Program Standard 4: Effective Communication and Collaborative Partnerships

The program provides instruction in communicating effectively with (1) individuals with disabilities and their parents, and primary caregivers, (2) general/special education teachers, and co-teachers, related service personnel, and administrators, (3) transdisciplinary teams including but not limited to multi-tiered intervention, Section 504, IEP/IFSP/ITP. The program provides opportunities for the candidate to establish and work in partnerships to design, implement, and evaluate appropriate, integrated services based on individual student needs. The program informs candidates of the importance of communicating effectively with the business community, public and non-public agencies, to provide the cohesive delivery of services, and bridge transitional stages across the life span for all learners.

Program Standard 4 Component:

Courses in which the component is addressed:

Communicating & collaborating w/ individuals with disabilities, parents and primary caregivers

SPED 120; 130; 146; 147; 156; 233

Communicating & collaborating w/GE/SPED teachers, co-teachers, related service personnel

SPED 120; 130; 145; 146; 147; 156; 136; 137; 171; 172; 175; 176; 233

Communicating & collaborating w administrators & transdisciplinary teams, business community & other agencies

SPED 130; 146; 147; 156; 233

Work in partnerships to design, implement & evaluate services across life span

SPED 146; 147; 156

Communicate w/business community

SPED 146; 147; 156

Standard 4 is addressed throughout the entirety of both special education credential programs. The expectation of utilizing a collaborative, transdisciplinary approach with all educational team members, including families and students with disabilities, is introduced in SPED 120: Introduction to Special Education via course content that addresses collaborative practices in assessment and 504 plan/IEP development. In SPED 120, candidates also become familiar with the range of related service personnel who work with students with disabilities through course content and observational school-based experiences. Multi-tiered interventions (RTI) are taught and models are shared.Students are encouraged to participate in their field placement site meetings for tiered interventions.In SPED 136: Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilitiesteacher candidates assess their school’s readiness to implement RTI (tiered interventions) in the areas of leadership, teaming, curriculum and assessment.  In SPED 130: Assessing Students with Special Needs, candidates are instructed to summarize and analyze assessment data and write assessment reports communicating assessment results to parents and other school professionals. A key assignment in SPED 145: Designing Effective Environments for Students with Disabilities, the Site-Based Needs Assessment, requires input from multiple educational team members at a given school site; these could include general educators, administers, instructional aides, and related service personnel. Each practicum experience (SPED 171/175 Mild/Moderate; 172/176 Moderate/Severe) requires students to communicate effectively with a variety of school personnel. Teacher candidates also have the opportunity to collaborate and co-teach, primarily with their cooperating teachers, but also with other school personnel (e.g., grade level team members, specialists, etc.). In SPED 137: Specialized Academic Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities, teacher candidates develop and write an IEP or IFSP from a case study that incorporates legal mandates, state and federal regulations, transition planning, self-determination strategies, coordination of services, and ethical decision-making. They also develop a Transition Collaborative Project where they are required to form collaborative teams, research and address transitions for a selected grade level and disability. They create a multi media presentation incorporating the researched supports, resources and programs and an activity or lesson to prepare students to transition.  In their co-requisite practicum experience, SPED 175: Final Practicum, students are responsible for conducting an IEP meeting under the close supervision of their Cooperating Teacher. Effective collaborative practices are also specifically addressed in SPED 146: Assessment and Instruction for Students with Moderate-Severe Disabilities and SPED 247: Advanced Environmental Design and Instruction for Students with Moderate-Severe Disabilities via the ecological assessment process, which incorporates input and perspectives of multiple team members, including parents and families. Both course content and assignments in the area of ecological assessment specifically stress its collaborative nature and require input from multiple educational team members. In SPED 233: The Special Educator as Researcher students hone their presentation skills and their ability to share data and research findings accurately to parents, students, teachers, administrators, agency representatives, and the business community.

This standard is best met through SPED 219: Effective Communication and Collaborative Partnerships. One of the required texts for this course (Snell, M.E. & Janney, R. [2005]. Collaborative Teaming (2nd Ed.). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes) is entirely focused on collaborative partnerships with a range of individuals on the IEP team. Additional readings and utilization of guest speakers address the perspectives of students/individuals with disabilities, their family members, and community members who support them. Approximately one-third of the content of the course focuses on evidence-based practices that support collaboration with general educators, instructional aides, and related service personnel. Following this content, candidates are required to complete a case study of collaborative practices within their own program or at a fieldwork placement site. This assignment requires candidates to learn more about how various educational team members view collaborative educational arrangements and to synthesize input from at least three team members in order to articulate strengths of the collaborative team and also develop a plan for improvement. SPED 156 also addresses communication and collaboration through content such as person-centered planning, self-determination, and student-led IEPs as a vehicle to ensure collaboration with students with disabilities. This content is then assessed via a final project in the class, through which candidates interview a student and their family members, and reflect on and evaluate their use of person-centered planning methods and practices that support the development of the self-determination of the student (including student-led IEPs). Additionally, candidates utilize a key reading from the course to more fully develop collaborative practices to support their focus student. Finally, candidates are informed of business-school connections in supporting programs or community/work sites, and they complete a Community Collaboration Unit.

M/M Standard 4 Positive Behavior Support

The program prepares candidates to demonstrate competence in establishing and maintaining an educational environment where interventions are positive, proactive, and respectful of students. The program prepares candidates to demonstrate the ability to design and implement positive behavioral support plans and interventions based on functional behavior assessments, and participate in manifestation determination meetings. The program prepares candidates to participate effectively in school wide behavior support processes.

M/M Standard 4 Component:

Courses in which the component is addressed:

candidates to demonstrate competence in establishing and maintaining an educational environment where interventions are positive, proactive, and respectful of students.

SPED 125, SPED 175/176

demonstrate the ability to design and implement positive behavioral support plans and interventions based on functional behavior assessments

SPED 125

participate in manifestation determination meetings

SPED 125

participate effectively in school wide behavior support processes.

SPED 125

Standard 4 is primarily met through SPED 125: Positive Behavior and Social Supports. This course prepares candidates to establish and maintain an educational environment where interventions are positive, proactive, and respectful of students, and that is free from coercion and punishment. Candidates are prepared to participate effectively in school wide behavior support processes. This course focuses on: a) theoretical and ethical foundations of positive behavior supports and; b) managing a learning; c) functional behavioral assessment; d) development and implementation of positive behavior support plans, and e) supporting students to develop as self-regulated learners.

Candidates are prepared to participate effectively in school wide behavior support processes. Whole school to classroom to individual student interventions are taught and practiced. School-wide examples from regional school districts are shared. Proactive strategies to prevent occurrence and/or escalation such as identifying antecedents, positive expectations, consistent routines, self-monitoring, etc. are shared in class, through videos, and through guest speakers (behavior interventionists). Strategies for both academic and non-academic settings are covered, with a focus on inclusive settings.

Candidates design and implement positive behavioral support plans and interventions based on functional behavior assessments, and participate in manifestation determination hearings, as appropriate to their practicum setting. Teacher candidates complete a Functional Behavioral Assessment on one identified student with challenging behavior. In addition to in-class lectures and class discussion, candidates also complete modules on Functional Assessment at http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/fba/cresource.htm. Based on the data compiled from the functional behavioral assessment, candidates complete a Positive Behavior Support Plan. This plan includes teaching the student self-monitoring or self-regulating behaviors that can be used across settings (school, home, community) and that address the student’s ability to cope with unpredictable situations. Students access the PENT website at www.pent.ca.gov for additional assistance in completing both projects. In addition, each candidate designs a classroom management plan for his or her classroom and specific student population. The plan includes the development of rules and expectations; relationship building with students, colleagues (general education teachers, paraprofessionals and other service providers) and family members; strategies for increasing student engagement and for providing quality instruction; appropriate response to minor misbehavior; interventions for students with challenging behaviors; and finally, a crisis management plan to respond to behavioral and medical emergencies.

Case law and case studies are used to introduce candidates to guidelines for special education student removals for disciplinary purposes (e.g., suspensions, expulsions, manifestation determination, and interim alternative placements), and research reports, case law and case studies are used to discuss the issues involved in use of restraints and seclusion in schools. Guidelines for appropriate use are provided.

Concurrent, supervised fieldwork for the Mild/Moderate Credential (SPED 171 and 175) requires that candidates implement these classroom and behavior systems, supports, and strategies that are taught and evaluated through core methods course assignments. The Positive Behavior Support Plan and Classroom Management Plan are implemented through fieldwork in SPED 171 and during final practicum (SPED 175). Teacher candidates are required to design, implement and evaluate a behavior plan for students when the need is identified that is individualized, comprehensive, and proactive. The Classroom Management Plan is also a competency for 175 and is reviewed and evaluated by the master teacher/university supervisor.

M/S Standard 4: Assessment, Program Planning and Instruction

Each candidate demonstrates the ability to utilize person-centered/family-centered planning and strengths based, functional/ecological assessment across classroom and non-classroom contexts to lead to their students’ meaningful participation in core, standards based curriculum, life skills curriculum, wellness curriculum, and progress toward IEP goals and objectives. The instructional plans are responsive to the unique needs of the student and requirements of the core curriculum, and are implemented and adjusted systematically to promote maximum learning and academic achievement. Each candidate is able to develop and implement systematic, evidence based instructional strategies to teach skills within school, community and working settings, including assessment sources that integrate alternative statewide assessments, formative assessments, and formal and informal assessment results. Each candidate is able to utilize assessment data from multiple sources to develop effective programs and guide instruction.

M/S Standard 4 Component:

Courses in which the component is addressed:

ability to utilize person-centered/family-centered planning

SPED 219

and strengths based, functional/ecological assessment across classroom and non-classroom contexts

SPED 146; 247; 219; 172; 176

students’ meaningful participation in core, standards based curriculum, life skills curriculum, wellness curriculum, and progress toward IEP goals and objectives

SPED 145; 146; 247; 172; 176

instructional plans are responsive to the unique needs of the student and requirements of the core curriculum

SPED 146; 247; 172; 176

implemented and adjusted systematically to promote maximum learning and academic achievement

SPED 146; 172; 176

able to develop and implement systematic, evidence based instructional strategies to teach skills within school, community and working settings

SPED 146; 247; 172; 176

including assessment sources that integrate alternative statewide assessments, formative assessments, and formal and informal assessment results.

SPED 146; 247

utilize assessment data from multiple sources to develop effective programs and guide instruction

SPED 146; 247

Coursework throughout the program focuses on response to instruction, universal design for learning, evidence-based curricula, and effective instructional methods for students with diverse learning needs. Candidates are encouraged to integrate the strategies learned in SPED 145, 146, and 147 in their practicum experiences (SPED 172/176). In addition, candidates learn to accommodate classroom instruction based on individual learner characteristics. Specific content related to curricular adaptations and an adaptation decision-making model is introduce in SPED 120: Intro to Special Education and further enhanced in SPED 145: Designing Effective Environments for Students with Disabilities, to support the candidates’ abilities to provide classroom accommodations based on learner characteristics for students with low incidence disabilities. In SPED 145, candidates develop a standards-based instructional unit that adheres to the principles of UDL for a student with a disability. As a part of this assignment (Curricular Access and Adaptations) candidates also use an adaptation decision-making model to provide individualized supports to access the core curriculum.

In SPED 146: Assessment and Instruction for Students with Moderate-Severe Disabilities students use the multidimensional and ecological assessment processes to identify learning goals and/or skills in need of instruction for students with moderate-severe disabilities. This multi-faceted assessment process is then used to guide teacher candidates in the development of plans of systematic instruction, IEP goals, and participation plans, which articulate individual student participation, curricular adaptations, and supports. All content and course assignments in SPED 146 are based on the ecological assessment process, identification of skills in need of instruction, and subsequent development of individual plans of systematic instruction. Additionally, the use of individual planning tools, such as an IEP matrix, discrepancy analysis, and contextually-based participation plans, is also addressed. Content areas such as the utilization of UDL to ensure standards-based access for students with moderate-severe disabilities and use of tools such as IEP matrices and participation to articulate how contexts for embedded instruction and individualized student supports is also addressed in course content and all course assignments. Assignments in SPED 146 include: collecting ecological data across three contexts for a focus student, subsequent development of instructional plans, and creation of an both IEP matrix, which identifies where and how instruction in IEP goals and other skills can be embedded across the day, as well as a participation plan that articulates partial participation, adaptations, and individualized student supports in one context/environment. These same skills and processes are applied to instruction of communication skills and development of individualized augmented communication systems in SPED 247: Advanced Environmental Design and Instruction for Students with Moderate-Severe Disabilities.

Finally, SPED 219: Effective Communication and Collaborative Partnerships, specifically covers person-centered planning practices and characteristics of working from a person-centered perspective. Additionally, as a part of the Final Student Project, candidates are required to consider the ways in which their program and your practices adhere to person-centered characteristics and to identify areas in which they are strong, as well as those spaces for change/improvement. In this part of the assignment they need to articulate changes that they can can/will make in order to utilize more person-centered practices, as well as summarize any PCP methods that you currently use or that you will use for your focus student.

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