CELC Home / Academics / Developmental Disabilities
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Special Education Licensure:
Developmental Disabilities (K-12)


Educators specializing in Developmental Disabilities (DD) provide personalized instruction using skills in assessing intellectual ability, adaptive behavior, academic achievement and functional skills while collaboratively designing effective instruction that promotes interdependence, productivity and inclusion in the community.

As you complete your program in Special Education and Gifted Education at the University of St. Thomas you will:

  • Gain the knowledge and skills to have a positive impact on students in the K-12 classroom
  • Become part of a supportive network of fellow students, alumni and faculty that will inspire and sustain you throughout your career
  • Learn from expert faculty currently active in the K-12 classroom who are here to help you shape your path


What you can earn

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  • License
  • Master of Arts (M.A.)

 

Where you'll learn

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  • On-campus (St. Thomas)
  • Off-site (locations below)

 

 

 

When you can start

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  • Fall semester begins: September 3, 2014



 



Questions about this program

Image for the contact

Ea Porter

Enrollment Advisor

651-962-4657

celc@stthomas.edu


Program Details

For the License

Provides an overview of special education and the specific categories of exceptionality. Examines the history, theories, legal mandates, definitions and terminology related to special education. Identifies roles and responsibilities of general and special education professionals. Characteristics of individuals with exceptionalities are explored. These include but are not limited to: gifted and talented, learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, developmental disabilities, sensory disabilities, early childhood special education, autism spectrum disorders and speech and language disorders or differences.

Explores the idea of positive behavior support for promoting acceptable behavior in school and other settings where individuals learn. This course, grounded in research based interventions, is designed to assist all who work with students in special and regular education in developing skills to teach and support acceptable behavior that is demonstrated in home, school and community settings.

Develops an ethic of collaboration and the knowledge and skills needed to effectively collaborate with faculty, administrators, students, para-educators, families and community members. Students explore the fundamentals of collaboration; applications of collaboration related to consultation, team membership, co-teaching, partnership with families, developing interagency agreements and supervision of paraprofessionals; and pragmatic aspects of collaboration. Consideration of current practices in collaboration used in program planning and implementation for students receiving special education services is a focus.

Provides an overview to the disabilities of autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities including developmental cognitive disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, specific learning disabilities and other health disorders. Definitions, eligibility criteria, characteristics, etiology and family and community supports and resources. Students will use this fundamental information and apply to IEP development, use of assistive technology and contemporary issues in the field.
 
*1-3 credits dependent upon whether this is a first time license or an additional special educatin license and advisor recommendation

Examine principles of formal and informal educational assessment and learn to use data to inform decisions for service eligibility, Least Restrictive Environment, and best practices for culturally diverse learners. Synthesis of assessment data to develop evaluation summaries and IEP's based on data and best practices for students with mild to moderate disabilities are also addressed. 

Focuses on academic instructional interventions with elementary age students identified as having mild to moderate disabilities. Specific instructional emphasis includes understanding the development of and teaching of mathematics, reading, language arts and literacy, and writing. The course also emphasizes developing systematic instructional programs utilizing research-based interventions that incorporate progress monitoring, academic learning standards, and differentiated instruction to support diverse student needs. 

Addresses the knowledge and understanding of the academic, social, and functional needs of students at the secondary level who have been indentified as having mild to moderate disabilities. Current evidence-based practices for modifying and adapting content-area curricula will be presented with an emphasis on writing, math, and reading at the secondary level. The course also focuses on transition planning, assessment and the development of IEP's for secondary-level students. 

The purpose of this course is to provide students with information on selection and implementation of appropriate reading instruction approaches for students with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. Students will learn to differentiate basic components of reading instruction to meet individual student learning needs. Varied assessment tools and progress monitoring methods will be examined.

Covers philosophies, perspectives, methods and materials for supporting the learning of students with developmental disabilities who have extensive or pervasive needs for support. This includes: learning characteristics, curricular approaches and models, systematic instructional strategies, adaptations, friendships and other natural support networks, self-determination, use of technology, planning for transition and potential services for adults. Important outcomes for individuals with special needs are addressed across the domains of membership, personal relationships, and skills. Prerequisites: SPED 709, SPED 753.

Discusses normal gross motor, fine motor, oral motor and sensory development, followed by examination of the implications of the development of abnormal movement and sensory dysfunction. Current positioning and handling theories and techniques and feeding interventions are addressed. An overview of sensory defensiveness and optimal arousal states focuses on issues critical to successful learner performance. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) content includes an examination of the principles and procedures involved in assessment as well as practical guidance on designing and implementing intervention strategies that meet AAC needs and improve the lives of individuals who have severe communication disorders.

A practicum in an educational and/or community-based setting designed to provide students an opportunity to work with a range of students with developmental disabilities. Includes documentation of competencies and practical experiences gleaned from the student’s licensure program.
 
*1-3 credits dependent upon whether this is a first time license or an additional special educatin license and advisor recommendation

Required coursework for working toward a first teaching license in Minnesota. These courses meet the Standards of Effective Practice and can be completed during your time at St. Thomas.

TEGR 510  Educations' Place in Society and Field Experience I 3 Credits
TEGR 512  Human Relations and Multicultural Education               3 Credits
TEGR 530  Psychology of Teaching and Learning                          3 Credits
TEGR 532 Field Experience II: Learning and Teaching                   1 Credit
TEGR 550 Language Development and Literacy I                         3 Credits
     

TOTAL 28-32 (42-46) Credits

For the License + Master of Arts (M.A.)

Provides an overview of special education and specific categories of exceptionality. Examines the theories, legal mandates, definitions and terminology related to special education. Characteristics of individuals with exceptionalities are explored. Emphasis is placed on understanding learning characteristics, abilities, and underlying needs within a particular disability, common characteristics across various disabilities, and effective interventions in both general education and special education that respond to diverse learners.

This course explores the idea of positive behavior support for promoting acceptable behavior in school and other settings where individuals learn. This course, grounded in research based interventions, is designed to assess all who work with students in special and regular education in developing skills to teach and support acceptable behavior that is demonstrated in home, school and community settings.

Developing an ethic of collaboration and the knowledge and skills needed to effectively collaborate with faculty, administrators, students, para-educators, families and community members. Students explore the fundamentals of collaboration; applications of collaboration related to consultation, team membership, co-teaching, partnership with families, developing interagency agreements and supervision of paraprofessionals; and pragmatic aspects of collaboration. Consideration of current practices in collaboration used in program planning and implementation for students receiving special education services is a focus.

Provides an overview to the disabilities of autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities including developmental cognitive disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, specific learning disabilities and other health disorders. Definitions, eligibility criteria, characteristics, etiology and family and community supports and resources. Students will use this fundamental information and apply to IEP development, use of assistive technology and contemporary issues in the field.
 

*1-3 credits dependent upon whether this is a first time license or additional special education license and advisor recommendation

Examine principles of formal and informal educational assessment and learn to use data to inform decisions for service eligibility, Least Restrictive Environment, and best practices for culturally diverse learners. Synthesis of assessment data to develop evaluation summaries and IEP's based on data and best practices for students with mild to moderate disabilities are also addressed. 

Focuses on academic instructional interventions with elementary age students identified as having mild to moderate disabilities. Specific instructional emphasis includes understanding the development of and teaching of mathematics, reading, language arts and literacy, and writing. The course also emphasizes developing systematic instructional programs utilizing research-based interventions that incorporate progress monitoring, academic learning standards, and differentiated instruction to support diverse student needs. 

Addresses the knowledge and understanding of the academic, social, and functional needs of students at the secondary level who have been indentified as having mild to moderate disabilities. Current evidence-based practices for modifying and adapting content-area curricula will be presented with an emphasis on writing, math, and reading at the secondary level. The course also focuses on transition planning, assessment and the development of IEP's for secondary-level students. 

The purpose of this course is to provide students with information on selection and implementation of appropriate reading instruction approaches for students with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. Students will learn to differentiate basic components of reading instruction to meet individual student learning needs. Varied assessment tools and progress monitoring methods will be examined.

Covers philosophies, perspectives, methods and materials for supporting the learning of students with developmental disabilities who have extensive or pervasive needs for support. This includes: learning characteristics, curricular approaches and models, systematic instructional strategies, adaptations, friendships and other natural support networks, self-determination, use of technology, planning for transition and potential services for adults. Important outcomes for individuals with special needs are addressed across the domains of membership, personal relationships, and skills. Prerequisites: SPED 709, SPED 753.

Discusses normal gross motor, fine motor, oral motor and sensory development, followed by examination of the implications of the development of abnormal movement and sensory dysfunction. Current positioning and handling theories and techniques and feeding interventions are addressed. An overview of sensory defensiveness and optimal arousal states focuses on issues critical to successful learner performance. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) content includes an examination of the principles and procedures involved in assessment as well as practical guidance on designing and implementing intervention strategies that meet AAC needs and improve the lives of individuals who have severe communication disorders.

A practicum in an educational and/or community-based setting designed to provide students an opportunity to work with a range of students with developmental disabilities. Includes documentation of competencies and practical experiences gleaned from the student’s licensure program.
 
*1-3 credits dependent upon whether this is a first time license or an additional special educatin license and advisor recommendation

Methods of descriptive and experimental research, basic statistical theory and application, orientation to library resources, development of significant research methodology.

Gives candidates for the master of arts degree the opportunity to integrate what has been learned in their program  and demonstrate competency  in independent research through a literature-review on the topic of their choice. The final project culminates in a formal review of the paper and an oral examination.

Required coursework for working toward a first teaching license in Minnesota. These courses meet the Standards of Effective Practice and can be completed during your time at St. Thomas.

TEGR 510 Educations' Place in Society and Field Experience I 3 Credits
TEGR 512 Human Relations and Multicultural Education  3 Credits
TEGR 530 Psychology of Teaching and Learning 3 Credits
TEGR 523 Field Experience II: Learning and Teaching 1 Credit
TEGR 550 Language Development and Literacy I 3 Credits
     

TOTAL 33-37 (47-51) Credits

Minneapolis, MN (on-campus)

Degree: Certificate, License, and Master of Arts degree options
Time: Evening Courses
Start Date: Varies by term
Location: Opus Hall | Downtown UST Campus (map)

Students who are interested in taking all of their courses at our on-campus location in Downtown Minneapolis are welcome to start in the Fall, Spring or Summer terms.

Burnsville, MN: Fall 2014

Degree: License or Master of Arts degree (ABS, ASD, DD, EBD, ECSE & LD)
Time: Thursdays, 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.; two Saturdays per course: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Start Date: October 23, 2014
Location: Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W Burnsville Pkwy #100 (map)

Starting Fall 2014! Application Deadline: September 25, 2014

Plymouth, MN: Fall 2014

Degree: License or Master of Arts degree (ABS, ASD, DD, EBD, ECSE & LD)
Time: Thursdays, 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.; two Saturdays per course: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Start Date: October 23, 2014
Location: Intermediate District 287 Community Center, 1820 Xenium Lane North (map)

Starting Fall 2014! Application Deadline: September 25, 2014

St. Paul, MN: Spring 2014

Degree: License or Masters (ABS, ASD, DD, EBD, ECSE & LD)
Time: Thursdays 4:45-8:45pm; two Saturdays per course: 8am-4pm
Start Date: March 6, 2014
Location: University of St. Thomas St. Paul Campus (map)

Starting Spring 2014! Application Deadline: February 14, 2014

Woodbury, MN: Spring 2014

Degree: License or Master of Arts degree (ABS, ASD, DD, EBD, ECSE & LD)
Time: Thursdays 4:45-8:45pm; two Saturdays per course: 8am-4pm
Start Date: March 6, 2014
Location: East Ridge High School (map)

Starting Spring 2014! Application Deadline: February 14, 2014

Vandercook, Terri 80x72

Terri Vandercook, Ph.D.

Associate Professor | Department Chair Special Education and Gifted Education (651) 962-4389
MOH 441 | Opus Hall

Busch, Todd 80x72

Todd Busch, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Special Education and Gifted Education (651) 962-4461
MOH 416 | Opus Hall

Neilsen Gatti, Shelley 80x72

Shelley Neilsen Gatti, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor Special Education and Gifted Education (651) 962-4396
MOH 437 | Opus Hall

Stansberry Brushnahan, L. Lynn 80x72

L. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Special Education and Gifted Education (651) 962-4397
MOH 439 | Opus Hall

 
 

Ongoing Professional Development

The Department of Special Education and Gifted Education offers a wide variety of professional development opportunities throughout the year. Whether networking with leaders in the field at the annual Education for Everyone Event series or simply catching up on the latest tools and techniques in gifted and talented education at the biennial Gifted Education Conference, the College of Education, Leadership & Counseling provides lifelong learning opportunities. Most events include a CEU component. In addition to annual events, the department offers specialized summer institutes in the area of Supervising Paraprofessionals, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Twice Exceptional Education.

 

Mentored Clinical Practice

The dedicated faculty in the Special Education and Gifted Education programs will work with you to ensure that your clinical practice experience (student teaching) will meet your needs and facilitate your growth, both personally and professionally. Throughout your time student teaching, regularly scheduled seminars with faculty and peers offer the opportunity to form a strong professional network as you prepare to enter the field and have a positive impact on K-12 students.

 

Community Partnerships

The College of Education, Leadership & Counseling takes pride in engaging in innovative partnerships with a variety of organizations. Students in the College of Education, Leadership & Counseling will find many opportunities for professional growth as a result of working with these organizations. Partnership examples include the Northwest Suburban Integration District, Center for Academics and Sports, FAIR School and the Collaborative Urban Educators program. 

 

The Value of a St. Thomas Degree

We offer our students much more than just a degree. We offer the chance to be a part of a personal and professional network like no other, which means your graduate education will enrich your life and career long into the future.

Calculating the cost of your degree can be challenging, as every institution approaches it a bit differently. At St. Thomas, we list our tuition cost as cost per credit:

  • Each course can be 1-3 semester credits, but the standard course is 3 credits.  
  • A typical part-time student in our graduate programs takes 3-6 credits per term.
  • To view the total number of credits per program you can view the courses tab above.

It may be possible for you to receive some type of financial assistance. To learn more, please visit our Graduate Financial Aid page.




Cost

Education (M.A., Ed.S., Certificate, Licensure)

On-campus Tuition (per credit) $793.50
Off-site Program Tuition (per credit) $415
Books and materials
(estimate per course)
$150-250
One-time application fee $50

1 | Meet the Requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • A cumulative minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.0 (4.0 scale) or the successful completion of a graduate level program from another institution

If you do not meet the above requirement(s), you may be eligible for special admission, which requires:

  • A cumulative minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 2.75 (4.0 scale)
  • The completion of a standardized test, such as the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), GRE, GMAT or LSAT
  • A possible interview with an admissions person/committee

2 | Submit the following application materials:

  • Application form and one-time $50 application fee
  • Two positive letters of reference from non-related individuals
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work (unless that work was completed at the University of St. Thomas)
  • Personal statement

3 |  Submit the supplementary materials:

  • Initial Licensure:  MTLE Basic Skills required by the end of an initial teacher licensure candidate's first semester of coursework.
  • International Applicants:  (1) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required for any candidate whose primary language is not English. (2) Transcript Review: All international transcripts must be reviewed by an accredited evaluation service to determine U.S. equivalency of the degree awarded and the institution awarding the degree. Applications will not be reviewed for admissions until the official review is submitted.

Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

  • For Fall Term: June 1
  • For Spring Term: Rolling
  • For Summer Term: May 1

 

Looking for More?

Apply online

© University of St. Thomas · Minnesota
1000 LaSalle Avenue · Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403 · USA
1-651-962-4550 · education@stthomas.edu