Moderate Disabilities

Initial License

The Master of Education Degree Moderate Disabilities Program is designed for candidates who possess a bachelors’ degree who wish to obtain an Initial Teaching License in grades PreK-8 or grades 5-12.

The purpose of the program is to address the shortage of special education teachers who can provide challenging yet developmentally appropriate instructional/curriculum, which enables children with moderate disabilities to become as independent and self-sufficient as they can become.

Learning Outcomes for Moderate Disabilities
At the completion of the Moderate Disabilities Program (Initial License) or CAGS the candidate will be able to:

  • Candidates will be able to design, administer and practice high quality instruction and assessements in the moderate disabilities special education academic classroom.
  • Candidates will be able to understand and promote the learning and growth of all special education students with moderate disabilities through instructional practices that establish high expectations, safe classrooms, and cultural proficiency.
  • Candidates will be able to create and apply effective partnerships with families, community members and organizations to help promote the learning and growth of all students.
  • Candidates will be able to demonstrate the capacity to reflect on and improve their own practice in order to improve teaching and learning in moderate disabilities special education classrooms.

In the classroom. In the workforce.

What You'll Learn

Learn how to identify, how to evaluate, and how to adapt teaching strategies for students with moderate disabilities.

Future Studies

Candidates that complete the Moderate Disabilities program have a firm foundation that can be built upon with graduate and doctoral degrees in education.

Career Opportunities

The Moderate Disabilities program prepares students for an initial license teaching to a broad scope of age groups including PreK-8, and 5-12.

Pre-requisites

  • Pass Communication & Literacy MTEL for admission and attend candidate orientation workshop.
  • Undergraduate General or Introduction to Psychology must be completed with a C or higher.

 

*Field Experience required

Students not associated with a school district, need to complete a CORI background check with the district they intend on doing their Field Experience with, prior to this course. Not fulfilling this requirement may adversely affect the student’s grades as tasks require use of these experiences.

 

Moderate Disabilities PreK-8

  • EDU5400: The Reflective Practitioner
  • EDU5410*: Introduction to Special Education (25 hours Field Experience*)
  • EDU6551: Introduction to Learning Disabilities
  • EDU5520*: Teaching Reading and Language Arts (25 hours Field Experience*)
  • EDU5540: Multisensory Teaching of Language Skills
  • EDU6654: Classroom Assessment
  • EDU5530*: Teaching Mathematics (25 hours Field Experience*)
  • EDU6610: Behavior Management

 

Required Practicum Orientation
Prior to taking EDU 6600 there is a mandatory practicum orientation session

  • EDU6600: Assessment, Methods and Materials for Teaching Special Education
  • EDU6620**: Education Seminar
  • EDU6625: Sheltered English Immersion

 

Moderate Disabilities 5-12

  • EDU5400: The Reflective Practitioner
  • EDU5410*: Introduction to Special Education (25 hours Field Experience*)
  • EDU6551: Introduction to Learning Disabilities

 

Teacher Candidates who can show proof of passing the Foundations of Reading MTEL or Reading Specialist Subject Matter to their advisor prior to the end of EDU 6551 take:

  • EDU6664*: Reading & Communication in the Middle and Secondary Schools
  • EDU6654: Classroom Assesments

 

Teacher Candidates who do not show proof of passing the Foundations of Reading MTEL or Reading Specialist Subject Matter to their advisor prior to the end of EDU 6551 take:

  • EDU5520*: Teaching Reading and Language Arts
  • EDU5540: Multisensory Teaching of Language Skills

 

All Moderate Disabilities 5-12 Teacher Candidates then take:

  • EDU6674*: Secondary and Middle School Methods
  • EDU6610: Behavior Management (online)

 

Required Practicum Orientation
Prior to taking EDU 6600 there is a mandatory practicum orientation session

  • EDU6600: Assessment, Methods and Materials for Teaching Special Education
  • EDU6620**: Education Seminar
  • EDU6625: Sheltered English Immersion

 

Additional Program Notes
All required field experience hours and MTEL’S must be complete before the candidate may enter final practicum experience

Choose one as appropriate

  • EDU 6739: Student Teaching
  • EDU 6839: Practicum in Education in Moderate Disabilities
  • EDU 6639: Field-Based Research (Non-Licensure)

Master of Education degree or CAGS awarded
Total credits: 36-39

Course Descriptions

Candidates for initial teacher licensure will examine the dispositions, knowledge and skills of the 21st century educator. A study of American education will explore the historical, economic, and political trends underpinning our current approaches to instruction, curriculum and assessment. Diversity in the classroom and the implications for teaching students with special needs, English Language learners, and students from low income families will be studied. A related investigation of district-based demographic and assessment data will be conducted, followed by the analysis current practices, such as, inclusion, differentiated instruction, and response to intervention. The Common Core Curriculum Frameworks (MCF) will be incorporated into instructional mini-lesson demonstrations. A concentrated ELL module will develop in-depth understanding of the demographic, cultural, language and educational characteristics of these unique learners. Lesson plan development with instructional considerations for ELLs will align with ELL case study activities. Field experience required.

The purpose of this course is to investigate developmental factors and influences that impact child growth and learning for the special needs child. The course will provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to identify those children who have special needs and study the ways and means that may be used to aid these children. Students will explore current early identification strategies and techniques as well as Response To Intervention (RTI) procedures used to facilitate struggling learners in the educational setting. State regulations (Chapt. 766) and Federal requirements (IDEA) will be covered in depth, as well as information about services provided and/or available to students by other agencies. An analysis of local/district/state data will be included. Students will acquire knowledge of how to use technology and assistive technology with special needs students and its curriculum implications. This includes Autism and Attention Deficit Disorder (w/wo hyperactivity). Course participants will gain an understanding of the educational problems which mild, moderated or severe handicaps imposes on a special needs child or youth and how this applies to the preparation and implementation of the Individual Educational Plan (IEP).

This course is a survey of the general field of learning disabilities. It will include current theories, definitions, and exclusions in the diagnosis and treatment of learning disabilities. In-depth studies of the various constructs proposed by leaders in the field will be pursued.

A survey of theories, practices, and techniques of reading instruction for children in grades preK-8. Various methods and materials used in the teaching-learning process will be examined, including the informal diagnosis and assessment of reading skills. The Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Frameworks, as well as related documents for English language learners and guidelines for special education students will be central to developing and presenting reading strategy lessons. Instructional accommodations for diverse learners will explore methods in sheltered English language immersion, special education, gifted and talented enrichment, and compensatory strategies for rural and urban poverty populations. Field work experiences and a diagnostic case-study assignment will integrate all course components. On-line research of the National Reading Panel Report and other professional sources will supplement course learning. Field experience is required.

This course will examine the basics of a multisensory, structured language curriculum for teaching reading, writing, spelling, comprehension and composition to diverse groups of students including those with reading problems, language disorders, cognitive disabilities, mild and moderate specific learning disabilities, and English Language Learners. There will be hands-on experience as well as exemplary lessons exploring best practice strategies to facilitate the development of reading and language skills. The students will learn how and where the sounds of English are made; how to introduce phonemic awareness activities; and how to teach sound-symbol associations in a logical, scientific way according to latest research. Students explore the qualities of children’s and adolescent literature, including the various genres, meaning, voices, and visual elements that are central to engaging learners through literature. Students will become proficient with regard to terminology relating to instructional standards and techniques in the areas of reading, written language, and content areas such as Science and Social Studies. They will become familiar with the use of identified best practice strategies for use in both specialized and the general education inclusive settings.

This course will examine the substantial variety of student-centered evaluation practices and their importance in instructional planning for diverse student populations. Beyond the consideration of various standardized measures and traditional classroom testing and grading techniques, students will study 21st century assessment practices such as performance-based assessment, formative assessment strategies, open-ended questions, portfolios, and affective assessment, all of which emphasize higher-order critical thinking. The development of checklists, rubrics, and other methods of data collection will be emphasized. This technology-intensive course requires a unit plan created according to the principles of backwards design.

Prospective educators will examine theoretical and developmental models of mathematics instruction in order to plan and implement effective instruction based on the diverse cognitive, language, and developmental needs of students. Using technology to access national and local district assessment data, students will analyze and identify areas of need within the mathematics curriculum and engage in instructional decision-making. Demonstrations and micro-teaching will reference the Massachusetts Mathematics Curriculum Framework and the NCTM standards. Field experience is required.

Students will engage in a survey of current practices of classroom management for regular and special needs students. Theory, materials, and practical applications will be included. Special attention is given to communication, observation, group and class management skills. Students will master terminology relative to cognitive behavioral programming and educational applications. Students will become familiar with classroom management techniques and demonstrate the ability to identify specific target behaviors, develop positively based programming strategies, establish manageable data collection methods, and analyze data using empirically based strategies. Federal and State regulatory mandates will be studied with a focus on the implementation of Functional Behavioral Assessments within the naturalistic setting. Students will become familiar with strategies that reduce or eliminate disruptiveness, aggressiveness, and defiance. They will learn practical ways of achieving better home-school relations and become familiar with services of the resource staffs as well as services provided by other (State and private agencies) in order to meet the needs of exceptional students.

This course involves learning techniques for teaching and assessing students with special needs both in and out of the general education environment. Class sessions will be devoted to lectures, demonstrations, discussions, audio-visual material, and topics of particular interest within the area of assessment. Course content will focus on learners (PK through adults) who are not experiencing success within the standard academic situation and on identified special needs students in need of (re)evaluation. Students are expected to become familiar with standardized assessments, interpretation of evaluation data, and acquire an understanding of regulations governing the assessment and evaluation process. Students will demonstrate an understanding of laws, regulations, and ethical concerns related to services for special needs students and regular education students relating to assessment and evaluation. Students will become proficient in communicating assessment data fluently through oral and written forms. Students will use information relating to child and adolescent development to develop instructional recommendations and ensure appropriate assessment application. Knowledge of Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks will be used to construct and evaluate authentic classroom assessment(s). Application of evaluative information to the IEP process will addressed as related to determination of special education eligibility criteria as outlined in Massachusetts and federal regulations and construction of IEP elements. Course participants will be proficient in the areas of: identifications of Specific Learning Disabilities using methodology outlined in current State regulations. Field experience is required.

The seminar sequence is arranged across the culminating semester to integrate specific topics and competencies with the teaching experience. Various areas of study will include health, media and technology, education of diverse populations (including ELL), data collection and analysis, development and implementation of IEPs, and legal issues. There will also be opportunities for peer mentoring. Students will generate products for inclusion in their portfolios by extending seminar concepts into classroom applications. Two research papers and a powerpoint presentation are required.

This course will provide a comprehensive model for instruction for preparing teachers to work with English language learners, (PreK-12) in all classrooms. Using a structured immersion approach (SEI), such as the SIOP Model, students will practice the cycle of assessment, lesson design and implementation of instructional strategies that provide access to grade level content for ELL learners. Students will plan, design and present a model lesson following the SIOP Model.

This course addresses the developmental reading and language needs of the middle and high school student in the content area classroom spanning from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” The strategic use of multiple texts, including 21st century technology literacies, will be presented using micro-teaching lessons to demonstrate effective practice. Using technology to access national and local assessment data, students will analyze and identify areas of need within the English language arts and their intended subject area to guide instructional decision-making. Instructional accommodations for diverse learners will explore methods in sheltered English language immersion, special education, gifted and talented enrichment, and compensatory strategies for rural and urban poverty populations. Field work experiences and a diagnostic case-study assignment will integrate all course components. On-line research of the National Reading Panel Report and other professional sources will be integral to course learning. Field experience is required.

This course offers an analysis and a practical look at the most effective methods of planning and teaching in a middle and/or secondary classroom. The major emphasis of the course is the development of a subject-area instructional unit appropriate to their teaching situation (urban, suburban or rural) that will include activities and strategies is such areas as cross-curricular, differentiated instruction, cooperative learning, integration of technology and indirect teaching methods. Micro-teaching experiences within the student’s discipline area will focus on specific components of lesson planning and lesson presentation in keeping with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Field experience is required.

The practicum for initial licensure in MA involves 150-300 hours of observation, assisting and taking on the full role of classroom teacher under the direction of a college supervisor and a supervising practitioner in a school setting. A program portfolio and additional paperwork to meet state regulations is required.

The practicum requirement for initial licensure in MA for those employed as classroom teachers in the field in which they are seeking licensure. 150-300 full-role hours of teaching under the direction of a college supervisor and a supervising practitioner in a school setting. A program portfolio and additional paperwork to meet state regulations is required.

Students majoring in one of the above specialty areas may opt for the appropriate field experience which will satisfy the degree requirement for a culminating experience. Candidates will have the opportunity to delve into data collection and analysis, designing program for diverse populations, technology, developing 21st century skills, as examples, and/or other principles learned in their coursework to the end of increasing student achievement in the classroom. An action based research project is the central activity for this course. Employed teachers may utilize their own classrooms for this culminating experience [40 clock hours per credit]. Students who complete their degree with this culminating project are not eligible for licensure as a teacher or administrator in Massachusetts nor will they receive the NASDTEC stamp for reciprocity with other states.

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