Academic Programs

Academic Units: Department of Exceptional Education

Order your copy of the Undergraduate Catalog from the JMU Bookstore.

General Education

Interdisciplinary Programs

Academic Units

Link to JMU Homepage

Publisher: JMU Academic Affairs
MSC 8002, Harrisonburg, VA 22807

For more information, contact: JMU Catalog Office, ug-catalog@jmu.edu

Copyright © 2006 James Madison University. All rights reserved.
Privacy Statement

This site is best viewed in
Internet Explorer 6.0 or above at
1024 x 768 pixels.

Exceptional Education
  Special Education Master's Level Licensure Program
The undergraduate, pre-professional program in special education complements a professionally oriented masterís degree program designed to prepare special education teachers. This program provides the requisite course offerings and experiences that form the foundation for admission to the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree program in special education. Completion of the M.Ed. program is required for K-12 licensure in special education in the areas of emotional disturbance, learning disabilities or mental retardation and the area of early childhood special education (ECSE) birth to age five. The special education program also offers an 18 credit hour non-teaching, undergraduate minor.

Teacher candidates completing the professional licensure program must meet a set of content and specific teaching area criteria that has been established by the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as most other states. In order to meet these requirements, students are advised to major in a liberal arts or science major. The Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies (IDLS), a major that provides students in the pre-professional program extended breadth and integration across the content areas of English/language arts, history/social studies, mathematics and the natural sciences is recommended though other majors may be selected with the approval of the special education program.

The special education pre-professional program enables one to become knowledgeable about the characteristics, diagnosis and remediation of children with developmental delays, learning and behavior problems. Study in the areas of emotional disturbance, learning disabilities and mental retardation is included and students completing the five year licensure program are prepared to serve as teachers of students with disabilities in a variety of educational placements. The licensure program is designed to prepare resilient educators who are advocates for children and youth with disabilities, are qualified for the complexity of their professional roles and are reflective problem-solvers. The program includes extensive field experiences.

Students should consult with the department head or undergraduate coordinator early during the first year or as soon thereafter as possible to obtain information concerning General Education, IDLS or other liberal arts or science majors, and special education requirements as well as the requirements for admission to Teacher Education. It is important for students to understand that they must meet the requirements for a baccalaureate degree and successfully complete all undergraduate pre-professional courses and experiences prior to being fully admitted to the M.Ed. program. Students must complete the M.Ed. program satisfactorily in order to be recommended for a teaching license in special education through JMU.

Students should note that prerequisites and corequisites are required for many of the courses included in the pre-professional special education program. Exceptions to meeting those requirements must be approved by the Exceptional Education department head.

Students should also be aware that program requirements may change at any time reflecting changes in teacher licensure enacted by the Virginia Department of Education or other accrediting agencies after the catalog copy is approved. Therefore, it is especially important for students to confer with their advisers and the program coordinator on a regular basis.

Back to top of page Program Requirements
Completion of the five year professional program may lead to eligibility for a Virginia teaching license for the following areas for those selecting the school age (K-12) track: emotional disturbance, learning disabilities and mental retardation.

For students choosing the early childhood special education track, the program may lead to eligibility for a teaching license to teach children with disabilities, birth through age five.

To be recommended for licensure, all students must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete General Education and IDLS/liberal arts or science major requirements.
  • Complete the special education pre-professional program as it corresponds to the related teaching track.
  • Meet all admission and retention criteria for teacher education.
  • Meet admission requirements for the special education M.Ed. program.
  • Complete the graduate portion of the licensure program.
The following courses are included for all candidates enrolled in the pre-professional (undergraduate) program in special education:
Credit Hours
GPSYC 160. Life Span Human Development
3
SPED 200. Nature and Issues of Disabilities
3
EDUC 360. Foundations of American Education
3
EDUC 310. Teaching in a Diverse Society
3
SPED 312. Field Experience in Special Education and Diversity
1
CSD 444. Language Development Classroom
3
SPED 300. Educational Technology for Students with Disabilities
1
SPED 310. Survey of Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
2
SPED 320. Survey of Learning Disabilities
2
SPED 330. Survey of Mental Retardation
2
SPED 340. Classroom Observation in Special Education
1
SPED 350. Psychoeducational Assessment of Learning and Behavior Problems
3
SPED 440. Classroom Management and Professional Collaboration
3
SPED 485. Systematic Behavior Intervention
3

33
Additional course work required for ECSE Track:
Credit Hours
ECED 371. Practicum in ECED
1
ECED 372. Introduction to Early Childhood Ed.
3
ECED 441. Practicum in Child Development
1
ECED 442. The Young Child
3
ELED 433. Children and Mathematics: Number, Operations, Algebraic and Geometric Reasoning
3
SPED 465. Perspectives in Early Childhood Special Education
3
SPED 471. Practicum in Integrated Primary SPED
1
SPED 310. Survey of Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
3
READ 436. Literacy in Learning in the Elementary Classroom
3
Additional course work required for the K-12 Track:
Credit Hours
EDUC 430. General Education Curriculum: K-12 Overview
1
READ 430. Development, Assessment and Instruction of Literacy
3
MAED 430. Teaching Math in K-12 Grades
3
SPED 430. Practicum in General Education Methods
2
SPED 420. Developing and Managing the Special Education Instructional Program
1
SPED 450. Principles of Specialized Reading Instruction
3
SPED 470. Directed Practicum in Special Education
2
SPED 475. Individualized Education Programs and Curriculum-Based Assessment
3
Additional course work required for ECSE Track:
Credit Hours
ECED 371. Practicum in ECED
1
ECED 372. Introduction to Early Childhood Ed.
3
ECED 441. Practicum in Child Development
1
ECED 442. The Young Child
3
ELED 433. Children and Mathematics: Number, Operations, Algebraic and Geometric Reasoning
3
SPED 465. Perspectives in Early Childhood Special Education
3
SPED 471. Practicum in Integrated Primary SPED
1
SPED 310. Survey of Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
3
READ 436. Literacy in Learning in the Elementary Classroom
3
Candidates beginning the graduate portion of the program must meet all College of Graduate and Outreach Programs requirements and criteria for admission; it is expected that students will complete the admission process early in their senior year. In addition, candidates must meet all graduate level graduation requirements. See the Graduate Catalog for additional details. The following courses are included in the graduate portion of the licensure program in special education. Note that courses relate to either the K-12 track or the early childhood special education (ECSE) track.
ECSE (Birth-Five) Track
Credit Hours
MSSE 630. Inquiry in the Classroom
3
SPED 505. Service Delivery Systems in Early Childhood Special Education
3
SPED 622. Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education
3
SPED 623. Programming in Early Childhood Special Education
3
SPED 625. Medical and Technological Aspects of Early Childhood Special Education
3
SPED 626. Practicum: Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
3
SPED 627. Practicum: Early Childhood Special Education
3
SPED 650. Student Teaching in Special Education
6
SPED 670. Professional Practice Seminar
4
SPED K-12 Track
Credit Hours
MSSE 630. Inquiry in Education
3
SPED 520. Differentiation of Instruction and Collaboration in Special Education
3
SPED 600. Instructional Methods in Special Education
3
SPED 610. Practicum in Special Education Instructional Methods
2
SPED 615. Transition Services for Students with Disabilities
3
SPED 650. Student Teaching in Special Education
6
SPED 650. Student Teaching in Special Education
6
SPED 670. Professional Practice Seminar
4
Back to top of page Recommended Schedule for Special Education (based on IDLS major)
First Year
Credit Hours
Cluster One: Skills for the 21st Century
12
General Education courses/IDLS
21

33
 
Second Year
Credit Hours
GPSYC 160. Life Span Human Development
3
SPED 200. Nature and Issues of Disabilities
3
SPED 312. Field Experience in Special Education and Diversity
1
EDUC 310. Teaching in a Diverse Society
3
EDUC 360. Foundations of American Education
3
General Education courses/IDLS
17

30
 
Third Year (K-12)
Credit Hours
SPED 310. Survey of Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
2
SPED 320. Survey of Learning Disabilities
2
SPED 330. Survey of Mental Retardation
2
SPED 340. Classroom Observation in Special Education
1
EDUC 430. General Education Curriculum: K-12 Overview
1
MAED 430. Teaching Math in K-12 Grades
3
READ 430. Development, Assessment and Instruction of Literacy: K-12
3
SPED 430. Practicum in General Education Methods
2
Major requirements
12

28
 
Third Year (ECSE)
Credit Hours
SPED 310. Survey of Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
2
SPED 320. Survey of Learning Disabilities
2
SPED 330. Survey of Mental Retardation
2
SPED 340. Classroom Observation in Special Education
1
ECED 371. Practicum in ECED
1
ECED 372. Introduction to Early Childhood Education
3
READ 430. Development, Assessment and Instruction of Literacy: K-12
3
ECED 441. Practicum in Child Development
1
ECED 442. Child Development
3
READ 366. Early Literacy Development and Acquisition
3
Major requirements
12

30
 
Fourth Year (K-12)
Credit Hours
CSD 444. Language Development
3
SPED 300. Educational Technology for Students with Disabilities
1
SPED 350. Psychoeducational Assessment of Learning and Behavior Problems
3
SPED 420. Developing and Managing the Special Education Instruction Program
1
SPED 440. Classroom Management and Professional Collaboration
3
SPED 450. Principles of Specialized Reading Instruction
3
SPED 470. Directed Practicum in Special Education
2
SPED 475. IEP and Curriculum-Based Assessment
3
SPED 485. Systematic Behavioral Intervention
3
Major requirements
9

31
 
Fourth Year (ECSE)
Credit Hours
CSD 444. Language Development
3
READ 366. Early Literacy Development and Acquisition
3
READ 436. Literacy in Learning in the Elementary Classroom
3
SPED 300. Educational Technology for Students with Disabilities
1
SPED 350. Psychoeducational Assessment of Learning and Behavior Problems
3
SPED 440. Classroom Management and Professional Collaboration
3
ELED 433. Children and Mathematics: Numbers, Operations, Algebraic and Geometric Reasoning
3
SPED 465. Perspectives in Early Childhood Special Education
3
SPED 471. Practicum in Integrated Primary SPED
1
SPED 485 Systematic Behavioral Intervention
3
Major requirements
9

35
Back to top of page Teaching as a Second Language
  • Dr. Solange Lopes-Murphy, Program Adviser
  • Phone: (540) 568-2936
  • E-mail: lopesmsa@jmu.edu
The Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) program is designed to enable students to complete the minor and add the TESL teaching area to another area in which they are licensed to teach. Although the focus of the program is on satisfying the requirements for teaching English as a Second Language, candidates who are interested in second language acquisition may complete the TESL minor without completing all of the teacher licensure requirements. Candidates must complete requirements beyond those courses listed in the minor in order to be recommended for TESL licensure. Candidates interested in teacher licensure should consult with the program adviser.

The mission of the minor in Teaching English as a Second Language is to prepare students to work effectively in promoting English language acquisition by children and adults who have not used English as their primary language. The minor will also serve to develop knowledge of cross-cultural education. The TESL minor draws heavily upon theories of linguistics, research on social and cultural variables that influence second language acquisition, and the knowledge required to facilitate second language learning.

Required Courses
Credit Hours
SCOM 248. Intercultural Communicationor another course in the field of diversity and multiculturalism
3
EDUC 422/522. Concepts in Second Language Acquisition Research and Application
3
EDUC 425/525. Cross-Cultural Education
3
EDUC 428/528. Assessment for Curriculum Development in English as a Second Language
3
EDUC 490. Special Topics in Education when topic is Linguistics for Language Teachers
3
READ 430. Development, Assessment and Instruction of Literacy
3

18
Back to top of page Licensure to Teach ESL
  PreK-12
Through the state approved program at James Madison University, individuals who have completed requirements for an initial teaching license and for the TESL minor can complete the additional requirements to add English as a Second Language (ESL) to the license to teach in the public schools of Virginia. Candidates currently enrolled in initial teaching licensure programs may complete the TESL minor and licensure requirements in conjunction with completing their other preparation program or complete the additional teaching license requirements as post-baccalaureate students.

Individuals who complete the program are prepared to design activities to accommodate the linguistic and social needs of ESL students in PreK-12 and to serve as resource persons for classroom teachers.

The requirements for adding the ESL teaching endorsement are:

  • Completion of teacher licensure requirements in another teaching area prior to completing this program.
  • Completion of course work in a language other than English with proficiency at the intermediate level or above as determined by the JMU Foreign Language Department.
  • Completion of the 18 credit hour minor in TESL (outlined above) and the 12 hours of professional courses given below.
Additional Requirements for Licensure
Credit Hours
A Modern Foreign Language
6
EDUC 381. Field Experience in English as a Second Language
3
EDUC 570. Methods of Language Teaching
3

12
The ESL teacher preparation program is based upon three major assumptions:
  • ESL teachers need to develop theories of teaching and learning, understand the nature of teacher decision-making in working with non-native language speakers, and develop their personal strategies for self-awareness and self-evaluation.
  • ESL teachers should have proficiency at the intermediate level in at least one language other than English and possess a broad range of knowledge that provides the cultural context for teaching students from differing cultural backgrounds.
  • ESL teachers must be reflective decision-makers based upon professional preparation that develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
The primary mission of the Teaching English as a Second Language program is the preparation of ESL teachers for the public schools of Virginia. The teachers will have knowledge and experiences designed to help them serve in educational settings as resource personnel to help accommodate the linguistic and social needs of ESL students; assess the quality of curricular and teaching practices for non-native students in regular classrooms; and contribute to the development and improvement of ESL and content-based education to students of other languages.
Back to top of page Non-Teaching Minor Requirements
  Special Education Non-Teaching Minor
  • Dr. Cheryl Beverly, Program Adviser
  • Phone: (540) 568-6262
  • E-mail: beverlcl@jmu.edu
The non-teaching minor program in special education is designed for students in other major fields who wish to acquire professional knowledge related to assisting individuals with disabilities but who do not want to pursue Virginia teaching licensure. All students seeking to complete the minor must meet with the non-teaching program adviser to develop an approved program of study. The completion of 18 credit hours of course credit is required for the minor.
Required Courses
Credit Hours
SPED 200. Nature and Issues of Disabilities
3
SPED 310. Survey of Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
2
SPED 320. Survey of Learning Disabilities
2
SPED 330. Survey of Mental Retardation
2
SPED 440. Classroom Management and Professional Collaboration
3

12
Electives (select six credits from the following):
6
SPED 202. Field Experiences in Special Education
SPED 300. Educational Technology for Students with Disabilities
SPED 490. Special Studies in Special Education (requires permission of instructor)
CSD 420. Introduction to Sign Language
CSD 421. Sign Language II

18