Five Year Special Education - Teacher Scholar Low Incidence

5 Year Special Education Programs 

Urban Teaching Residents. Teacher Scholars High Incidence/Low Incidence

Cathleen Spinelli, Ph.D., Coordinator 5 Year Programs
Merion Hall 215,
610- 660-3064,,

James Johnson, Ph.D., Graduate Advisor,
Merion Hall 218, 
610 660-1585,

The graduate students are placed in a clinical experience based on their concentration. They work in the same school for a full year. Graduate students teach a modified schedule with time for their graduate coursework, spending  2/3 of each school day teaching. The school where they are placed utilizes 1) a research-based approach to instruction, 2) ongoing assessments to differentiate and individualize instruction, and 3) leadership and school culture that support teaching every child at his/her own level.

The focus of each concentration/program of study:

The Urban Teaching Residency Program (UTR):
      Candidates earn a special accreditation:

  • the International Dyslexia Association (IDA)
  • the Wilson Language Program
  • Social – Justice focus – including a series of Social-Justice seminars 

The Teacher Scholar High Incidence Program (TSHI):
Candidates earn a special accreditation:

  • the International Dyslexia Association (IDA)
  • the Wilson Language Program
  • work in small  groups with private school students with language-based learning disabilities.

The Teacher Scholar Low Incidence Program (TSLI):
Candidates earn:

  • the Autism Specialist endorsement
  • work with special behavior plans (often ABA)
  • work with private school students with physical, mental and/or behavioral disabilities.

Graduate students in any of the concentrations are expected to have obtained their Pennsylvania Instructional I certification prior to admission. They have the option of attaining their Special Education certfication upon completion of  the program of study.

Interested SJU undergraduates need to apply by January 15th.  Applicants must have at overall gpa of at least 3.0   

Learning Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: The candidate has a thorough knowledge of curriculum content, language structure, behavioral strategies and relationship to literacy, assessment and resources and uses such knowledge to create effective learning experiences for students. 

Goal 2: The candidate understands cognitive, language and learning processes, how students’ skills and abilities develop, individual strengths and needs and uses this knowledge to create opportunities for each student’s academic, social. behavioral and emotional development. 

Goal 3: The candidate understands disabilities, characteristics and consequences, and provides instruction to accommodate diversity. 

Goal 4: The candidate plans and delivers instruction aligned curriculum maps, lesson plans, instructional routines and knowledge of student needs as identified in their IEPS.

Goal 5: The candidate communicates purpose of instructions, uses a variety of evidenced based instructional strategies and approaches that engage each student in the acquisition of lower and higher order skills necessary for academic learning.

Goal 6: The candidate communicates clear expectations and procedures and creates a safe respectful learning environment that encourages active, engaged learning, positive interaction and self-motivation for all students. 

Goal 7: The candidate effectively communicates in the classroom and with the school community by using a variety of communication skills, including verbal and nonverbal techniques, technology, and media. 

Goal 8: The candidate effectively uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate student progress and inform design of instruction.

Goal 9: The candidate works with parents/family members, school colleagues, and community members to support student learning and development.  

The M.S. 5 year degree for Teacher Scholar Low Incidence

Requires a total of 30 credits:

SPE 609SPED Clinical Practicum I3
SPE 607ThryInstrPractStdntsw/LowIncid3
SPE 610SPED Clinical Practicum II3
SPE 700SpecialEducation Law/Policy3
SPE 720Intro ASD: Caus Diag & Advoc3
SPE 721Aug & Alt Com & Soc Stratg3
SPE 722Evid Based Prac: AI&I Method3
SPE 723Autism: Behv Manag Approaches3
Take two SPE courses as electives