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Course offerings reflect the 2021-2022 Elmhurst University Catalog. All graduate courses are 3 semester hours unless otherwise noted.

Core Special Education Courses

Most courses do not have prerequisites and may be completed in any order. The following six courses are required for the M.S.Ed. in Special Education.

This course is designed for teachers to examine the development and the diverse educational, physical, motor, communication, social-emotional and cognitive needs of students with disabilities. Research on and implications for appropriate diagnosis, service delivery, and instructional methodology are examined. Summer Term.

An advanced study of the educational assessment processes and strategies with a review of legal provisions, regulations and guidelines. Focus areas include the uses and limitations of formal and informal assessments, the administration and interpretation of information obtained from both formal and informal measures, strategies for modifying and adapting formal measures (local, state and national), and the Illinois Alternative Assessment Process. Summer Term.

This course provides a foundation for developing instructional practices that classroom teachers may use to respond to the issues of the 21st century. Teachers will examine the learning outcomes of PK-12 students with and without special needs in inclusive classrooms and how to accommodate student differences using appropriate research-based strategies. Additional focus areas will include topics such as professional collaboration, strategies for modifying and adapting instruction, as well as best practice and innovative pedagogy that incorporates the principles of Universal Design for Learning. Spring Term. May be substituted based on prior coursework in Special Education.

This course offers an investigation of the special methodology, materials and approaches for teaching students with mild to moderate disabilities in the academic curriculum (K-12). Educational assessment strategies, components in individualized education programs, and the design of such programs are also studied. Fall Term.

An advanced study of the assessment, curriculum development and instruction in meaningful curriculum design including functional academics; critical life skills; and communication, social and mobility areas. Authentic assessment strategies, components in individualized education programs, and the implementation of functional curricula across settings are studied. Spring Term.

In this course, teachers will be introduced to the laws and legal implications of court decisions affecting schools and professional educators. Teachers will analyze and discuss constitutional law, case law and legal issues affecting educational policy and practice. Spring Term, even years.

Required Research Courses

Teachers must complete four research courses as part of degree requirements. All research projects are focused on special education.

The purpose of this course is to take the classroom practitioner from theory to practice. With professor supervision, teachers will learn how to use action research methods as a means of collecting data that can inform and improve practice as well as be applied in their graduate research projects. Topics will reflect current educational issues and areas of research.

Prerequisite: 15 hours of prior graduate credits in program.

.25, .50 or .75 credit as needed to earn 8.50 credits

This course represents the culminating experience for all teachers. This seminar is completed during the final fall or spring term of the program. The course goals require that the teachers integrate the three core program areas with their focus areas. Small groups of teachers prepare, present and peer-evaluate final masters projects, which may be individual or collaborative.

Prerequisites: 24 hours of prior graduate credits in program, including MTL 591 and two additional research courses. Offered Fall Term or Spring Term for one, two or three semester hours.

Teachers choose two of the following three courses with research-embedded projects. The course that is not chosen may be used as an elective advocacy and leadership course.

This course will provide a study of the collaborative processes and build communication skills necessary for effective interaction among stakeholders (e.g., educational professionals, paraprofessionals, parents and students). Course topics include: an overview of the communication, consultation, coaching and teaming processes. Students will also be exposed to conflict management and problem-solving strategies, ways of establishing positive collaborative relationships as well as the management and assessment of collaboration. Roles, rights, and responsibilities of all team members will be reviewed. A special focus on working with paraprofessionals, families and community agencies and organizations will be provided. Spring Term.

Teachers explore controversial issues and best practices in positive school and classroom climates. They analyze researchbased practices and strategies to evaluate the essential qualities of schools and classrooms that optimize learning and socio-emotional development for students as well as support the retention of high-quality faculty. Through application and self-evaluation of new practices for improving school and classroom climate, teachers broaden their understanding and skills for meeting the needs of their students and set goals for moving to a higher-level of professional practice. Spring Term.

In this course, teachers examine how different models of professional development impact student learning. They research and evaluate models of effective professional development in education designed to meet teaching and learning needs. Teachers learn how to observe instruction and provide coaching, mentoring, and professional development to colleagues. Readings and assignments are aligned with the Professional Learning Domain of the Teacher Leader Model Standards. Fall Term.

Two Elective Advocacy and Leadership Courses

Teachers choose two additional courses from among teacher leadership courses to complete the 34-semester-hour graduation requirement. For course descriptions, see the M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership courses.
  • MTL 521 Building Professional and Community Relationships through Collaboration
  • MTL 528 Examining Issues and Trends in Teacher Leadership
  • MTL 536 Linking Assessment to Learning
  • MTL 538 Improving School Climate and Learning
  • MTL 544 Cross-Cultural Studies in Teaching English Language Learners (Summer Term; this course is part of the ESL/Bilingual endorsement)
  • MTL 567 Advocating for Culturally Relevant Curriculum and Instruction
  • MTL 596 Evaluating Diversity Issues in Teaching and Learning
  • MTL 597 Promoting Professional Development for School Improvement

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