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Courses | M.S. in Special Education

Below are some of the courses you'll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Take a look at the list below to get an idea of the types of available courses. Also, be sure to review the official program requirements in the Biola University catalog.

Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program's academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising.

Core Curriculum Requirements (17 credits)

Assists Christian teachers and administrators to fulfill their roles as change agents. Focuses upon historical, cultural and social analyses of schools and society from a biblical perspective to help educators select pedagogical methods that harmonize with educational aims. Notes: A minimum grade of "B" required for Master's degree (a grade of "B-" is not sufficient). Grade Mode: A.

Covers the design and analysis of experimental and nonexperimental research in the educational context. Basic principles include sampling, measurement, design validity, analysis, and research ethics. Definition and examples of qualitative research also included. Notes: A minimum grade of "B" required for Master's degree (a grade of "B-" is not sufficient). Grade Mode: A.

Examines and analyzes current research and theories concerning the nature of culture and its relationship to the language, cognition, learning and academic achievement of the diverse student population of California and the U.S. in general. Consideration of the critical role of the teacher in understanding, using, valuing and communicating cultural knowledge for the purpose of maximizing educational objectives. Notes: A minimum grade of "B" required for Master's degree (a grade of "B-" is not sufficient). Grade Mode: A.

Master of Science students will be assigned to a research team in the first semester of their M.S. program. The Collaborative Research class will be ongoing throughout the program, but actual enrollment in the 1 credit class will occur in the last term of the M.S. program. This class will involve collaborative research with their professor(s) and peers. Monthly research Skype sessions throughout the program will focus on the following: getting acquainted with professors and peers and supporting shared research interests; library research and literature reviews; defining the scope of each research project; clarifying the research question(s); defining terms, hypotheses, research methodologies, and procedures; assigning roles; working with permissions and university protocols; examining, summarizing, and synthesizing data from one or more research projects; writing articles to report results; planning conference presentations to share results; and planning follow-up research projects. Notes: Special approval required. Must pass this course with a grade of "B" or higher. Grade Mode: A. 

This course prepares the graduate student to write papers using the guidelines provided by the American Psychological Association (APA). Students select a topic, search the literature discussing that topic, and use these sources effectively to strengthen the content of their literature review. Notes: A minimum grade of "B" required for Master's degree (a "B-" is not sufficient). Grade Mode: A.

Students explore their role as leaders in the educational community, examining the change process within the context of curricular innovations and moral leadership. Paths for the capstone process are examined. Notes: A minimum grade of "B" required for Master's degree (a grade of "B-" is not sufficient). Grade Mode: A.

These electives (731, 732, 733) will be offered in cycle, with the breadth of the scope of each offering determined by: 1) the expertise of available faculty; 2) current issues of scholarly and practical importance; and 3) balance in regard to recent offerings. Grade Mode: A.

Capstone Requirement

Course must be passed with a grade of “B” or higher. Register for one credit per term. May take up to three terms to complete. Choose one of the following:

Students may elect to complete an instructional development project under the guidance of a faculty advisor. This option requires a literature review and a curriculum development project. Notes: Special approval required. Sign up for one credit per term. May take up to three terms to complete. A minimum grade of "B" required for Master's degree (a grade of "B-" is not sufficient). Restricted to petition to graduate. Grade Mode: V.
Students may elect to complete a published thesis under the guidance of a faculty advisor. The thesis involves a literature review and qualitative and/or quantitative research. Notes: Special approval required. Sign up for one credit per term. May take up to three terms to complete. A minimum grade of "B" required for Master's degree (a grade of "B-" is not sufficient). Restricted to petition to graduate. Grade Mode: V.

Special Education Coursework (24 credits)

The purpose of this course is to prepare Education Specialist candidates to integrate theory and practice related to selecting, administering, and interpreting diagnostic tools and techniques for assessing severe and/or multiple difficulties in reading, and applying diagnostic-prescriptive principles to design the most developmentally appropriate remedial plans for these students. Lecture/Lab Hours: A 20-hour field practicum component is required. Notes: Education Specialist Credential and Certificate candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. Valid Certificate of Clearance and negative TB test results required for fieldwork. Grade Mode: A. 

A basic introduction to the history and educational philosophy of special education. Study of mild/moderate disabilities (specific learning disabilities, cognitive impairments, and emotional and behavioral disturbances). Examination of legal issues and laws pertaining to special education, giving attention to school compliance and student and parent rights. Notes: Special Approval required. Education Specialist Credential and Certificate candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. This course is waived if LEDU 361 was taken as an undergraduate. Grade Mode: A. 

Introduction to the types and uses of assessments to identify the strengths and needs of exceptional learners and evaluate results to develop meaningful educational practice. Provides knowledge and skills necessary for selecting, administering, interpreting and reporting results of tests related to cognitive, affective, psychomotor and social development. Emphasis is given to translating assessment data into making informed educational decisions. Lecture/Lab Hours: A 10-hour field practicum component is required. Notes: Education Specialist Credential and Certificate candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. Valid Certificate of Clearance and negative TB test results required for fieldwork. This course is waived if LEDU 362 was taken as an undergraduate. Grade Mode: A. 

Provides teacher candidates with knowledge of learning disabilities including definitions, causes, and characteristics of learning disabilities in children. Provides students' teachers the knowledge and skills to make accommodations and modifications (including adaptations with technology) for individuals with mild to moderate disabilities. Particular emphasis is given to working on Student Study Teams to design instruction to meet the individual needs of underperforming students, to making referrals with appropriate documentation, and to writing Individual Education Plans for students with identified learning disabilities. Lecture/Lab Hours: A 10-hour field practicum component is required. Notes: Education Specialist Credential and Certificate candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. Valid Certificate of Clearance and negative TB test results required for fieldwork. This course is waived if LEDU 363 was taken as an undergraduate. Grade Mode: A. 

Focus on principles and procedures for modifying behavior in the classroom with emphasis given to the identification of factors that contribute to behavioral problems, systematic data collection, objective reporting, and implementation of various methods of reinforcement. Lecture/Lab Hours: A 10-hour field practicum component is required. Notes: Education Specialist Credential and Certificate candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. Valid Certificate of Clearance and negative TB test results required for fieldwork. This course is waived if LEDU 364 was taken as an undergraduate. Grade Mode: A.

This course offers an overview of student characteristics, theory and teaching applications for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Major theories, teaching approaches, trends, etiological and diagnostic issues, classroom structure and environmental arrangements, research-based instructional strategies, and family involvement will be discussed. Lecture/Lab Hours: A 10-hour field practicum component is required. Notes:Education Specialist Credential and Certificate candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. Valid Certificate of Clearance and negative TB test results required for fieldwork. This course is waived if LEDU 369 was taken as an undergraduate. Grade Mode: A.

The purpose of this course is to prepare Education Specialist candidates to successfully consult, collaborate, and communicate with other professionals, families and school systems to effectively educate and support students with high incidence disabilities. Seminar sessions are designed to present a forum in which professionals evaluate on-going program management and service delivery programs, new research findings, and emerging legal and ethical issues as they relate to working with individuals with high incidence disabilities. Lecture/Lab Hours: A 10-hour field practicum component is required. Notes: Education Specialist Credential and Certificate candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. Valid Certificate of Clearance and negative TB test results required for fieldwork. Grade Mode: A.

This special education methods course is designed to present research-based best practices for the instruction of diverse students with mild/moderate disabilities. Emphasis will be placed on instructional planning that permits differentiating for the student's IEP goals and objectives within the appropriate age and grade level related to the general curriculum. Lecture/Lab Hours: A 40-hour field practicum component is required, 10 hours for teachers under contract. Notes: Special approval required. Education Specialist Credential (Mild/Moderate) and Certificate candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. Valid Certificate of Clearance and negative TB test results required for fieldwork. Grade Mode: A.


Credential Option (12 credits)

View Credential Information

Program total: 53-59 total credits (core + special education coursework + credential option + prerequisite requirement).

Students who complete the M.S. in Special Education and all fieldwork requirements in the state of California may also earn the California Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction (Mild/Moderate) Credential by meeting the Preliminary Special Education (Mild/Moderate) Credential program requirements and completing an additional 12 credits of student teaching or intern support seminars. See the Special Education (Mild/Moderate) Credential page for the prerequisite course requirement for students who do not already hold a California Multiple or Single Subject Teaching Credential.

The purpose of this course is to prepare Education Specialist candidates to teach students with mild/moderate disabilities in a variety of educational settings. Upon successful completion of this course, candidates will be prepared to teach students in K–12th grade with mild/moderate disabilities. Notes: Special approval required. Credential candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. Restricted to formal application and approval. Must register for SEED 585 if completing student teaching in one semester. Grade Mode: A.
The purpose of this course is to prepare Education Specialist candidates to teach students with mild/moderate disabilities in a variety of educational settings. Upon successful completion of this course, candidates will be prepared to teach students in K–12th grade with mild/moderate disabilities. Notes: Special approval required. Credential candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. CalTPA #4. Restricted to formal application and approval. Must register for SEED 584 if completing student teaching in one semester. Grade Mode: A.

Taken each semester of enrollment in the Education Specialist Intern Credential option, this seminar is developed to provide ongoing support and guidance to on-the-job intern teachers serving mild to moderate populations. The Seminar focuses on developing a community of learners in special education classrooms that includes: IEP construction, fundamental organization, classroom management, instructional skills, use of assessment batteries, lesson/unit planning, and professional development. A major emphasis in this practicum will be sharing experiences and expertise so interns can learn from each other. Notes: Special approval required. Education Specialist Credential candidates must pass this course with a grade of B-" or higher. Valid Intern Credential and letter of employment from a participating district required. Grade Mode: A.

Taken each semester of enrollment in the Education Specialist Intern Credential option, this seminar is developed to provide ongoing support and guidance to on-the-job intern teachers serving mild to moderate populations. The Seminar focuses on developing a community of learners in special education classrooms that includes: IEP construction, fundamental organization, classroom management, instructional skills, use of assessment batteries, lesson/unit planning, and professional development. A major emphasis in this practicum will be sharing experiences and expertise so interns can learn from each other. Notes: Special approval required. Education Specialist Credential candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. Valid Intern Credential and letter of employment from a participating district required. Grade Mode: A.

Taken each semester of enrollment in the Education Specialist Intern Credential option, this seminar is developed to provide ongoing support and guidance to on-the-job intern teachers serving mild to moderate populations. The Seminar focuses on developing a community of learners in special education classrooms that includes: IEP construction, fundamental organization, classroom management, instructional skills, use of assessment batteries, lesson/unit planning, and professional development. A major emphasis in this practicum will be sharing experiences and expertise so interns can learn from each other. Notes: Special approval required. Education Specialist Credential candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. Valid Intern Credential and letter of employment from a participating district required. Grade Mode: A.

Taken each semester of enrollment in the Education Specialist Intern Credential option, this seminar is developed to provide ongoing support and guidance to on-the-job intern teachers serving mild to moderate populations. The Seminar focuses on developing a community of learners in special education classrooms that includes: IEP construction, fundamental organization, classroom management, instructional skills, use of assessment batteries, lesson/unit planning, and professional development. A major emphasis in this practicum will be sharing experiences and expertise so interns can learn from each other. Notes: Special approval required. Education Specialist Credential candidates must pass this course with a grade of "B-" or higher. Valid Intern Credential and letter of employment from a participating district required. Grade Mode: A.

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