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he Special Educator Licensure Program is a ROPA approved, 21-credit sequence of coursework and practical experience designed to prepare eligible Vermont licensed teachers for the Vermont special educator endorsement. Upon completion of the program, the VT-HEC will recommend successful candidates, to the AOE, for the endorsement.
Educators seeking initial licensing as a special educator may also take the coursework and apply for initial licensure though the VT Peer Review Process. This process is done separately and independently from the VT-HEC program. Candidates for the VT-HEC coursework must have a BA or BS and at least 3 years of public-school experience. Please check the AOE’s website for current information.
New cohorts begin every summer. Each cohort is affiliated with Castleton University. Individual courses are open with instructor permission.
For questions or to request application materials, contact Joy Wilcox at [email protected]
The 21 credit sequence of graduate-level courses includes 6 content courses and a 3 credit internship. This is a recommended sequence, however, courses may be taken out of sequence with the exception of the internship which is done in the second year. Students must have successfully completed four of the required VT-HEC Special Education courses (including Special Education Assessment and Meeting the Instructional Needs of all Students: Moderate to Severe Disabilities) in order to be eligible for the internship.
These courses are designed to meet the competencies for licensure for special educator in Vermont.
History, Legal Issues, and Support Systems in Special Education
(Early Summer of 1st Year) This course examines the legal and ethical issues embedded in the provision of special education services to individuals with disabilities and their families. The course addresses the historical treatment of people with disabilities from a service delivery model perspective. Significant legislation and court decisions will be addressed along with current special education legal requirements and local, state, and community issues impacting services. Specific attention will be given to ways in which disability may be viewed as a form of diversity. Additionally, important frameworks and concepts including the social construction of disability, self-determination, inclusion, collaboration with diverse families, and person-centered planning will be explored in-depth.
Assessment in Special Education
(Fall of 1st Year) This course has been designed to help special education graduate students gain some of the critical assessment skills and knowledge they will need to be successful special education professionals. Determination of special education eligibility will provide a central focus for the course and will be organized around three-course themes: 1) legal issues in assessment, 2) assessment instruments, procedures and practices, and 3) communication of assessment results. More broadly, students will learn the rules and regulations that drive their professional responsibilities relative to assessment, learn how to select and administer standardized tests accurately and ethically, and will become competent at leading the comprehensive evaluation process resulting in a comprehensive evaluation plan and report.
Emotional/Behavioral Challenges in Special Education
(Spring of 1st Year) Students will learn to develop and implement systemic and proactive procedures that address problem behavior in the building, classroom and individual student levels. Emphasis on creating or modifying learning environments and interactions that promote social and academic achievement. Students will be required to perform a full functional behavior plan as part of this course requirement.
Meeting the Instructional Needs of All Students: Moderate to Severe Disabilities
(Late June – Beginning of 2nd Year) The focus of this course is to provide participants with the necessary components to create an effective school program for students with moderate to severe needs. Emphasis will be placed on choosing and utilizing appropriate assessments procedures, utilizing structured teaching strategies, creating individual educational programs, and collaboration in the general education setting. This course will look at all areas of development for children with moderate to severe disabilities including cognitive, motor, social, communication, safety, domestic living, recreation/leisure. Students will also learn the rules and regulations that drive their professional responsibilities relative to the development of IEPs and will become competent at leading a team through the IEP process, resulting in an appropriate and meaningful IEP for each student.
Meeting the Instructional Needs of Students with Learning Disabilities: (LD I)
(Fall of 2nd Year) This course is designed to help participants identify students who experience a reading disability and who have barriers to learning to read. Participants will gain critical assessment skills necessary to evaluate students’ development and strengths and weaknesses in literacy and use this information to design appropriate instruction and support for these students.
Meeting the Instructional Needs of Students with Learning Disabilities: (LD II)
(Spring – 2nd Year) This course is designed to help participants identify students who are learning disabled and at-risk, in the area of math. Participants will gain critical assessment skills necessary to evaluate students’ development and strengths and weaknesses and use this information to design appropriate math instruction and support for these students.
Special Education Internship
(Fall and Spring of 2nd Year) The internship experience is competency based, reinforcing course content as well as exposing the intern to important experiences and opportunities to ensure development and implementation of effective programs for learners eligible for special education services. Interns receive direction, guidance, and direct feedback from a field-based mentor as well as a VT-HEC/Spec Ed supervisor. Together they design an individual student plan, based on a self-assessment plan (SAP), to track obtained competencies and set goals for identified needs. Along with formative evaluation based on direct observation of intern’s performance, summative evaluation in the form of grades on internship products will be provided by VT-HEC Supervisors. Students must have successfully completed four of the required VT-HEC Special Education courses in order to be eligible for the internship.
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Mailing Address: PO Box 285, Montpelier, VT 05601
Phone: (802) 498-3350
Email: [email protected]