Field Placement - Special Education

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Special education classroom experience will occur as early as your first year! Your K-12 special education endorsement will allow you to teach across the grade levels and the field experience at elementary, middle, and high school will help to prepare you.


Field experiences are a key part of your development as a professional educator. They help you begin to make more informed career decisions, observe experienced teachers working with students, and try focused instructional and assessment strategies with support. Placements are always related to a course, helping you to link theory and practice, bringing coherence to your teacher preparation, and giving you a way to reflect on what you are experiencing.

As a elementary or secondary teacher candidate seeking a special education endorsement, you will have at least three (3) special education classroom experiences prior to student teaching. These build sequentially, based on program levels, allowing you to develop and refine your professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions as you progress through the program and prepare for student teaching. You will usually have your first experience in your first year.

Early placement experiences are in local schools generally no more than a 20 minute drive from campus, with local public transportation options for those without a car. You will have a variety of experiences to ensure you see different teachers, grade levels, and school contexts. This breadth and diversity of experience helps prepare you for teaching all children. You will be placed with experienced, recommended classroom teachers.

How long?
Special education field experiences prior to student teaching are for 30 hours across the semester. This extended duration allows you to observe teaching routines and structures over time and to observe student learning and development.

What will I learn and do?
Each field experience is concurrent with one or more courses. Expectations for your classroom activities are related to course objectives and assignments provide a developmental sequence.

How am I evaluated?
For each field placement, the teacher completes a midterm and final evaluation and a dispositions form. Teachers are also asked to give oral and written feedback to candidates. All evaluations include common components addressing professionalism and working with K-12 students. Each course also has specific expectations focused on particular knowledge, skills, and competencies.
EDC 105

EDC 105 Introduction to Special Education—Field

1 credit

Learn to identify patterns of students’ strengths and weaknesses, and specify intervention strategies to assist in learning. Introduction to the process of developing, implementing, and evaluating the progress of an IEP. Includes 30 hours of Elementary/Middle/High placement. Pass/Fail only. Required for Special Education K-12 major. Winter only.

EDC 205

EDC 205 Introduction to Learning Disabilities—Field

1 credit

Work with children identified with a learning disability and collaboratively plan interventions/services including diagnosis, assessment, and specific remedial techniques. Experience the IEP process including the creation of goals and objectives that frame special education children’s learning. Identify and discuss rules of confidentiality. Includes 30 hours of elementary/middle/high placement. Pass/Fail only. Required for Special Education-Learning Disabilities K-12 major. Winter only.

EDC 405

EDC 405 Curriculum Methods in Special Education – Field

1 credit

Demonstration of the understanding of the IEP process by evaluating how goals and objectives are formulated to frame children’s learning. Goals within an IEP are identified and an instructional unit implemented incorporating appropriate teaching strategies. Individual growth as a result of the interventions is measured and the success of the instructional methods is analyzed and evaluated. Appropriate individual performance assessments are created. The ability to modify instruction based on assessment data is demonstrated. Includes 30 hours of Elementary/Middle/High placement. Pass/Fail only. Required for Special Education-Learning Disabilities K-12 major. Fall 2019, Fall 2021.