Special Education

  • LIENNE MEDFORD, Dean
  • KELLY HARRISON-MAGUIRE, Associate Dean
  • REED CHEWNING, Chair
  • D. WAYNE CHESER
  • WILLIAM CORDER
  • ELAINA GHIONIS
  • JULIE JONES
  • MARGARET LEE
  • MARGARET PARK
  • SEAL NISBET WILSON

The Institutional Standards

Professional education courses and experiences, combined with liberal arts courses, promote the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential for education. These learning outcomes embody the following “Institutional Standards” to ensure candidates develop an understanding of the critical concepts and principles of their discipline and facilitate candidates' reflection of their potential biases to increase their understanding and practice of equity, diversity, and inclusion.  

Education Program Completers

  1. Demonstrates knowledge of and application of critical concepts and principles of learner development (INTASC Standard 1), learning differences (INTASC Standard 2).
  2. Create safe and supportive learning environments to work with diverse students and families  (INTASC Standard 3). 
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of central concepts in their content areas (INTASC standard 4).
  4. Implement instructional strategies for diverse learners (INTASC Standard 5).
  5. Demonstrate ability to assess student work, plan for instruction, and differentiated instructional strategies for diverse learners (INTASC Standards, 6, 7, & 8).
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of technological pedagogical knowledge to engage and improve learning for all students. 
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of professional responsibility and engage in professional development, act ethically, take responsibility for student learning, and collaborate with students and families (INTASC Standards 9. &10)

The Converse University Department of Education is the central undergraduate home for teacher education programs in Education. The Department of Education offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in the following teacher education programs: art (PK– 12), early childhood (PK–3), elementary (2–6), comprehensive special education (PK–12), deaf and hard of hearing (PK–12), intellectual disabilities (PK–12), learning disabilities (PK–12), English (9–12), and social studies (9–12).

Bachelor of Music degree in music education (choral and instrumental) (PK–12), resides in the Petrie School of Music. This degree has a specific course of study. Details are in the Petrie School of Music Student Handbook and the Undergraduate Catalog. The Department of Art and Design offers the Bachelor of Arts in Art Education (PK-12). Details are in the Undergraduate Catalog. Full-time Converse faculty members teach a majority of the education courses in each program. Students interested in teaching as a career may complete one or more of the programs described in this section. Students who fulfill the requirements of one or more of these programs can meet the certification requirements for teachers in South Carolina and in several other states. Those who wish to teach on the secondary level complete a 30-hour minor (32 for science teachers) in secondary education to complement appropriate liberal arts major.

The teacher education certification program prepares teacher candidates to become well-qualified teachers and licensed professionals who possess knowledge and skills in innovative teaching methods and research-based practice. Candidates follow the teacher education program as outlined in the Teacher Education Handbook found on the Converse University website. Student teaching is the capstone experience for all teacher education programs.

All education majors must take the CORE PRAXIS (or have qualifying SAT/ACT scores) for admission to Teacher Education. PRAXIS II examinations as well as the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) examinations must be taken before graduation.

Admission to Teacher Education

Teacher candidates should be familiar with the department website that contains descriptions of programs, The Teacher Education Handbook, the Clinical Experience Handbook, the Student Teaching Handbook, important details, policies, and announcements.

Apply for admission to the Teacher Education Admission Program after completion of EDU 360, Introduction to Education, and after you have met all of the following criteria:

  1. Completion of 45 hours of coursework
  2. 2.75 minimum cumulative GPA
  3. A passing grade for first major clinical in their major program
  4. Passing scores on the Core Praxis exams (reading, writing, and math) or have qualifying SAT/ACT scores
  5. Completion of required items on the Student Worklist in Canvas: (Livetext subscription, SLED check, Negative TB test, Negative Sex Offender Registry, Travel Form, Blood Borne Pathogens Test, Education Economic Development Test, and Phase II Interview Questions and Answers (within the same semester as EDU360)
  6. Secondary Education minor candidates require 3.0 in content area courses.
  7. Statement of Disclosure-prior felony misdemeanor convictions

Resources are available to help a student prepare for the CORE PRAXIS exams. Admission to the Teacher Education Program is a prerequisite to enrolling in Benchmark II courses. For transfer students, Converse uses all attempted coursework prior to enrollment at Converse and all coursework at Converse to determine cumulative GPA. Converse will cancel a failing grade at another institution if a student retakes and passes a comparable course at Converse, and if the Registrar approves. Such cancellation makes the policy for transfers compatible with the Converse policy for retaking courses.

During the senior year, students are eligible for placement in student teaching. A student planning to student teach in the Fall Term of her senior year must submit her request for placement by February 15 of the junior year. A student planning to student teach in the Spring Term of her senior year must submit her request for placement by June 15 before the senior year. Only those students currently accepted in a degree program can be eligible for student teaching. 

Other requirements prior to student teaching include an application for certification to the South Carolina State Department of Education and an FBI background check. Details about this application and other requirements are available on the department webpage at www.converse.edu., on the South Carolina State Department website: https://ed.sc.gov, and from departmental staff. Generally, the applications for certification are due to the Education Department by February 15, a year in advance of Fall Term student teaching, and by June 15, a year in advance of Spring Term student teaching. Passing scores on both the CORE PRAXIS and the appropriate PRAXIS Subject Assessments are among the requirements for certification. Because test requirements change, students should consult the State Department website: https://ed.sc.gov to be sure they register for the appropriate PRAXIS II test(s). Students must request that the Educational Testing Service submit their scores for CORE PRAXIS and PRAXIS Subject Assessments both to Converse and to the South Carolina State Department of Education.

The General Education Program is a requirement for all degrees. The requirements listed below are approved for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Fine Arts. 

ENG 101 3 hours
Language and Culture 9 hours
MTH 108 or higher 3 hours
One course designated as Quantitative reasoning 3–4 hours
Health and Well-being Wellness 2 hours
Activity course 1–2 hours
Humanities 6 hours
Literature 3 hours
Fine Arts 6 hours
Natural Science 7–8 hours
Social Science 6 hours
Total 49–52 hours

Graduation requirements but not a separate course:

  • First-Year Seminar
  • Writing Intensive course
  • Non-European/non-Anglophone course Capstone experience

Degrees and Certificates

Classes

SED 265 : DEAF HISTORY AND CULTURE

This course is a study of the history and culture of Deaf people. The course explores the Deaf experience through topics such as Deafhood, Deaf history in America, American Sign Language, educational options, cultural rules, Deaf arts, diversity in the community, international Deaf communities, and the future of the Deaf community. The course includes opportunities to meet members of the local Deaf community. Offered January Term.

Credits

3

SED 300 : INTRODUCTION TO EXCEPTIONAL LEARNERS

This course familiarizes the student with the wide range of intellectual, emotional, and physical problems characterizing exceptional learners. Students explore the nature and scope of special education programs and services, community resources, and rehabilitation. Offered Fall, Spring, and Summer Terms.

Credits

3

SED 330 : SPECIAL TOPICS IN EDUCATION

Each special topics offering will cover a topic dealing with the field of Education or Special Education that is not in the regular curriculum. Offered Fall, January, or Spring Term

Credits

1 - 3

SED 350 : FOUNDATIONS: DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING

An introductory course on the history, philosophies, current trends and issues, and models of education for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. The course focuses on the impact of deafness on the psychological, sociological, and vocational development of individuals with hearing losses. It includes methods of guidance, support, and referral for parents. The course includes a five- hour clinical. Offered Fall Term

Credits

3

SED 353 : AUDIOLOGY AND SPOKEN LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of hearing, hearing disorders and how they affect spoken language development, and the administration and interpretation of tests for auditory acuity that focus on the physics of sound, physical characteristics of the speech and hearing mechanisms, and the pathology, etiology and treatment of hearing loss. The course includes practical preparation in the use and care of hearing aids and amplification systems and involves a five- hour clinical. Offered Fall Term

Credits

3

SED 357 : READING ASSESSMENT AND INSTRUCTION: DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING

This course acquaints the student with the nature and problems related to reading for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. It includes topics including assessments, reading development theories, instructional practices and reading curricula designed specifically for deaf and hard of hearing students. The course involves a five-hour clinical. Offered Fall Term.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 350.

SED 359 : LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT AND INSTRUCTION: DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING

This course acquaints the student with the nature and problems of language acquisition in students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Topics include assessments, language development theories, speech development, and instructional practices for deaf and hard of hearing children. Additionally, the course focuses on instructional practices and language curricula designed specifically for deaf and hard of hearing students. The course involves a five-hour clinical. Offered Spring Term.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 350.

SED 361 : LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND DISABILITIES

This course acquaints the prospective teacher in learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities with the knowledge of: typical and atypical language development; the influence of culture in ways of communicating and behaving; strategies to enhance language development and communication skills for students with disabilities; and strategies and resources that facilitate understanding of subject matter for individuals with exceptional learning needs whose primary language is not English or for students who require alternative and augmentative communication systems. Offered Spring Term.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 300.

SED 376 : ASSESSMENT OF EXCEPTIONAL LEARNERS

This required course for all students majoring in special education deals with the wide variety of individual and group tests designed to assess children with intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, and hearing losses. This course includes a clinical. Offered Fall and Spring Terms.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 300.

SED 380 : INTRODUCTION TO INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES

This course acquaints the prospective teacher with the psychological development and problems associated with intellectual disabilities. Students study recent developments and research in this area. The course includes a clinical. Offered Spring Term.

Credits

3

SED 385 : AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE I

This introductory sign language course develops knowledge and skills for reading and executing a basic vocabulary of manual signs and fingerspelling. The use of American Sign Language (ASL) conceptual signs within the framework of the ASL grammar system is also emphasized. The course includes a study of the cultural aspects of the Deaf community. The course includes 5 hours of interactions with members of the Deaf Community. Offered Fall and Spring Term.

Credits

3

SED 390 : AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE II

This course offers a study of American Sign Language linguistics. There is a focus on general communicative competence in ASL with emphasis on both receptive and expressive signing skills. The course includes 5 hours of interactions with members of the Deaf Community. Offered Fall and Spring Term.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 385.

SED 391 : AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE III

This second-year course includes the development of expressive and receptive sign skills, as well as an overview of syntax, phonological structure, and non-manual markers. This course includes 5 hours of interactions with members of the Deaf Community. Offered Fall and Spring Term.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 392 : AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE IV

This course focuses on an advanced level of the development of receptive and expressive skills, as well as the affective parameters of American Sign Language. There is an emphasis on conversational competence using conceptual signs and semantic appropriateness. This course includes 5 hours of interactions with members of the Deaf Community. Offered Fall and Spring Term.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 391.

SED 393 : SIMULTANEOUS SIGNED/SPOKEN COMMUNICATION

This course emphasizes the development of receptive and expressive communication skills using conceptually-accurate sign language and finger spelling in English word order. Various simultaneous signed/spoken communication systems used in the educational setting will be covered. The course, which includes a five-hour clinical, is appropriate as an elective for any major. Offered Spring Term.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 385.

SED 394 : AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE V

This course focuses on developing communication fluency and accuracy while using appropriate ASL vocabulary, grammar, pragmatics, and discourse. Additionally, the course will incorporate a study of Deaf culture. This course includes 5 hours of interactions with members of the Deaf Community. Offered Fall and Spring Term.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 392.

SED 395 : INTRODUCTION TO LEARNING DISABILITIES

This course is a study of learning disabilities affecting the educational development of the exceptional student. Emphasis is on the definition, identification, classification, theories, and educational approaches to specific learning disabilities. This course includes a clinical. Offered Fall Term.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 300.

SED 397 : INTRODUCTION TO EMOTIONAL DISABILITIES

An introduction to emotional disabilities, including the causes and characteristics of emotional and behavioral disorders, related learning problems, intellectual disabilities, and cultural disadvantage. Offered Fall term.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 300.

Corequisites

SED 300.

SED 398 : EDUCATIONAL PROCEDURES FOR EMOTIONAL DISABILITIES

An introduction to methods of therapy, management techniques, and educational materials for emotional disabilities. The course includes a clinical. Offered Spring Term.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 300, SED 397.

Corequisites

SED 300, SED 397.

SED 405 : BEHAVIOR AND CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

This course provides students with the opportunity to evaluate and design positive classroom management alternatives. It is a prerequisite for special education student teaching. This course includes a clinical. Offered Fall and Spring Terms.

Credits

3

SED 412d : DIRECTED STUDENT TEACHING: DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING

Students normally take this course, which integrates theory and practice, during the senior year. The 60-day course includes observation, participation, and directed teaching experience in a local public school. The experience requires conferences with the Program Director, University Supervisor, and the cooperating teacher, demonstration of the integration of technology into instruction, and attendance at such required seminars as training sessions, orientation sessions, and other workshops. The University Supervisor visits the student-teacher periodically during the semester. Students must apply for student teaching by June 15 for Spring Term placement in the following year or by February 15 for Fall Term placement in the following year. Pass/fail grading. Offered Fall and Spring Terms. Special fee. Meets the GEP capstone and writing intensive requirements.

Credits

12

SED 412f : DIRECTED STUDENT TEACHING: LEARNING DISABILITIES

Students normally take this course, which integrates theory and practice, during the senior year. The 60-day course includes observation, participation, and directed teaching experience in a local public school. The experience requires conferences with the Program Director, University Supervisor, and the cooperating teacher, demonstration of the integration of technology into instruction, and attendance at such required seminars as training sessions, orientation sessions, and other workshops. The University Supervisor visits the student-teacher periodically during the semester. Students must apply for student teaching by June 15 for Spring Term placement in the following year or by February 15 for Fall Term placement in the following year. Pass/fail grading. Offered Fall and Spring Terms. Special fee. Meets the GEP capstone and writing intensive requirements.

Credits

12

SED 412g : DIRECTED STUDENT TEACHING: INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES

Students normally take this course, which integrates theory and practice, during the senior year. The 60-day course includes observation, participation, and directed teaching experience in a local public school. The experience requires conferences with the Program Director, University Supervisor, and the cooperating teacher, demonstration of the integration of technology into instruction, and attendance at such required seminars as training sessions, orientation sessions, and other workshops. The University supervisor visits the student-teacher periodically during the semester. Students must apply for student teaching by June 15 for Spring Term placement in the following year or by February 15 for Fall Term placement in the following year. Pass/fail grading. Offered Fall and Spring Terms. Special fee. Meets the GEP capstone and writing intensive requirements.

Credits

12

SED 458 : METHODS AND PROCEDURES: DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING

This course for senior Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing majors focuses on educational practices in both public and residential school programs for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Specific research-supported instructional strategies and organization as well as the SC Standards, are examined and practiced. Emphasis is placed on the roles and responsibilities of the teacher as decision-maker, facilitator of cognitive and communicative development, multidisciplinary team member, collaborator with parents and other professionals, and advocate for students. The course includes a 25-hour clinical. Offered Fall Term

Credits

3

Prerequisites

SED 350, SED 390.

SED 490 : DIRECTED INDEPENDENT STUDY IN SPECIAL TOPICS

This course is an academic experience in a special topic not covered in depth in regular course work. The student works independently and researches a topic approved by a faculty member in the department. The instructor prescribes the specific requirements (normally one or more papers). Students must observe the University limit of hours within a discipline. May be repeated for credit. Special fee. Meets the GEP capstone and writing intensive requirements.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

Permission of instructor.