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Graduate Competencies/Portfolio Requirements

Graduates demonstrate competency in teaching. Class assignments and projects require students to engage actively in the development of instructional interventions, action research, and evaluation of instruction. Students document their competencies in the presentation of their final portfolio. The portfolio consists of projects and papers demonstrating competencies in the Goals and Objectives of the program.

  • Foundations of Special Education - Graduates of the program will have a well-developed personal philosophy of special education based on models theories and legal policies that form the basis of special education practice which includes awareness and responsibility to families and to diversity in values, languages and customs.
  • Development and Characteristics of Learners - Graduates will have knowledge of the varying characteristics of exceptional learners and skills in assessing the multiple systems and influences that affect a student's behavior.
  • Individual Learning Differences - Graduates will have knowledge of variations in cultural perspectives, beliefs, traditions and values which have an impact on learners' academic, vocational, and social abilities.
  • Instructional Strategies - Graduates will select, use, and evaluate research-based instructional strategies and materials which facilitate integration into various settings and involve the student in using cognitive strategies to increase the individual's self-reliance.
  • Learning Environments and Social Knowledge - Graduates will create safe, supportive learning environments which encourage inclusion of students through use of varied behavior management strategies, supportive routines, and proactive problem-solving interventions.
  • Language - Graduates will support and enhance communication skills of individuals with exceptional needs based on awareness of cultural differences in behaving and communicating.
  • Instructional Planning - Based on knowledge of the Standard Course of Study, graduates will be able to sequence, implement and evaluate an academic program using effective lesson plans, instructional practices, materials and technology.
  • Assessment - Graduates will administer and interpret formal and informal assessments, in making eligibility, program and placement decisions for students with exceptional needs and students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Professional and Ethical Practice - Graduates will demonstrate awareness of the variety of programs for students with exceptional needs, uphold high standards of competence and integrity, and practice within their professional Code of Ethics.
  • Collaboration - Graduates will collaborate with individuals with exceptional learning needs, their families and community in planning individualized programs in education and transition to the work force.

The portfolio requires graduates to demonstrate:

  • knowledge of learners and variations in learning and development
  • skills in assessing learning problems, implementing instructional programs and adapting instruction
  • skills in addressing cultural and ethnic diversity in the schools and community
  • skills in translating research to practice, implementing action research and program evaluation
  • the ability to provide professional leadership in area schools and throughout the region
 
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