Course Descriptions

Master of Education in Special Education, M.Ed./SPED, Course Descriptions

Currently Under Revision

This program is being revised to conform to recent certification changes made by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for further information.

EDU 601 DATA Model for the Responsive Teacher, Action Researcher, and Instructional Leader - 3 credits

M.Ed. candidates will be introduced to the PSOE DATA Model for Responsive Teaching and Instructional Leadership that reflects the iterative, cyclical process for subsequent action research that will be applied in the local classroom. Through examination and implementation of the Model, candidates will investigate how curriculum design, differentiated instruction, and ongoing assessment impact student learning.  Prerequisite: Admission to M.Ed. program

EDU 602 What Works in Schools: School Improvement Research - 3 credits

M.Ed. candidates will explore school-, teacher-, and student-level factors that influence achievement and how these factors can be aligned with local school improvement goals for significant gains in student achievement.  Each candidate will examine his/her own local school improvement goals, identify a school issue or problem that is an area of professional interest, begin a review of the literature, and develop possible action research questions that will address the area in the context of his/her own classroom.  Prerequisite: Admission to M.Ed. program

EDU 620 Promoting Development and Learning for Diverse Students – 3 credits

This course provides an extensive examination into young children’s characteristics and needs, and multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning in order to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for all children.  M.Ed. candidates will explore diverse children’s cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and linguistic development through the organization and orchestration of the environment in ways that best facilitate the development and learning of young children in the inclusive classroom.  Prerequisite: Admission to M.Ed. program

EDU 621 Building Partnerships for Student Success – 3 credits

M.Ed. candidates will investigate the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to sustain these partnerships to impact children’s development and learning.  Candidates will examine the research and dominant theories of human development and sociocultural development within the context of the family, community, and society. Strategies for collaboration between home and school will be emphasized, and interagency cooperation within the community will be examined in relation to the benefits for young children and their families. Prerequisite: Completion of Stage 1.

EDU 622 Transforming Teacher Leaders  - 3 credits

M.Ed. candidates will expand their knowledge and experience of the teaching and learning process by developing and demonstrating a high level of competence in the essentials for grant writing, conducting action research, strategically planning instruction embedded in best practices, and reconceptualizing teacher leadership roles within and outside the classroom, thus, transforming school culture to elevate student achievement and school innovation.  Prerequisite: Completion of Stage 2

EDU 623 Teachers as Leaders – 3 credits

M.Ed. candidates will examine how they can work as instructional leaders and collaborators in the professional community to improve programs and practices for young children and their families and advocate for sound professional practices and public policies for the positive development and learning of all young children. Prerequisite: Completion of Stage 3.

EDU 640 Effective Inclusionary Practices - 3 credits

M.Ed. candidates will define the roles of regular and special education teachers.  Candidates will examine inclusion models and the effective practices that emanate from the models, implementing these practices in their classrooms.

EDU 641 Assessment in Special Education - 3 credits

M.Ed. candidates will be provided with the foundation for understanding the assessment process as they become instructional leaders in assessment. Candidates will focus on the educational assessment methods and procedures used in decision making and program planning for students with special needs and from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds.

EDU 642 Response to Intervention Strategies - 3 credits

M.Ed. candidates will be provided with the philosophy, best practices, and implementation of the Response to Intervention (RTI) as mandated by the reauthorization of IDEA, 2004.  RTI is a three-tiered model with applications to academic and behavioral components to foster student success.

EDU 643 Strategies for Challenging Behaviors - 3 credits

M.Ed. candidates will study the development of intervention strategies for students with challenging behaviors. These intervention strategies will be based on positive behavioral supports, functional behavior assessment, and functional analysis procedures.

EDU 648 Special Education Law - 3 credits

M.Ed. candidates will study legislation, litigation, and administrative rulings related to special education. Emphasis will be on the development of legally sound policies and procedures to ensure an appropriate education for students with disabilities

EDU 649 Action Research in Special Education - 3 credits

M.Ed. candidates will complete action research plans which are implemented and evaluated for the purpose of school reform and student achievement. Individual student action research papers will be written. Students will share action research projects with a community of learners.