Special Education Course Offerings

In the fall semester of 2011, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Center for Teaching Excellence began offering online special education and professional studies education courses on a rotating schedule.  Taught by UVA-WISE faculty and supported by online learning specialists at the CTE, all coursework is offered completely online. Online courses are open to provisionally licensed teachers who need special education or professional studies coursework, to general education teachers seeking to add special education to their licenses, and to teachers seeking courses for recertification points.

Below is the CTE online course alignment for Special Education: General Curriculum as compared to the July 2018 VA Department of Education competencies. As of September 1, 2019, VDOE course requirements have been revised in which college coursework will reflect the changes by Fall 2020.  If you have been evaluated by the VDOE and hold an evaluation or provisional license dated prior to September 1, 2019, the courses below will align with your paperwork. If your evaluation is dated after September 1, 2019, you will notice differences in course needs and should contact the CTE Academic Advisor for advising and to align your coursework.

Course Alignment for Special Education

Supervised Classroom Experience:

The student teaching experience should provide for the prospective teacher to be in classrooms full time for a minimum of 300 clock hours (including pre- and post-clinical experiences) with at least 150 clock hours spent supervised in direct teaching activities (providing direct instruction) at the level of endorsement.  One year of successful full-time teaching experience in the endorsement area in a public or accredited nonpublic school may be accepted in lieu of the supervised teaching experience.  A fully licensed, experienced teacher must be available in the school building to assist a beginning teacher employed through the alternate route.

Not offered through CTE


State Assessment Testing:

Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) Reading & Writing
Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE)

Not monitored by CTE, please reference:

Course Descriptions (anticipated semesters in parentheses)

EDU L251: Foundations of Education (3) (S/F/S1)
A study of American education including the history of education and the major philosophical and sociological forces affecting education, with emphasis on contemporary issues, problems, and patterns relative to curriculum design and development in American Schools. Requires 20 logged hours of observation in an elementary and/or secondary school setting.

EDU L345: Reading and Language Acquisition: Foundations of Reading (3) (S/F/S2)
This course is designed to provide information on balanced reading instruction in grades PreK-6. Specific topics addressed will include theories/models of the reading process, language acquisition, phonemic awareness, word identification strategies (sight vocabulary, phonics knowledge, structural analysis, and contextual analysis), vocabulary development strategies, comprehension strategies, reading-writing connections, and assessments (formal and informal). Requires 30 hours of field experience in a K-6 classroom setting.

EDU L346: Reading and Language Acquisition: Assessment & Instruction (3) (S/F/S1)
Instruction in this course focuses on the techniques, methods, and materials that can be used to effectively diagnose reading difficulties/deficiencies and strengths in students in grades K through 8. Course content will include a study of both formal and informal assessment measures with emphasis placed on the procedures for administering and interpreting an Informal Reading Inventory (IRI) and how to use results from this inventory to prescribe and then deliver appropriate reading instruction to students in grades K-8. As part of the service-learning component for the course, students will be required to serve as a tutor for a K-8 student in a school setting.

EDU L360: Human Growth and Development (3) (S/F/S1)
A study of the development of the whole child: physical traits, learning and intelligence, social and emotional behavior, and personality adjustment. Emphasis on birth to adolescence.

EDU L368: Characteristics of Students with Cognitive Disabilities (3) (S/S2)
This course provides a comprehensive study of the characteristics of specific learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities. Specific learning disorders related issues (e.g., medical aspects, assessment, early identification and intervention, learning and teaching theories, reading, oral language, writing, math, social and emotional behavior, and study skills) and related teaching methods will be studied. The course also provides an extensive study on understanding the characteristics of mental retardation, teaching and training approaches for school children with mental retardation. This course requires 20 hours of field experience working with children with cognitive disabilities.

EDU L369: Foundations of Special Education-Characteristics and Legal Aspects (3) (S/F/S2)
A survey of the field of special education. Emphasis is on techniques for integrating students with intellectual, emotional, social and physical handicaps into the least restrictive educational environment. Requires 30 hours of observation/participation in the elementary and/or secondary school classroom.

EDU L375: Assessment and Management of Instruction in Special Education (3) (S/F/S1)
This course involves the study of the basic principles and techniques of evaluation. Emphasizes concepts and methods for oral and written reporting of educational, diagnostic and prescriptive information concerning students with various handicaps.

EDU L379: Characteristics of  Students with Behavioral Disabilities (3) (F/S1)
The study of emotional handicaps and behavior disorders including their characteristics, etiology, and assessment criteria. The class will include preparation in behavior management, psychoeducational, and ecological strategies for instructing students with emotional and behavior disorders. The student will learn to apply a variety of techniques to design educational plans for students with behavioral and emotional disabilities. This course has a required field experience of 15 observational hours in a public school setting.

EDU L381: Individualized Education Program Implementation: Elementary Level (3) (F/S1)
This course addresses techniques for assessing and remediating specific learning and behavior problems of elementary-age students with learning and behavior disorders.  Specific attention is given to teaching basic academic subjects and methods of classroom management. The development and implementation of Individual Education Plans will also be stressed.

EDU L382: Individualized Education Program Implementation: Secondary Level (3) (S/S2)
This course is designed to provide special education teacher candidates an extensive study of the components of effective transition education curriculum and service models, service guidelines, parents’ involvement, transition assessment, job placement, training and supervision, transition to adult life, instructional strategies, and community resources. Candidates will study the scope and sequence of the secondary curriculum and will also learn to develop an individualized transitional curriculum relevant to vocational training, life skills, and functional skills domain. The course emphasizes techniques for fostering motivation to acquire basic academic and social/personal skills as well as meeting the long-term goals of transition education in the special education program. Secondly, this course will provide training to students on special education collaboration and consultation procedures. Fundamentals of collaboration, applications of collaboration (i.e., consultation, and teamwork, co-teaching, staff development, interpersonal problem solving, pragmatic issues of collaboration, techniques in interpersonal communication, etc.) and issues in collaboration are also studied.

EDU L408: Classroom  and Behavior Management (3) (S/F/S2)
This course presents various alternatives for classroom management and the development of classroom management plans for students at both the elementary and secondary levels.

EDU L455: Transitioning Students with Disabilities (3) (F/S1)
This course is designed to provide future special education teachers extensive study in preparing students with disabilities to make transitions throughout their educational experience and into adulthood.  Course participants will study strategies that will enable them to prepare students and work with families to provide successful student transitions throughout the educational experience to include post-secondary training, employment, and independent living which addresses an understanding of long-term planning, career development, life skills, community experiences and resources, self-advocacy, and self-determination, guardianship and legal considerations. Participants will identify strategies that are essential in teaching life skills to students and are necessary to achieve the greatest level of personal independence.  This course will prepare students to work with families, students with disabilities, and related agencies to plan and prepare for transitional needs that will enhance each student’s capacity for personal independence.

EDU L456: Collaboration, Consultation, and Case Management of Special Education (3) (F/S2)
This course is designed to provide future special education teachers extensive practice in developing skills necessary to collaborate or consult effectively with school professionals, students and their families, and outside agencies in order to provide the most beneficial educational services for students with disabilities.  Students will also develop necessary case management strategies.