Special Education (Pre K-12) Major

Saint Joseph’s University Department of Special Education centers its philosophical and practical mission on attaining social justice and democracy through the education of reflective, activist-oriented teacher candidates and practicing teachers. Faculty members are committed to a disposition of academic rigor and professional integrity across our undergraduate, post- baccalaureate, and graduate programs. .

The Special Education Department is focused on helping teachers respect the knowledge traditions of students from non-dominant cultural communities as these students have been historically excluded from educational curricula. Such practices provide a framework that incorporates all aspects of learning, cognitive, linguistic, social-emotional, and cultural variables. This includes recognizing students’ “funds of knowledge” and the diversity of cultural capital that exists in all homes and communities. Department faculty strive to support future teachers’ adoption of practices that celebrate the unique personality traits, talents and learning differences of individual learners. This will prepare future teachers to help their students become resilient to unwanted peer pressure and bullying, and who actively challenge these and other negative influences.

Special Education PK-12 must be a double major with Elementary PK-4.

The traditional undergraduate programs include 40 courses distributed across three components: A General Education component divided into Signature Courses, Variable Courses, and an Integrative Learning requirement; a Major and Divisional component; and Free Electives. In addition to course requirements as specified in each area, students must complete one certified course in each of the following overlay areas:

  1. Diversity, Globalization or Non-western Area Studies,
  2. Ethics Intensive, and
  3. Writing Intensive. Overlay requirements are part of the forty-course requirement.

General Education Signature Courses

See this page about Signature courses. Six courses

General Education Variable Courses

See this page about Variable courses. Six to Nine courses

General Education Overlays

See this page about Overlays.

Diversity Intensive3
Schools in Society w/ Field
Language and Culture w/ Field
Writing Intensive3
Cognition & Learning w/ Field
Ethics Intensive3
Intro to Special Education
Total Hours9

General Education Integrative Learning Component

See this page about Integrative Learning Component. Three courses:

HIS 201U.S. History to 18773
or HIS 202 U.S. History since 1865
MAT 111The Mathematics of Patterns3
or MAT 118 Introduction to Statistics
SPE 160Intro to Special Education3
Total Hours9

BS in Education with Special Education PK-12 Certification

 (Special Education PK-12 must be a double major with Elementary PK-4)

EDU 121Child Development3
EDU 150Schools in Society w/ Field3
EDU 151Cognition & Learning w/ Field3
EDU 155Found of Early Child w/ Field3
EDU 231Assessment and Evaluation3
EDU 232Literacy/Literature I w/ Field3
EDU 240Literacy/Literature II w/Field3
EDU 242Tech Enhan Curr & Inst w/Field (Students entering the program in 2023-2024 will take EDU 265 and 366. They will not take EDU 242 and 365.)3
EDU 246Language and Culture w/ Field3
EDU 362Soc Stud Thru Arts PK4 w/Field3
EDU 363Science Methods PK-4 w/ Field3
EDU 365Math & Technology PK4 w/Field (Students entering the program in 2023-2024 will take EDU 265 and 366. They will not take EDU 242 and 365.)3
SPE 160Intro to Special Education3
SPE 205Inclusive Classrooms w/ Field3
SPE 320Progress Monitoring w/ Field3
SPE 329Educ Stds w/High Incid Disabil3
SPE 339Educ Stds w/Low Incid Disabil3
SPE 349Literacy & Intervention Strat3
SPE 359Math & Content Area Interv Str3
SPE 369Ed Stds w/Emot-Social Beh Disb3
SPE 379Fam School & Comm:Diverse Soc3
SPE 495Special Ed. Student Teaching6
EDU 498Dual Major Student Teaching6
Total Hours75

Learning Goals and Outcomes

Goal 1: Students will demonstrate knowledge of PK-12 learner development and curricular content

Objective 1.1: The student will be able to identify individual differences and to respond to the needs of individuals with exceptionalities.

Objective 1.2: The student will be able to use general and specialized content knowledge for teaching across curricular content areas to individualize learning for individuals with exceptionalities.

Goal 2: Students will demonstrate the ability to create positive PK-12 learning environments

Objective 2.1: The student will demonstrate the ability to use motivational and instructional interventions to teach individuals with exceptionalities how to adapt to different environments.

Objective 2.2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of ways to collaborate with general educators and other colleagues to create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments to engage individuals with exceptionalities in meaningful learning activities and social interactions.

Goal 3: Students will demonstrate the use of assessment for diagnosis and progress monitoring

Objective 3.1: The student will be able to select and use technically sound formal and informal assessments that minimize bias.

Objective 3.2: The student will assess performance and provide feedback.

Goal 4: Students will demonstrate knowledge of research-based instructional planning and strategies

Objective 4.1: The student will be able to identify an individual’s abilities, interests, learning environments, and cultural and linguistic factors in the selection, development, and adaptation of learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities.

Objective 4.2: The student will be able to use strategies and technology to enhance language development and communication skills of individuals with exceptionalities.

Goal 5: Students will demonstrate knowledge of professional ethical practice

Objective 5.1: The student will demonstrate an understanding that diversity is a part of families, cultures, and schools, and that complex human issues can interact with the delivery of special education services.

Objective 5.2: The student will demonstrated the ability to develop a variety of education and transition plans for individual with exceptionalities across a wide range of settings and different learning experiences in collaboration with individuals, families and teams.