The JMU Special Education Program is in the College of Education and within the Professional Education Unit. Guiding principles and beliefs of the Unit are identified in a Conceptual Framework. This serves as the foundation for the carefully designed Mission Statement and program objectives of the Special Education Program. The curriculum of the Special Education Teacher Preparation Program is carefully aligned with national standards developed by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
The Special Education Program is designed to prepare resilient educators who are advocates for students with disabilities, are qualified for the complexity of their professional roles, and are reflective problem-solvers. It is critical to prepare candidates for the demands they will face upon program completion and entrance into the teaching profession.
One goal is to enhance candidates' ability to withstand the pressures, engage effective problem-solving skills, and remain resilient in one of the most difficult fields of education. With an understanding of the organizational nature of schools, candidates are encouraged to implement practices learned in their preparation program. Another goal includes candidates' ability to implement research-based practices and positively influence current practice in the field. The program prepares candidates who understand the variety of potential special education roles in today's schools and through this understanding are able to advocate for individuals with exceptional learning needs and also for themselves as professionals.
Our mission is to prepare exemplary professionals to generate, use, and disseminate knowledge about teaching, learning, and human development in solving critical educational and human service problems in a diverse global community.
♦ Students will possess and apply knowledge of foundations of the field and identify
the influence on professional practice.
♦ Students will describe similarities and differences in human development and
characteristics of learners.
♦ Students will describe individual learning differences and the possible effects on
learning, both in school and throughout life.
♦ Students will use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to
individualize instruction for individuals with exceptional learning needs.
♦ Students will create learning environments that foster positive social interactions,
active engagement, and self-motivation.
♦ Students will model verbal and nonverbal skills as they enhance language and
communication of individuals with exceptional learning needs.
♦ Students will use knowledge of students, curriculum, systematic instruction, and
evidence-based strategies in instructional planning.
♦ Students will use a variety of assessment strategies for multiple purposes.
♦ Students will be guided by standards of professional and ethical practice in their
reflection on practice and demonstration of appropriate dispositions.
♦ Students will advocate for the learning and well-being of individuals with exceptional
learning needs through collaboration with relevant stakeholders.