Course offerings reflect the 2019-2020 Elmhurst College Catalog. One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

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 P-12 students with and without special needs in inclusive classrooms and the social issues faced by teachers, counselors, and administrators. Additional focus areas will include topics such as professional collaboration, differentiated instruction, strategies for modifying and adapting instruction, cooperative learning, problem-based learning, interdisciplinary instruction, and classroom applications of the theory of multiple intelligences.

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.

Advocacy and Leadership Course

Teachers choose two advocacy and leadership courses to complete the M.S.Ed. in Special Education from the following choices. 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

Required Research Courses

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

Teachers examine the history of reading from three perspectives: (a) reading from a historical perspective, (b) understanding current reading research and (c) the study of reading as it applies to current classroom practice. There is an emphasis on reading research. Course topics include pivotal research studies, student texts and teaching methods used at different points in time, and trends in our schools that have led to some of the changes in how we teach reading. Teachers will focus on a facet of reading research that will most directly inform their own practices and impact student outcomes. Alternating Summer Terms.

In this course, teachers will read, analyze and synthesize the research literature on teaching and learning to examine and transform their focus areas. Teachers will acquire skills for electronically searching, selecting and evaluating the most current research literatures. In addition, they will develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to answer professional questions using the most valid and reliable professional resources.

A 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.

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

This seminar represents the culminating experience for all teachers. This seminar is completed during the final Fall or Spring Term in the program to facilitate the completion of a final master’s project in special education.

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