Graduate Catalog

Special Education

Special educators require skills in adapting general education curricula and making these curricula accessible to students with exceptionalities at all grade levels. Building on the teaching skills required to create reflective, collaborative classrooms, special educators develop instructional strategies to help each individual student learn how to learn and gain the self-advocacy skills necessary for independence.

Program participants examine issues of learning and teaching such as language acquisition, cultural bias and sensitivity, assessment paradigms and practices, behavior management, instructional adaptation, legal requirements, and family support. Lewis & Clark special education programs emphasize the application of theoretically sound and experimentally validated instructional practices for working with students who present one or multiple learning challenges in the domains of cognition, language, and motor and emotional development from pre-K-12. Participants in this program work with their colleagues and school based leaders in the field of special education to examine current research and promising practices for supporting students eligible to receive special-education services to improve their academic achievement, social acceptance, and sense of self-worth.

Through courses and field experiences focused on the needs of students with exceptionalities, licensed pre-K through 12th grade teachers gain the knowledge and skills to become exceptional special educators.

Accreditation

Lewis & Clark's graduate programs leading to licensure and endorsement are approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC).

Special Education Endorsement

The Special Education Endorsement Program is designed to provide a highly practical, skill-based curriculum based on current research for educators interested in serving students with exceptionalities. The program is designed for educators who hold a current Oregon Initial or Continuing Teaching License and want to teach special education (for information about the Basic/Standard Exceptional Learner I endorsement, see below).  Candidates admitted to the Special Education Endorsement prior to September 2014 simultaneously complete the requirements for the Continuing Teaching License [updated 9/22/2014]. Candidates choose whether to complete the endorsement requirements at the early childhood/elementary or the middle level/high school authorization levels.

Endorsement Requirements

A minimum of 18 semester hours, distributed as follows, and all required tests

Required Endorsement Courses
Summer I
SPED 510Educating Students with Exceptionalities: Learning and Legal Issues2
SPED 511Behavior Change Interventions for Students with Serious Emotional and Behavioral Disorders2
SPED 516Interventions for Students with Severe Needs2
Fall
SPED 513Assessment and Diagnosis for Students With Exceptionalities3
SPED 545Practicum I1
Spring
SPED 514Curriculum and Instruction for Students With Exceptionalities3
SPED 546Practicum II1
Summer II
SPED 517Literacy for Students with Exceptionalities2
SPED 535Special Education Endorsement Capstone2

Basic and Standard Exceptional Learner I Endorsements

Teachers who hold an Oregon Basic or Standard Teaching License may complete the Exceptional Learner I Endorsement through the same 18 semester hour program as those who hold an Initial or Continuing Teaching License. Within six years these individuals must also complete an additional 10 semester hours of coursework in special education, as required by TSPC, to obtain the Standard Exceptional Learner I Endorsement. For more information about this option, please contact the program director.

Master of Education: Special Education With Endorsement

Students seeking the Master of Education degree with a Special Education Endorsement will complete a 37 semester hour program, the first 18 hours of which include the Special Education Endorsement program of study. 

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 37 semester hours, distributed as follows, and all required tests:

Required Courses

The 18 semester hours required for the Special Education Endorsement plus the following advanced special-education courses:

ED 500Educational Research3
SPED 520Advanced Instructional Decision Making3
SPED 521Effective Program Development for Students with Serious Emotional and Behavioral Disorders3
SPED 522Program Development for Students with Severe Needs2
SPED 523Special Topics Seminar2
LA 500/​ESOL 500Language Acquisition and Development3

Additional special education courses are based on candidate need and adviser recommendation and may include courses in the Reading or ESOL endorsement programs. Courses in other areas of education and counseling may be considered.

Graduate Core Requirement

Students must complete two Core Units. Core experiences that fulfill the additional two-unit requirement are described on the Core website (http://graduate.lclark.edu/programs/core).

Continuing Teaching License

Teachers holding an Oregon Initial I or II Teaching License and who are seeking the Continuing Teaching License are eligible for the professional license by completing the requirements of an endorsement program. The requirements for the Continuing Teaching License are embedded in the following endorsement programs:

By applying to an endorsement program, you are automatically applying to our Continuing Teaching License program. If you successfully complete one of the above endorsement programs, Lewis & Clark will recommended you to the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) for both the endorsement and an Oregon Continuing Teaching License, if the following conditions have been met:

  1. You have been admitted to and complete the required course work, portfolio, and practica in one of the above-listed endorsement programs
  2. You have completed all requirements of the Initial I and the Initial II licenses
  3. You hold a master's degree or equivalent or higher degree in the arts and sciences or an advanced degree in the professions

Please note that:

  • Applicants to TSPC for the Continuing Teaching License are required to have taught five full years on any non-provisional license appropriate for the assignment; and
  • The NES, ORELA or PRAXIS II subject area test is required in order to apply to TSPC for the endorsement. No tests are required by TSPC for the Continuing Teaching License, but since the license requirements are embedded in endorsement programs at Lewis & Clark, all endorsement candidates will need to complete the appropriate required tests regardless. For details, please view the particular endorsement program page (links above).

Testing Requirements

Students must pass the following test to be eligible for a recommendation by Lewis & Clark for the special education endorsement in any state. Information regarding the point in the program by which this test must be passed is provided in consultation with your faculty advisor. The required test is:

Please note that NES: Special Education is required after 09/01/10. Passing scores on the PRAXIS II: Special Education: Knowledge-Based Core Principles (#20351) OR the PRAXIS II: Education of Exceptional Students: Core Content Knowledge (#20353) test will be accepted if taken prior to 09/01/10.

Students may view completed tests, including scores, by logging into their WebAdvisor account.

Endorsement Courses (On Campus)

Print This Course

SPED 510 Educating Students with Exceptionalities: Learning and Legal Issues

Content: Analysis of child/adolescent development and the cognitive, linguistic, motor, behavioral, and learning characteristics of individuals with special needs. Topics include characteristics of exceptional learners, special-education history, current policies and procedures based on scientific research, incorporation of technology, and legal issues. Candidates develop or refine a research-based foundation in the education of students with special needs, including the impact of linguistic and cultural variability on special education eligibility and practice.
Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 511 Behavior Change Interventions for Students with Serious Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Content: Study of the developmental backgrounds of students with significant emotional/behavioral problems and practices to help these students develop more productive behaviors. Emphasis on procedures for completing a functional behavior analysis (FBA) and a behavior intervention plan (BIP), research-based interventions including environmental modifications, positive behavior supports and interventions (PBIS), social-skills training, cognitive-behavioral interventions, self-monitoring, contracting, and the use of outside agencies to support the school in assisting students.
Prerequisites: SPED 510/SPED 626.
Restrictions: SPED 510/SPED 626 or consent of instructor.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 516 Interventions for Students with Severe Needs

Content: Instructional practices to increase the functional performance and academic success of students with severe diagnoses (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, severe intellectual disabilities, or multiple disabilities). Participants learn research-validated strategies with demonstrated effectiveness in increasing communication skills, appropriate behavior, social skills, and life skills. Emphasis is placed on planning for and providing data-driven instruction in the least restrictive environment, working toward and incorporating the Common Core State Standards, and working with paraprofessionals.
Prerequisites: SPED 510/626.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 513 Assessment and Diagnosis for Students With Exceptionalities

Content: Diagnosis for special education eligibility under state and federal laws and assessment for special education instruction. Special attention is paid to learning disabilities and mental retardation (Intellectual Disabilities). Candidates practice selecting, administering and scoring selected standardized tests; interpreting the scores; and writing reports. Candidates learn about Response to Instruction (RtI), including how to administer Curriculum-Based Measures and how to integrate aspects of a multi-tiered intervention process with standardized assessment tools to create a comprehensive evaluation.
Prerequisites: SPED 510/SPED 626 or advisor consent required.
Corequisites: SPED 545/SPED 645.
Credits: 3 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 545 Practicum I

Content: Supervised, public-school-based professional experience with accompanying seminar. Candidates work under the guidance of a licensed special educator in a pre-K-12 setting under faculty supervision. Seminar topics focus on classroom experiences, particularly those that contribute to candidates’ understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of special educators, with an emphasis on assessment and progress monitoring.
Prerequisites: SPED 510/SPED 626.
Corequisites: SPED 513/SPED 632.
Restrictions: Consent of program director.
Credits: 1-2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 514 Curriculum and Instruction for Students With Exceptionalities

Content: Research-validated curriculum and specially designed instruction for students with disabilities. Based on Common Core State Standards, participants review and adapt general education curricula appropriate to their authorization level to create specially designed instruction that emphasizes and supports progress across academic areas, learning strategies, and appropriate accommodations. This course uses curriculum-based assessment/measurement data to craft effective, substantive, and procedurally correct individualized education plans (IEPs) and specially designed instruction aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Additionally, candidates will demonstrate all skills necessary to facilitate an IEP meeting, including group dynamics and conflict resolution strategies.
Prerequisites: SPED 513/SPED 632.
Corequisites: SPED 546/SPED 646.
Restrictions: SPED 513/SPED 632 or consent of advisor.
Credits: 3 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 546 Practicum II

Content: Supervised, public-school-based professional experience with accompanying seminar. Candidates work under the guidance of a licensed special-educator in a pre-K-12 setting under faculty supervision. Seminar topics focus on classroom experiences, particularly those that contribute to candidates’ understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of special educators, with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction.
Prerequisites: SPED 510/SPED 626, SPED 545.
Corequisites: SPED 514/SPED 633.
Restrictions: Consent of program director.
Credits: 1-2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 517 Literacy for Students with Exceptionalities

Content: Curriculum and instructional practices based on validated research for teaching reading and writing to students with disabilities and the Council for Exceptional Children and International Dyslexia Association standards for practice. Topics include the causes and correlates of reading difficulties including dyslexia, research-validated reading curricula, results of the National Reading Panel, models of reading instruction (K-12) emphasizing reading comprehension outcomes, basic reading skills, learning strategy acquisition, and progress monitoring with Specifically Designed Instruction in reading based on the Common Core State Standards.
Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 535 Special Education Endorsement Capstone

Content: This capstone course is an integrated theoretical summary of current special education issues that have direct impact on practitioners. Topics are selected jointly by the faculty and participants, based on participants’ experiences in the Special Education Endorsement program, but will include national and state special education standards, consultation and collaboration skills, and Individual Education Plan (IEP) team facilitation. Focus is on enhancing the preparation of participants for their initial years as special educators who advocate for an equitable education for all students.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Consent of program director required.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Endorsement Courses (Off Campus)

Print This Course

SPED 626 Educating Students with Exceptionalities: Learning and Legal Issues

Content: Analysis of child/adolescent development and the cognitive, linguistic, motor, behavioral, and learning characteristics of individuals with special needs. Topics include characteristics of exceptional learners, special-education history, current policies and procedures based on scientific research, incorporation of technology, and legal issues. Candidates develop or refine a research-based foundation in the education of students with special needs, including the impact of linguistic and cultural variability on special education eligibility and practice.
Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 629 Behavior Change Interventions for Students With Serious Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Content: Study of the developmental backgrounds of students with significant emotional/behavioral problems and practices to help these students develop more productive behaviors. Emphasis on procedures for completing a functional behavior analysis (FBA) and a behavior intervention plan (BIP), research-based interventions including environmental modifications, positive behavior supports and interventions (PBIS), social-skills training, cognitive-behavioral interventions, self-monitoring, contracting, and the use of outside agencies to support the school in assisting students.
Prerequisites: SPED 510/SPED 626.
Restrictions: SPED 510/SPED 626 or consent of instructor.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 628 Interventions for Students with Severe Needs

Content: Instructional practices to increase the functional performance and academic success of students with severe diagnoses (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, severe intellectual disabilities, or multiple disabilities). Participants learn research-validated strategies with demonstrated effectiveness in increasing communication skills, appropriate behavior, social skills, and life skills. Emphasis is placed on planning for and providing data-driven instruction in the least restrictive environment, working toward and incorporating the Common Core State Standards, and working with paraprofessionals.
Prerequisites: SPED 510/SPED 626.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 632 Assessment and Diagnosis for Students With Exceptionalities

Content: Diagnosis for special education eligibility under state and federal laws and assessment for special education instruction. Special attention is paid to learning disabilities and mental retardation (Intellectual Disabilities). Candidates practice selecting, administering and scoring selected standardized tests; interpreting the scores; and writing reports. Candidates learn about Response to Instruction (RtI), including how to administer Curriculum-Based Measures and how to integrate aspects of a multi-tiered intervention process with standardized assessment tools to create a comprehensive evaluation.
Prerequisites: SPED 510/SPED 626 or consent of advisor.
Corequisites: SPED 545/SPED 645.
Credits: 3 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 645 Practicum I

Content: Public-school-based field experience provides each participant with observation and feedback concerning the application of essential skills, which are required to meet the Oregon special education standards associated with the Special Education Endorsement and the Continuing Teaching License. Observations are collaboratively scheduled by the endorsement candidate and practicum supervisor with pre- and post-observation analysis. Participants are required to document time spent providing all aspects of the special education process with the emphasis on assessment and progress monitoring.
Prerequisites: SPED-510/626.
Corequisites: SPED-513/632.
Credits: 1 semester hour.

Print This Course

SPED 633 Curriculum and Instruction for Students With Exceptionalities

Content: Research-validated curriculum and specially designed instruction for students with disabilities. Based on Common Core State Standards, participants review and adapt general education curricula appropriate to their authorization level to create specially designed instruction that emphasizes and supports progress across academic areas, learning strategies, and appropriate accommodations. This course uses curriculum-based assessment/measurement data to craft effective, substantive, and procedurally correct individualized education plans (IEPs) and specially designed instruction aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Additionally, candidates will demonstrate all skills necessary to facilitate an IEP meeting, including group dynamics and conflict resolution strategies.
Prerequisites: SPED 513/SPED 632.
Corequisites: SPED546/SPED 646.
Restrictions: SPED 513/SPED 632 or consent of advisor.
Credits: 3 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 646 Practicum II

Content: Clinical field experience to provide each candidate with observation and feedback concerning essential skills required by the special education standards associated with the Special Education Endorsement and the Continuing Teaching License. Observations are collaboratively scheduled by the participant and practicum supervisor with pre- and post-observation analysis. Observations in Practicum I (SPED-545) have provided formative assessment of a candidate's demonstrated knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to special education practice. This course provides summative assessment of the candidate. Candidates document time spent providing all aspects of the special education process with emphasis on progress monitoring, individual education plans (IEPs) and specially designed instruction (SDI)
Prerequisites: SPED-510/626, SPED 545/645.
Corequisites: SPED-514/633.
Credits: 1 semester hour.

Print This Course

SPED 627 Literacy for Students with Exceptionalities

Content: Curriculum and instructional practices based on validated research for teaching reading and writing to students with disabilities and the Council for Exceptional Children and International Dyslexia Association standards for practice. Topics include the causes and correlates of reading difficulties including dyslexia, research-validated reading curricula, results of the National Reading Panel, programs, models of reading instruction (K-12) emphasizing reading comprehension outcomes, basic reading skills, learning strategy acquisition, and progress monitoring with Specifically Designed Instruction in reading based on the Common Core State Standards.
Prerequisites: SPED 514/SPED 633 or consent of advisor.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 635 Current Issues in Special Education

Content: Provides an integrated summary of current content, pedagogy, learning, and legal issues that have direct impact on the practice of special education in k-12 public schools. The faculty and endorsement candidates jointly select topics for additional emphasis based on participants' backgrounds and cumulative experiences in the Special Education Endorsement program. Focus is on application of all components of special education standards in Oregon.
Prerequisites: Completion of all coursework for the Special Education Endorsement or consent of program director.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Master of Education Degree Courses (On Campus)

Print This Course

SPED 520 Advanced Instructional Decision Making

Content: Building on skills developed in the assessment, curriculum, and instruction courses, participants integrate and apply concepts of curriculum and instructional decision making for students with diverse backgrounds and special needs. Focus is on the integration of district-mandated general education curricula, Common Core State Standards and assessments, and research in instructional practices with demonstrated efficacy for students with high-incidence disabilities.
Prerequisites: SPED 514/633 or consent of advisor.
Credits: 3 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 521 Effective Program Development for Students with Serious Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Content: Examination of key components of effective programs. Candidates visit and review programs that use different intervention models, including Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Candidates study and review delivery systems ranging from consultation models to therapeutic day-treatment programs. Emphasis on creating democratic communities that respond sensitively to students’ social, emotional, and developmental needs and are culturally sensitive. The course focuses on creating appropriate and meaningful learning experiences for these students, including place-based education and real-world problem solving with students who experience emotional and behavior disorders.
Prerequisites: SPED 511/SPED 629 or consent of advisor.
Credits: 3 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 522 Program Development for Students with Severe Needs

Content: Current practices with demonstrated effectiveness for developing and performing interventions for the benefit of children who have severe disabilities. Emphasis on research-validated practices for students with autism spectrum disorders. Participants review research and models for delivery of services to these students and explore existing programs that cover the entire continuum of special education services as they relate to students with severe learning needs. Emphasis on transition services, including from early intervention programs to school-age programs and post-secondary transition.
Prerequisites: SPED 516/SPED 628.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 523 Special Topics Seminar

Content: Culminating course of the Special Educator M.Ed. Candidates apply research principles in special education. Students integrate and apply what they have learned throughout the program. In consultation with the instructor and class-participants, each student designs a research project that answers important questions related to his or her work with students who have special needs. In association with these projects, class-members determine the content of seminar meetings and speakers invited to discuss-issues selected by the students. ED-509 may be substituted for this course.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Completion of 27 of the 37 semester hours in the Master of Education: Special Education with Endorsement Program.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

LA 500 Language Acquisition and Development

Content: Theories of how first and second languages (written and spoken) are acquired, the importance of first-language development and its relationship to the acquisition of other languages, and the relationship of language to cognitive development. Understanding of these issues is used to promote a school environment that honors diverse perspectives and maximizes language learning potential and ensures respect for communities whose languages or varieties of English differ from standard school English. Required for the Reading and ESOL/Bilingual Education endorsements. The initial course in the Reading Endorsement sequence and recommended preparation for other language arts offerings.
Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 3 semester hours.

Master of Education Degree Courses (On Campus)

Print This Course

SPED 620 Advanced Instructional Decision Making

Content: Building on skills developed in the assessment, curriculum, and instruction courses, participants integrate and apply concepts of curriculum and instructional decision making for students with diverse backgrounds and special needs. Focus is on the integration of district-mandated general education curricula, Common Core State Standards and assessments, and research in instructional practices with demonstrated efficacy for students with high-incidence disabilities.
Prerequisites: SPED 514, SPED 633 or consent of advisor.
Credits: 3 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 621 Effective Program Development for Students With Serious Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Content: Examination of key components of effective programs. Candidates visit and review programs that use different intervention models, including Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Candidates study and review delivery systems ranging from consultation models to therapeutic day-treatment programs. Emphasis on creating democratic communities that respond sensitively to students’ social, emotional, and developmental needs and are culturally sensitive. The course focuses on creating appropriate and meaningful learning experiences for these students, including place-based education and real-world problem solving with students who experience emotional and behavior disorders.
Prerequisites: SPED 511/SPED 629 or consent of advisor.
Credits: 3 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 622 Program Development for Students with Severe Needs

Content: Current practices with demonstrated effectiveness for developing and performing interventions for the benefit of children who have severe disabilities. Emphasis on research-validated practices for students with autism spectrum disorders. Participants review research and models for delivery of services to these students and explore existing programs that cover the entire continuum of special education services as they relate to students with severe learning needs. Emphasis on transition services, including from early intervention programs to school-age programs and post-secondary transition.
Prerequisites: SPED 516/SPED 628.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 623 Special Topics Seminar

Content: Culminating course of the Special Educator M.Ed. Candidates apply research principles in special education. Students integrate and apply what they have learned throughout the program. In consultation with the instructor and class-participants, each student designs a research project that answers important questions related to his or her work with students who have special needs. In association with these projects, class-members determine the content of seminar meetings and speakers invited to discuss-issues selected by the students. ED-509 may be substituted for this course.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Completion of 27 of the 37 semester hours in the Master of Education: Special Education with Endorsement Program.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

LA 634 Language Acquisition and Development

Content: Theories of how first and second languages (written and spoken) are acquired, the importance of first-language development and its relationship to the acquisition of other languages, and the relationship of language to cognitive development. Understanding of these issues is used to promote a school environment that honors diverse perspectives and maximizes language learning potential and ensures respect for communities whose languages or varieties of English differ from standard school English. Required for the Reading and ESOL/Bilingual Education endorsements. The initial course in the Reading Endorsement sequence and recommended preparation for other language arts offerings.
Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 3 semester hours.