Course Descriptions

Special Education


MSE 5001
Professional Portfolio
0 credits

Students in the MSE program who started taking MSE classes in Fall 2011 or later: After the completion of BOTH MSE 7401 (Curriculum in Special Education) and MSE 7990 (Practicum) or MSE 7991 (Practicum One), you are required to schedule a conference with your program chair/advisor. During this conference, subjects to be discussed include; Discussion of the student’s autobiography (bring a written copy to meeting); A current copy of your resume (bring a copy to meeting); Interview questions (in written form); A written copy of the student’s philosophy of education (bring to meeting to be discussed); Student’s experiences from practicum, the various workplace options in the field of education along with the challenges of these various options; Your tentative schedule of courses prepared during your initial planning conference; Elements as indicated on the rubric can be found on TaskStream. This course is non-credit and is graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Prerequisite(s): MSE 7401, MSE 7990, and MSE 7991


MSE 7400
The Gifted and Talented Child
3 credits

In this course, candidates examine the various theories of intelligence in relation to talented students in K-8 classrooms. Emphasis is on the following: service delivery models, student selection/special populations, curriculum development, program implementation, meeting the social and emotional needs of talented students, program evaluation, and creativity and talent development.


MSE 7401
Curriculum in Special Education
3 credits

A framework for understanding evidence-based instructional strategies to individualize instruction for teaching students with exceptional learning needs is provided. The course has particular emphasis on portfolio assessment and learning styles. Students examine curriculum models and teaching techniques. The modifying of the learning environment for students with exceptionalities is a major focus of this course (CEC Standard Four – Instructional Strategies).


MSE 7402
Applied Behavior Analysis
3 credits

Understanding, interpretation, and use of behavioral programming in classroom management for special education are the focus of this course. An awareness of the role of behavior modification and reinforcement principles, cognitive and humanistic theories, in concert with the affective domain and self-esteem strategies are stressed. Emphasis is on the teacher’s need to achieve maximum effectiveness in predicting and controlling behavior, while creating a learning environment that fosters active engagement for students with exceptional learning needs. This learning environment will encourage independence, self-motivation, self-direction, personal empowerment, and self-advocacy through the use of direct motivational and instructional strategies. The skills necessary to effectively manage the behavior of the children entrusted to their care, while providing guidance and direction to other individuals will also be addressed (CEC Standard Five – Learning Environment and Social Interaction).


MSE 7403
Diagnosis/Assessment/IEP Development for Exceptionalities
3 credits

Informal and formal assessments used in identifying exceptionalities are analyzed in detail. An emphasis is placed on the selection, administration, and interpretation of test results along with understanding the legal policies and ethical principles of measurement and assessment. Measurement theory and practices for addressing issues of validity, reliability, norms, and bias are also discussed. Concepts related to the use and limitations of various types of assessments are examined. The implementation of correction techniques for assessed weaknesses is explored. The formally evaluated strengths and weaknesses are developed into an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Standardized and informal test results are evaluated and analyzed in relation to student achievement, curriculum development, and instructional improvement, plus gain an understanding the legal policies and ethical principles of measurement and assessment (CEC Standard Eight – Assessment).


MSE 7404
Assistive Technology (MH, SED, LD)
3 credits

This course is designed to help professionals in schools understand assistive technology for students with disabilities. The main focus of the course is on students with mild mental handicaps, learning disabilities, or emotional disturbances. The meaning of assistive technology and methods of assessing students to match them with appropriate assistive technology are emphasized. Specific instruction in assistive devices will train the student in this relatively new area of special education.


MSE 7409
Methods of Instruction in Academic Standards and Functional Skills
3 credits

This course provides candidates with knowledge and skills related to a variety of evidence-based instructional practices that can enhance the academic learning and everyday functioning of students with severe intellectual disabilities or ASD. The course will cover techniques that are useful for group as well as individualized instruction, and will include practices appropriate for special as well as inclusive environments. The course will also address such topics as: how to select and use developmentally-appropriate technology; team planning; assessment; finding and managing resources; and collaboration with all stakeholders (including families, regular education teachers, school leaders/supervisors, paraprofessionals, and specialists).


MSE 7501
Introduction to Autism & Severe Disabilities
3 credits

This course provides an introduction to issues related to the identification and assessment of students with autism spectrum disorder or severe disabilities. The concepts of inclusion and non-categorical educational identification and teaching are emphasized. It also presents identification instruments, assessment systems and their relation to theoretical models about these disabilities, reviews the relationship between assessment and educational planning. A clinical component of observation and analysis of severe disabilities is included.


MSE 7502
Educating Preschoolers with Special Needs
3 credits

The field of early childhood education is growing and changing. For children who are exceptional, this is a significant time for learning. This class will provide the student with information about preschoolers who have a variety of disabilities with strategies to plan for these children as they are included in the regular classroom. The class will investigate methods of instruction utilizing a theme approach to learning and developmentally appropriate practice. This class will also provide information about the law, inclusion, assessment, theories, individual planning, partnering with parents, and specific learning disabilities.


MSE 7506
Functional Comm Indv with Autisim&Sever Disability
3 credits

In this course students will learn identification methods and teaching strategies for students with Autism and severe disabilities. The concepts of behavioral principles, curriculum development, teaching alternative skills, and use of functional communication are addressed. A clinical component of observation and analysis of Autism and severe disabilities is included. Also, students are expected to develop an instructional lesson to promote a functional skill and to expand student learning and use of functional skills across environments.


MSE 7507
Competency-based Practicum in Behaviorally-Based Teaching Techniques
3 credits

This course will provide the knowledge and skills necessary for teachers to implement developmentally and situationally appropriate, evidence-based interventions to children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a variety of educational settings. Students in the course will be expected to demonstrate satisfactory levels of proficiency in selecting, adapting, applying, and assessing the effectiveness of interventions such as (but not necessarily limited to): antecedent package, behavioral package, comprehensive behavioral treatment for young children, joint attention intervention, modeling, naturalistic teaching strategies, peer training package, pivotal response treatment, schedules, self-management, and story-based intervention. In addition to regularly scheduled class/seminar time, this course requires fifty (50) hours of supervised fieldwork in an approved setting

Prerequisite(s): MSE 7402, MSE 7501, MSE 7409, and MSE 7506; passing scores and subset scores for Praxis CORE and Praxis II Content Specific Examination.


MSE 7990
Practicum in Special Education
1 credits

MSE 7990 is a structured, field-based, semester-long exploratory course that requires at least 50 hours of actual and/or virtual classroom experience in an approved setting. MSE Practicum I placements are in school settings serving students with diagnosed, high-incidence learning needs. Field work is supported by thirty (35) clock hours of required, weekly, practicum seminar sessions.

Prerequisite(s): Current TB clearance, Criminal Background Check (State and Federal), Delaware Child Protection Registry Clearance (Sex Offender Registry), MSE 7401.


MSE 7991
Practicum I in Special Education
1 credits

Practicum I is a structured, field-based, semester-long exploratory clinical course that requires at least 50 hours of supervised classroom experience in an approved setting. Fieldwork is monitored by Wilmington University Practicum advisors and mentor teachers. Placement priority is given to settings that serve culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse student populations. Fieldwork is supported by 30 hours of Practicum seminar sessions. Seminars are conducted at the University sites by faculty of the College of Education. Practicum I introduces the teacher candidate to essential content and pedagogical knowledge related to the components of professional practice, Charlotte Danielson’s Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching and DPAS II (Delaware Performance Appraisal System II). Practicum I provides the teacher candidate with opportunities to observe, describe, interpret, and understand all aspects of professional practice and to reflect on the personal and professional attributes required for success in teaching. Candidates in Practicum I focus on the development and characteristics of learners, individual learning differences, dispositions expected of professionals within the education field, learning environments and social interaction. Prerequisite(s): MED 6102 and MSE 7401. A Federal and Delaware CBC (Criminal Background Check) Report sent / delivered to the Office of Clinical Studies in its original sealed envelope. A new TB/PPD and a completed CPR (Child Protection Registry Form) uploaded into Taskstream. A completed Practicum Fieldwork application in Taskstream by the deadlines of February 1 for placement in Fall and August 1 for placement in Spring. Effective July 1, 2014, scores and sub-scores that meet Delaware minimum requirements on the PRAXIS CORE SERIES FOR EDUCATORS are pre-requisites for Practicum I. It is the responsibility of candidates to make sure that complete test score reports are provided to the College of Education. All test score requirements for Delaware certification can be viewed at https://www.ets.org/praxis/de/requirements.

Prerequisite(s): MED 6102 and MSE 7401. A Federal and Delaware CBC (Criminal Background Check) Report sent / delivered to the Office of Clinical Studies in its original sealed envelope. A new TB/PPD and a completed CPR (Child Protection Registry Form) uploaded into Taskstream. A completed Practicum Fieldwork application in Taskstream by the deadlines of February 1 for placement in Fall and August 1 for placement in Spring. Effective July 1, 2014, scores and sub-scores that meet Delaware minimum requirements on the PRAXIS CORE SERIES FOR EDUCATORS are pre-requisites for Practicum I. It is the responsibility of candidates to make sure that complete test score reports are provided to the College of Education. All test score requirements for Delaware certification can be viewed at https://www.ets.org/praxis/de/requirements.


MSE 7992
Practicum II in Special Education
1 credits

Practicum II is a structured, field-based, semester-long exploratory clinical course that requires at least 50 hours of supervised classroom experience in an approved setting. Fieldwork is monitored by Wilmington University Practicum advisors and mentor teachers. Placement priority is given to settings that serve culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse student populations. Fieldwork is supported by 30 hours of Practicum seminar sessions. Practicum II requires the teacher candidate to implement, analyze and reflect on all aspects of professional practice in direct relation to current research, current professional standards and the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II. Candidates will learn to explore decision-making processes through the application of knowledge and skills gained in the prerequisite courses. Candidates are provided opportunities to reflect on their performance in teaching content lessons to K-12 students with disabilities. Candidates will plan, prepare and teach two lessons within an approved classroom setting, as well as working with individual students. Prerequisite(s): MED 6102, MSE 7401, MSE 7991. On file with the Office of Clinical Studies; A Federal and Delaware CBC (Criminal Background Check) Report, and a TB/PPD report. Submitted into Taskstream a new completed CPR (Child Protection Registry Form). A completed Practicum Fieldwork application in Taskstream by the deadlines of February 1 for placement in Fall and August 1 for placement in Spring. As of July 1, 2015 all students must submit Passing PRAXIS CORE scores and SUBSET scores to the College of Education. Those requirements can be viewed at https://www.ets.org/praxis/de/requirements.

Prerequisite(s): MED 6102, MSE 7401, MSE 7991. On file with the Office of Clinical Studies; A Federal and Delaware CBC (Criminal Background Check) Report, and a TB/PPD report. Submitted into Taskstream a new completed CPR (Child Protection Registry Form). A completed Practicum Fieldwork application in Taskstream by the deadlines of February 1 for placement in Fall and August 1 for placement in Spring. As of July 1, 2015 all students must submit Passing PRAXIS CORE scores and SUBSET scores to the College of Education. Those requirements can be viewed at https://www.ets.org/praxis/de/requirements.


MSE 7993
Practicum III in Special Education
1 credits

Practicum III is a structured, field-based, semester-long exploratory clinical course that requires at least 50 hours of supervised classroom experience in an approved setting. Fieldwork is monitored by Wilmington University Practicum advisors and mentor teachers. Placement priority is given to settings that serve culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse student populations. MSE Practicum III placements are in inclusive learning environments serving students with identified / diagnosed learning needs. Fieldwork is supported by 30 hours of Practicum seminar sessions. Practicum III is an extension of Practicum II in which the teacher candidate refines and enhances the implementation, analysis and reflection on all aspects of professional practice in direct relation to current research, current professional standards and the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II. Candidates enhance instructional strategies, learning activities, classroom management skills and lesson planning through the application of knowledge and skills gained in the prerequisite courses. Candidates are provided opportunities to reflect on their performance in teaching content lessons to K-12 students with disabilities. Candidates will plan, prepare and teach two lessons from full units within an approved classroom setting, as well as working with individual students. Prerequisite(s): MED 6102, MSE 7401, MSE 7403, MSE 8101, MSE 7991 and MSE 7992. On file with the Office of Clinical Studies; A Federal and Delaware CBC (Criminal Background Check) Report, and a TB/PPD report. Submitted into Taskstream a new completed CPR (Child Protection Registry Form). A completed Practicum Fieldwork application in Taskstream by the deadlines of February 1 for placement in Fall and August 1 for placement in Spring. As of July 1, 2015 all students must submit Passing PRAXIS CORE scores and SUBSET scores to the College of Education. Those requirements can be viewed at https://www.ets.org/praxis/de/requirements.

Prerequisite(s): MED 6102, MSE 7401, MSE 7403, MSE 8101, MSE 7991 and MSE 7992. On file with the Office of Clinical Studies; A Federal and Delaware CBC (Criminal Background Check) Report, and a TB/PPD report. Submitted into Taskstream a new completed CPR (Child Protection Registry Form). A completed Practicum Fieldwork application in Taskstream by the deadlines of February 1 for placement in Fall and August 1 for placement in Spring. As of July 1, 2015 all students must submit Passing PRAXIS CORE scores and SUBSET scores to the College of Education. Those requirements can be viewed at https://www.ets.org/praxis/de/requirements.


MSE 8101
Severe Disabilities
3 credits

Students learn identification methods and teaching strategies for students with severe and multiple disabilities, including: autism, traumatic brain injury, deafness, blindness, orthopedic and other health impairments, and multiple handicaps. In this course, students will examine the similarities and differences in human development and the characteristics of individuals with low-occurrence exceptional learning needs and their impact on human development. The use of this knowledge to respond to the varying abilities and behaviors of individuals with exceptional learning needs is part of the clinical component. The concepts of inclusion and non-categorical educational identification and teaching are emphasized. A clinical component of observation and analysis of severe disabilities is included (CEC Standard Two – Development and Characteristics of Learners).


MSE 8102
Legislation and Implementation of Policy and Procedure
3 credits

Relevant laws and policies at federal and state levels are reviewed. Emphasis is on the implementation of mandates, policies, and procedures. The course discussion will focus on diverse and historical points of view, and human issues that have historically and continue to influence the field of special education and the education and treatment of individuals with exceptional learning needs. Understanding the interpretation of psychological and other special reports, the preparation of the special education teacher for multidisciplinary team meetings (MDT’s) and meeting with parents and other professionals to develop the Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be discussed (CEC Standard One – Foundations).

Prerequisite(s): MSE 7403


MSE 8103
Supervision and Evaluation of Special Education Programs
3 credits

Students study best practices as it relates to program development, administration, supervision, attention to legal matters, ethical considerations, and evaluation. Administration of special education programs and how they interface with state, district, and school administration policies and procedures is a focus. Students are required to develop a written plan for a research-based special education program that includes personnel, methods, materials, staff development, issues related to the diversity of individuals with exceptional learning needs, relationships to other professionals, parent training, public relations, and budget (CEC Standard Nine – Professional and Ethical Practice).

Prerequisite(s): MSE 7401, 7402, 7403, 8101, and 8102


MSE 8802
Student Teaching in Special Education
9 credits

This supervised field experience requires at least 80 full student teaching days. Areas of concentration are Special Education. Teacher candidates are placed with individual cooperating teachers or with teams of cooperating teachers in approved clinical settings. Teacher Candidates are monitored and supported by Wilmington University supervisors. Placement priority is given to settings that serve culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse student populations. A minimum of 15 clock hours is scheduled by the Wilmington University supervisors to address professional issues related to the clinical semester and to provide support and assistance with the completion of the required professional portfolio. Student Teaching is graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

Prerequisite(s): A new Federal and Delaware CBC (Criminal Background Check) Report sent / delivered to the Office of Clinical Studies in its original sealed envelope. A new TB/PPD, Health Authorization Form and completed CPR (Child Protection Registry Form) uploaded into Taskstream. A completed Student Teaching Fieldwork application in Taskstream by the deadlines of February 1 for placement in Fall and August 1 for placement in Spring. At the time of application, candidates must have submitted passing scores and subset scores for Praxis CORE, Praxis II Special Education Examination and Praxis II Content Specific Examination. It is the responsibility of candidates to make sure that complete test score reports are provided to the College of Education. All test score requirements for Delaware certification can be viewed at https://www.ets.org/praxis/de/requirements. Program Chair approval is required for course registration.