Secondary Dual Educator Program - Program Courses


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Course Descriptions

The curriculum is grounded in established courses taught in the General Education and Special Education programs at Portland State University. New content focused on research-based inclusive practices for secondary instruction has been integrated and forms the basis for new course offerings.

SPED 571 Adolescents with Learning Differences (2 credits)
Explores the impact of various disabilities or other life experiences on learning and the developmental stage of adolescence. Examines what middle and high school teachers need to understand about students with learning differences and how they can provide support and accommodations.

ED 584 Advocacy & Transition Planning (2 credits)
This course will focus on practical strategies, tools and exemplary practitioners in the areas of student support and advocacy, school-family collaboration and transition planning. Concepts and curriculum related to person-centered planning and teaching self-determination skills will be addressed. Course participants will examine collaborative skills needed to empower students, families, communities, service agencies, and other support systems and facilitate inclusive practices in secondary settings.

SPED 521 Behavior Management (3 credits)
This course provides students with an understanding of the basic principles of human behavior and the skills to apply those principles to teaching practice, and effective school and classroom management. Course is organized to prepare educators so they can provide effective teaching and learning environments for children of all ages and abilities.

ITP 511 Classroom Management for Student Success (2 credits)
This course focuses on principles and practices of classroom management and discipline within inclusive 6-12 classrooms. Topics include:

  • Organization and logistics of classroom procedures
  • Communication and routine-building
  • Procedures for prevention and resolution of disruptions
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making

SPED 513 Classroom-based Assessment (3 credits)
This course addresses how to monitor a student’s goals and general education performance using classroom-based measures. Students learn how to use assessment data to make instructional decisions.

ED 582 Collaborative Teaming & the SPED Process (4 credits)
This course will introduce participants to special education law and processes, and prepare future teachers to actively participate, plan and facilitate IEP and school team meetings. Course content will include an overview of state and federal laws/regulations, the IEP process and special education service delivery system. Participants will explore collaborative teaming processes in middle and secondary school settings. Team building, communication skills and problem solving will be learned as course participants experience team meetings in local schools.

ED 586 Collaborative Teaching (2 credits)
The purpose of this course is to study practices and techniques that enhance instructional collaboration and consultation among teaching professionals. Models and methods for supporting students with disabilities in middle and secondary school general education classrooms will be explored. Course participants will co-plan and team-teach a lesson with a teaching partner to a group of students of diverse ability levels and needs.

SPED 522/523 Comprehensive Individualized Assessment & Curriculum 1 + 2 (6 credits)
This course teaches the student to develop a comprehensive, longitudinal assessment plan for development of the functional curriculum. The student learns to use ecological inventories, adaptive behavior scales, and other relevant assessments to provide information needed to determine individual curriculum needs. The course also examines special content and methodology of education for students with severe disabilities, early childhood through adulthood. The course emphasizes curricular content and instructional strategies for self-care amd daily living, leisure and play, community, and vocational domains, as well as strategies for assessing language and communication, and augmentative systems for communication.

The course emphasizes curriculum content for life skills, communication, social, motor, and cognitive and functional academic domains. It provides instructional strategies for routine-based, naturalistic, and teacher-directed/discrete trial learning. The course includes strategies for using positive behavioral supports for students with significant disabilities, based upon functional behavioral assessment and analysis.

SPED 512 Diagnostic Assessment (3 credits)
Graduate students learn about the ethical, legal, and practical uses of standardized assessments. Students collect data and select, administer, analyze, and report on assessment results to help with program planning. Alternative State Benchmark Assessments, accommodations, and modifications to tests clarify how to address the issue of students with disabilities and English Language Learners.

ITP 514 Educating for Equity and Social Justice (3 credits)
Principles, practices, promises, and problems of multicultural education, with emphasis in urban settings. Use of student and community diversity to enhance subject matter, learning, and classroom life. Characteristics, opportunities, and needs of students in city schools presented with examples of current effective practice. Political and sociological influences in U.S. educational system, especially urban school settings.

CI 543 Effective Teaching Strategies and Materials for Working with Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners (3 credits)
This course explores current research on identification, development, and practice of developmentally and linguistically appropriate strategies to engage limited English proficient students effectively at all grade levels in the learning process. The course gives special attention to the importance of student’s bilingual/bicultural characteristics in developing a successful curriculum. 

ED 587 Inclusive Educational Research & Leadership (2 credits)
Culminating course in the program addressing educational research and teacher's use of action research. Research questions concerning the practices and challenges of inclusive classrooms and schools are explored. Action research methods used by teacher researchers are modeled and practiced. Students frame a research question and then design and implement an action research project.

ED 581 Inclusive Classroom Researcher (2 credits)
Frames research questions concerning the principles, practices, promises, and problems of inclusive classrooms. Explores the philosophical and practical benefits of inclusive practices. Teacher networks, literature reviews and research design will provide the groundwork for collecting data throughout the program.

ED 509 Initial Field Experience (3 credit)
Students are placed with both a content-area teacher and a special educator working with a range of students. They will observe how students with special needs are served within inclusive settings. Students use field observation and field assignments to structure their experience, providing an authentic framework from which to develop ideas about teaching content to all students.

SPED 528 Instructional Methods Literacy Instruction (3 credits)
The purpose of this course is to develop the knowledge base and skills for effectively teaching reading and writing skills to students with high incidence disabilities in schools. Instructional methods for students who are emergent, developing, and more fluent readers and writers are addressed. The use of research based reading programs, content area texts, juvenile literature, and other literacy materials with students in grades K - 12 is explored.

SPED 529 Instructional Methods II Math and Content Area Instruction (3 credits)
An examination of the curriculum and methods for teaching math to children with special needs. Content will address specific techniques for teaching concepts and skills (including numeration, basic facts, computation, and word problems) and focus on instructional procedures that will meet the needs of low-performing students in elementary schools.

ED 585 Instructional Planning for Inclusive Classrooms (4 credits)
This course will address principles and skills for organization and presentation of 6-12 inclusive classroom instruction. Topics include: student needs analysis, unit planning using backward design, direct and indirect instructional techniques that incorporate state and national standards in teaching a diverse group of adolescent learners.

ITP 512: Learning and the Learner (3 credits)
The course focuses on principles of human learning and related practices for teaching in inclusive classrooms in the middle/high school setting. The psychology of learning in a school setting includes both individual and group generalizations, with an emphasis on the developmental tasks of adolescence. Students will examine the roles and functions of teachers as facilitators of learning, and as decision makers concerning pupil needs and achievement in inclusive middle/high school setting.

SPED 509 Practicum I Supervised Teaching Experience (3 credits)
The Supervised Teaching Experience (STE) serves to integrate course content within a practical teaching/learning environment. Specific STE assignments provide opportunities for students to apply, practice, and generalize concepts and skills learned in university courses. The STE will assist students in developing, clarifying, and applying attitudes and beliefs about quality educational practices. Through the STE experience, students will have the opportunities to observe and participate in the responsibilities and roles of the special educator, (instructional and non-instructional), while enabling them to further develop their skills and abilities in instruction and classroom management. The STE will enable students to develop a Teacher Performance Assessment, which is required for licensure in the State of Oregon. Additional seminar topics will help students to gain a broader perspective of the responsibilities and roles of the Special Educator.

SPED 509 Practicum II (3 credits)
The practicum experience is tied to coursework in assessment, planning and instruction for students with significant disabilities as well as co-teaching in a content area classroom. Teacher candidates will work with one student with significant disabilities to assess, plan, and carry out instruction with that student toward a specific goal. In addition, they will spend one period/block a day in a content area classroom working as a SPED co-teacher with the content teacher they will be student teaching with during their winter placement. 

ED 507 Seminar I (1 credits)
This seminar systematically guides students through the development of their special education teacher performance assessment. The course addresses the responsibilities and challenges of developing as professional educators in middle and secondary school settings.

ITP 521-528 Secondary Methods (8 credits -  over 2 quarters)
Students investigate problems and methods in selecting and organizing materials for instruction: comparison and evaluation of methods, laboratory techniques, supplies, equipment, and economy of time and materials. The primary goals of this course are unit planning and student assessment in the subject area.

SPED 536 Specialized Techniques (3 credits)
This course presents information on medical and physical needs commonly found in people with severe disabilities, focusing particularly on educational and adult-service implications considering:

  • The nature of the medical condition (i.e., genetic anomalies, physical symptoms)
  • Methods for instruction (i.e., positioning, mobility)
  • Procedures for structural modifications (i.e., adaptive equipment, environmental accessibility)

The course incorporates information from various disciplines into classroom, home, and vocational programming.

SPED 525 Student Teaching (SPED - half-time) (6 credits)
This part-time student teaching experience serves to apply course instruction in special education methods within a practical teaching and learning environment. The field experience enables students to develop their teacher performance assessment, which is required for licensure in the state of Oregon. Additional seminar topics help students gain a broader perspective of the responsibilities and roles of the special educator.

ITP 580 Student Teaching (Inclusive setting) (6 credits)
SDEP teacher candidates will focus primarily on the content area placement during this term. As part of their student teaching, teacher candidates will co-teach with their cooperating teacher 20 hours each week and develop a teacher performance assessment series of three lessions. In addition, teacher candidates will spend one period a week in special education in order to maintain their developing skills as a special educator. The expectation is that the teacher candidate will experience the full range of responsibilities of a teacher during student teaching.

ITP 581 Student Teaching (12 credits) (Full-time experience in Inclusive setting) 
At the beginning of spring term, teacher candidates may change their placement to add a second authorization level during their full-time student teaching experience. This will most likely be in a different school site. As part of their student teaching, teacher candidates will co-teach with their cooperating teacher 40 hours each week and develop a teacher performance assessment series of three lessions. In addition, teacher candidates will spend one period a week in special education in order to maintain their developing skills as a special educator. The expectation is that the teacher candidate will experience the full range of responsibilities of a teacher during student teaching.

ED 583 Study Skills & Learning Strategies (2 credits)
This course examines typical secondary class demands and instructional methods to enable students with disabilities and other low achievers to become independent learners and successfully meet these demands. Emphasis will be on content enhancement tools to increase accessibility of content as well as instructional methods for teaching study skills and learning strategies. Study will include models and methods for infusing this instruction into the secondary curriculum.