Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certificate

Program Overview

The graduate education certification program for teacher of students with disabilities includes the 21 credits required by the State of New Jersey for endorsement as a Teacher of Students with Disabilities. This certification program is for candidates that possess a current New Jersey instructional elementary, secondary, or P-3 certification. Courses must be completed in order based on prerequisites. Completion of a sequence of field-based experiences is required.

Curriculum Overview

Courses include psychology of exceptionality, positive behavior support, inclusive educational practices, transition to adult life, assessment, and instructional practices for children with disabilities.

The M.A. in Special Education program comprises a sequence of coursework that includes courses required for a New Jersey Teacher of Students with Disabilities Endorsement.  Candidates who are successful in the Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certification Program may apply their credits toward the M.A. in Special Education.

Endorsement/Certification Offered

  • Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certification

Contact

Diane Casale-Giannola, Ed.D.
Professor
Memorial Hall 102E
609-896-5078
dgiannola@rider.edu

Program Website:  Students with Disabilities Certification
Associated Department:  Department of Graduate Education, Leadership, and Counseling

Related Programs:

The courses in this program are also part of the Master of Arts in Special Education.

Special Education (M.A.)

Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certificate Requirements

The graduate education certification program for teacher of students with disabilities will require a minimum of 21 credits required by the State of New Jersey for endorsement as a teacher of students with disabilities. Candidates must possess an existing instructional certificate or certificate of eligibility in elementary education, secondary education, or P-3 education.  Completion of a sequence of field-based activities is required.

SPED 504Assistive and Augmentative Technology3
SPED 512Psychology of Exceptionality3
SPED 514Positive Behavior Support3
SPED 524Collaboration and Inclusive Practice for students wtih Mild and Severe Disabilities3
SPED 531Assessment for Instruction in Special Education3
SPED 536Instruction and Transition for Autism and Severe Disabilities3
Capstone Course
SPED 539Instructional Practices for Students with Mild Disabilities3
Total Credits21

Courses and Descriptions

SPED 504 Assistive and Augmentative Technology for Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Disabilities 3 Credits

This course will emphasize the use of assistive technology, augmentative communication modalities, visual supports, and related instructional strategies that maximize the learning of all individuals including those with exceptional learning needs. Students will learn how to effectively customize materials and adapt learning environments using computer technology. Students will become familiar with the use of high-tech, low-tech solutions that support the individualized needs of learners with a wide range of disabilities.

SPED 512 Psychology of Exceptionality 3 Credits

This course provides opportunities for the study of school psychological issues associated with supporting students with exceptionalities. Philosophical, historical, and legal foundations of special education, and the characteristics of students with disabilities will be examined. Special education policy, legal foundations, and evaluation procedures are discussed. Current issues related to inclusive practice and intervention strategies are examined from a psychological and sociocultural perspective. An experience in the field will enable candidates to apply knowledge in a realistic classroom setting. This course, or its equivalent, will be the prerequisite for all other SPED courses.

SPED 514 Positive Behavior Support 3 Credits

This course is designed to provide extensive knowledge and practice in meeting the behavioral challenges of individuals. Candidates will receive instruction in a problem-solving approach to identify the possible function(s) of problem behavior and the design of proactive, positive behavior intervention plans that emphasize the teaching of appropriate alternative skills. An emphasis is placed upon behavior change strategies, which intervene on antecedent events, teach appropriate alternative skills, and provide supports in the natural environment. Multicomponent interventions also are designed to include the interest and preferences of the target student. Legal and ethical considerations are considered. An experience in the field will enable candidates to apply knowledge in a realistic classroom setting.

SPED 523 Inclusive Educational Practices 3 Credits

This course will emphasize planning and instructional strategies that maximize the learning of all students including those with exceptional learning needs in the general education classroom. Students will consider their role as curriculum makers and how to effectively plan a course, a unit, and a lesson for a wide array of diverse learners. The organization of the learning environment also will be discussed so as to guide learning. Teaching methods that enhance content for all learners and the design of learning strategies to help students learn how to learn will be introduced. An experience in the field will enable students to apply knowledge in a realistic classroom setting.

Prerequisite(s): SPED 512 and SPED 514.

SPED 525 Transition to Adult Life 3 Credits

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of theoretical and applied models of transition in special education. Information on the application and interpretation of specialized assessment tools will be presented. Transition planning, including understanding, formulating and implementing the ITP, will be taught. Knowledge of and collaborative interactions with the wide variety of school and community personnel and agencies with a role in transition will be emphasized. Strategies for developing student self-advocacy and independence in the transition process will be presented. Legal information and ethical issues will be noted. An experience in the field will enable students to apply knowledge in a realistic classroom setting.

Prerequisite(s): SPED 512 and SPED 514.

SPED 531 Assessment for Instruction in Special Education 3 Credits

In this course, standardized and functional assessments are emphasized. Students are introduced to basic educational assessment procedures, norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, and individually-referenced assessment in this course. An emphasis is placed on gathering information to answer specific referral questions, and the use of assessment tools, which meet legal and ethical guidelines. A model of academic assessment most consistent with classroom practices is emphasized. Students are expected to measure an individual’s performance (e.g., current level of functioning) and provide recommendations for instruction and learning goals and objectives. A field experience will enable students to apply knowledge to practice.

Prerequisite(s): SPED 512.

SPED 535 Instructional Practices for Students with Severe Disabilities 3 Credits

The course will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to provide systematic, individualized instruction to students with moderate to severe disabilities. Knowledge and training in the use of task analysis, prompting hierarchies, discrete trials, systematic instructional plans and routines will be offered across all domains of a life skills curriculum. Based upon a student’s assessment data, students will be able to develop an appropriate individual educational plan with specific goals and objectives. In addition, strategies to modify and/or adapt goals to provide instruction in an inclusive setting will be explored. An experience in the field will enable students to apply knowledge in a realistic classroom setting.

Prerequisite(s): SPED 531.

SPED 536 Instruction and Transition for Autism and Severe Disabilities 3 Credits

The course will provide students with the knowledge and skills to support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and those with moderate to severe disabilities. Strategies to address instruction, transition, behavior, and communication and will be emphasized across domains of life skills, inclusion, and transition. Transition planning, including understanding, formulating, and implementing the Individual Transition Plan will be taught. Collaborative interactions with school and community personnel and agencies will be addressed. An experience in the field will enable candidates to apply knowledge in a realistic classroom setting.

Prerequisite(s): SPED 512.

SPED 539 Instructional Practices for Students with Disabilities 3 Credits

This course will give students the opportunity to evaluate, select, develop, and adapt instructional and assessment materials for individuals with mild to severe disabilities. Using various case studies, students will have the opportunity to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and synthesize assessment information to make appropriate instructional decisions. Curriculum planning, learning environments, modifications, and materials for diverse learner needs will be examined. Students will experience the collaborative process and develop their ability to function as part of an educational team. A field experience portfolio will be completed in this course. A field experience with children with disabilities will enable students to apply knowledge in a realistic classroom setting.

Prerequisite(s): SPED 512.