Guide. Inspire. Ignite.

As a dedicated educator, you may often find yourself looking for resources that will help you effectively teach students with disabilities and help them learn successfully, whether in an inclusive environment or in a special education classroom.

The Special Education certificate promotes the mission of Bushnell University by fostering an attitude of service and recognizing the contribution of all learners for the betterment of the whole. The curriculum is aligned with the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and prepares graduates to incorporate safe and effective practices in special education.

Program Format

The Special Education certificate program is 18 credits and can be completed in 11 months. Each cohort begins Summer Session 2. Coursework is completed on campus during the evening hours.

Students may complete the courses as a certificate candidate to be recommended for a Special Education endorsement on their teaching license. Students can also add a Special Education endorsement within their Master of Arts in Teaching or Master of Education program.

Objectives

  • Understand the current issues surrounding special needs students and families
  • Be culturally competent and integrate cultural responsiveness to all students and families
  • Be able to identify a broad range of disabilities and provide an environment that promotes equal access and learning
  • Practice and implement effective teaching strategies based on accepted philosophies and research
  • Learn to collaborate and build partnerships within the school community, families, and other advocates

Admission Requirements

  • A free application for admission.
  • Official transcripts showing completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Two Disposition Assessments.
  • A personal interview with the admissions committee.
  • Applicants must hold a current teaching license.

Deadlines

Applications may be accepted until June 1 but are admitted on a space-available basis only.

Financial Aid

At Bushnell University, we know financial aid inside and out and can help you apply for and receive the best financial aid package available. Find more information regarding financial aid.

Courses in the Program

Requirements for Special Education Certificate (18 credits)

Foundations of Special Education I

This course introduces students to the Special Education endorsement program. Students will explore requirements, planning tools, effective strategies, and resources available to support students to complete the Special Education endorsement program. The course will also introduce topics related to the integration of faith, professional, and ethical practices in the teaching community. Students will also cultivate a professional learning community through discussion and group assignments with faculty and peers.

Foundations of Special Education II

This course is designed to develop knowledge and skills related to implementing collaborative and consultative models of special education including (a) building day-to-day working relationships across students, school staff, families, and community partners; (b) establish IEPs and other support plans that are technically adequate (e.g., legal, comprehensive), and contextually appropriate (e.g., functional, culturally responsive); and (c) knowledge of effective and research-based interventions for meeting student’s needs.

Foundations of Special Education III

This course is designed to develop knowledge and skills related to organization and management of student case files across a variety of special education settings (e.g., self-contained, integrated, pull-out services). Students will explore strategies for managing time and resources to provide (a) consultation, training, and coaching to colleagues; (b) development and implementation of IEPs and BSPs; (c) coordinating assessment, data analysis, problem-solving meetings, and progress modifications across multiple students receiving special education services; and (d) communication of relevant information to students, families, school staff, administrators, and service providers for integrated or wrap-around supports.

Interventions and Accessibility and Functional Skills

This course focuses on evidence-based practices for designing, adapting, delivering, and monitoring instruction related to functional life skills and accessibility to general curriculum. Students will explore the pre-skills and deficits that may prevent a student from accessing general curriculum. Students will develop skills related to alignment of goals, routines, and functional skill instruction with common core standards. Students will explore a range of assistive technologies, practices, and strategies to evaluate, and adopt appropriately based upon student needs.

Assessment and Evaluation in Special Education

This course is designed to develop knowledge and skills related to the assessment and evaluation of students within the special education context. Students will learn about assessment and evaluation measures and strategies that are commonly used by teachers and specialists within the field of education to gather information across adaptive, personal-social, communication, motor, and cognitive domains. Students will gain direct experience with the implementation of standardized measures, design of measures, and analysis of measure results. Students will explore strategies for using assessment measures collaboratively with children, families, and service providers who are linguistically and culturally diverse including the communication of sensitive results.

Advanced Classroom and Behavior Management

This course is designed to develop knowledge and skills to support individual and/or groups of students whose social behavior is preventing appropriate access to general classroom settings or instruction. Students will build fluency with principles of behavior analysis and a tiered model of positive behavioral interventions and supports. Students will develop skills needed to (a) identify and assess problem behavior using basic functional behavioral assessment (FBA) methods, (b) design and implement basic positive behavioral interventions that match the intensity of the problem, (c) design learning environments that prevent and reduce problem behaviors, and (d) apply behavioral procedures systematically and systemically. Emphasis will be placed on the outcomes, data, systems, and practices related to providing individual students with severe learning and behavioral problems.

Special Education History and Current Issues

This course is designed to survey the range of exceptionalities of individuals, birth through 21, and the current issues surrounding special education. Course content is organized in three areas: (a) historical foundation and context of education for individuals with disabilities, (b) characteristics, definitions, and educational considerations for individuals with disabilities, and (c) current philosophies, legal issues, research, and practices in special education.

Academic Instructional Supports and Universal Design for Learning

This course focuses on evidence-based practices for designing, adapting, delivering, and monitoring academic instruction for students receiving special education services. Students will explore the pre-skills and deficits that may prevent a student from accessing general curriculum and also the alignment of goals, routines, and functional skill instruction with common core standards. Students will explore a range of assistive technologies, practices, accommodations, and strategies to evaluate and adopt appropriately based upon student needs. Students will also demonstrate understanding of the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) that foster student engagement by presenting information in multiple ways and allow for broader access to general curriculum.

Special Education Field Experience I

This course provides an initial opportunity for students to explore a variety of school-based settings that serve students with disabilities as well as demonstrate knowledge and skills in the preparation, implementation, and assessment of instruction that includes a positive social and instructional environment and employs developmentally appropriate practices and use of technology. Pre-service teachers will monitor the engagement of students in learning activities and the progress they are making to determine whether the pact or content of instruction needs to be modified to assure each student progresses toward individual as well as classroom learning goals.

Special Education Field Experience II

This course explores a variety of school-based settings that serve students with disabilities as well as demonstrate knowledge and skills in the preparation, implementation, and assessment of instruction that includes a positive social and instructional environment and employs developmentally appropriate practices and use of technology. Pre-service teachers will monitor the engagement of students in learning activities and the progress they are making to determine if the pacing or content of instruction needs to be modified to assure each student progresses toward individual as well as classroom learning goals.

Special Education Student Teaching Experience

This course provides student teachers with a culminating demonstration of knowledge and skills in providing instruction, implementation, and assessment of students who receive special education services within a school setting. Student teachers will (a) prepare a positive instructional setting that employs developmentally and culturally appropriate practices, (b) monitor the behavior and academic engagement of students in learning activities as well as progress toward IEP goals, (c) identify and communicate specific problems or barriers to instruction, and (d) determine if modifications (e.g., pacing, content, accommodations) are needed to ensure that the student(s) achieve appropriate progress toward short- and long-term IEP goals.

Program Director
School of Education
Kathy Ditommaso Owen, M.S.
Associate Dean of Teacher Education
Assistant Professor of Teacher Education

M.S., Western Oregon University Primary Responsibilities: Oversee the Teacher Education and School Counseling Programs With …