Program Standard 1: Program Design, Rationale and Coordination

Each program of professional preparation is coordinated effectively in accordance with a cohesive design and sound evidence-based practices relevant to the contemporary conditions of schools. The design must reflect the full range of service delivery options, including general education, and the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of students in the specific areas authorized by the credential. The program has an organizational structure that forms a logical sequence between the instructional components and fieldwork, and that provides for coordination of the components of the program. The program describes a plan that allows for multiple points of entry.

The Education Specialist Credential Program at California State University, Fresno and its prerequisites was developed based on research-based practices and organized in a cohesive and sequenced design. It includes a purposeful, interrelated, developmentally designed sequence of coursework and field experiences that effectively prepares candidates to teach all K-22 students and to understand the contemporary conditions of integrated and inclusive schooling as well as high need rural and urban schools (see table below). The SPED program faculty meets bi-weekly to review and improve the program. Collaboration is supported through work with the Fieldwork office, Advising, the Basic Credential Committee, and the departments offering courses. District partners also provide input through our Advisory Board, input meetings, and as adjunct professors; and in partner schools are involved in both the planning and delivery of courses and fieldwork. This program requires teacher candidates to view and instruct in a full range of service delivery options including the general education classroom, special classrooms, tiered intervention settings, the community, and at times, special schools. All candidates have experiences in diverse settings.

Leadership is provided from the Dean (Director of Teacher Education) and Associate Dean’s office, as well as at the department level from the Chair. The SPED Coordinator is appointed by the Dean and serves in a leadership position for the program. An advising office is open in the Education building, M-F 8 AM-5 PM, across the entire calendar year. Candidates may make appoints and drop-ins are seen in the order they arrive. In addition, advising is provided by the SPED faculty with students who come to office hours or make appointments. Interested teacher candidates are required to attend an orientation and to have an advising interview prior to admission to the program. Ongoing advising is primarily provided by faculty members assigned to the candidate.

Within the Education Specialist credential at Fresno State, there are multiple points of entry and several alternative routes are provided for candidates with teaching experience, second career candidates, and specialty areas of study (i.e. Communicative Disorders). Candidates may begin by blending early coursework when completing their Liberal Studies Major, or may begin as post-baccalaureate students, or may add to a Multiple or Single Subject credential and have courses waived that have already been met, or may enter as Interns. The program may be accessed for classes in the summer, fall and spring, and courses are often offered both in daytime and evening classes. These candidates normally seek to complete their Education Specialist Credential by enrolling in one of the following options:

  • Basic Program: Teacher candidates take requisite courses in the program as described above either at the university or on designated partner school sites.
  • Partnerships: Partnership schools are a collaborative, experiential, site-based program featuring a team of professors and supervisors who coordinate coursework and field experiences to connect theory to practice and provide an enriched, practical program. For example, a cohort of teacher candidates currently attends all classes on school sites in Central Unified School District, Fresno Unified School District, and Sanger Unified School District. Incorporated into the program are numerous realistic, hands-on experiences, including workshops, seminars, professional learning communities and demonstration lessons provided by classroom teachers at the school sites. Student teaching takes place primarily at the partnership sites or at schools in the surrounding area. Some of our dual credential students participate in these partnerships, as well.
  • Dual: This program is designed to support teacher candidates who are earning their Multiple Subject and their Education Specialist credential concurrently. These teacher candidates may be part of a cohort that is in either the university-based courses or the partnership schools. Courses required for the Education Specialist are spread across four semesters, and specialized fieldwork courses and settings are arranged for the teacher candidates to have an inclusive experience.
  • Teacher Internships (Education Specialist Credential): Teacher candidates are employed by a school district while also enrolled in a sequenced professional preparation course of study. A Student Teaching Handbook is being developed and will include expectations and roles of teacher candidates, including interns and personnel working with teacher candidates.

The Liberal Studies undergraduate major prepares students with subject matter competency. Individuals demonstrate subject matter competency by passing all sections of the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET). Teacher candidates must complete three prerequisite classes before they are admitted to the program: EHD 50:Introduction to Teaching,SPED 120: Introduction to Special Education, and CI 100: Educational Applications of Technology.

Preliminary Education Specialist Credential
Mild/Moderate or Moderate/Severe Disabilities

* = Mild/Moderate Specialty Courses
** = Moderate/Severe Specialty Courses

CLASS NUMBER

TITLE

UNITS

PREREQUISITES

 

 

EHD 50

Introduction To Teaching

3

SPED 120

Introduction to Special Education

3

CI 100

Educational Applications of Technology (or co-requisite Sem. 1)

3

 

 

9 units

SEMESTER 1

 

 

LEE 172

Cultural and Language Contexts of the Classroom

3

LEE 173

Teaching Reading & Social Studies in Grades 4-8

3

EHD 178

Field Study B

2

SPED 130

Assessing Students with Special Needs

3

SPED 145

Designing Effective Environments for Students with Disabilities

3

 

 

14 units

SEMESTER 2

 

 

LEE 177

Teaching Reading & the Arts in Grades K-3

3

CI 176

Mathematics Instruction and Applied Assessment

3

SPED 125

Positive Behavior and Social Supports

3

SPED 136 *

Assessment, Curriculum Design & Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities

3

SPED 146 **

Assessment & Instruction for Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities

3

SPED 171*/172 **

Initial Practicum in Special Education MM & MS

3

 

 

15 units

SEMESTER 3

 

 

SPED 219

Effective Communication & Collaborative Partnerships

3

SPED 246 *

Specific Instructional Strategies and Transition Planning for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities

3

SPED 247 **

Advanced Environmental Design & Instruction for Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities

3

SPED 175 */176 **

Final Practicum in Special Education MM & MS

6

SPED 233

Special Educator as Researcher

3

 

 

12 units

 

Total Program Units

44 units (47-50 units with prerequisites)

The sequenced design of the program is based on a clearly stated rationale that requires candidates to complete foundational classes and basic content-specific pedagogy coursework while concurrently practicing the application of these concepts and teaching skills in a field placement setting. Candidates are expected to apply the theoretical and scholarly concepts, knowledge, and teaching skills in planning and implementing effective and appropriate lessons and units of study. By design, the program provides extensive opportunities for candidates to learn to teach the content of the state adopted K-12 academic content standards to all students. All content-specific courses are based on the CCTC Standards and the state-adopted content standards and frameworks. LEE 173: Teaching Reading and Social Studies in Grades 4-8; LEE 177: Teaching Reading and the Arts in K-3; SPED 136: Assessment, Curriculum Design & Instruction (MS); SPED 145: Designing Effective Environments (MM/MS); SPED 146: Assessment & Instruction for Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities; SPED 137: Specialized Academic Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities; and CI 176: Mathematics Instruction and Applied Assessment are all required of Education Specialist Credential candidates.

Candidates learn to use state-adopted instructional materials, assess student progress, and apply these understandings in teaching K-22 students as related to the content of the pedagogy coursework and to practice this knowledge in their field placements. The sequence of the professional preparation coursework permits the candidate to begin an incremental and developmental series of activities, which prepare him/her for full day teaching responsibilities. Candidates begin the process by initially observing a variety of teaching situations and activities such as different classroom organizational patterns, content area instruction and the context of classrooms. This includes settings with diverse student populations. The candidate then moves on to engaging in one-on-one and small instructional group activities in fieldwork, EHD 178: Field Study B: Grades K-3. In their initial practicum, SPED 171/172: Initial Practicum in Mild/Moderate | Moderate/Severe Disabilities, teacher candidates begin to plan and teach lessons for whole-class and small group instruction. Finally, in SPED 175/176: Final Practicum in Mild/Moderate | Moderate/Severe Disabilities, candidates are expected to develop and demonstrate pedagogical competence as defined by the CCTC Standards & Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs). The candidate gradually assumes all classroom preparation and teaching responsibilities (i.e. instructional planning, classroom management, diagnosis of student strengths and needs and prescription of intervention to support student learning, assessment of student learning, record keeping, etc.). These activities are based on graduated comprehension and complexity.

Candidates are carefully observed, monitored, and advised during their 2nd and 3rd semester field placements so that they receive constructive, formative feedback with regard to their growing teaching competence and progress toward the achievement of CCTC Standards and Teaching Performance Expectations. In addition, candidates are given constructive feedback through goal-setting meetings, lesson observations, mid-semester and final assessment meetings, responses to reflective journals, and course competencies throughout all of the student teaching placements. This enables them to practice and refine their teaching performance in preparation for the performance assessments. Candidates gradually move toward this goal through the required sequenced practicum experiences.

Integrated/Blended Program Delivery Model:

An Integrated/Blended Program of Undergraduate Teacher Preparation provides candidates with:

  • a carefully designed curriculum involving both subject matter and professional preparation that includes integrated and concurrent coursework of subject matter and related pedagogy at gradually more sophisticated levels
  • a clearly developmental emphasis involving early and continuous advising, and early field experiences
  • explicit and supported mechanisms for collaboration among all involved in the design, leadership, and ongoing delivery of the program

The Liberal Studies Blended Program has a carefully designed curriculum involving both subject matter and related pedagogy at gradually more sophisticated levels. The primary mission of the Liberal Studies Blended Program is to provide a strong knowledge base in education and the liberal arts that will provide subject matter preparation for elementary teaching and an opportunity to complete the Multiple Subject or Education Specialist Credential Program requirements all within a four-year period. The aim is to develop in students an appreciation and understanding of the arts, sciences, humanities, and the various cultures that compose the area serviced by California State University, Fresno. A study of the liberal arts teaches ways of thinking, exploring, understanding, and seeing the world from the perspective of others. The Blended Program offers a flexible program for students who want to obtain broad knowledge through studying a variety of subjects combined in three elements of the degree—the General Education Program, the courses required for the Liberal Studies major, and the courses required for teacher preparation. The first two semesters of the Education Specialist Credential program can be completed during the junior and senior years of the Liberal Studies Blended program. An additional year of core coursework and field experience is required to complete the Education Specialist Credential.

Intern Program Delivery Model:
The intern program is a partnership between the preparation program and the employing school district. In an intern delivery model, the preparation program integrates theory and practice as appropriate for teachers of record. Each internship program includes a preservice component (providing skills and knowledge required prior to entering the classroom as the teacher of record) delivered in a sustained, intensive and classroom-focused manner, which includes introductory preparation relative to Standards 9, 10, 11, 13, and 15. The remaining content and fieldwork builds on the pre-service experiences and addresses all Commission-adopted standards. The partners jointly provide intensive supervision that consists of structured guidance and regular ongoing support throughout the program.

The Intern Program Delivery Model follows the same scope and sequence as listed above in the Preliminary Education Specialist program. Prior to entering the classroom, the teacher interns are required to complete prerequisites (EHD 50, CI 100, and SPED 120). The first semester of the credential program, is delivered in a sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused manner (*identical to students in traditional programs, with the addition of Intern fieldwork). The structure is as follows and includes introductory preparation in Standards 9, 10, 11, 13, and 15. The remaining coursework and fieldwork builds on pre-service and early experiences and addresses all CCTC-adopted standards.

Interns receive multiple supports throughout the program that include an assigned university supervisor for SPED 160 F, resources to visit other classrooms and attend professional development, and required weekend seminars. They are also assigned a Cooperating teacher, from their district or SELPA, who provides support and guidance related to their new position and district requirements and resources.

PREREQUISITES

EHD 50

Introduction To Teaching

3

SPED 120

Introduction to Special Education

3

CI 100

Educational Applications of Technology (or co-requisite Semester 1)

3

   

9 units

SEMESTER 1

SPED 145

Designing Effective Environments for Students with Disabilities

3

SPED 130

Assessing Students with Special Needs

3

LEE 172

Cultural and Language Contexts

3

LEE 173

Teaching Reading & Social Studies in Grades 4-8

3

SPED 160 F

Fieldwork in Internship

3

 

 

15 units

SEMESTER 2

LEE 177

Teaching Reading & the Arts in Grades K-3

3

CI 176

Mathematics Instruction and Applied Assessment

3

SPED 125

Positive Behavior and Social Supports

3

SPED 136 *

Assessment, Curriculum Design & Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate* Disabilities

3

SPED 146 **

Assessment & Instruction for Students with Moderate/Severe** Disabilities

3

SPED 171*/172 **

Initial Practicum in Special Education MM* & MS**

3

 

 

15 units

SEMESTER 3

SPED 219

Effective Communication & Collaborative Partnerships

3 units

SPED 246 *

Specific Instructional Strategies and Transition Planning for Students with Mild/Moderate* Disabilities

3

SPED 247 **

Advanced Environmental Design & Instruction for Students with Moderate/Severe** Disabilities

3

SPED 219

Effective Communication & Collaborative Partnerships

3

SPED 175 */176 **

Final Practicum in Special Education MM* & MS**

6

SPED 233

Special Educator as Researcher

3

 

 

12 units

 

Total Program Units

45 units

(48-51 Units with prerequisites)

Specialty Specific Program Standards
Mild/Moderate Disabilities (M/M)

Candidates in the mild/moderate Education Specialist credential program are currently prepared via a 50-semester unit (including prerequisites) program that includes: a) 12 units of core methods courses in mild-moderate disabilities, including 6 units of supervised fieldwork; b) 14 units of general education coursework with associated fieldwork; and c) 9 units focusing on students with disabilities and assessment, collaboration, and positive behavioral supports. In addition, there are 3 prerequisite units associated with preparation to provide educational programs for students with disabilities. Together, all of these courses and associated fieldwork are designed to support candidates in the development and implementation of assessment and instructional strategies for students with disabilities. All courses and fieldwork provide formative and summative opportunities for candidates to incorporate adaptation and differentiation strategies in order to provide students with disabilities equitable access to content standards and experiences. Further, core methods courses are paired with concurrent fieldwork specific to the mild/moderate special education credential.

M/M Standard 1: Characteristics of Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities

The program provides opportunities for each candidate to identify the characteristics of students with mild to moderate disabilities, including specific learning disabilities, mild/moderate mental retardation, other health impairments, emotional disturbance, and autism spectrum disorders and to determine the implications of these characteristics for service delivery, such as placement decisions, IEP development, and instruction.

M/M Standard 1 Component:

Courses in which the component is addressed:

identify the characteristics of students with mild to moderate disabilities

SPED 120

to determine the implications of these characteristics for service delivery, such as placement decisions, IEP development, and instruction.

SPED 130; 136; 246; 171; 175

The program provides various opportunities for candidates to identify the characteristics of students with mild/moderate disabilities and to determine the implications of characteristics for service delivery. Candidates in the Education Specialist M/M credential program gain a knowledge base of information about the thirteen disability categories under which students qualify for special education services in SPED 120: Introduction to Special Education. In this course candidates acquire knowledge of the 13 federal eligibility categories for special education, consider the nature of the characteristics of students with low- and high-incidence disabilities, and also learn about other special educational support needs, such as students who live in high poverty, experience homelessness, or are identified as gifted-and-talented. The Eligibility Category Project, a four-part project completed over the course of the semester, requires that candidates learn in-depth about the characteristics associated with one of the federal eligibility categories and potential implications for learning. Candidates make multi-media presentations about their research to the rest of the class. Finally, candidate teams consider the instructional relevancy of disability-associated characteristics within educational lessons and units that reflect state and national standards, as well as the principles of Universal Design for Learning. Finally, a midterm exam is used as a formative assessment focused on recall of information, some of which is related to the demonstrations of understanding disability characteristics and effects on learning. Please see the syllabus for when the midterm exam is administered via course Blackboard site.

Students build upon their knowledge of disability characteristics and implications for instruction and service delivery in bothSPED 120: Introduction to Special Education and SPED 145: Designing Effective Environments for Students with Disabilities These courses both contain content related to delivering appropriate, accessible instruction based upon principles of Universal Design for Learning, differentiated instruction, and development of individual student adaptations. Further, assignments in each course (the Eligibility Category and Instructional Relevancy and Curricular Access and Adaptation assignments, respectively) provide opportunities for candidates to apply skills across these content areas. In SPED 130: Assessment of Students with Special Needs, teachercandidates learn to conduct formal and informal assessments such as WJ-III norm-referenced standardized academic achievement test and curriculum-based assessments to diagnose, determine eligibility for special education services, and make instructional decisions based on the data collected. In addition, candidates are instructed to make testing accommodations and modifications when alternative assessments are required. In SPED 246: Specialized Academic Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities, students are required to write an IEP for which they need to consider disability characteristics and service delivery and instructional implications.

In SPED 136: Assessment, Instruction, and Curriculum for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities and concurrent fieldwork (SPED 171), students design and implement a universally-designed, differentiated instruction unit in science, social studies, or mathematics, and evaluate and reflect upon their ability to plan a unit that is accessible to all students in the classroom. The next semester, students design, deliver, and evaluate an intervention, based on assessment of student response to instruction, in reading or mathematics in SPED 137: Specialized Academic Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities and SPED 175: Final Practicum. In each practicum experience, students are supported in delivering appropriate, targeted, and evidence-based instruction; communicating with students, families, and school personnel; and collaborating with supervisors and Cooperating Teachers, with opportunities for formative feedback and reflection.

In SPED 130: Assessment of Students with Special Needs, teacher candidates learn to conduct formal and informal assessments such as WJ-III norm-referenced standardized academic achievement test and curriculum-based assessments to diagnose, determine eligibility for special education services, and make instructional decisions based on the data collected. In addition, candidates are instructed to make testing accommodations and modifications when alternative assessments are required.

Specialty Specific Program Standards
Moderate/Severe Disabilities (M/S)

 Definition of Continuum of Program Options for All Teaching Credentials:

The continuum includes: general education settings; resource rooms or services; special education settings; special schools; home/hospital settings; correctional facilities; non-public, non-sectarian schools and agencies as defined in Education Code Sections 56365 and 56366; and alternative and non-traditional instructional public school settings other than classrooms.

Moderate/Severe Disabilities (M/S):Authorization

The Education Specialist Instruction Credential: Moderate/Severe Disabilities authorizes the holder to conduct assessments, provide instruction, and special education related services to individuals with a primary disability of autism, moderate/severe mental retardation, deaf-blind, emotional disturbance, and multiple disabilities, in kindergarten, grades 1 through 12 to age 22, and classes organized primarily for adults in services across the continuum of program options available.

Candidates are currently prepared via a 50-semester unit (including prerequisites) Education Specialist program in the area of Moderate-Severe disabilities that includes: a) moderate-severe disabilities, including 6 units of supervised fieldwork; b) 14 units of general education coursework with associated fieldwork; and c) 9 units focusing on students with disabilities and assessment, collaboration, and positive behavioral supports. In addition, there are 3 prerequisite units associated with preparation to provide educational programs for students with disabilities. Together, all of these courses and associated fieldwork are designed to support candidates in the development and implementation of assessment and instructional strategies for students with disabilities. All courses and fieldwork provide formative and summative opportunities for candidates to incorporate adaptation and differentiation strategies in order to provide students with disabilities equitable access to content standards and experiences. Further, core methods courses are paired with concurrent fieldwork specific to each of the special education credentials (146 and 172, 247 and 176).

M/S Standard 1: Learning Characteristics of Individuals with Moderate/Severe Disabilities

The program provides opportunities for each candidate to demonstrate knowledge of disability characteristics, and the educational and psychosocial implications of these characteristics for students identified with moderate/severe/profound mental retardation, physical health impairments, other health impairments, traumatic brain injury, deaf-blind, multiple disabilities, emotional disturbance, and autism spectrum disorders, while determining the implications of these characteristics for service delivery.

M/S Standard 1 Component:

Courses in which the component is addressed:

Disability characteristics

SPED 120; 145; 247

Educational and psychosocial implications of characteristics for students with mod/severe disabilities

SPED 120; 145; 146; 247

Implications for service delivery

SPED 120; 145; 146; 247; 172; 176

Standard 1 is first addressed in SPED 120: Introduction to Special Education. In this course candidates acquire knowledge of the 13 federal eligibility categories for special education, consider the nature of the characteristics of students with low- and high-incidence disabilities, and also learn about other special educational support needs, such as student who live in high poverty, experience homelessness, or are identified as gifted-and-talented. Although all students are unique, this course covers characteristics and some common needs of students with M/S disabilities related to cognition, behavior, social skills, emotional well-being, communication, sensory, and motor skills. The Eligibility Category Project, a four-part project completed over the course of the semester, requires that candidates learn in-depth about the characteristics associated with one of the federal eligibility categories and potential implications for learning. Candidates make multi-media presentations about their research to the rest of the class. Finally, candidate teams consider the instructional relevancy of disability-associated characteristics within educational lessons and units that reflect state and national standards, as well as the principles of Universal Design for Learning. Finally, a midterm exam is used as a formative assessment focused on recall of information, some of which is related to the demonstrations of understanding disability characteristics and effects on learning. Please see the syllabus for when the midterm exam is administered via course Blackboard site.

Consideration of service-delivery models for of students with disabilities is addressed in SPED 145: Designing Effective Environments for Students with Disabilities. Diagnosis and characteristics related to eligibility are discussed, however the focus is on alterable variables (e.g., instruction, environment, etc.). Therefore, a major assignment in this course requires the completion of a Site-based Needs Assessment about levels of inclusivity and integration for students with disabilities at a placement or work site. This assignment requires candidates to utilize information about the target student and his/her career or independent living skills and gather information from a variety of stakeholders (who could include general and special educators, administrators, and parents) on a number of factors associated with the degree of inclusivity for students with disabilities at the site.

The Moderate-Severe disabilities credential core-methods courses (SPED 146 and SPED 247) are entirely focused on the development of skills required for candidates to be able to design instructional environments that are appropriate to individual student needs, based on chronological age, developmental differences, disability characteristics, and disability-specific needs.  In SPED 146, one assignment requires students to collect and evaluate ecological data across three contexts for a focus student and, subsequently, develop instructional plans that address individual needs. In SPED 247, students complete a project related to Facilitating Full and Active Integration and Access to Social Environments. The Communication Project in this course specifically targets the receptive and expressive communication needs of the student with M/S disabilities. Concurrent fieldwork requirements in SPED 172 and SPED 176 (Initial and Final Practicum in Moderate-Severe Disabilities) provide the opportunity for candidates to implement participation plans, individualized plans of systematic instruction, and whole-class and individual student communication systems and supports, with structured opportunities for feedback and dialogue from master teachers and university supervisors.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Added Authorization Standards

The Autism Spectrum Disorder Added Authorization (ASDAA) requires candidates take three courses as follows: SPED 250 Core Methods 1:Foundational Knowledge and Practical Skills for Educating Diverse Learners on the Autism Spectrum; SPED 251: Systematic Approach to Social Skills Programming for Individuals with ASD, and SPED 252: Designing Comprehensive Individualized Autism Planning Systems. The three ASDAA standards are embedded in these classes.

ASDAA Standard 1: Characteristics of ASD

The program provides opportunities for the candidate to be able to identify the unique characteristics of students with ASD. The candidate demonstrates unique knowledge of cognition and neurology and the core challenges associated with language and communication, social skills, behavior, and processing and their implications for program planning and service delivery.

Standard addressed in SPED 250, 251 & 252

Candidates will acquire foundational knowledge and practical skills for education individuals who have characteristics of ASD.   Candidates will have practical, hands-on knowledge of how the underlying characteristic of ASD impacts the individual both educationally, socially and behaviorally. Candidates will also have knowledge of the importance of identifying the strengths and skills of individuals diagnosed with ASD when planning for intensive individualized educational programs.

Through lectures, pair-shares, group activities, action research projects, presentations, panel presentations, videos, observations, chapter reviews, reflections, exams and hands-on practice candidates will be understand, develop, implement and progress monitor effective programs for student.

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