Special Education Course Work

Grand Canyon University, College of Education, Master of Education in Special Education

The following ten courses and assignments detail my academic achievement in special education.

1. SPE 529 “Special Education Foundations and Framework”

An illustrative assignment for SPE 529  compared national and Ohio teaching standards against a list of tenets that summarize the elements of an effective regular classroom educator but also to that of a special educator that strives to make a difference in the classroom. Ohio Content Standards for the Teaching Professions  were used in developing the table.


2. ESL 523 “Structured English Language Teaching: Foundations and Methodologies”

The paper, “The English Only Debate”  is a part of the larger community of stakeholders with varying opinions on the topic, professional responsibility as an educator demands that I take an active interest in understanding the social and political factors that impinge upon the success of learners’ within my classroom. The research provided insights into the arguments which provided me with a fair and balanced view concerning the arguments for and against bilingual education in schools.

English Only Debate

3. SPE 545 “Characteristics of Students with Mental Retardation”

An exemplar of  work completed for SPE 545 is a summary and evaluation of the programs offered to the older citizen with mental retardation within Franklin County, Ohio. The source of the supports is from the Franklin County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, which offers educational and job training programs to the intellectually disabled individual. A cursory evaluation of the program was conducted by observing an MRDD classroom under the auspices of the Board. A resource directory of services is provided.


4. SPE 596 “Strategies of Teaching Students with Mental Retardation”

The “Teaching Toolbox” completes the requirements of the course work for SPE 596, Strategies for Teaching Students with Mental Retardation. The contents include a lesson plan, evidence of completion of all course requirements, and a final evaluative reflection. Assessments provided are based on realistic and practical application of material presented in the classroom such as multimedia, which may be used in developing digital storytelling. The material in the lesson plan respects the various learning styles that is found in an average social studies inclusion classroom.


5. SPE 555 “Characteristics of Students with Learning Disabilities”

The following is a sizable collection of work that reflects the techniques that were developed in SPE 555. Included in this collection is a professional presentation “Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males…what educators and parents should know” a workshop designed for parents and educators concerned with the reading development of at risk youth at the secondary school level. It demonstrates my competency in the use of multimedia presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint.

There are two examples of collaborative learning community (CLC) projects that demonstrates my competencies in working with other professionals resulting in producing lesson plans designed to teach elementary school LD students in reading, writing and mathematics. The other CLC project is a PowerPoint presentation that was used to educate parents about the issues surrounding LD. The “Teaching Toolbox” contains an exhaustive resource on research in LD from five perspectives: (1) what is the concept of LD; (2) what are the causes of LD; (3) what are the characteristics of the learner with LD; (4) what are the tasks of LD from a social-emotional perspective and (5) the setting of LD, primary material obtained from extensive interviews with a special educator with LD experience and a high school student with LD.


Alfred Tatum Presentation

LD Program Plan

6. SPE 576 “Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities”

The following is a collection of work that reflects the techniques that were developed for this class. Included in this collection are lesson plans applied to an inclusion U.S. History class and guidelines for teachers in using meta-cognitive methods to teach reading and mathematics to students with LD and outlines the teaching of social skills to special needs students. The “Teaching Toolbox” contains an exhaustive listing of curriculum guides in several domains: spoken language, word recognition, reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies.


7. SPE 565 “Characteristics of Students with Emotional Disabilities”

The evidentiary material for this class is a sizable collection of work reflecting my personal and professional development for SPE 565. To be a professional in the field it is important to understand the history and the theoretical contexts that define one’s occupation. The readings provided that context by describing the historical issues of mental illness, the problems in defining the prevalence and etiology of social and emotional disorders and the models that try to give semblance to the issues studied.

It is important to understand the principles and procedures to screening of students with EBD. Assessments used in developing an IEP it is important to understand the pitfalls of what is measured and able to ask the right questions from clinicians. As a special educator, the values and our abilities, we bring into the classroom have an impact on the students we are responsible for. This class provided me with insights into how teacher’s skills and attitudes have ripple effects on the behavior of youngsters with ADHD and CD.


8. SPE 586 “Strategies for Teaching Students with Emotional Disabilities”

One of the requirements for this class was preparation of a Behavior Management Plan. The design of the behavior management plan (BMP) is for youngsters who have emotional and behavioral disorders and are based on actual experiences with a middle school ASD youngster who has severe emotional and behavioral problems. The essential elements of the BMP is to provide cognitive-behavioral interventions whereby the student could focus on her strengths in art and extinguishing the obsessive- compulsive disorders.


    Curriculum guides

Cognitive and Behavioral

Therapy Interventions for EBD

Group Therapy

Phenomenological and Sociological Interventions

Play, Drama, and the Arts

9. SPE 535 “Diagnosis and Assessment in Special Education”

For SPE 535 the work presented includes an example of administering portions of the Woodcock-Johnson III and WISC-R Test to a 3rd grade student, along with classroom observation and interview with the student’s teacher. There are examples that highlight my ability to develop individualized education plans (IEP) based on assessments, teacher in-service programs using PowerPoint presentation software, and analysis of assessment tools and transition planning, demonstrating my proficiencies in working collaboratively within educational teams.




10. SPE 571 “Educational Implications for Students with Physical and Health Impairments”

An Educational Plan for Students with PHI, summarizing what the teacher’s responsibilities are in meeting the needs of students with PHI. There are examples that demonstrate my progress in the design and evaluation of appropriate individualized education plans (IEP) to meet the needs of students with multiple disabilities and to provide for appropriate classroom adaptations.


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