn from the program. Students who have not taken a course in four consecutive semesters are considered inactive and may be withdrawn from the program. In such cases, students should submit a written statement to the Special Education Program Director indicating their commitment to completing the program. The graduate program in Special Education prepares students for service to the public. The program has an obligation to the community to endure that only those students demonstrating academic competence and professionally responsible behavior are continued in the program. Students failing to meet these criteria may be recommended for withdrawal from the program. I found it to be an outstanding program for many reasons. the professors are always there for you; even after graduation, they continue to be a resource of expertise. the classroom assignments related directly to work that I was doing then (and now) in real classrooms. the practicum was an empowering experience, in which videotape analysis and insightful guidance from my advisor truly elevated the quality of my work. the practicum also prepared us well for job interviews, acquainting us with exactly what we would need to land a job, and then function in that job effectively. lee ann atkinson, m.a. 09 6th Grade Special Ed Learning Center Teacher Eugene Wright Middle School Chelsea, MA 11

14 Graduate degree program in special education Waiver of Required Courses The Special Education Program Director will grant a waiver of a required course if the following conditions are met: 1. If the student has taken an equivalent graduate course at another college or university within the past five years and has passed the course with a grade of a B or higher, a waiver of a required course may be granted. It is the student s responsibility to demonstrate that a course taken elsewhere is, in fact, equivalent to the required Assumption College course (e.g., course description, syllabus). The request for the waiver and/or transfer should be submitted to the faculty advisor, who will formally submit the request to the Special Education Program Director for consideration. If the student requests transfer of credits, written approval of the advisor, and the Dean of the Graduate School is required. In some cases, departmental approval of the waiver or credit transfer may be dependent on the student s completion of additional reading or the submission of a paper or other materials to ensure competencies have been successfully met. 2. If for any other reason a student requests a waiver of a course or required program components, the student must document in writing the reasons for the request and present the request to the faculty advisor. The advisor will then take appropriate steps to submit the request to the appropriate faculty and Special Education Program Director. In some cases, a waiver exam, oral or written, at the faculty member s discretion, may be requested by the faculty member primarily responsible for teaching the course for which is waiver is sought. 3. Undergraduate courses are not construed as equivalent to graduate courses. In exceptional circumstances, if a student thinks that he or she has taken the equivalent of a graduate course, he or she may follow the appropriate procedure as outlined above. 4. The student who is successful in obtaining a waiver for one or more courses must still complete the required number of course credit hours in order to obtain the graduate degree. Special Student Status Special Students are those who are either considering applying to the Special Education graduate program or who have applied and are awaiting review of their application status. Special Students may take up to two (2) Special Education graduate courses. Special Students must submit a copy of their undergraduate transcript for review by the Program Director and must obtain permission from the Program Director to register for any course. Students must complete their application for admission before registering for any additional courses. Permission to enroll in graduate courses as a Special Student does not guarantee an individual admission to the Special Education program nor does it guarantee that all of the course taken will be accepted in fulfillment of degree and/or licensure requirements. An individual who is not seeking admission to the degree program must obtain written permission from the Special Education Program Director and the Dean of the Graduate School to take more than two (2) courses as a Special Student. Permission will be contingent upon the individual demonstrating prerequisite knowledge for courses requested. International Students Those applicants who have attained a level of education officially considered as equivalent to a bachelor s degree from an American institution of higher education are eligible for admission to the program. An official course-by-course transcript evaluation, and translation if necessary, is required to determine if the degree obtained is equivalent to an American bachelor s degree. Applicants whose native or official tongue is not English are required to provide evidence of English profciency through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International Language Testing System (IELTS). Information about these tests are available from TOEFL at Box 899, Princeton, NJ, or from IELTS at IELTS Inc., 100 East Corson Street, Suite 200, Pasadena, CA, All international students must also complete Assumption College s International Student Information Form (I-20) concerning their financial resources or financial support. Forms and information are available from the Office of Student Life at

15 the certificate of advanced Graduate studies (cags) Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Special Education: Positive Behavior Support The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies provides specialized knowledge and skills in Positive Behavior Support (PBS) for professional educators who hold a Master s degree. It is awarded upon completion of 15 credits beyond the Masters degree in Education or Special Education. However, those students who have not met prerequisites prior to being admitted to the program may be required to take more than 15 credit hours in order to earn their certificates. Students who are enrolled in the Initial Licensure program may be able to take CAGS courses, if eligible, thereby earning their CAGS in addition their master s degrees. The CAGS credits may be used toward their Professional Licenses. PROGRAMS OF STUDY / CAGS in Special Education: Positive Behavior Support I am confident in my ability to work with students, parents, and other educators. Special educators are in higher demand than classroom teachers, which is a huge advantage for those graduating from this program. Admissions Criteria: Requirements: (15-Credit Hours) OPTION 1: Professional License Program Possess a Master of Arts or Master of Education degree; Have a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0; Possess an Initial License as a Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities; Have at least one year of full-time employment in an educational setting EDU 515 Diversity in Schooling SED 585 Educating Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders SED 587 Advanced Application of Positive Behavior Supports (prerequisite: PSY/SED 568 or equivalent) SED 589 Seminar: Research & Practice in Positive Behavior Supports (prerequisite: EDU 512, SED 587 or equivalent; can be taken concurrently) SED 591 (A or B) Performance Assessment and Seminar: Teacher of Students with Special Needs (PreK-8 or 5-12) OPTION 2: Certificate Only Program Possess a Master of Arts or Master of Education degree; Have a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0; Have at least one year of full-time employment in an educational setting EDU 515 Diversity in Schooling SED 585 Educating Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders SED 587 Advanced Application of Positive Behavior Supports (prerequisite: PSY/SED 568 or equivalent) SED 589 Seminar: Research & Practice in Positive Behavior Supports (prerequisite: EDU 512, SED 587 or equivalent; can be taken concurrently) Elective the program s professors are phenomenal, and the classes are small, allowing for rich interaction between students, most of whom are already working in Special Education in some capacity. Much of the curriculum and information from group discussions can be applied immediately in the classroom. I couldn t have asked for a better program. Jamie fransson, m.a. 09 7th and 8th Grade Reading Resource Teacher Sullivan Middle School Worcester, MA 13

16 course descriptions EDU Introduction to Research in Education This course is designed to enable students to become critical readers of research in education. It also helps them to design and conduct research in an educational setting. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies are addressed. Students are expected to analyze research reports and to design potential research products. EDU Diversity in Schooling This course examines the concept of diversity and its implications for teachers, students, and schools. The course draws from leading scholars and writers in the fields of education and related disciplines to highlight the various perspectives on diversity. It also will emphasize the impact of culture on the curriculum, teacher-student relationships and pedagogy in schools. Through course readings, discussion and collaborative learning, and independent research, students will gain a greater understanding of the concept of diversity in its various permutations and will learn how to identify, select, and design teaching strategies that support expressed goals for diversity in schools. EDU Teaching and Learning: Concepts and Models This course includes the in-depth study of behavioral and cognitive theories of learning and motivation that influence and inform current practices in education. A variety of teaching models based on these theories is examined. SED Speech and Language Development and Interventions This course provides in-depth coverage of the normal acquisition and development of speech and language, including phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Relationships between language learning and neurological, motor, and thought development are examined, as well as speech and language assessment and intervention practices for the student with special needs. EDU Foundations of Teaching Reading This course introduces students to the theoretical and philosophical bases underlying reading development. Using the stages of reading development as a frame, students explore the role of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension at stages from emergent literacy to mature reading. Students also investigate the relationship of reading to writing, language and cultural influences on reading development, instructional models of reading, methods and materials for reading instruction, and the assessment and evaluation of reading development. There is a focus throughout the course on connecting theory and research to current practice and policy, with specific focus on the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework. EDU 553 Teaching Writing This course includes the investigation of theory and research related to the writing process and reader response. It covers the broad range of writing development from emergent literacy to mature writing. A variety of topics is addressed including process writing, methodology, cultural influences on writing development, and the assessment and evaluation of writing across the grades. There is a focus throughout the course on linking theory and research to current practice and policy. EDU Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (5-12) This course includes the investigation of theory and research related to the processes of reading and writing, and responding to content area text in the middle and secondary grades. It addresses a variety of topics such as strategy development for reading and writing to learn, methods and materials, cultural influences, assessment and evaluation, and the roles of teachers and administrators. There is a focus throughout the course on linking theory and research to practice and policy. SED Foundations of Special Education This introductory course serves to familiarize students with the historical, theoretical, and philosophical bases underlying special education and provides an essential foundation for further study in special education. Students will examine the characteristics of children with exceptionalities; educational terminology for students with mild to moderate disabilities; etiology of learning abilities and disabilities; federal and state laws and regulations that govern services for children with exceptionalities; and nature of the role and responsibilities of the teacher of children with moderate disabilities. Current issues such as cultural and linguistic diversity; inclusionary practices; categorical vs. non-categorical approaches to diagnosis; prevention vs. intervention vs. remediation of disabilities; preparation, implementation, and evaluation of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs); and the standards-based education reform movement are broadly addressed. Services provided by other agencies are also discussed. SED Collaborative Approach to Individualized Education Planning Responding to IDEA 2004, professional standards, theory, and contemporary research, this course frames the special education process as a collaborative, tiered problem solving approach to individualized educational planning. Through evidence-based tools, best practices, application, and interactive discussions, students investigate learning and behavior struggles to construct quality IEPs and documents. The course concludes with formulating a proactive action-plan to promote a culture of professional support and cooperation in school settings. Prerequisite: SED 560 PSY/SED Physical, Cognitive, and Language Developmental Pathways and Challenges This course provides in-depth study of human growth and development of children and adolescents in the physical, cognitive, and language domains with an emphasis on both typical and atypical development. The positive contributions and limitations of various developmental theories and conceptual frameworks are examined. Throughout the course, students consider the relationship between development and the selection of appropriate educational services and interventions for children and adolescents with special needs. PSY/SED Social and Emotional Developmental Pathways and Challenges This course provides a comprehensive, balanced overview of social and emotional development and disorders. Students examine, compare, and contrast significant social and emotional development theories, research, and interventions. This course assists students to understand better the relationships between developmental challenges and effects on learning, thereby enabling them to select and implement various instructional approaches and interventions with critical appreciation for children and adolescents with social and emotional special needs. 14

17 Our goal is to help beginning special educators to achieve success, aided with a critical understanding of brain function during a child s critical growth period. PSY/SED Assessment of Special Learning Needs of Children and Adolescents In this course, students will gain knowledge of both formal and informal assessment of students with special learning needs using a systematic and comprehensive approach. They will examine frequently used diagnostic assessment tools in areas of physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional development. Emphasis is placed on those assessment strategies that yield objective data regarding individual skill repertoires and learning characteristics, thereby providing a basis for educational decision making and the preparation and evaluation of IEPs. Topics such as portfolio assessment, alternative assessment, interpretation of results of assessment, report writing, IEP preparation, and communication with families and other professionals will also be included. SED 567 Seminar: Advanced Assessment of Special Learning Needs This advanced studies graduate seminar focuses on promoting the advanced graduate students knowledge of and mastery in administering educational diagnostic assessments for students with diverse moderate learning needs. Seminar participants learn advanced principles of accurate assessment of children and adolescents learning needs, to aid decision making and instructional planning for these students. Select representative diagnostic tools, which are frequently used in PreK-12 schools, are discussed, demonstrated, practiced and administered to develop skill proficiency. Seminar participants are expected to engage in independent research, including, but not limited to, current best practices. Prerequisites: PSY/SED 566 or equivalent. PSY/SED 568 Behavioral Assessement and Interventions This course is designed to provide students with principles for the effective use of behavioral assessment and interventions in inclusive and special education classrooms. Students learn to use a cognitivebehavioral approach within a developmental context to identify, analyze, implement, and evaluate interventions that both prepare children and adolescents with special needs for and maintain them in general education classrooms. A team approach with a focus on consultation and collaboration skills necessary for special educators is emphasized. Research-based strategies to enhance classroom management, organization, and the learning environment are considered. SED 570 Inclusion: Theory and Classroom Practice This course is designed to enable students to practice inclusiive education for children and adolescents with special learning needs. Students learn ways to design and modify curriculum, instructional materials, and teaching strategies for children and adolescents with moderate disabilities in general educational settings. Emphasis is placed on the teacher s role in the preparation, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), consultation and collaboration skills, as well as on the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks that govern content and instruction in the state s public schools. Prerequisite: SED 560. SED 571A - Curriculum and Methods for Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8) This course is designed to enable teachers to provide high-quality education for their elementary and middle school (PreK-8) students with disabilities. This course will focus on appropriate teaching strategies, tactics, and suggestions for students with various disabilities. It will also emphasize the implementation of research-based instruction that ensures effective teaching and learning of students with diverse learning needs. It will therefore help beginning teachers to achieve initial classroom success and to provide experienced teachers with an opportunity to extend and refine their knowledge and skills. SED 571B - Curriculum and Methods for Students with Moderate Disabilities (5-12) This course is designed to enable teachers to provide high-quality education for their middle and high school (5-12) students with disabilities. This course will focus on appropriate teaching strategies, tactics, and suggestions for students with various disabilities. It will also emphasize the implementation of research-based instruction that ensures effective teaching and learning of students with diverse learning needs. In addition, comprehensive transition planning and implementation from school to young adulthood life for secondary school students with special needs will be addressed. It will therefore help beginning teachers to achieve initial classroom success and to provide experienced teachers with an opportunity to extend and refine their knowledge and skills. EDU Teaching Children and Adolescents with Reading Difficulties Drawing from seminal research in reading and reading disabilities, students explore the theoretical and philosophical bases underlying reading development, including the relationship between reading and writing. They investigate etiology of reading difficulties, principles and tools of assessment, models of reading and research-supported instructional strategies for learners who have reading problems. Issues such as cultural and linguistic diversity, state and federal legislation, prevention vs. intervention vs. remediation of reading difficulties, implementation of the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework, and the critical role of teacher are also considered. Prerequisites: EDU 325, EDU 552 or equivalent course in foundations of teaching reading OR evidence of passing score on the Foundations of Reading Test of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). EDU Teaching Children and Adolescents with Problems in Mathematics This course serves to familiarize students with the theoretical and philosophical bases underlying acquisition of numeracy, with particular emphasis on the identification and prevention of children s difficulty in mathematics. Drawing from seminal research in mathematics instruction and mathematics disabilities, students explore the acquisition of mathematics concepts and skills, etiology of difficulties in mathematics, principles of assessment, and instructional strategies that have proved successful with learners who have problems in mathematics. Issues such as cultural and linguistic diversity, the influence of legislation concerning children with learning disabilities, prevention vs. intervention vs. remediation of problems in mathematics, implementation of the Massachusetts Mathematics Curriculum Framework and the critical role of the teacher are also considered. EDU Seminar: Strategies in Teaching Mathematics to Students with Moderate Disabilities This advanced studies graduate seminar focuses on best practice in designing and teaching mathematics instruction to meet the unique needs of elementary and middle/secondary students with moderate disabilities based on Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. The continuum from PreK through Secondary is presented so that teachers at all levels identify what knowledge to expect students to possess 15

18 course descriptions from previous courses, as well as what students need to retain for later courses. In this course, graduate participants explore, learn, and research how to teach children and adolescents critical mathematical concepts and functional math that apply to their everyday lives and future careers. Current theory and frequently used accommodations for these students for state-wide, district-wide, and/or alternative math assessment are also examined. In addition, participants learn to use diagnostic tools to assess dyscalculia. Case studies from current research and participants own teaching experiences are integrated to illustrate effective teaching of children with various mathematical difficulties. Furthermore, this course advances the mastery and progress of graduate-level participants in the field of teaching mathematics to students with diverse learning needs. Seminar participants are expected to engage in independent research, including, but not limited to, current best practices. Prerequisites: EDU 574 or equivalent and permission of Program Director. SED Learning Disabilities This advanced course serves to deepen students understanding of developmental variation and learning disabilities. Students will examine basic neurodevelopmental functions that affect how children and adolescents learn and the disorders that cause or contribute to academic difficulties. Focus is placed upon receptive and expressive oral language, reading, written language, mathematics, and social and emotional behavior. Students will review the federal and state definitions of specific learning disabilities, eligibility criteria for support service, the regulations that govern such service, and the instructional responsibilities of the teacher of students with mild to moderate learning disorders. Current issues such as cultural and linguistic diversity of students, inclusion, and the standards-based education reform movement are broadly addressed. Case studies serve to assist the student to bridge theory to practice, as well as to develop problem solving skills within the context of assessment and instructional planning for students with particular profiles. Prerequisites: SED 560, PSY/SED 562, 564, 566 and EDU 552 or equivalents. SED Educating Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders This course addresses the development of interpersonal skills and various behavior disorders associated with emotional disturbance in school-age children. Assessment strategies for detecting and interpreting overt behaviors that suggest emotional conflict are examined. Selected counseling and therapeutic techniques appropriate for classroom intervention are also addressed. SED Advanced Application of Positive Behavior Support This course focuses on school applications of positive behavior supports (PBS), beginning with the logic and research supporting the three-tiered schoolwide positive behavior supports (SWPBS) model. Students will learn about the training process for schools implementing SWPBS, including the dvelopment, teaching, and reinforcing of schoolwide expectations (i.e., primary level supports). Students will also learn about implementing secondary-level, targeted behavior supports at the schoolwide level. In addition, students will how planning individualized (i.e., tertiary level) interventions fits into the SWPBS model. This course also focuses on working in teams to promote behavior support, on training staff to implement behavior supports with fidelity, and on schoolwide data collection systems. Prerequisite: PSY/SED 568 or equivalent (can be taken concurrently) SED Seminar: Research and Practice in Positive Behavior Supports As part of this course, students will work in a school setting that utilizes the multi-tiered schoolwide positive behavior supports (SWPBS) model. Depending on the schools needs and the students interests, students may be (s) working with individual students, conducting functional behavioral assessments and designing behavior intervention plans, or (b) working with a school s behavior support team to plan and assist with SWPBS implementation at the primary and/or secondary level(s). In addition, the student may complete on-site evaluations of SWPBS and conduct training sessions with staff. Weekly seminars will focus on the successful implementation of evidence-based practices in behavior support, problem-solving techniques, and evaluation and modification of existing behavior supports. Prerequisites: SED 587 and EDU 512. SED Practicum and Seminar: Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities This practicum is conducted in accordance with Massachusetts educator licensure regulations. The student completes the practicum under the direction of a college supervisor and under the immediate supervision of a cooperating classroom practitioner who is licensed in the field and at the level of the licensure sought. At least three weeks, if not all, of the practicum is completed in an inclusive classroom setting. The practicum student will spend a full day at the placement site(s) for the duration of the practicum. The student s teaching performance is evaluated in accordance with criteria specified in the Massachusetts regulations; in particular, the Professional Standards for Teachers. Students must meet specified criteria for enrollment in the practicum. Permission required; enrollment limited to qualified, matriculated graduate students. SED 591 (A or B) Performance Assessment and Seminar: Teacher of Students with Special Needs (PreK-8 or 5-12) The performance assessment provides the opportunity for the student seeking Professional license to integrate content area knowledge, pedagogical theory, and practical experience. The duration of the clinical experience will be no less than 400 clock hours. The college supervisor will evaluate the candidate in accordance with criteria established by the current Commonwealth of Massachusetts educator license regulations. Permission required; enrollment limited to qualified, matriculated graduate students. EDU/SED Special Topics in Education/ Special Education This course is designed to address contemporary topics and issues in education/special education. Topics will be chosen based on timelines, interest, and relevance to current educational practices. This course will allow students the opportunity to examine current issues in greater detail than would be possible in other course offerings. EDU/SED Directed Study The student, in conjunction with a faculty advisor, designs and conducts a critical study of a topic of interest, a curriculum-based project, a research study, a field experience, a practicum, or an internship. EDU Advanced Research Seminar The course content focuses on developing and understanding the issues necessary to read critically and evaluate research literature. 16

19 administration and faculty Students are expected to prepare an extensive review of the research literature, develop research questions, and employ methodology relevant to special education. The paper must demonstrate an evident understanding of the clinical area of focus and the research methodology. Professional License - Additional Electives SRS 500A - Introduction to Developmental Disabilities: Theory and Practice This course introduces the student to the psychological, physiological and social factors human service providers encounter when attempting to provide effective rehabilitation services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Students will be introduced to current theories which address the etiology, relevant therapeutic concerns and prognosis of various developmental disabilities. Considerable attention will also be given to the practical concerns that the service provider will encounter. SRS Psychosocial and Environmental Aspects of Disability This course will utilize a life span framework to describe and explain the physical, social, emotional and cognitive changes that take place across the life span from preconception to death in humans. Studies that provide an understanding of the nature and needs of humans at all developmental levels will be examined. In addition, students will also explore the major determinants associated with disability that impact personality development, sexual functioning, families, social functioning and the community. Current research findings will be analyzed and discussed. Special Education Program Kennedy Building, Room 169 Phone: (508) Fax: (508) Administration NanhoVanderHart (508) Director of the Special Education Program MaryMahan (508) Administrative Secretary, Education Department AdrianO.Dumas (508) Director of Graduate Enrollment Management & Services FinancialAid (508) Faculty ClaireJ.Bouchard Lecturer in Special Education (2005) B.A., Anna Maria College; M.A., Worcester State College, JudithCournoyer Lecturer in Special Education (2007) B.S., M.A., Westfield State College, C.A.G.S., American International College, JessicadelaCruz Assistant Professor of Education (2008) B.A., Union College; M.S., Ph.D. University of Virginia, KathleenDion Lecturer in Special Education (2008) B.S., M.A., Worcester State College; M.A., Fitchburg State College, CalvinR.Hill Lecturer in Special Education (2005) B.A., Bethany College; M.S., Emporia State University; Ph.D., Howard University, EllenKoretz Lecturer in Special Education (2004) B.S., M.S.E., Lesley College; Ed.D. University of Massachusetts, Lowell, RosanneMajoy Lecturer in Special Education (2006) B.A., Ohio Northern University; M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University; Ed. D., Boston College, 1991 AmyMaynard Lecturer in Special Education (2006) B.A., University of Vermont; M.A., University of Southern Maine, DianeM.Myers Assistant Professor of Special Education (2008) B.A., Connecticut College; M.S., Southern Connecticut State University; Ph.D., University of Connecticut, MariaNemerowicz Lecturer in Special Education (2009) B.A. Kean University; M.A. Assumption College; Ph.D.. University of Massachusetts Amherst, RonaldJ.Pasternak Lecturer in Special Education (2006) B.A., American International College; M.A., Assumption College, 1980; Professional Certificate, Holy Cross College, KathleenRusso Lecturer in Special Education (2008) B.A., Assumption College; M.A., New York University, CathleenK.Stutz Assistant Professor of Education (1995), Chairperson of the Education Department M.A., M.S., University of Pennsylvania; Ed.D., Boston University, NanhoVanderHart Assistant Professor of Special Education (1999) B.A., Ewha Woman's University, Seoul, Korea; M.A., University of Northern Colorado; Ph.D., University of Iowa, JosephM.Vandergrift Lecturer in Special Education (2003) B.A., Rockhurst College; M.A., C.A.G.S., Ph.D., Duquesne University,

20 academic information Academic Grievance Procedure If a student has a grievance concerning grades and other academic issues he/she may seek resolution through the Academic Grievance Procedure. The academic grievance procedure process and criteria may be obtained from the Graduate School office. Academic Honesty Representing the work of another as your own is a violation of fundamental principles of truthfulness and an offense against the academic community. Academic dishonesty may result in the student failing the course, at the discretion of the instructor. Academic dishonesty includes cheating on examinations, as well as plagiarism (failure to credit properly the ideas, organization of material or phrasing of another, including the use of term paper or reference paper services). Submitting one s own work, in part or in whole, to more than one instructor without proper notification is also academically dishonest and subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Students with learning disabilities, ADHD/ADD, chronic medical conditions, physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities who plan to request academic accommodations must self-identify and provide appropriate recent documentation of disability to the Director of Disability Services. Individual Education Plans (IEP) and 504 Plans are not considered documentation and do not carry over to higher education. Documentation guidelines are available at: Once documentation has been reviewed by the college, the student must schedule a meeting with the Director of Disability Services. During this meeting, the student and director will determine reasonable accommodations. Please be aware that some accommodations may take up to 12 weeks to implement. Students are strongly advised to begin the process of self-identification, eligibility, and accommodation determination well before the start of the semester in order to provide the college with reasonable notice. Students must request accommodations each semester. Students who are registered with Disability Services will receive an reminder, sent to their Assumption.edu account at the start of each semester. Audit With permission of the Program Director, a Special Student or, in special cases, a matriculated student may audit a course. The fee is one-half of the regular three-credit-hour fee. A student who changes status from credit to audit after the seventh week of classes (or, in summer sessions, after the third week) must have permission of the Program Director and the Dean of the Graduate School. No refund is available to those who change status from degree credit to audit. All changes must be processed by the registrar prior to the last class meeting. Class Attendance All students must attend class whenever an announced test, quiz, oral or written examination is given and whenever a report or paper is due. In addition, instructors have the prerogative of establishing specific attendance requirements in their own courses. Each student has the responsibility to keep fully informed of class assignments, special activities and examinations of all types, and to meet the requirements of the course. Course Withdrawals/Additions CourseWithdrawals( drop ) Students may withdraw from a course at any time up to the eighth class meeting. To withdraw from a course, the student must notify the program office of his/her intent to withdraw and request that a withdrawal form be processed. The date of withdrawal is the date on which the student notified the program office. A student may be administratively withdrawn upon determination that he/she has not attended class sessions. See the Financial Information section for the tuition refund schedule. CourseAdditions( add ) Students may register for a course up to one week after the start of any given course. No additions are permitted beyond that date. UnusualCircumstances Where illness or extraordinary circumstances require a student to withdraw after the eighth class meeting, the student may submit a written statement to the Program Director requesting a withdrawal from the course(s). Course Repeat Policy When a student earns a C+ or lower, the student may either repeat the course, if it is a specific requirement, or if it is an elective, replace it with a course which satisfies the same requirement. The student may repeat or replace the course only once. If the original course is repeated or replaced the higher of the two grades prevails, the low grade appears with no hours attempted or earned and the original grade is removed from the cumulative average. Students must request to repeat or replace a course in writing to the Program Director. 18

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