Course Descriptions

SPE 620 Fundamentals of Special Education Practices for School Leaders (3 credits)

This course is a critical study of the contemporary and controversial issues within the field of special education emphases will be placed on the role of the supervisor or administrator. Consideration will be given to the philosophical, psychological, and sociological basis of teacher education, including an analytical review of research-based curricula, programmatic innovations, policy issues and their effects, and ethical practices. Discussions will focus on evidence-based core concepts that contribute to effective program planning; investigation of cognitive, academic, behavioral, and psycho-social solutions and implications for those working with exceptional students; and future implications for the advancement of special education diagnostic and instructional services.

SPE 621 Law, Policy and Procedures for the Special Education Supervisor (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide an overview of the legal rights of students and their families in the field of special education, with particular focus on the supervisor’s role in implementing and monitoring policy and procedures in districts’ special education programs. Content covered includes an overview of laws and litigation and the current status of legislation dealing with special education. The American legal system, particularly in respect to special education, the constitutional and statutory provisions of federal and state law, and judicial decisions interpreting those laws are reviewed. This course will focus on the supervisor’s role in addressing issues of identification, IEP development and implementation, equal protection, extended school year (and day), functional behavioral analysis, teacher assistants, least restrictive environments, transition, procedural due process, complaint resolution, and substantive due process doctrines to school practices affecting students with disabilities. Additionally, attention will be given to preparation of focus audits, data collection, basic compliance issues, communicating and collaborating with parents and maintaining active parental support groups. Also, case studies will be conducted that deal with issue, rule, analysis and conclusion (IRAC), as a tool to provide a framework for supervisors to rapidly increase their understanding of emerging, complex legal issues.

SPE 622 Administration and Supervision of Special Education Programs (3 credits)


The purpose of this course is to provide the student an opportunity for in-depth understanding of the supervisory and administrative duties for the role of Supervisor of Special Education. This course provides the Special Education Supervisor candidate with a specified professional knowledge-base included in the following aspects of leadership: decision-making, leadership theory, communication skills, human relations theory, administrative theory, policy analysis/evaluation, supervision/assessment practices. Prerequisite: SPE 4805

SPE 623 Advanced Fieldwork/Seminar (3 credits)

This is a combined seminar/internship experience. This fieldwork experience will provide the candidate with an opportunity for in-depth varied and continuous administrative experiences. The practicum will attempt to include a blend of all the administrative experiences possible to provide professional growth, maturity and stimulation. These experiences will enable the candidate to (a) apply the knowledge and skills acquired through his/her study and previous experience to actual problem and day-to-day administrative duties faced by a Supervisor of Special Education; (b) integrate the concepts and skills from different prior learning experiences and focus on individual situations; (c) become involved in the routine functions of schools/school districts and Intermediate Units. Course requirements are designed to meet Departmental and Commonwealth standards. SPE 623 is taken as a culminating course by all students seeking Supervisor of Special Education certification. The requirements of this course includes 180 clinical hours of fieldwork activities under the supervision of University faculty.

SPE 624 Advanced Supervision and Curriculum Fieldwork/Seminar (3 credits)

This is a combined seminar/internship experience. This fieldwork experience will provide the candidate with an opportunity for in-depth varied and continuous administrative experiences. The practicum will attempt to include a blend of all the administrative experiences possible to provide professional growth, maturity and stimulation. These experiences will enable the candidate to (a) apply the knowledge and skills acquired through his/her study and previous experience to actual problem and day-to-day administrative duties faced by a Supervisor of Special Education based on the Educational Leadership course content; (b) integrate the concepts and skills from different prior learning experiences and focus on individual situations; (c) become involved in the routine functions of schools/school districts and Intermediate Units. Course requirements are designed to meet Departmental and Commonwealth standards. The requirements of this course will be a continuation of SPE 623, specifically, an additional 180 hours, for a total of 360 hours of fieldwork activities under the supervision of University faculty.

SPE 630 Designing & Technologies for Differentiated Instruction

This course will provide comprehensive coverage of what is involved in the consideration, assessment and implementation of assistive technology for students with special needs including those with specific learning disabilities found most commonly in regular and special education classrooms today. Additional topics will include current and emerging technologies used to enhance instruction for both regular and special learners; school practices related to technology integration and effective uses of technology in the general and special education classroom.