Five Year Special Education Programs

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   

Goals and Objectives for all Programs

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.  

Goals specifically for the Urban Teaching Residency Program and Teacher Scholar High Incidence Programs

Goal 1: Structured Language: Phonology

Objective 1: Explicitly state the goal of any phonological awareness teaching activity

Objective 2: Select and implement activities that match a student’s developmental level of phonological skill

Objective 3: Design and justify the implementation of activities that match a student’s developmental level of phonological skill

Objective 4: Demonstrate instructional activities that identify, match, blend, segment, substitute, and delete sounds

Objective 5: Successfully produce vowel and consonant phonemes

Objective 6: Teach articulatory features of phonemes and words; use minimally contrasting pairs of sounds and words in instruction; support instruction with manipulative materials and movement

Objective 7: Direct students’ attention to speech sounds during reading, spelling, and vocabulary instruction using a mirror, discussion of articulatory features, and so on as scripted or prompted

Goal 2: Structured Language: Phonics

Objective 1:  Plan lessons with a cumulative progression of word recognition skills that build one on another

Objective 2: Explicitly and effectively teach (e.g., information taught is correct, students are attentive, teacher checks for understanding, teacher scaffolds students’ learning) concepts of word recognition and phonics; apply concepts to reading single words, phrases, and connected text

Objective 3: Plan and effectively teach all steps in a decoding lesson, including single‐word reading and connected text that is read fluently, accurately, and with appropriate intonation and expression

Objective 4: Adapt the pace, format, content, strategy, or emphasis of instruction according to students’ pattern of response

Goal 3: Structured Language: Spelling

Objective 1: Explicitly and effectively teach (e.g., information taught is correct, students are attentive, teacher checks for understanding, a rule for adding suffixes to base words.

Objective 2: Select materials and/or create lessons that address students’ skill levels

Objective 3: Analyze a student’s spelling errors to determine his or her instructional needs (e.g., development of phonological skills versus learning   spelling rules versus application of orthographic or morphemic knowledge in spelling)

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 2 SPE courses as electives

The M.S. 5 year degree for Urban Teaching Residency and Teacher Scholar High Incidence requires a total of 30 credits:

SPE 603Thry&InstrPracticeStdntHighInc3
SPE 603FFE Stdnts W/High Disabilities0
SPE 604RsrchBsedModel:Lit,WritOrlLang3
SPE 604FFE Reading in Content Area0
SPE 605RsrchBasedModel:MathSciencePro3
SPE 605FFE Math & Science Procedures0
SPE 609SPED Clinical Practicum I3
SPE 610SPED Clinical Practicum II *3
SPE 700SpecialEducation Law/Policy3
SPE 701Cog Proc: Resrch Brain Studies3
SPE 710WRP: Intro Multisens Lang Inst1