Welcome to the Department of Special Education. The mission of the Special Education Program is to inspire, educate, and prepare teachers as facilitators of active learning for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with diverse learning needs, including those with disabilities. The goal of the program is to prepare future professionals with the content and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to develop and implement individualized educational programs (IEPs) based on each student's individual learning characteristics and data derived from informal and formal assessment results. The program prepares practitioners to provide research-based instructional strategies and evidence-based best practices within learning environments and social interactions that are designed to increase student learning, academic achievement, and functional performance using assistive and instructional technologies. The program is based on the relevant laws and policies of special education and the principles of Professional and Ethical Practice articulated through the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). The program is premised on the belief that collaboration with families, other educators, related service providers, and personnel from community agencies is the key to meeting the cognitive, behavioral, social, emotional, linguistic, and cultural needs of each student within inclusive environments.
Departmental faculty are uniformly committed to students. As an integral part of the developmental teaching/learning experience, and reflecting commitment to the university's intentional academic advising program, students work with advisers in a strategic and progressive planning process across all years at the university. Accordingly, to support their personal and professional success, all COE students are required to confer prior to registration each semester with their assigned advisors.