Special Education, B.S.
Winston-Salem State University's Special Education Program is committed to the preparation of competent teachers to meet the educational needs of children and youth identified as mildly/moderate and culturally and linguistically diverse children with exceptionalities. Moreover, pre-service teachers are provided a theoretical and experiential approach to the knowledge and skill standards that have been validated by the special education field which includes: philosophical, historical and legal foundations of special education; characteristics of learners; individual learning differences; instructional strategies, learning environments and social interactions, language, instructional planning; assessment; professional and ethical practice, and collaboration.
The mission of the Special Education: General Education program is to produce graduates who have a profound knowledge of teaching students with disabilities. Candidates enrolled in the program will be prepared to provide research-validated instruction and behavior supports to assist students who are enrolled in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study Curriculum. The goals of the Special Education program are to offer a program designed to help candidates (1) provide intensive and explicit individual and small group instruction for students who are performing below grade level; (2) plan and maintain positive behavior supports for students with disabilities; (3)collaborate with general education teachers to help maintain students with disabilities at grade level in the standard curriculum;(4) provide leadership in implementing special education procedures and policies; and special education consultation with general education teachers, parents and other professionals.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the special education program, the candidate will:
- Demonstrate knowledge and skills of philosophical, historical, and legal foundations of Special Education.
- Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the development and characteristics of exceptional learners across the lifespan including etiologies, medical, psychological, and social/emotional aspects of individuals with disabilities.
- Recognize individual learning differences of exceptional learners including those from culturally diverse backgrounds and strategies for addressing those differences.
- Select, adapt, and use instructional strategies and materials to meet the educational needs of exceptional learners.
- Demonstrate basic knowledge of effective student learning environments and social interactions of individuals with exceptional learning needs.
- Use strategies to support and enhance communication with diverse learners who have exceptional learning needs.
- Demonstrate skill in instructional planning and accommodations for individuals with exceptional learning needs based on national and state curricula standards.
- Select, administer, interpret, and evaluate assessment instruments appropriately for individuals with exceptional learning needs.
- Demonstrate professional and ethical practices and sensitivity for diverse individuals by participating in the activities of professional organizations, accessing publications and journals relevant to the field of special education, and reflecting on one's practice to improve instruction and guide professional growth.
- Demonstrate culturally responsive strategies for collaboration with families; school personnel, and community members about the issues affecting individuals with diverse learning needs.
The degree program requires a minimum of 122 credit hours of course work and field/clinical experiences. Candidates are required to meet specific program benchmarks, including completion of general education courses, formal admission into teacher education, minimum semester and cumulative grade point average, completion of early field experiences in schools or other approved settings, and completion of clinical practice/student teaching.
Students wishing to pursue a degree in Special Education must be formally admitted into the teacher education program at WSSU (preferably) by the end of their sophomore year and/or after completing general education requirements. Specific admission requirements include:
- Completion of all General Education requirements;
- Completion of English, speech, mathematics and laboratory courses with a grade of "C" or better in each of the courses;
- Completion of EDU 2334 (Education, Culture and Society) with a grade of "C" or better as part of the new General Education requirements;
- A cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or better. Transfer students must have a 2.5 GPA; Passing of PRAXIS I or evidence of exemption from the exam in line with North Carolina Department of Public Instructions requirements/guidelines;
- Successful completion of an essay/written exam or proof of exemption based on PRAXIS I essay writing; and
- Candidate signature acknowledging expected professional dispositions
Candidates must maintain a 2.50 overall GPA and earn a grade of "C" or better in all major courses, including professional and academic concentration courses. All pedagogical core courses numbered above 4000 require admission to the teacher education program and may not be taken until all admission requirements have been met. Some courses have prerequisites that candidates must fulfill before registering for those courses.