SPED 345: Individuals with Disabilities in Society

Course Assignment: Collaborative Group Research Project

Students have a variety of readings that pertain to frameworks and standards around social justice, dual language learners, and anti-bias/anti-racism education. These readings inform the work they do on developing, sustaining and actively protecting a CI class culture where respect is shown to everyone to facilitate and encourage the expression, testing, understanding and creation of a variety of ideas and opinions. Students work individually and collaboratively to create an atmosphere that is safe, valuing one another, and open to diverse perspectives. Students then engage in reflections about the readings, the course culture, and the combined implications for their future classrooms.

SPED 410: Typical and Atypical Development

Course Assignment: Eligibility Presentation

Throughout the semester, students investigate one disability eligibility category (IDEA) that would qualify a school-aged student for services including those related to an IEP or 504 plan. Through careful investigation, students create a presentation including a summary of the eligibility category (e.g., criteria for eligibility, assessment requirements, common medical diagnoses, common characteristics impacting education, and developmental domains that can require educational intervention and planning) and evidence-based educational practices proven to be effective in equitably addressing needs of students to optimize educational outcomes in the Least Restrictive Environment.

EDUC 538: K-12 Literacy: Multicultural and Multilingual

Course Assignment: Literacy Assessment and Instruction Case Study

This assignment provides teacher candidates an opportunity to apply course content related to literacy assessment and instruction and to enable them to refine their understanding of the concepts, skills and tools. Specific to the issues of Explicit Direct Instruction, candidates develop strategies to support student learning through Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to create meaningful and inclusive literacy practices. Candidates develop adaptations and accommodations, including, as appropriate, assistive technologies, that support student learning needs beyond the UDL supports, and finally ensures that the learning activities are multi-culturally and multilingually responsive.

SPED 541: Foundations of Special Education

Course Activity: Ella Lynda Case Study

In this activity, students review characteristics of English Learners as compared to students with learning and language disabilities to conceptualize how to create equitable instructional practices for all students. Using a case study approach, CI students focus on a k-12 students and apply course concepts in to consider whether the case-student student is an English Learner or an EL who may have a disability. There are many reasons why EL students may struggle academically, including language, culture, socio-economic background, and/or a learning disability. Students use the case study to begin considering myriad factors important in understanding wholistically EL students’ strengths and needs.

SPED 542: Managing Learning Environments

Course Assignment: Functional Behavior Assessment, Report and Support Plan

Across this course, CSUCI students in the Educational Specialist Credential program gain an understanding of how to practice and demonstrate creating equitably supports for students with disabilities that present behavioral challenges. CI students learn how to select, implement, and analyze data from multiple means of behavioral assessment. They then complete a functional behavior report based on the data they obtained and the resulting analyses they crafted. This report must include behavioral and social skills support plans that the students create to demonstrate knowledge of how to best aid and allow for a “case-study” child to be equitably and inclusively supported in the classroom.

SPED 543: Curriculum and Instruction for Special Education

Course Activity: Exploring Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in Mathematics

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in mathematics runs throughout this course as CI students develop strategies for equitably making math accessible to all special needs students through the applied practices of UDL. Students explore various media presentations-via YouTube and CAST on UDL concepts and practices- including: The Myth of Average. Students also lead discussions on UDL-related readings, including: "Fluency Without Fear", "Concrete-Representational-Abstract Approach", and "The Magic is in the Margins”. Across the course, CI students, themselves, begin to develop a growth, rather than fixed, mindsets toward math and learn strategies for improving accessibility for students.

SPED 544: Curriculum and Instruction for Special Education II

Course Activity: Equitable Interventions

Over the course of the semester, students complete a project aimed at bringing equitable teaching practices to a classroom of diverse learners. Students design a universal screener and determine a group of 2-5 students who would benefit from an academic intervention. Students design a literacy-related intervention and provide no less than 10 sessions of the intervention to the target group of students. Students craft and deliver curriculum-based assessments to the intervention group to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. Findings inform a report detailing the results from the screener, analysis of curriculum-based assessments findings, and next steps for supporting students.

SPED 545: Assessment of Students with Disabilities

Course Assessment: Signature Assignment- Assessing Students with Disabilities

Students learn to administer the Woodcock-Johnson and Woodcock-Munoz assessments to equitably meet the needs of all students with suspected disabilities. They use the assessments (former in English and latter in Spanish) to compare findings to determine if a suspected disability is accurate or inaccurate, due to language acquisition. This is preparation for preventing misdiagnosis and procuring support for students based on actual needs. There are many reasons why students who are English Learners may have academic challenges, including an undiagnosed disability. Class discussion and related assignments compare English and Spanish score reports to appropriately identify disability or needs.

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