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Online Bachelor of Science in Special Education curriculum

Curriculum Details

120 total credits required

You can complete the online BS in Special Education program in four years. Transfer up to 90 credit hours to graduate sooner.

As you prepare for Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) certification, you’ll take courses specific to your area of concentration. Choose from English language arts, math, reading, science or social studies.

This degree program includes 48 hours of field experience each semester for three semesters and then one semester of student teaching.

View the course catalog.

Professional Development (48 hours)

This seminar is designed to provide students the information and resources required to effectively participate in both clinical experiences as well as education course work aligned to all clinical experiences required, leading to graduation and initial teacher licensure. This seminar requires attendance to three online seminars with dates announced in advance. Students will complete steps required for admission to Teacher Education and clinical placements as assignments; some assignments have a cost attached. This course should be taken in the same semester as ED 200. This course is taught on a pass/fail basis.

Note(s): Graded pass/fail.

This course provides an overview of the field of education for potential teacher candidates. Prospective teachers are introduced to the basic constructs of teaching along with justification of those constructs as part of effective teaching and learning. Topics include current learning standards, certification requirements, professional expectations, and the realities of teaching as a career. This course should be taken in the same semester as ED 100.

Knowledge of the growth and development of the person from conception to adolescence are vital in effective teaching. The areas of physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and moral development are studied. Particular emphasis is given to foundational theories such as constructivism and behaviorism, and topics such as executive functioning, creativity, cultural diversity, motivation, discipline, and contextual factors in development. Practical applications of theory to practice, as well as global issues affecting children and families, are explored.

Prospective teachers should acquire a perspective into the origins of their discipline as well as a general understanding of education which should precede career decisions. The content of the course aids the students in acquiring concepts in the development and contemporary conditions of education and schools in the United States. The projects and activities promote the growth of students not only in the intellectual domain but also in the areas of social, emotional, and psychological development.

This course is designed to provide an opportunity for students to study the existence of problems and the development of possible solutions for establishing and maintaining racial, ethnic, gender and cultural harmony within the early childhood and middle grades classroom. Emphasis is placed on variables that contribute to the development and maintenance of prejudice, stereotypes, racism, gender bias and oppressive conditions.

This course provides a definition of exceptionalities and introduction to children with exceptional needs in schools. The primary focus of this class is the educator’s role and responsibilities in meeting the needs of students with exceptionalities. The course covers characteristics, legal provisions, and pre-referral procedures, and instructional accommodations.

This is a three semester hour course designed for the pre-service teacher to provide familiarization with the use of the microcomputer, its software and the integration of technology into the instructional process. The course has a focus on creating teaching and learning environments that involve technology as an integral tool.

This course introduces a variety of strategies in teaching and managing classroom behavior. Emphasis is placed on designing positive learning environments, and selecting and implementing behavior management strategies. Note: Requires admission to teacher education.

Note(s): Requires admission to teacher education

An introduction to basic lesson planning skills needed to provide a variety of teaching method, media, materials and resources essential for supporting effective teaching practices in the grades four through eight classroom Students will be guided in the preparation and presentation of a lesson plan that will serve as a foundation for completing lesson plans in the methods courses to follow. ED 321 should be taken early in the student’s program and before any methods courses.

Legal Issues and Ethics in Education is a survey of the legal bases for education; rights and responsibilities of school board members, administrators, teachers, students and parents; and due process. Topics include the Georgia Code of Ethics for educators, teacher liability, labor law, tenure, dismissal and employment discrimination.
This course focuses on the particular needs of K-12 teachers and other professionals, including: historical and legal background of bilingual and ESOL education, literacy development, content-based instruction, and assessment to address the needs of English learners. The course will also explore concepts, principles, theories, and research for creating a culturally responsive environment.

A course which focuses on a variety of methods of assessment. Emphasis is on the communication of formative and summative assessment results to learners, parents, colleagues and the community at large.

Note(s): Requires admission to teacher education.

This course is designed to prepare teacher candidates for teaching content courses in an online format. Students will learn strategies and technological tools for engaging learners online. Students will also be guided in the design and implementation of online learning modules.

This full-semester capstone course is designed to accompany and enhance the student teaching experience. It is designed to provide an opportunity to synthesize the student teaching experience and move the student teacher towards the world of teaching at a professional level. Meeting once a week, it offers information on certification, employment search processes, and educator ethics/dispositions while also providing an avenue to analyze, evaluate and discuss the student teaching experience. A portfolio is required.

A full-time, semester-long experience in a regionally accredited school classroom. Guidance and direction will be provided by the classroom teacher with assistance from university faculty. Students will be required to assume all duties of the classroom teacher for a minimum of four weeks during the experience while demonstrating competence in planning and materials, classroom performance, and professional behavior. The student teaching experience begins when the assigned school begins its semester and continues through the Brenau semester. The student is required to take ED 415 – Applied Instruction during the student teaching semester. Prerequisites: All other courses and placements must be completed before student teaching; passing scores on appropriate GACE Content Area Exams are required before student teaching. Note(s) Taught on a pass/fail basis.

Reading Requirements (6 hours)

This course provides candidates with the foundational knowledge and understandings for teaching reading and writing including literacy assessment. Experiences, both theoretical and practical in nature, will enable the prospective teacher to demonstrate the knowledge base for teaching the major components of reading and writing. The most current research on literacy concepts and development will be examined. This is a placement embedded course; a 48-hour field experience placement in a regionally accredited school is required during the course.

Prerequisite(s): ED 311 or ED 321
Note(s): Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required to register.

This course focuses on current approaches to reading and writing instruction. Content area reading and writing in a balanced literacy approach, including read aloud, guided reading, shared reading, interactive writing, shared writing, Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, and Word study will be emphasized. Additionally, this course will focus on appropriate instructional methods, strategies and materials as well as providing experiences, both theoretical and practical in nature. This is a placement embedded course; a 48-hour field experience placement in a regionally accredited school is required during the course.

Prerequisite(s): ED 311 or ED 321
Note(s): Clinical component required

Special Education Courses (15 hours)

An overview of testing theory and practice, including observation and measurement techniques is provided. Emphasis on utilizing evaluation results to determine eligibility, support professional diagnosis, and plan and assess interventions. Contains a practicum component that requires a field placement in grades 6-8.

Note(s): Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required to register.

This course provides students with principles of applied behavior analysis adapted to the educational and behavioral needs of students with disabilities. This is a placement embedded course. Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required to register.

This course provides students with an overview of language development from birth through adulthood. Language development theories, bilingual and dialectal issues, and literacy development are explored as they relate to typical language development and language disorders. Included are fundamental concepts of assessment and intervention. Contains a practicum component that requires a field placement in grades K-5.

Note(s): Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required to register.

The course includes a comprehensive lifespan overview of the learning, social, emotional and physical characteristics of persons with mild disabilities. Teaching practices and strategies for inclusive education along with behavior management and social skills are introduced. History, legislation, early intervention, family involvement and community responses are included. This is a placement embedded course; a 48-hour field experience placement in a regionally accredited school in PreK is required during the course.

Prerequisite(s): SE 300
Note(s): Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required to register.

This course introduces students to assessment and instruction in all general education content areas with an emphasis on adapting the curriculum to meet the needs of all students, including students with disabilities. The study and application of curricula, methods, materials, Response to Intervention (RtI), I.E.P. preparation, classroom organization, and management for students (P-12) with mild disabilities. Co-Teaching and Collaboration are emphasized. This is a placement embedded course; a 48-hour field experience placement in a regionally accredited school in grades 9-12 is required during the course.

Prerequisite(s): SE 300, SE 407, SE 408, SE 409, SE 410
Note(s): Permission from the Clinical Experience Office is required to register.

Additional Courses

Each concentration area requires 12-16 credit hours. Please visit the course catalog to view course options for each concentration.

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Reading
  • EH 101 – Written Communication
  • EH 102 – Reading and Research Writing
  • HY 201 – History of the United States I
  • MS 207 – Problem Solving

One of the following:

  • PS 110 – Physical Geography w/ Lab
  • PS 111 – Meteorology/Climatology w/ Lab
  • PS 112 – Astronomy w/ Lab

One of the following:

  • PS 100 – Physical Science
  • PS 104 – Earth Science

One of the following:

  • MS 100 – Quantitative Literacy
  • MS 101 – College Algebra
  • MS 111 – Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry
  • MS 210 – Calculus and Analytical Geometry

One of the following:

  • MC 101 – World Music Appreciation
  • AH 100 – Art Appreciation

One of the following:

  • EH 201 – Western World Literature
  • EH 220 – American Literature before 1865
  • EH 221 – American Literature after 1865
  • EH 331 – Southern Literature

One of the following:

  • EH 103 – Oral Communication
  • SP 108 – Fundamentals of Speech
  • Historical Perspective – 3 hours
  • Civic Engagement – 3 hours
  • Global Awareness – 3 hours
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Science – 7-8 hours (1 course must be a 4 hour lab science)
  • Reasoning – 3-4 hours
  • Fine Arts – 3 hours
  • Literature – 3 hours
  • Lifetime Fitness – 3 hours
  • Writing – 6 hours
  • Speaking – 3 hours
  • Modern Language – 0-3 hours
  • Communication – 3 hours

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