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Degrees and Requirements

PreK-12 Special Education

A major in PreK-12 Special Education is meant to prepare students for a career as a highly qualified Special Education teacher in Pennsylvania. To earn state teaching certification, students must meet all of the teaching competencies and certification requirements set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

To successfully complete the Special Education major, the following coursework is required:

  • 75 credits of Required Coursework
  • 37 CORE Credits
  • 8 General Elective Credits
  • A minimum number of 120 credits are required for degree, the last 30 of which, and 50% of the major must be earned at La Roche University. Developmental course work does not count toward the minimum number of required credits for graduation.

NOTE: Education majors enter La Roche as a candidate for the teaching certification programs. In order to become an Official Education Major, students must complete the following requirements by the time they earn 60 total credits (including transferable credits):

  • Overall GPA of at least 3.0           
  • Security Clearances within the past six months
    • PA Child Abuse History Clearance
    • PA State Police Criminal Record Check
    • FBI Fingerprinting Check
  • Basic Skills Requirement
    • Passing scores for Reading, Writing, and Math exams (could include eligible scores from SAT, ACT, PAPA, and CORE)

Summary of Requirements

Education Requirements: 32 credits

  • EDSP2015
    INTRO TO HIGH INCIDENCE DISABILITIES

    EDSP2015
    INTRO TO HIGH INCIDENCE DISABILITIES

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course provides students an opportunity to explore foundations of special education in the United States including: characteristics of each disability category, legislation, over-representation of diverse students, academic and functional needs of students with disabilities, individual learning differences, least restrictive environment, implications for a Standards Aligned System, collaboration and transition. Students will develop an understanding of Accommodations and Adaptations for inclusive environments.

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDSP2025
    LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AND BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT

    EDSP2025
    LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AND BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course will introduce students to behavior and misbehaviors of students in the school setting, types of misbehavior roles, establish a classroom management plan that will reflect their consideration of students with disabilities, problem solving, conflict resolution, assessing appropriate and problematic behaviors while establishing opportunities for students with diverse backgrounds to interact and share in cooperative learning groups, problem solving to achieve common goals. "Application Models" will be the framework used to demonstrate the approaches used by pioneers as well as 21st century researchers and educators.

    PREREQUISITES:

    EDSP2015

  • EDSP3015
    INTRO TO LOW INCIDENCE DISABILITIES

    EDSP3015
    INTRO TO LOW INCIDENCE DISABILITIES

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course is designed to prepare students with the skills necessary to effectively teach individuals with severe disabilities, identify the relationships of organizations to school systems, laws and policies that are related to the implementation of specialized health care in the educational setting, and demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of individuals so as to develop effective instructional plans that will contribute to effective programs.

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDUC1010
    INTRO TO EDUCATION AND FIELD EXPERIENCE

    EDUC1010
    INTRO TO EDUCATION AND FIELD EXPERIENCE

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course provides students with an introduction to the teaching profession. Students will learn the qualifications for becoming an effective and ethical educator. Current programming and educational topics will be explored. Classroom observations in a variety of settings and grade levels are required.

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDUC2010
    INITIAL FIELD EXPERIENCE

    EDUC2010
    INITIAL FIELD EXPERIENCE

    Credits (Min/Max): 2/2

    This initial field experience course will provide students with the opportunity to observe and reflect on elements within various classroom environments. This experience will allow the student to interact with the learners in a variety of ways, develop knowledge of effective educational practices, and demonstrate professionalism in an educational setting. Seminars will be included with this course in which students will assess, evaluate, and discuss the field experience.

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDUC2025

    EDUC2025

    Credits (Min/Max): /

    PREREQUISITES:

  • MATH2000
    MATHEMATICS FOR LIBERAL ARTS

    MATH2000
    MATHEMATICS FOR LIBERAL ARTS

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    As in-depth exploration of the applications of various types of mathematics, with an emphasis on problem solving skills. Writing skills are an integral part of this course. The connecting of mathematical ideas with other subject areas will be emphasized. These areas will include: art, biology, chemistry, coding, computers, demographics, fiction, genetics, logic, management, marketing, music, philosophy, physics, politics, psychology, and social planning. The discussion of original source documents will be an integral part of this course.

    PREREQUISITES:

    MATH1010

  • MLED2000
    ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS IN THEMULTICULTURAL CLASSROOM

    MLED2000
    ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS IN THEMULTICULTURAL CLASSROOM

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course introduces the most important principles and practices for teachers of children with home languages other than English. Students examine the implications of cultural and linguistic variation for English Language learners. We focus on how educators work in the classroom, the school, and the community to support these learners' language development and academic learning.

    PREREQUISITES:

  • PSYC1021
    INTRO TO PSYCHOLOGY

    PSYC1021
    INTRO TO PSYCHOLOGY

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This survey course introduces students to several critical areas of psychology. Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on the scientific method, its application to psychology, and the insights gained from scientific research. The interactions among biological processes, cognitive and emotional responses, sociocultural forces, and behavior are examined. Included are such diverse topics as: health, stress, and coping; consciousness, sleep and dreams; effects of psychoactive drugs on behavior and health; psychological disorders; social psychology; types of learning and behavior management, information processing approaches including memory, encoding and retrieval; and the relationship of the nervous system to thought, feelings, and behaviors.

    PREREQUISITES:

  • PSYC2022
    CHILD DEVELOPMENT

    PSYC2022
    CHILD DEVELOPMENT

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the field of developmental science with emphasis on the period from conception through middle childhood. The course approaches development by making use of both historical and contemporary scientific theory and investigates the major domains of development--biological, cognitive, social and emotional-from a chronological perspective.

    PREREQUISITES:

    PSYC1021 or PSYC1021H

  • PSYC2061
    EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY

    PSYC2061
    EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course provides an introduction to educational psychology, the science of learning and teaching. Students will be exposed to the research methods used in psychological science, theoretical approaches to cognitive development and learning, and applications of those theories to understanding student behavior in the context of the school environment.

    PREREQUISITES:

    PSYC1021 or PSYC1021H

Education Requirements: Official Major Status Required: 43 credits

  • EDSP3010
    LITERACY INSTRUCTION AND INTERVENTIONS FOR DIVERSE LEARNERS

    EDSP3010
    LITERACY INSTRUCTION AND INTERVENTIONS FOR DIVERSE LEARNERS

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course provides the foundation for teaching reading according to PA learning standards for students with a broad range of abilities and diverse cultural backgrounds. The course emphasizes research-based instructional approaches and interventions for Middle and Secondary level students including word level instruction, text level comprehension, reading-writing connection, and assessment. A field experience is a required component of this course.

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDSP3025
    EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

    EDSP3025
    EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    The Instructional Strategies Course identifies and implements instructional strategies for all individuals with disabilities by evidenced-based methods, specialized resources, multiple instructional approaches, appropriate adaptations and technology, integrating student initiated learning opportunities and experiences into ongoing instruction. Teach learning strategies and modify the pace of instruction within and across curricula, demonstrate efficient differentiated instruction, efficient planning, coordination, and delivery for effective instruction required for inclusive settings.

    PREREQUISITES:

    EDSP2015

  • EDSP3035
    SPECIAL EDUCATION PRACTICUM

    EDSP3035
    SPECIAL EDUCATION PRACTICUM

    Credits (Min/Max): 2/2

    This course provides a special education field experience placement and seminar based on the Effective Instructional Strategies course. The student will be assigned a class or a small group of students where he/she will create and implement lessons weekly according to the students’ IEP, learning needs, and PA learning standards. The student will demonstrate and promote effective strategies for teaching children of all ability ranges in his/her lessons plans and teaching. The student will spend one period a week teaching in a classroom. This will be accompanied with a seminar focusing on the plans and teaching that is implemented weekly.

    PREREQUISITES:

    EDSP2015

  • EDSP3040
    EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT

    EDSP3040
    EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This required course for all education majors will explore the instructional purposes for a variety of assessment strategies, such as: authentic, screening, diagnostic, formative, benchmark, and summative assessments. Future teachers will learn how to interpret assessment data, such as standardized test scores and norms, and will practice how to communicate assessment results to educational stakeholders, while considering legal and ethical issues related to assessment data, such as maintaining confidentiality. Future teachers will also create sample assessments that target academic standards and assessment anchors within subject areas, in order to measure mastery of the curriculum in more than one way.

    PREREQUISITES:

    EDUC1010

  • EDSP4010
    TRANSITION PLANNING FOR SECONDARY STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

    EDSP4010
    TRANSITION PLANNING FOR SECONDARY STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

    Credits (Min/Max): 2/2

    The focus of this course is to prepare the Special Education Teacher Candidate with an authentic overview of the transition process for secondary students with disabilities through field experience, informational sessions, and interactive online coursework. The course emphasizes evidence-based best practices with a focus on self-determination and self-advocacy to help students plan and prepare for life after high school in the areas of post-secondary education, employment and independent living.

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDSP4015
    DEVELOPMENT OF THE IEP AND INCLUSION IN LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT

    EDSP4015
    DEVELOPMENT OF THE IEP AND INCLUSION IN LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    The focus of this culminating course is to prepare the student teacher with a realistic overview of teaching special education in Pennsylvania. The student will create an IEP, become familiar with Inclusion and collaboration, write reflections based on current issues/trends in special education, participate in discussions, create useful artifacts, discuss significant court cases, and understand Transition. The student will also comprehend the special education continuum of services available to the identified student.

    PREREQUISITES:

    EDSP2015

  • EDSP4070
    SPECIAL ED STUDENT TEACHING AND SEMINAR (7-12)

    EDSP4070
    SPECIAL ED STUDENT TEACHING AND SEMINAR (7-12)

    Credits (Min/Max): 6/6

    The Special Education Student Teaching Course is designed to allow teacher candidates an opportunity to apply skills learned in professional practice, human development, learning environments, instructional strategies, instructional planning, diversity, adaptations and accommodations, collaboration, behavior management, assessment, and transition in a 7-12 grade special education placement. Under the supervision of a school district cooperating teacher(s) and a La Roche University supervisor, the teacher candidate will design, implement and evaluate lessons that appropriately address the IEP goals and meet the PA Academic Standards and Assessment Anchors. Student teachers will demonstrate skills that include, but are not be limited to: differentiated instruction, universal design, collaborative teaching, transition planning and research based data driven instruction to meet the needs of all students.

    PREREQUISITES:

    EDSP4015

  • EDUC3005
    PRIMARY LITERACY METHODS AND PRACTICUM

    EDUC3005
    PRIMARY LITERACY METHODS AND PRACTICUM

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course provides the foundation for teaching literacy aligned with the Pennsylvania Standards for students in the primary grades with a broad range of abilities and cultural backgrounds. The focus is on evidence-based literacy instruction around the essential components of literacy: oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. An integral part of this course will include a practicum in a primary grade (PreK-2nd grade) classroom.

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDUC3010
    PRIMARY MATH METHODS AND PRACTICUM

    EDUC3010
    PRIMARY MATH METHODS AND PRACTICUM

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course provides an exploration of the principles for teaching primary math concepts according to guidelines provided in the Pennsylvania Standards and by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Teacher candidates will become proficient in using math manipulatives to help students learn mathematical concepts. An integral part of this course will be a practicum, where teacher candidates will be placed in a primary classroom (PreK-2nd grade) in order to connect theory with practice.

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDUC3020
    INTERMEDIATE LITERACY METHODS AND PRACTICUM

    EDUC3020
    INTERMEDIATE LITERACY METHODS AND PRACTICUM

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course provides the foundation for teaching literacy aligned with the Pennsylvania Core Standards for students in the intermediate grades with a broad range of abilities and cultural backgrounds. The focus is on evidence-based literacy instruction around the following essential components of literacy: phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. An integral part of this course will be a practicum, where teacher candidates will be placed in an intermediate classroom (3rd-6th grade) in order to connect theory with practice.

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDUC3025
    INTERMEDIATE MATH METHODS AND PRACTICUM

    EDUC3025
    INTERMEDIATE MATH METHODS AND PRACTICUM

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course provides an exploration of the principles for teaching intermediate math concepts according to guidelines provided in the Pennsylvania Math Standards and Assessment Anchors and by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Teacher candidates will become proficient in using math manipulatives to help students learn mathematical concepts. An integral part of this course will be a practicum, where teacher candidates will be placed in an intermediate classroom (3rd-6th grade) in order to connect theory with practice.

    PREREQUISITES:

  • EDUC4005
    EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND PROFESSIONALISM

    EDUC4005
    EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND PROFESSIONALISM

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course will offer teacher candidates the opportunity to identify community resources that can be shared with multiple stakeholders in order to support families and children. Teacher candidates will learn strategies and techniques for working with families to keep them informed of their child’s progress in meaningful and culturally responsive ways. Teacher candidates will also participate in a variety of professional development opportunities.

    PREREQUISITES: