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Developmental Disabilities Concentration

With our Developmental Disabilities License, you’ll become adept at implementing and adapting evidence-based instruction methods that will meet the needs of your students and help them succeed. If you're not already a licensed teacher, you will have to complete required prerequisite courses which meet the MN Standards of Effective Practice.

Online

Mostly Online

You'll complete over 80% of your coursework online.

Location: Online

Start Dates: Courses start every 6 weeks. Contact your enrollment counselor for details.

Blended

Partially Online

Courses will be a mix of online and face to face sessions. You'll complete over half of your coursework online.

Location: Anderson Center

Start Dates: Spring 2019

Total Credits

41

Finish in as Few as

15-18 months (plus thesis)

Courses

  • Educational Research (EDUC614)

    Development of skills needed to search for, find, review, and summarize scholarly research articles and peer reviewed journals. Introduction to the Bethel University Librarys tools which support educational research. Understanding of APA style. Consideration of the connection between a Christian worldview and either a literature review or action research project.

    1 credits

  • Preparing the Thesis/Action Research Project (EDUC755)

    Description of the masters thesis and action research project options including requirements and the oral examination process for the masters degree. Understanding of both quantitative and qualitative research designs. Identification of a literature review, literature review with application emphasis, or action research project topic and creation of a prospectus. Demonstration of academic research, writing skills, and APA formatting proficiency.

    1 credits

  • Writing the Thesis/Action Research Project (EDUC790)

    Exploration of a significant educational issue relevant to the student's professional involvement through an independent, individually supervised thesis or project. Oral defense of students thesis or project following collaboration with thesis advisor to ensure guidelines have been followed and requirements have been met as noted in the Bethel University Graduate Education Thesis Handbook.

    3 credits

  • Introduction to Special Education (SPED605)

    Identification of the impact historical and philosophical foundations, legal bases, and contemporary issues have on special education. Identification of common disability category characteristics. Description of the impact culture, faith, and linguistics have on special education. Description of how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) impacts special education.

    1 credits

  • Foundations of Developmental and Cognitive Disabilities/Intellectual Disabilities (SPED607)

    Examination of the historical, legal and philosophical foundations of educating students with developmental cognitive disabilities. Survey of etiology and characteristics of students, definitions and identification, assessment, and current issues related to disabilities. Integration of personal faith, reflection, vision, and professional development practices to improve service to students and families.

    3 credits

  • Introduction to Academic Instruction and Behavior Management for the Exceptional Learner (SPED608)

    This course will prepare special education teachers for their unique role as academic instructors and skillful classroom managers. Students will become familiar with a wide range of evidence-based teaching and behavior management methods that include approaches for one to one, small group and class-wide delivery. An emphasis on universal design as it relates to the needs of both typically developing and exceptional learners will accompany a foundational introduction to Behavioral management through antecedent-based intervention and environmental arrangement.

    3 credits

  • Norm-Referenced Assessment (SPED610)

    Description of standards and critical elements in the special education assessment process. Identification of test development principles and evaluation of standardized assessment instruments for special education decision-making. Description of responsibilities of assessment team members. Synthesis of assessment data. Application of scriptural principles to assessment in special education.

    3 credits

  • Norm-Referenced Assessment (SPED610)

    Description of standards and critical elements in the special education assessment process. Identification of test development principles and evaluation of standardized assessment instruments for special education decision-making. Description of responsibilities of assessment team members. Synthesis of assessment data. Application of scriptural principles to assessment in special education.

    3 credits

  • Instruction and Intervention for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (SPED615)

    Assessment selection for data-based, educational decision making for students with developmental cognitive disabilities/intellectual disabilities. Application of effective education planning and strategies to support improved student outcomes in the areas of social skills, academics, motor skills, communication, self care, and home and community skills.

    3 credits

  • Foundations of Instructional Strategies for Students with Mild-Moderate Disabilities (SPED618)

    Interpretation of student performance data. Description of differentiation strategies. Application of evidence-based instructional practices and theories for students with a range of disabilities and diverse needs. Designing of positive instructional environments. Reflection on the relationship between faith concepts and educational practice in K-12 special education.

    3 credits

  • Supporting Students with Intellectual Disabilities Across Systems (SPED619)

    Exploration of how the case manager of students with intellectual disabilities and the special education process can leverage comprehensive systems, agencies, and people within and outside of schools to contribute to positive outcomes for students with complex needs.

    3 credits

  • Reading Foundations (SPED620)

    Identification of relationships among reading, writing, and oral language, comprehension processes, and instructional strategies. Description of the structure of the English language and word identification strategies, and the role of vocabulary knowledge in language. Analysis of different texts for K-12 classrooms. Assessment strategies for reading and writing needs.

    3 credits

  • Reading Field Experience (SPED621)

    Supervised reading instruction in a K-12 setting. Assessment and analysis of reading ability. Creation of lessons and application of reading instruction skills/strategies. Designing of an environment that fosters reading. Identification of how personal faith connects with the professional responsibilities of a teacher. 30 hours over 12 weeks.

    1 credits

  • Special Education: Planning and Programming (SPED625)

    Development and evaluation of an individual education program (IEP) based on student assessment results. Consideration of technology, supplementary aids, services, and transition needs of students. Synthesis of cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity. Demonstration of best practice and collaboration techniques between school, family, and outside agencies.

    3 credits

  • Classroom-Based Assessment (SPED655)

    Description of legal, professional, and ethical standards in assessment related to informal assessment measures and environmental factors influencing student achievement and behavior. Description of students learning style, strengths, and analysis of behavior based on observations and assessment data. Identification of the influence diversity, age, and gender have on assessment.

    3 credits

  • Special Education Assessment Field Experience (SPED670)

    Identification of students strengths and needs through assessment. Identification of the purpose of multidisciplinary teams. Development of an evaluation report. Explanation of assessment results with family, student and staff. Creation of interventions. Development of a plan for continued professional development in the area of assessment. 30 hours/12 weeks

    1 credits

  • DD Field Experience (SPED674)

    Observation of K-12 educational programming processes for students with mild, moderate, or severe disabilities in the areas of developmental cognitive disabilities/intellectual disabilities (DCD). Experience with referral process, evaluation, eligibility, IEP development, programming, and professional collaboration. Integration of personal faith perspective with vision for serving students with DCD. 35 hour supervised observation experience.

    1 credits

    Corequisite Course: SPED607

  • Consultation, Collaboration & Resources (SPED675)

    Identification of collaborative partners and structures needed to provide effective special education services to students and their families. Inclusion of community, interagency, educational organizations, and other professional services while considering family background, socioeconomic status, cultural and linguistic diversity. Evaluation of current research and its relevance to planning and implementing emerging special education practices.

    2 credits

  • Select one from:

    • DD: Student Teaching (SPED784)

      Evaluative procedures used in identifying and understanding students with mild-moderate-severe Developmental Cognitive Disabilities. Collaborative analysis of assessment results and creation of IEPs in a K-12 setting. Design and implementation of appropriate interventions. Analysis of personal and spiritual growth related to the role of a special education professional. 12 weeks supervised teaching experience.

      4 credits

    • DD: Practicum (SPED779)

      Implementation of procedures necessary to incorporate interventions and IEPs for students with developmental cognitive disabilities using engaging resources. Management of timelines, responsibilities, and consultation with parents, school and community professionals. Analysis of personal and professional growth as a special educator. (6 consecutive weeks)

      3 credits

Program Distinctives

Approved by Minnesota Board of Teaching

The Board of Teaching governs the teacher licensing requirements for the state of Minnesota. The graduate Special Education program at Bethel meets these requirements.

Accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)

Bethel’s graduate Special Education program is accredited under the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) Quality Principles through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Accreditation System for a period of 7 years, from October 2015 through December 2022. Our teacher education program will seek accreditation under the CAEP Standards in fall of 2022. Formed in 2013, CAEP is the single specialized accreditor for educator preparation, and administers TEAC accreditation. See our candidate performance data (pdf).

Premier Paraprofessional Partnership with Anoka-Hennepin

We partner with the Anoka-Hennepin School District to offer you opportunities to work as a full-time float para in area schools while you earn your master’s in special education. This program is a chance to gain first hand experience, get full-time pay and benefits while you work towards your degree, and make connections that will help you build a successful career.

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