About Our Special Education Program

Xavier University offers participants a unique opportunity to be part of a guided practice program led by faculty who are published and recognized in the field. Courses are conducted utilizing a Jesuit Catholic framework, creating a unique experience and mindset. Coursework is infused with consideration for the ethics involved in working with individuals who have special needs. Course assignments include applied work that brings about real change in students’ communities.

Other programs can prepare you for the next job, but this program will prepare you to be a leader and an advocate for individuals with special needs. We also provide the connections you need to be impactful and relevant.

Students complete 30 credit hours, including four foundational courses and seven electives.

Online Special Education Concentration Courses
(Choose 7 courses)
EDFD 510 Advanced Human Development and Learning
EDSP 500 Identification and Issues in Special Education
EDSP 501 Introduction to the Emotionally Disturbed Children
EDSP 505 Foundations in Early Childhood Special Education
EDSP 556 Resources in Transition Education and Services
EDSP 560 Mild Moderate Characteristics and Strategies
EDSP 567 Social Skills and Behavior Management
EDSP 572 Communication Strategies and Techniques
EDSP 580 Classroom Management
EDSP 583 Resource Materials and Techniques: Gifted and Talented
EDSP 616 Philosophy and Cultural Diversity
EDSP 617 Administrative Partnerships in Special Education
Online Master’s Degree Core Classes
(Take all core classes listed below)
EDFD 500 History and Philosophy of American Education
EDFD 505 Organization of Educational Systems in the US
EDFD 507 Research Class (2 credits)
EDFD 508 Research Paper (1 credit)
  • Classes are entirely online and vary in format.
  • As part of an online learning community, students collaborate and share ideas, such as curriculum planning, assessment, classroom management, and developing supports and services to meet the individual’s unique needs.
  • Students interact closely with their professors and each other, communicating with other students from around the country.
  • Professors hold virtual office hours to maintain communication and an ongoing relationship with students.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Online Special Education Concentration Courses
(Choose 7 courses)

EDFD 510 – Advanced Human Development and Learning: An advanced course presenting theories on human growth, development, and learning. Students will apply theories in course activities, including observations, media presentations, and film reviews. Students will develop and demonstrate observational skills and practices in writing educational reports. Students will develop an understanding of thematic stages of development and their application to lifelong learning, from birth to adolescence. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the physical, cognitive, and social/emotional domains of development, and the developmental effects of family, culture, and other environmental factors. Required field experience in diverse settings – 5 hours. 3.000 Credit hours

EDSP 500 – Identification and Issues in Special Education: This course provides an overview of national and state policies; the etiology, assessments, classification, and issues of individuals and families with exceptional needs; as well as the need for special education services and adaptations to the general education classroom. The course also addresses the process of collaborating to develop and write and individualized education program (IEP) to identify the adaptations and services needed by a student with a disability. Required field experience in diverse settings – 5 field hours. 3.000 Credit hours

EDSP 501 – Introduction to the Emotionally Disturbed Children: This course provides an overview of maladaptive behavior in school aged children and adolescents which address the psychological and medical factors affecting development. Other areas addressed are social/emotional/family aspects; adaptive behaviors; social imperceptiveness; social competence; social isolation; learned helplessness; juvenile delinquency; medications; and evaluation of etiological factors. 5 field hours. 2.000 TO 3.000 Credit hours

EDSP 505 – Foundations in Early Childhood Special Education: Students in this course address the historical and philosophical foundations of services for young children, and the impact of sensory impairments, physical and health disabilities on individuals, families, and society. In addition, topics reviewed are research-supported theories and issues concerning early childhood special education practices and method; identification of at risk needs awareness; IFSP and IEP procedures and issues; developmentally appropriate practices; biological and environmental learning and developmental factors; medical/health issues; and the responsibilities, training, and implications for learning and prevention for educational settings. This develops an articulation of personal philosophy of special education. CPR and First Aid Training and certification required. Required field experience in diverse settings – 10 hours. 3.000 Credit hours

EDSP 556 – Resources in Transition Education and Services: Candidate will spend 15 hours participating in supervised field experience in a transitional educational setting and 15 hours participating in supervised field experience in a transitional service setting that is designed to address the practicing skills of a transition to work specialist. During these field experiences, the candidate will attend the scheduled seminars of the course that address the students, families, community agencies needs and coordination, future directions, leadership to promotion of programs; and, systematic processes.

EDSP 560 – Mild Moderate Characteristics and Strategies: This course is designed to provide students with a basic knowledge of mild to moderate disabilities. The course focuses on definitions and diversity in characteristics (including perceptual, cognitive, linguistic, academic, and social/emotional qualities) for individuals with mild to moderate disabilities, as well as the major past and present educational and legal issues relevant to those individuals. Required field experience in diverse settings – 6 hours. 3.000 Credit hours

EDSP 567 – Social Skills and Behavior Management: This course is designed to provide the candidate with the knowledge to develop and implement instructional and behavioral plans and programs for students with emotional and behavioral problems that address social skills; strategies for crises prevention and intervention; self-advocacy; procedures to increase self-awareness, self-management, self-control, self-reliance, and self-esteem; self-enhancing behavior in response to societal attitudes and actions. Students will be prepared to manage verbal and physical acting out behaviors. Required field experience in diverse settings – 6 hours. 3.000 Credit hours

EDSP 572 – Communication Strategies and Techniques: This course will focus on the understanding and implementation of everyday functional communication methods and techniques through various theories, systems, and technologies for individual students with moderate and intensive needs; classroom strategies and techniques in learning environment; selection/implementation of augmentative or alternative communication devices/systems; adaptations/assistive technology; and medical care and methods with technology/family support and resources. LAB field experience is required with documentation. 3.000 Credit hours

EDSP 580 – Classroom Management: This is a seminar course for K-12 teacher preparation. Topics covered include laws, policies, and ethical principles regarding behavior management, planning and implementation; establishing and maintaining positive classroom management; effective teaching/learning conditions and adaptations necessary for a healthy learning environment; useful and practical organizational procedures; problem solving/decision-making techniques and strategies; communication skills necessary for classroom management; and management practices concerning diverse classroom population and individualized learning. Required field experiences in diverse settings – 10 hours. 3.000 Credit hours

EDSP 583 – Resource Materials and Techniques: Gifted and Talented: Students in this course will have knowledge of and demonstrated skills with special resources materials and technologies for the gifted/talented. In addition, students will hone their skills in technology-assisted lessons; use technology for planning and managing the teaching and learning environment; conduct independent/research activities; develop problem solving and critical thinking skills; evaluate learner products and portfolios; create and maintain records; and incorporate resource materials and technology resources for gifted/talented instructional planning. Lab time required. 3.000 Credit hours

EDSP 616 – Philosophy and Cultural Diversity: This course explores the impact of the American political and legal systems, and social and cultural identity theory on special education. As the expectations and requirements for educators working with students with disabilities constantly evolve, educators must understand the fundamental political and legal principles which underlie state, federal, and constitutional law so that they may advocate for students with disabilities. By examining social and cultural identity theory, the course will provide a framework for students to analyze which claims about educational practices are the most congruent with meeting the needs of learners. Students will also have opportunities to reflect on their own cultural identity and biases, and the culture of the schools and students they serve. The course will explore the sociological problem of the over identification of minorities in special education and suggest strategies to minimize this practice in schools. This course has an online component. 3.000 Credit hours

EDSP 617 – Administrative Partnerships in Special Education: This course is designed to incorporate administrative theory and practice as it relates to the role of the school administration partnering with special education staff to implement special education mandates. Aligned with standards of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), this course details strategies to develop a collaborative partnership between special education staff and the school administration to facilitate the implementation of special education services.

Online Master’s Degree Core Classes
(Take all core classes listed below)

EDFD 500 – History and Philosophy of American Education: The major philosophical, historical, and social influences affecting education in American society. Incorporates professional ethics and values for administrators. 3.000 Credit hours

EDFD 505 – Organization of Educational Systems in the US: Relationships of the federal, the state, and the local government to public and private education. Administrative functions as operable in the elementary, middle and secondary school. Multicultural implications. 3.000 Credit hours

EDFD 507 – Educational Research Class: Methodology of educational research. Statistics in research. Locating educational research. Co-requisite: EDFD 508 2.000 Credit hours

EDFD 508 – Educational Research Paper: This course is taken in conjunction with EDFD 507 and requires a research project and paper. Co-requisite: EDFD 507 1.000 Credit hours