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."

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 special education eligible students to improve academic achievement and increase socially acceptable behavior.

Through courses and field experiences focused on the needs of special education students we help good teachers become knowledgeable and skilled 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 was developed to help teachers and administrators work more effectively with students who are eligible for special education. The program is geared toward those 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). Interested students may also simultaneously earn the Special Education Endorsement and the Continuing Teaching License. (Students 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 510/​SPED 626Educating Students With Special Needs: Learning and Legal Issues2
SPED 511/​SPED 629Behavior Change Interventions for Students with Serious Emotional and Behavioral Disorders2
SPED 516/​SPED 628Interventions for Severely Challenged Students2
Fall
SPED 513/​SPED 632Assessment and Diagnosis for Students With Special Needs3
SPED 545/​SPED 645Practicum I1
Spring
SPED 514/​SPED 633Curriculum and Instruction for Students With Special Needs3
SPED 546/​SPED 646Practicum II1
Summer II
SPED 517/​SPED 627Teaching Reading to Students with Special Needs2
SPED 535/​SPED 635Current Issues in Special Education2

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 the Initial I Teaching License. Within six years these individuals must also complete an additional 10 semester hours of coursework, 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 coincide with the Special Education Endorsement program of study. The remaining courses in the program are chosen collaboratively with an advisor and may incorporate courses from reading, ESOL, and other programs. (Students choose whether to complete the endorsement requirements at the early childhood/elementary or the middle level/high school authorization levels.)

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

Elective Courses

Additional special education courses are based on student need and adviser recommendation and may include:

SPED 520/​SPED 620Advanced Instructional Decision Making3
SPED 521/​SPED 621Effective Program Development for Students with Serious Emotional and Behavioral Disorders3
SPED 522/​SPED 622Program Development for Severely Challenged Students2
SPED 523/​SPED 623Special Topics Seminar2
SPED 631School-Based Consultation2
LA 500/​LA 634Language Acquisition and Development3

Additional courses as determined with advisor may include courses in the Reading or ESOL endorsement programs. Courses in other areas of education and counseling may be considered. Any remaining credits not specified by the advisor may be fulfilled through elective courses.

Graduate Core Requirement

All full-time master’s degree students are required to complete three Core Units. One Core Unit is fulfilled by attending the Graduate School’s annual Convocation. Core experiences that fulfill the additional two-unit requirement are described on the Core website.

Continuing Teaching License

Teachers holding an Oregon Initial I or II teaching license and who are seeking the Continuing Teaching License may earn the continuing 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 higher 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 years of at least half-time or more 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. Detailed information regarding the point in the program by which this test must be passed is available in the program handbook. 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)

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SPED 510 Educating Students With Special Needs: Learning and Legal Issues

Content: Analysis of the cognitive, linguistic, motor, behavioral, and learning characteristics of individuals with special needs. With the focus on progress monitoring and accountability, topics include history, current policies and procedures, the practice of special education based on scientific research, incorporation of technology, and legal issues. Students develop and 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.

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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 510/626 or consent of instructor.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

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SPED 516 Interventions for Severely Challenged Students

Content: Students learn instructional practices to increase the functional performance and academic success of students with severe disabilities (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, severe mental retardation, or multiple disabilities). Participants learn research-validated strategies with demonstrated effectiveness in increasing communication skills, appropriate behavior, social skills, and life-skill routines for severely disabled students. Emphasis is placed on data-driven instruction in the least restrictive environment, and working with paraprofessionals.
Prerequisites: SPED 510/626.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

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SPED 513 Assessment and Diagnosis for Students With Special Needs

Content: Assessment, diagnosis, and eligibility for special education as defined by federal and state law. Emphasis is placed on accountability measures and progress monitoring; current assessment instruments/practices; curriculum-based assessment/curriculum-based measurement; and response to intervention (RTI) with information relevant to special education eligibility, specially designed instruction (SDI) and student progress. Participants design a progress-monitoring paradigm which includes selecting, administering, and scoring individual academic assessments; interpreting scores/profiles; and providing SDI recommendations across grade levels and academic areas.
Prerequisites: SPED 510/626 or advisor consent required.
Corequisites: SPED 545/645.
Credits: 3 semester hours.

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SPED 545 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.

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SPED 514 Curriculum and Instruction for Students With Special Needs

Content: Research-validated curriculum and specially designed instruction (SDI) for students with disabilities. Based on state standards (Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills), participants review and adapt general education curricula appropriate to their authorization level to create specially designed instruction (SDI) that emphasizes and supports progress across academic areas, learning strategies, and appropriate accommodations. This course uses curriculum-based assessment and measurement data to craft effective as well as substantively and procedurally correct individual education plans (IEPs); and specially designed instruction based on student achievement data. Candidates will demonstrate all skills necessary to facilitate an IEP meeting including group dynamics and conflict resolution strategies.
Prerequisites: SPED-513/SPED 632 or consent of advisor.
Corequisites: SPED-546/646.
Credits: 3 semester hours.

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SPED 546 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.
Corequisites: SPED 514/633.
Credits: 1 semester hour.

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SPED 517 Teaching Reading to Students with Special Needs

Content: Curriculum and instructional practices based on validated research for teaching reading and writing to students with disabilities. Topics include the causes and correlates of reading difficulties, research-validated reading curricula, models of reading instruction (K-12) emphasizing reading comprehension outcomes, basic reading skills, learning strategy acquisition, and progress monitoring with specially designed instruction (SDI) in reading based on the general education curricula.
Prerequisites: SPED 514/SPED 633 or consent of advisor.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

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SPED 535 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.

Endorsement Courses (Off Campus)

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SPED 626 Educating Students With Special Needs: Learning and Legal Issues

Content: Analysis of the cognitive, linguistic, motor, behavioral, and learning characteristics of individuals with special needs. With the focus on progress monitoring and accountability, topics include history, current policies and procedures, the practice of special education based on scientific research, incorporation of technology, and legal issues. Students develop and 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-510/626 or consent of instructor.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 628 Interventions for Severely Challenged Students

Content: Students learn instructional practices to increase the functional performance and academic success of students with severe disabilities (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, severe mental retardation, or multiple disabilities). Participants learn research-validated strategies with demonstrated effectiveness in increasing communication skills, appropriate behavior, social skills, and life-skill routines for severely disabled students. Emphasis is placed on data-driven instruction in the least restrictive environment, and working with paraprofessionals.
Prerequisites: SPED-510/626.
Credits: 2 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 632 Assessment and Diagnosis for Students With Special Needs

Content: Assessment, diagnosis, and eligibility for special education as defined by federal and state law. Emphasis is placed on accountability measures and progress monitoring; current assessment instruments/practices; curriculum-based assessment/curriculum-based measurement; and response to intervention (RTI) with information relevant to special education eligibility, specially designed instruction (SDI) and student progress. Participants design a progress-monitoring paradigm which includes selecting, administering, and scoring individual academic assessments; interpreting scores/profiles; and providing SDI recommendations across grade levels and academic areas.
Prerequisites: SPED-510/626 or consent of advisor.
Corequisites: SPED-545/645.
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 Special Needs

Content: Research-validated curriculum and specially designed instruction (SDI) for students with disabilities. Based on state standards (Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills), participants review and adapt general education curricula appropriate to their authorization level to create specially designed instruction (SDI) that emphasizes and supports progress across academic areas, learning strategies, and appropriate accommodations. This course uses curriculum-based assessment and measurement data to craft effective as well as substantively and procedurally correct individual education plans (IEPs); and specially designed instruction based on student achievement data. Candidates will demonstrate all skills necessary to facilitate an IEP meeting including group dynamics and conflict resolution strategies.
Prerequisites: SPED-513/632 or consent of advisor.
Corequisites: SPED-546/646.
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 Teaching Reading to Students With Special Needs

Content: Curriculum and instructional practices based on validated research for teaching reading and writing to students with disabilities. Topics include the causes and correlates of reading difficulties, research-validated reading curricula, models of reading instruction (K-12) emphasizing reading comprehension outcomes, basic reading skills, learning strategy acquisition, and progress monitoring with specially designed instruction (SDI) in reading based on the general education curricula.
Prerequisites: SPED-514/633 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)

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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, state standards and state assessment, 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. Students visit and review programs that use different intervention models. Emphasis on schools or programs with positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). Participants study and review delivery systems ranging from a consultation model to a therapeutic day-treatment program. Emphases 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 Severely Challenged Students

Content: Current practices with demonstrated effectiveness for developing and performing interventions with 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 severely disabled children. Topics include services that bridge the transition from school to the community and workplace as well as transition services for younger children.
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.

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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)

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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 needs. Focus is on the integration of district-mandated general education curricula, state standards and state assessment, 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.

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

Content: Examination of key components of effective programs. Students visit and review programs that use different intervention models. Emphasis on schools or programs with positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). Participants study and review delivery systems ranging from a consultation model to a therapeutic day-treatment program. Emphases 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-511/629 or consent of advisor.
Credits: 3 semester hours.

Print This Course

SPED 622 Program Development for Severely Challenged Students

Content: Current practices with demonstrated effectiveness for developing and performing interventions with 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 severely disabled children. Topics include services that bridge the transition from school to the community and workplace as well as transition services for younger children.
Prerequisites: SPED-516/628.
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.

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SPED 631 School-Based Consultation

Content: Identifying and applying the consultation and collaboration skills needed to support special education students in the classroom. Topics include communication strategies, conflict resolution skills, problem-solving techniques, progress monitoring, collaborative decision-making processes, staff development, facilitating consultation and collaboration efforts, and developing effective interpersonal communication. Students learn skills for use in general education classroom settings and skills for helping teachers develop and use assessment methods, curricla, and instructional strategies with demonstrated effectiveness in improving student outcomes.
Prerequisites: SPED 510/626.
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.