Department of Special Education
Psychology Building 307, 410-704-4984
Programs of the Department
The Department of Special Education is responsible for courses leading to certification in Maryland as a special education teacher. The department offers a major in Special Education, a major in Integrated Elementary Education - Special Education (EESE), and a major in Integrated Early Childhood - Special Education (ECSE). Special education is a screened major; applicants must achieve qualifying scores on Praxis CORE or SAT/ACT as established by MSDE, and a minimum GPA of 2.75 (with a grade equivalent of 2.00 or higher on all prerequisite course work required for the major). A writing sample is also required.
The education course listings include core education courses that provide knowledge and skills for general application in teaching and learning. The instructional technology and special education offerings also have Pre-K-12 applications. Reflecting the Professional Education Mission and Vision statements, students are assigned by their department and/or the Center for Professional Practice to field and clinical experience placements that are diverse and inclusive. Placements are made that enable the Teacher Education Unit to meet state and national accreditation mandates. All shy;professional year placements will be in identified Professional Development Schools (PDS), or approved satellite schools, based on ongoing and systematic PDS partnership agreements with school systems. These mandates and the size and scope of our education program do not permit personal preference or geographic convenience in placements.
Special Education majors must meet with their advisers every term to ensure that their planned programs of study meet university, major and Maryland State Department of Education certification requirements. Students must consult with their advisers prior to taking courses on a Pass grading option. Courses in the major and courses required for Maryland State Department of Education certification may not be taken with this option. All tracks of the Special Education program begin in the fall term with the exception of the ECSE program.
Exceptions, changes, waivers, and/or substitutions from the program pattern for Special Education majors in content or sequence are permitted only with the written consent of the chair of the Special Education Department.
Graduate programs include the Master of Arts in Teaching and the Master of Education.
The Professional Year
Special Education majors follow the school system calendar for the Professional Development School to which they are assigned as interns. The professional year starts in August, when the teachers begin the school year, and follows the school system spring break schedule.
Graduate Programs in Special Education
Director: Andrea Parrish
Psychology Building 305, 410-704-3835
This Master of Education program prepares currently certified teachers for careers as special educators. The Certification Track meets the requirements for MSDE special education certification at infant/primary, elementary/middle or secondary levels. The Teacher as Leader in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) M.Ed. program is designed to provide specialized instruction in ASD to educators currently certified in special education, related services or related fields. The Master of Arts in teaching offers certification in special education for individuals who hold an undergraduate degree outside of education. See the Graduate Catalog for details.
Pre-Admission Requirements for all Candidates
Students interested in majoring in Special Education, ECSE, or EESE must first gain admission to Towson University. Admission to the university, however, does not guarantee admission to the Special Education, Integrated ECSE or EESE majors. Students must complete a Declaration of Intended Major Form available online at http://www.towson.edu/registrar/registration/major.html at which time they will be assigned a Special Education adviser. All students applying for admission to a Teacher Education program at Towson University are required to complete a Criminal History Disclosure Form. This form is to be notarized and sent to the Department of Special Education to be kept on file.
Special Education is a screened major. All candidates for the Special Education, ECSE or EESE majors will be ranked according to cumulative GPA in all college or university courses (transfer GPA and/or TU GPA).
To receive approval for admission, students are required to:
- have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher (which includes grades transferred to and grades earned at TU)
- have completed ENGL 102 with a grade of C or higher
- have completed 60 or more units (with a grade equivalent of 2.00 or higher)
- have passing scores on the Praxis CORE, ACT or SAT at or above the level of standards established by the Maryland State Department of Education (Information on the Praxis CORE tests is available at https://eisportal.msde.maryland.gov/public/Pages/Basic-Skills.aspx)
- submit a writing sample
Screening occurs again for admission into internship. Students are required to have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher and a GPA of 3.00 or higher in the major and must have completed a minimum of 90 units. All preservice students in Teacher Education programs at Towson University whose program of study require an intensive and extensive internship experience in a public or private school setting (pre-K through 12), are required to undergo a criminal background check before beginning this experience. The criminal background check must be filed with the Department of Special Education.
Special Education Department personnel are responsive to the transfer student and will accept those credits which are compatible with the Core Curriculum requirements, Special Education, ECSE and EESE majors and state certification requirements. Please note: although credits might qualify toward graduation, only an evaluation conducted by the Special Education adviser will determine which credits will also apply toward the major. Students must earn a minimal grade equivalent of 2.0 in all transfer courses. Students must first have their transcripts evaluated by the Office of Admissions before requesting a special education transcript evaluation.
Majors in Special Education
SPED 301 INTRODUCTION TO SPECIAL EDUCATION (3)
Historical, philosophical, legal foundations of special education as related to current issues and practices in educational settings.
SPED 302 HONORS INTRODUCTION TO SPECIAL EDUCATION (3)
Provides instruction in the historical, philosophical, and legal foundations of special education as related to current issues and practices in educational settings. Open to Honors students only.
SPED 401 CURRICULUM/METHODS OF INCLUSION (3)
Designing and implementing inclusive programs. Prerequisite: SPED 301.
SPED 413 UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING: ADDRESSING LEARNER VARIABILITY (3)
Practical application of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), using instructional and assistive technologies to support learner variability and enhance student achievement. Highlights strategies for increasing the access of students with disabilities to the general education curriculum. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.
SPED 415 ASSESSMENT OF INFANT/PRIMARY STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (3)
Comprehensive assessment of young children, linking evaluative information to inclusive programming.
SPED 417 COLLABORATIVE PLANNING FOR INFANT/PRIMARY PROGRAMS (3)
Methods and models of interdisciplinary collaborative planning for young children with disabilities. Prerequisite: SPED 301.
SPED 425 FORMAL TESTS AND MEASUREMENTS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (K-12) (3)
Assessment techniques; philosophical rationale; current research; intervention strategies. Prerequisites: 6 units PSYC; 9 units SPED or consent of
SPED 427 CURRICULUM/METHODS OF SOCIAL EMOTIONAL AND MOTOR DEVELOPMENT FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES K-12 (3)
Curriculum theory, research, instructional techniques for students with disabilities. Prerequisites: 6 units SPED or consent of instructor.
SPED 428 WORKING WITH FAMILIES OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (3)
Communication skills, human relations; parent counseling and conferencing. Prerequisites: SPED 301 and consent of SPED instructor.
SPED 429 CURRICULUM/METHODS OF CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (3)
Theoretical foundations, development or practical interventions. Prerequisites: SPED 301 and consent of SPED instructor.
SPED 430 INFORMAL TESTS AND MEASUREMENTS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (K-12) (3)
Assessment, diagnosis, prescriptive techniques; procedures, administration, interpretation, programming. Prerequisites: SPED 301 and consent of SPED instructor.
SPED 431 CURRICULUM AND METHODS OF READING FOR PRIMARY STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (3)
Reading practices, context, procedures, materials and assessment for primary students with disabilities. Prerequisite: SPED 301.
SPED 441 CURRICULUM/METHODS OF INSTRUCTION FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (K-12) (3)
Characteristics affecting learning, designing educational programs. Observations in appropriate settings and guest lecturers in specialty area. Prerequisites: 6 units in PSYC and 6 units in education.
SPED 451 PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (ELEMENTARY/MIDDLE SCHOOL) (3)
SPED 453 CURRICULUM/METHODS OF SECONDARY SPECIAL EDUCATION:PREVOCATIONAL AND VOCATIONAL INSTRUCTION (3)
Issues and trends including transition-related instruction, postsecondary programs and adaptability in secondary classrooms. Prerequisites: SPED 301 or consent of the instructor.
SPED 455 ASSESSMENT OF MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (3)
Diagnosis and prescriptive techniques used by secondary level special education professionals. Prerequisite: SPED 301.
SPED 469 COLLABORATIVE TEACHING IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (3)
Provides general education and special education teacher candidates with the knowledge and dispositions necessary for successful collaborative teaching. Prerequisite: 9 units in SPED.
SPED 470 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION (1-3)
In-depth study of a selected topic in Elementary Education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the department each time a topic is scheduled. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units provided a different topic is covered.
SPED 471 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION (1-3)
In-depth study of a selected topic in Special Education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the department each time a topic is scheduled. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units provided a different topic is covered.
SPED 491 INTERNSHIP: STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IN ELEMENTARY/MIDDLE GRADES (3)
Supervised clinical field experience with elementary/middle school students with disabilities. Prerequisites: 12 units SPED and consent of the program director.
SPED 493 SEMINAR IN INTERNSHIP (3)
Readings, action research and discussion on school environments, instructional delivery, diagnosis/evaluation, classroom management policies. Corequisite: SPED 498.
SPED 496 INTERNSHIP: STUDENTS WITH DIABILITIES (SECONDARY/ADULT PROGRAMS) (3)
Supervised clinical field experience with students with disabilities at the middle and high school level prior to internship. Prerequisites: 12 units of SPED and consent of coordinator of secondary special education.
SPED 497 INTERNSHIP: STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IN INFANT/PRIMARY PROGRAMS (3)
Supervised clinical field experience with young children with disabilities. Prerequisites: 12 units SPED and consent of the program director.
SPED 498 INTERNSHIP: SPECIAL EDUCATION (12)
Placement in special education classroom either public or private at the age/grade appropriate for students' programs. Prerequisites: 18 units SPED and consent of the program director.
Professor: Deborah Gartland
Associate Professors: Patricia Doran, Darlene Fewster, Katherine Holman, Laila Richman, Kathleen Stein
Assistant Professors: Elizabeth Berquist, Jessica Kirchen, Amy Noggle
Lecturers: Mary Chapman, Barbara Cheswick, Diane Diven, David Hill, Ruth Hopkins, Theresa Lutz, Alana McFall, Charles Meyer, Elizabeth O'Hanlon, Michelle Pasko, Heather Rasmussen, Robert Santacroce, Valerie Sharpe, Deborah Tessier, Jeffrey Tessier
Clinical Professor: Elizabeth Neville (Chairperson)
Clinical Instructors: Toni Guidi, Andrea Parrish, Rosemary Rappa
Visiting Assistant Professor: Kandace Wernsing