SPED 346.04W -- Survey of Exceptionalities
Spring 2015
Instructor: Dr. Harvetta R. Henry
Email: [email protected] (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: (903) 886-5648
Office Hours: TR 1:00-3:30 or by appointment
Office: Henderson 205
Fax: (903) 886-5510
Course Description:
This course will provide a survey of populations identified with exceptionalities. Attention will be given
to the causes and effects of these differences upon the individual's development. Emphasis will be given
to the historical, legal, and philosophical aspects of Special Education services.
Hallahan, D.P., Kauffman, J. M., & Pullen. P.C. (2015). Exceptional Learners: An Introduction to
Special Education (13th Ed.). Boston: Pearson. (ISBN # 13:978-0-13-357104-2 / 10:0-13-357104-1)
TExES Competencies Addressed:
The following are the standard course objectives: The student is expected to be able to
Understand and apply knowledge of the characteristics and needs of students with
Understand and apply knowledge of procedures for managing the teaching and learning
environment, including procedures related to the use of assistive technology
Understand the philosophical, historical, and legal foundations of special education, and
Know how to communicate and collaborate effectively in a variety of professional settings.
View themselves as engaged citizens within an interconnected and diverse world
Course Objectives: Course objectives for SPED 346 are included in Attachment #1 at the end of this
document. Objectives are based on the descriptive statements of the knowledge and skills related to the
above competencies for Texas Special Educator Certification. As SPED 346 is an introduction to
individuals with exceptionalities, it is not expected that students will be proficient in all objectives. It is
expected, however, that at the conclusion of this course each student will be able to demonstrate a
general understanding of each course objective.
Class Requirements/Assignments/Activities/Expectations and Grading:
Assignments. You will complete four related assignments in this course. Details of and due dates for
these assignments will be included in the eCollege course shell.
Chapter quizzes/activities. You will have a quiz or activity over each chapter of the text. These quizzes
are intended to help you prepare for the examinations. Quizzes will be open Thursday-Sunday at 11:59
PM each week. You will be allowed to take the quizzes once and they will be timed. Quizzes are open
book and notes, but must represent your own work (must be completed independently). You will need
to have a good, general understanding of the material prior to entering the quiz in order to complete it
accurately and in a timely manner.
Examinations. You will take two (***or three) exams over the chapters as scheduled. Exam one will
cover chapters 1-4 and exam two will cover chapters 5-9. ***If you have an ‘A’ average going into the
final exam period, you are exempt from taking the third exam. Exams will include both true-false and
multiple choice items. Short essay items may also be included.
Course Evaluation & Grading:
Assignments – 4 @ 25 pts
Chapter Quizzes/Activities - 15 @ 10 pts
Examinations 2 @ 50 pts
Total possible points without final
Final Exam
Total possible points WITH final
Point Distribution:
A = 90%
B = 80%
C = 70%
D = 60%
F = < 60%
Communication & Support:
If you have a question that others in the class may also have, please post those questions to my Virtual
Office in eCollege. Always consult the Virtual Office to see if a question has already been answered
before sending me an e-mail. Responses to Virtual Office questions & emails will be made Monday
through Friday within 48 hours unless out-of-office notification has been provided. Please note that I
will not guarantee response to Virtual Office posts or emails during weekends, holidays, or in the
evenings. If you have any questions or need clarification on any aspect of the course, please post early
in the week. Be reminded that the Virtual Office is a public forum and information posted there is
available to the entire class. If you need to contact me regarding a personal matter, email me directly.
As a student enrolled at Texas A&M University-Commerce, you have access to an email account via
MyLeo. ALL class emails from your instructor WILL GO TO YOUR MyLeo ACCOUNT. Be sure to
check this email account frequently and regularly.
Technology Requirements:
This is a totally on-line course that will be conducted within eCollege (the class will NOT meet face-toface). eCollege works best within a Microsoft Windows environment, and requires a high speed internet
connection (not dial-up). This means you should use a Windows operating system (XP or newer) and a
recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (6.0, 7.0 or 8.0). The course will also work with
Macintosh OS X along with a recent version of Safari (2.0 or better). eCollege also supports the
Firefox/Mozilla (3.0 or better) on both Windows and Mac operating systems. It is strongly
recommended that you perform a “Browser Test” prior to the start of your course. To launch a browser
test, login to eCollege, click on the “myCourses” tab, and then select the “Browser Test” link under
Support Services. To get started with the course, go to:https://leo.tamu-commerce.edu/login.aspx. You
will need your CWID and password to login to the course. If you do not know your CWID or have
forgotten your password, contact Technology Services at 903-468-6000 or [email protected]
Contacting eCollege for Technical Support:
The following support options are available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week• Help: Click on the “help” button on the toolbar for information regarding working with
eCollege (i.e., “How do I submit to dropbox?”, “How do I post to discussion board?”, etc.
• Chat Support: Click on the “Live Support” on the toolbar within your course to chat with an
eCollege representative.
Phone: 1-866-656-5511 (toll free) to speak with an eCollege Technical Support
Email: [email protected] to initiate a support request with eCollege Technical
Support Representative.
Other Important Notes:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides
comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this
legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that
provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you have a disability requiring an
accommodation, please contact:
Office of Student Disability Resources and Services
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Gee Library, Room 132
Phone (903) 886-5150 or (903) 886-5835
Fax (903) 468-8148
[email protected]
All students enrolled at the University shall follow the tenets of common decency and acceptable
behavior conducive to a positive learning environment. (See Code of Student Conduct from
Student Guide Handbook)
A&M-Commerce will comply in the classroom, and in online courses, with all federal and state
laws prohibiting discrimination and related retaliation on the basis of race, color, religion, sex,
national origin, disability, age, genetic information or veteran status. Further, an environment
free from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression
will be maintained.
All students are expected to display professional behaviors (dispositions) expected of
educators and to demonstrate these behaviors in their interactions with K-12 students,
families, your colleagues, the professor, and communities at all times. These professional
behaviors consist of such behaviors as professional responsibility, professional and
personal integrity, collegiality, and commitment to learning. Failure to display
professional behaviors can result in counseling by the professor and result in lowering of
the course grade.
o Academic Dishonesty. To be successful in this class, you must invest time for study.
Honesty is expected. Academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, collusion) will NOT be
tolerated and will result in a grade of zero (0) for the assignment. A second infraction
will result in automatic failure of the class. Dishonesty is defined as (i) the use of
unauthorized materials, (ii) any communication with peers during quizzes, (iii)
representing another’s work as one’s own (i.e. plagiarism) or (iv) fabricating information.
The professor reserves the right to determine occurrences of cheating.
o Plagiarism occurs at any time that another’s ideas or words are used as your own without
attribution. Direct quotations must be cited and set off from other text by quotation
marks (“ ..”). Paraphrasing of another’s ideas must also be cited (although this does not
require quotation marks). Copying from other students and two or more students who
work together and turn in the exact same work (unless it’s an assigned group project) also
constitute plagiarism.
All assignments must be submitted by the stated due dates. Unexcused assignments submitted
after the due date will be returned ungraded.
Please note: The purpose of discussion items is to stimulate thought and discussion. When
discussion boards are used, be sure to post your comments in a timely manner.
A general note about timeliness: The timelines for this course are not negotiable. Plan to read
your chapters and complete your assignments in a timely manner each week to accommodate for
unforeseen circumstances (power outages, sick children, etc.) that may occur close to the stated
Make/Up exam: There will be NO make-up exams for this course unless a true emergency
exists. Students are expected to submit relevant documentation (e.g. doctor’s note, funeral
notice, etc.) when requesting a make/up examination.
Written Assignments: Written assignments MUST be typed using double spaced lines, include
your name, and have page numbers. In addition, work submitted should reflect a professional
quality in terms of scope, depth, writing mechanics, and appearance. Proofread all assignments
as only materials with minimal or no errors will receive high scores.
Person First Language: Our language is a reflection of our attitudes. Always refer to persons
with disabilities with respect. Degrading terminology will not be tolerated. In this class we will
strive to use “people first” language at all times. “People First” language always refers to the
person first and not as a label or a category. For example, refer to “a student with autism” and
not “an autistic” or “students with disabilities” and not “disabled students.” In addition, avoid
such stigmatizing terminology as “confined to a wheelchair” (say “uses a wheelchair for
mobility” instead). Also, use “general education” instead of “regular education.”
Attachment # 1 -- Course Objectives
Course objectives include, but are not limited to, the following:
Competency 001
1. Characteristics of individuals with different types of disabilities, including individuals with
different levels of severity and multiple disabilities across eligibility categories, and analysis of
the impact of various disabilities on learning and experiences.
2. How the developmental, academic, social, career and functional characteristics of individuals
with disabilities relate to levels of support needed and application of knowledge of human
development and disabilities to plan and implement appropriate curriculum.
3. Theoretical explanations for behavioral disorders and analysis of the varied characteristics of
behavioral disorders and their effect on learning.
4. The different ways that students with and without disabilities learn.
5. Knowledge of human development and the effects of various types of disabilities on
developmental processes in order to identify the needs of individuals with and without
6. The effects of cultural and environmental influences (e.g., linguistic characteristics,
socioeconomic issues, abuse/neglect, substance abuse) on the child and family.
7. Typical, delayed and disordered communication patterns, including nonsymbolic
communication, and the impact of language development on the academic and social skills of
individuals with disabilities.
8. Aspects of medical conditions affecting individuals with disabilities, including the effects of
various medications on behavior and functioning and the implications of medical complications
for student support needs (e.g., seizure management, tube feeding, catheterization,
cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR]).
9. Ways in which physical disabilities and health impairments relate to development and behavior,
and knowledge of the etiologies and effects of sensory disabilities and other conditions affecting
individuals with disabilities.
Competency 004
10. Procedures for ensuring a safe, positive and supportive learning environment in which diversities
are valued and how to address common environmental and personal barriers that hinder
accessibility for and acceptance of individuals with disabilities.
11. How to use instructional time efficiently and effectively for individuals with disabilities.
12. How to design, structure, and manage daily routines, including transition time, for students in a
variety of educational settings and procedures for monitoring behavior changes across activities
and settings.
13. Knowledge of basic classroom management theories, methods, and techniques for individuals
with disabilities, research-based best practices for effective management of teaching and
learning, and management procedures that are appropriate for individual needs.
14. Ways in which technology can assist in managing the teaching and learning environment to meet
the needs of individual students.
15. Various types of assistive technologies, devices, services and resources and their role in
facilitating a student’s educational achievement, communication, positioning, mobility and active
participation in educational activities and routines.
16. How to make informed decisions about types and levels of assistive technologies, devices and
services for students with various needs, collect and analyze information about a student’s
environment and curriculum to identify and monitor assistive technology needs and support the
use of assistive technologies, devices and services.
17. Procedures for participating in the selection and implementation of assistive technologies,
devices and services for students with various needs.
18. Procedures for coordinating activities of related services personnel and directing the activities of
paraprofessionals, aides, volunteers and peer tutors.
19. Knowledge of appropriate body mechanics to ensure student and teacher safety in transfer,
lifting, positioning, and seating.
Competency 010
20. The historical foundations of special education, major contributors to the literature, major
legislation relevant to knowledge and practice in the education of individuals with disabilities
and current issues and trends in special education.
21. Knowledge of models, theories and philosophies that provide the basis for special education
22. Current educational terminology and definitions regarding individuals with disabilities, including
professionally accepted classification systems and current incidence and prevalence figures.
23. Issues relating to definition and identification procedures for individuals with disabilities,
including individuals from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds.
24. Factors that influence the overrepresentation of culturally and/or linguistically diverse students in
programs for students with disabilities.
25. Various perspectives (e.g., medical, psychological, behavioral, educational) regarding definitions
and etiologies of disabilities.
26. Cultural variations in beliefs, traditions and values and their effects on the relationships among
child, family and school.
27. Knowledge of the continuum of placement and services for individuals with disabilities.
Competency 012
28. The collaborative roles of students, parents/guardians, teachers and other school and community
personnel in planning and implementing an individualized program and effective strategies for
working collaboratively in various contexts.
29. Knowledge of factors that promote effective communication and collaboration with students,
parents/guardians, teachers, paraprofessionals and other school and community personnel.
30. How to foster respectful and beneficial relationships between families and professionals in the
school and community.
31. Typical concerns of families of individuals with disabilities and appropriate strategies to support
families in dealing with these concerns.
32. Knowledge of strategies for encouraging and assisting parents / guardians in their role as active
participants in their children’s education and procedures for planning and conducting
collaborative conferences with parents / guardians.
33. Knowledge of effective communication in various professional contexts and ethical practices for
confidential communication regarding individuals with disabilities.
34. The types of information generally available from parents/guardians, school officials, the legal
system and community service agencies.
35. Knowledge of the collaborative and consultative roles of special education teachers,
paraprofessionals and other school personnel in integrating individuals into general education
36. How to collaborate with teachers in the general educational setting and other school and
community personnel to integrate individuals with disabilities into various learning
37. How to serve as a resource person for families, general education teachers, administrators and
other school personnel regarding the characteristics and needs of individuals with disabilities.
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