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

Michele Wilson Kamens, Ed.D.
Professor
Memorial Hall 102J
609-895-5498
mkamens@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.

Introductory Courses
SPED 512Psychology of Exceptionality3
SPED 514Positive Behavior Support3
Core Courses
SPED 523Inclusive Educational Practices3
SPED 525Transition to Adult Life3
SPED 531Assessment for Instruction in Special Education3
SPED 535Instructional Practices for Students with Severe Disabilities3
Capstone Course
SPED 539Instructional Practices for Students with Mild Disabilities3
Total Credits21

Courses and Descriptions

SPED 512 Psychology of Exceptionality 3 Credits

This course provides opportunities for the study of school psychological issues associated with specific educational exceptionalities, including learning disabilities, mental retardation, behavior disorders, physical handicaps, and giftedness. The characteristics, identification procedures, and current intervention strategies are examined from a psychological and sociocultural perspective. An experience in the field will enable students to apply knowledge in a realistic classroom setting.

SPED 514 Positive Behavior Support 3 Credits

This course is designed to provide extensive knowledge and practice in meeting the behavioral challenges of individuals. Students will receive instruction in a problem-solving approach to identify the possible function(s) of problem behavior and in 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 students 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

This course will give students the opportunity to evaluate, select, develop and adapt assessment materials for children with special needs. The legal, cultural, and ethical implications of assessment will be discussed. Interpretation of formal and informal assessments will be addressed. Emphasis will be placed on using assessment information to make decisions about appropriate placement and learning environments, as well as making decisions for effective instruction in the classroom. An experience in the field will enable students to apply knowledge in a realistic classroom setting.

Prerequisite(s): SPED 512 and SPED 514.

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 539 Instructional Practices for Students with Mild Disabilities 3 Credits

This course will give students the opportunity to evaluate, select, develop and adapt instructional and assessment materials for children with disabilities. Using various case studies, students will have the opportunity to develop an Individualized Educational Program and synthesize assessment information to make appropriate instructional decisions. Students will experience the collaborative process and develop their ability to function as part of an educational team. A field experience with children with disabilities will enable students to apply knowledge in a realistic classroom setting.

Prerequisite(s): SPED 512; SPED 514; SPED 523; SPED 525; SPED 531 and SPED 535.