Department of Exceptional Education
The Department of Exceptional Education offers programs in special education, inclusive education, teaching English to speakers of other languages and gifted education.
Master's Level Licensure Program
The special education pre-professional program enables one to become knowledgeable about the characteristics, diagnosis and remediation of children with disabilities accessing the general education curriculum. Students completing the five-year licensure program are prepared to serve as teachers of students with disabilities in a variety of educational placements and delivery models.
The licensure program is designed to prepare resilient, culturally competent 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. Assessment of candidate performance includes evaluation of performance in individual courses and practicum, as well as other criteria. At various points throughout the program, there are formative and summative assessments where faculty committees review the overall performance of each candidate. Formative assessments will be used to advise candidates and develop a plan of actions for addressing any concerns that have been identified by the faculty. Summative assessments will be used to identify those candidates who are not making satisfactory progress towards advancement to the next sequences of courses and experiences. If progress is unsatisfactory, the candidate will not be allowed to continue until any identified deficiencies are corrected. In some cases, a candidate will be allowed to continue in the next semester, but there will be a plan of action for addressing any concerns that have been identified by the faculty.
Students should consult with the department head, undergraduate coordinator or their assigned adviser 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.
The IDLS major is assigned two advisers. One adviser is the adviser for the education pre-professional licensure program who will guide the student through the licensure program requirements. The other adviser is the IDLS adviser who will guide the student through the IDLS major requirements. Students should plan on consulting both advisers regularly. Typically, the education adviser is assigned when the student meets with the head coordinator of his or her licensure program and elects the licensure program. This may be as early as the first semester of the first year. The IDLS adviser is assigned when the first year student advising folders are transferred to the IDLS office (second semester, first year). Students are required to check with advisers regularly to ensure timely graduation.
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.A.T. program. Students must complete the M.A.T. 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.
General Curriculum K-12
Completion of the five-year professional program may lead to eligibility for a Virginia teaching license for the special education general curriculum K-12.
Assessment occurs each semester and performance will be reviewed at each assessment gate. Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory performance before moving on to the next semester. Satisfactory performance includes a "C" or better in course work, demonstration of professional behaviors, and acceptable performance in practicums and on key assessments.
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.A.T. program.
- Complete the graduate portion of the licensure program.
Five-Year K-12 Special Education M.A.T.
|Sophomore Year||Credit Hours|
|GPSYC 160. Lifespan Human Development||3|
|EXED 200. Foundations of Exceptional Education||3|
|EXED 303. Foundations of Classroom & Behavior Management||3|
|EDUC 300. Foundations of Education||3|
|Junior Year||Credit Hours|
|PSYC 270. Learning and Cognition for Education||3|
|MSSE 240. Foundations of Mid/Secondary Ed||3|
|READ 430. Dev., Assmt, & Instuction of Literacy K12||3|
|MAED 430. Foundations of Math Instruction||3|
|EXED 341. Characteristics of High-Incidence Dis.||4|
|EXED 376. Initial Practicum for SPED||1|
|Senior Year||Credit Hours|
|EXED 450. Specialized Reading Instruction||3|
|EXED 474. Assessment for Mgt of Instruction & Behav||3|
|EXED 476. Practicum in Assessment & Reading||2|
|EXED 484. Instructional Methods for Learners||3|
|EXED 475. Building Instructional Programs & Plans||3|
|EXED 486. Clinical Practice in SPED Methods||2|
|Graduate Program||Credit Hours|
|EXED 520. Differentiation of Instruction||2|
|EXED 510. Systematic Behavior Intervention||3|
|EXED 507. Supporting Access to GenEd (Block 1)||3|
|EXED 610. Practicum in Supporting Access (Block 1)||3|
|EXED 615. Transition (Part A)||2|
|EXED 670. Professional Seminar (Block 2)||1|
|EXED 650. Student Teaching (Block 2)||4|
|EXED 615. Transition Part B||2|
|EXED 605. Research and Trends (Block 3)||3|
|EXED 670. Professional Seminar (Block 4)||2|
|EXED 650. Student Teaching (Block 4)||4|
Birth – Grade 3
The inclusive early childhood program draws heavily from research and theories in child development, family systems, special education, differentiated teaching and learning.
Through course work and extensive field experiences, the teacher candidate is prepared to design activities that have an interdisciplinary focus, reflect an understanding of the individual child's development and learning, recognize the importance of family and developmental influences, support the young child in constructing knowledge about self and the world, and involve parents in supporting the child's growth and development.
The JMU program prepares teachers for endorsements in Early Childhood Special Education, birth to five, and Early Childhood Education, PreK-3. The program is based on the following three assumptions:
- Early childhood educators must have a strong liberal education.
- Early childhood educators should possess a broad range of knowledge that provides a context for understanding individual behavior, family and environmental influences and major social issues in a modern democratic and technological society.
- Early childhood educators must have professional preparation that develops critical thinking and problem – solving skills to become educational decision makers who consciously choose appropriate curriculum based on an understanding of how children develop and learn.
The courses in the Inclusive Early Childhood Education program are sequentially organized throughout four undergraduate and three graduate semesters to help candidates develop an understanding of how children learn and interact in learning environments as well as familiarity with methods and materials appropriate for teaching and working in a collaborative way with families and other professionals.
Field experiences are provided along with course work to enable candidates to apply their knowledge in a variety of family and learning settings. Candidates must be accepted in teacher education to begin upper level IECE course work.
Assessment occurs each semester and performance will be reviewed at each assessment gate. Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory performance before moving on to the next semester. Satisfactory performance includes a "C" or higher in all education coursework and an overall 2.5, demonstration of professional behaviors, acceptable performance in practica and on key assessments.
To be recommended for licensure in ECSE and PreK-3, candidates must satisfy the following requirements:
- complete the General Education and degree requirements of the university.
- complete a major in IDLS.
- meet all admission and retention requirements for teacher education and the IECE program.
- complete the 43 credit hour pre-professional program with an overall 2.75 GPA
- be admitted to graduate school
- complete the 30 hour graduate program including student teaching
Candidates in this program must meet with an IECE program adviser to declare the pre-professional licensure program in inclusive early childhood education, be assigned a date to start the program, and be assigned an adviser in inclusive early childhood education in addition to their first year or major adviser. A limited number of candidates can start the program each semester; therefore, candidates should meet with adviser during their first semester of enrollment at JMU.
The IDLS major is assigned two advisers. One adviser is the adviser for the education pre-professional licensure program who will guide the student through the licensure program requirements. The other adviser is the IDLS adviser who will guide the student through the IDLS major requirements. Students should plan on consulting both advisers regularly. Typically, the education adviser is assigned when the student meets with the head of his or her licensure program and elects the licensure program. This may be as early as the first semester of the first year. The IDLS adviser is assigned when the first year student advising folders are transferred to the IDLS office (second semester, first year) Students are required to check with advisers regularly to ensure timely graduation.
Degree and Major Requirements
|General Education requirements 1||41|
|Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies Major||37|
|Inclusive Early Childhood Licensure Pre-professional Course Work||47|
|Graduate Degree Course Work||30|
1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
Refer to the Department of Early, Elementary and Reading Education for required undergraduate and graduate courses.
Candidates must apply to student teach one year prior to their student teaching semester. At that time, students must be fully accepted into teacher education, be admitted unconditionally to graduate school and have a 3.0 graduate GPA.
Program Adviser: Dr. Laura Desportes
Phone: (540) 568-4527
The Department of Exceptional Education offers an add-on endorsement in gifted education at the graduate level only. See the graduate catalog for information.
Coordinator: Dr. Stephanie Wasta
Phone: (540) 568-5210
The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program is designed to enable students to complete the TESOL non-licensure minor or the TESOL PK-12 licensure. Both programs prepare students to work effectively in promoting English language acquisition of children and adults who are not native English speakers. These programs also promote development of skills in cross-cultural competence and draw 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.
Candidates currently enrolled in initial teaching licensure programs may be able to complete the TESOL requirements in conjunction with completing their other preparation program. With careful planning, dual licensure is possible. Candidates interested in dual licensure should consult with the TESOL coordinator and the other program area adviser for more information.
The non-licensure minor program in TESOL is designed for students in various fields who wish to acquire professional knowledge related to teaching English to speakers of other languages, but who do not want to pursue Virginia teaching licensure. Students who minor in TESOL will develop an understanding of the U.S. educational system, acquire skills in cross-cultural competence, and become familiar with the processes of first and second language acquisition. Students will gain a foundational knowledge of appropriate practices to assist and assess English language learners. The TESOL non-licensure minor requires a minimum of 18 credit hours; 15 credits are required core courses and three credits are electives selected in consultation with an adviser for this program.
|EDUC 300. Foundations of American Education|
|EDUC 310. Teaching in a Diverse Society|
|TESL 426. Concepts in First and Second Language Acquisition|
|TESL 428. Assessment for Curriculum Development in English as a Second Language|
|READ 430. Development, Assessment and Instruction of Literacy|
|(Choose one of the following courses; some may have an additional practica requirement)|
|EDUC 370. Educational Technology Practicum|
READ 435. Literacy Development for TESOL
*has an additional 1 credit practicum, TESL 383
|EXED 440. Classroom Management|
|ENG 308. Introduction to Linguistics|
TESL 470. Instructional Strategies for TESOL
*has an additional 3 credit practicum, TESL 381
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) PK-12: Undergraduate Licensure Program
James Madison University's College of Education, through the English Language Learning Academy (ELLA) offers licensure preparation for PK-12 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). This program draws on theories of linguistics, research on social and cultural variables that influence second language acquisition and the knowledge required to facilitate second language learning. The TESOL program will prepare future educators to understand and implement more equitable and effective ways of working with English Language Learners in a variety of contexts, including inclusion in content/general education classes, sheltered-ESL classes and pullout classes. Completion of this four-year program leads to eligibility for a Virginia teaching license for PK-12 English as a Second Language.
The College of Education's TESOL Program is interested in candidates who are committed to social justice and to creating affirming and academically challenging learning environments. Candidates must also complete a major in a liberal arts discipline closely associated with a teaching area (e.g., biology, history, mathematics, psychology, chemistry, English, etc. but not business administration, nursing, engineering, etc.).
Students considering PK-12 initial licensure in TESOL through the English Language Learning Academy follow the process described below. Students pursuing initial licensure in other approved areas may also be admitted to the TESOL Program and simultaneously achieve initial licensure in TESOL.
All teacher education admission requirements are submitted through the Education Support Center, located in Memorial Hall, room 7230. Candidates must be fully admitted into teacher education before they can register for certain designated undergraduate education courses.
Teacher education candidates must maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 or better and complete general education courses with a minimum grade of "C." Candidates must also complete academic major content courses and TESOL course work with a minimum grade of "C."
Recommended Schedule for TESOL
|Professional Education Courses||Credit Hours|
|GPSYC 160. Life Span Human Development||3|
|EDUC 300. Foundations of American Education||3|
|EDUC 310. Teaching in a Diverse Society||3|
|EDUC 370. Instructional Technology Practicum||3|
|READ 366. Early Literacy Development and Acquisition||3|
|TESL 384. Practicum in Literacy Development||1|
|TESOL Core Requirements||Credit Hours|
|ENG 308. Introduction to Linguistics||3|
|TESL 426. Concepts in 1st/2nd Language Acquisition||3|
|TESL 382. Practicum in TESOL 1st/2nd language acquisition||1|
|TESL 428. Assessment for Curriculum Development in ESL Practicum||3|
|READ 435. Literacy Development and Instruction||3|
|for English Language Learners|
|TESL 383. Practicum in TESOL literacy development||1|
|TESL 470. Instructional Strategies for TESOL||3|
|TESL 381. Practicum in TESOL instructional strategies||3|
|TESL 480. Student Teaching||12|
|(One eight-week block preK-6, one eight-week block 6-12)|
EDUC 482. Field Work in Professional Development, Partnership
& Advocacy Seminar
|Modern Foreign Language or Proficiency at Intermediate Level||0-12|