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Special Education Program
Degree Type: Endorsement - Instructional Strategist I
Program(s) Offered: For Elementary & Secondary Education Majors
Do you enjoy working one-on-one with kids? Do you like the idea of helping children or youth with special needs? If so, then getting a special education endorsement might be right for you!
Briar Cliff offers a “Special Education Instructional Strategist I” endorsement for elementary education and secondary education majors. The program will prepare you to teach students with special needs or disabilities, and serve as an instructional strategist in both public and private school settings.
Why study special education at Briar Cliff?
Briar Cliff is known for producing caring, distinguished teachers, and is fully accredited by the Iowa State Board of Education and Iowa Department of Education. Any student who successfully completes the program and meets the state testing requirements is eligible to apply for teacher licensure in the state.
From the moment you start as a teacher candidate at Briar Cliff, you’ll be active in actual classrooms: observing teachers, working with small groups and joining practicums at neighboring schools. Before your senior year begins, you’ll already have 120-235 hours of real classroom experience — a unique approach that prepares you for your final semester of student teaching.
Depending on the age range you plan to teach (elementary, middle school or high school), we’ll tailor your special education courses to match your career goals.
The special education program culminates in a 15-week, on-site student teaching experience in regular education and special education. Working under the guidance of veteran teachers in the Sioux City community, along with our experienced Department of Education faculty, you’ll assist with developing individualized education programs (IEP’s) for students with specialized needs.
You have the option to complete a certificate program that qualifies you to teach in any Catholic school in the state of Iowa. This certificate program is a partnership between the four Iowa Catholic Dioceses and BCU’s education and theology departments. Although not a full teaching endorsement, this certificate better prepares you to teach religion courses and gives you preferential hiring status in Diocesan schools.
Special Education Program Courses
EDUC 270 - Exceptional Learners
The intent of the course is to examine education of persons with learning disabilities, mental retardation, emotional and behavioral disorders, physical disabilities, sensory impairments, other health impairments, and gifted and talented children. The special traits of each group will be studied as well as the relationships of their traits and abilities to their education, social and psychological needs. Stress will be placed on practical applications of theory (e.g. remediation techniques, etc.) as well as the theories regarding etiological factors. Read more »
SPED 290 - Introduction to Special Education & the K-12 Mild and Moderate Instructional Special Education Programs
This K-12 Introductory course examines current trends and issues in special education, theoretical and practical approaches to special education, and educational alternatives for mildly handicapped students, federal and state statutes and related services, and the multidisciplinary team in educational planning. Read more »
SPED 312 - K-8 Curricular and Instructional Methodologies in the Education of the Mildly and Moderately Disabled
This K-8 methods and strategies course examines curricular and instructional methodologies utilized in the education of mildly and moderately disabled students. SPED 01 20-hour field experience taken concurrently. Read more »
SPED 315 - 5-12 Curricular and Instructional Methodologies in the Education of the Mildly and Moderately Disabled
This 5-12 methods and strategies course examines curricular and instructional methodologies utilized in the education of mildly and moderately disabled students. SPED 01 20-hour field experience taken concurrently. Read more »
SPED 01IS - Practicum in Special Education 20-Hour Field Experience
This 20-hour field experience is designed to provide students with basic experiences in the multi-categorical special education resource room in the grade levels of their major, experience that includes both observation and participation in teaching activities, to develop in the potential teacher an understanding of the nature of the teaching process and the role of the special education resource room teacher. Read more »
SPED 325 - Behavior Management and Classroom Management
This course will provide an overview of assessment and treatment of challenging behavior. This course will provide an overview of the principals of learning and how they apply to the development and maintenance of challenging behavior in children and adolescents. This course will provide an overview of developing and implementing function based treatments to enhance children and adolescents' participation in family, school, and community activities. Read more »
SPED 02IS - Practicum in Special Education 20-hour Field Experience
This 20-hour field experience is designed to provide students with basic experiences in the multi-categorical special education resource room in the grade levels of their major, experience that includes both observation and participation in teaching activities, to develop in the potential teacher an understanding of the nature of the teaching process and the role of the special education resource room teacher as it applies to assessment and treatment of problem behavior. Read more »
SPED 340 - Strategies for K-12 Students with Identified Disabilities
This course examines the most recent research-based strategies and changes in the ways students with special needs receive educational services and opportunities in K-12 settings. Students will learn how to effectively collaborate, plan, and manage in an inclusive classroom. Read more »
SPED 350 - Behavior Interventions
The purpose of this course is to prepare students to identify, implement, and maintain effective behavioral interventions in educational and other applied settings. Read more »
SPED 395 - Working With Parents and Staff of Exceptional Children
This course examines methods and strategies for working with parents, classroom teachers, and other involved in the educational program of mildly handicapped students. Effective communication is covered. Students will also be provided with theory, general principles, and procedures for fostering collaborative partnerships among families, professionals, students, and other stakeholders that lead to outcomes of individual and mutual empowerment. Read more »
SPED 04IS - Ethics and Law in Special Education
This course will analyze legislation, litigation, and administrative rulings related to special education. The course will emphasize the development of legally sound and ethical policies and procedures to ensure that schools provide an educationally meaningful and legally correct education for students with disabilities. Read more »
SPED 05IS - Writing and Interpreting IEPs
This course will prepare teacher candidates to write and interpret Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Read more »
SPED 420 - Special Education Students: Career-Vocational Planning
This course examines career-vocational planning for students with mild handicaps. Topics include independent living skills, transition, careers, and vocational assessment. Read more »
SPED 416 - Student Teaching in a K-8 Multicategorical Resource Room
A 7.5 week minimum student teaching experience in the K-8 Mild and Moderate Resource Room. Read more »
SPED 418 - Student Teaching in a 5-12 Multicategorical Resource Room
A 7.5 week minimum student teaching experience in the 5-12 Mild and Moderate Resource Room. Read more »
Additional Program Requirements
All special education students seeking licensure must first be admitted into the Teacher Preparation Program, and enlisted as either an elementary or secondary education major.
The Federal Department of Education states that all K-12 education majors must take the Praxis II Testing for Licensure in pedagogy and the content area prior to applying for their teaching license.
For additional requirements and curriculum information, download the latest University academic catalog.
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I knew I wanted to attend BCU as soon as I visited the campus. The scholarship I received made my dream possible.
Art & Elementary Education ('17)