Special Education  {SF State Bulletin 2013 - 2014}

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Special Education

Graduate College of Education

Interim Dean: Elizabeth Kean

 

Department of Special Education

BH 156
Phone: 415-338-1161
E-mail: spedcd@sfsu.ed
Website: www.sfsu.edu/~spedcd

Interim Chair: Nancy Robinson
Advisors: Program faculty in Communicative Disorders and Special Education

 

Faculty:

Professors: Certo, Graham, Hanson, Hunt, LePage, Lueck, Prinz, Robinson, Rosen, Soto, Wolfberg
Associate Professors: Courey, Epstein, Hong, Hsia
Assistant Professors: Solomon-Rice, Yu

 

Programs

B.A. in Communicative Disorders

M.S. in Communicative Disorders

Minor in Special Education

M.A. in Special Education

Certificate in Autism Spectrum

Certificate in Early Childhood Special Education

Certificate in Guide Dog Mobility

Ph.D. in Education: Concentration in Special Education

 


 

Program Scope and Career Outlook

The programs in the department include professional preparation in special education and communicative disorders. These programs in special education include preparation for specialists who may work in schools, clinical settings, or community agencies with individuals with disabilities. Resources of education, psychology, counseling, and other human service related fields are utilized.

 

Communicative Disorders

Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders This program is designed as preparation for graduate study in speech-language pathology or audiology, as a master’s degree is required to become certified as a Speech-Language Pathologist and a doctoral degree (AUD) is required to become an Audiologist. While the B.A. degree in CD does not qualify the student to practice speech-language pathology or audiology, there are related fields open to the B.A. graduate that include employment as a teacher’s assistant, classroom aide, child development worker, and speech-language pathology assistant with additional intern experience beyond the undergraduate degree. In addition, the BA degree in CD is a strong foundation for a number of graduate programs in special education, education, rehabilitation counseling, and related fields.

 

Master of Science in Communicative Disorders The academic and clinical program leading to the M.S. meets requirements of pre-professional training resulting in certification in speech-language pathology through the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), State of California Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential (SLPSC), and the State of California license to practice speech-language pathology. The communicative disorders graduate program is approved by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in speech-language pathology.

 

Special Education

Minor in Special Education The purpose of this minor is to provide undergraduate students with an overview of the field of special education. An interdisciplinary program of required and elective courses ensures that students are exposed to a variety of courses pertaining to disability in our society. Competencies attained by students completing this minor would be of both a theoretical and practical nature and would stimulate student interest in occupations serving individuals with disabilities. Direct contact with individuals with disabilities would help the student to determine whether their interest seems to be a feasible choice for a future career.

 

Master of Arts in Special Education The Master of Arts in special education is an individually designed program in an area of emphasis. This degree emphasizes research and leadership skills within a select program of study. The degree prepares individuals for employment in education in public and private agencies serving people with disabilities, and in other related human service fields. Programs within the department provide students with an opportunity to learn from, and participate in, on-going research, demonstration, training, and clinical projects conducted by faculty. Areas of emphasis include early childhood special education, guide dog mobility, mild/moderate disabilities, moderate/severe disabilities, orientation and mobility, physical and health impairments, visual impairments, and vocational special education.

 

Special Education Certificates

Certificate in the Autism Spectrum This graduate level certificate is designed to prepare highly qualified professionals to meet the unique educational needs of learners with Autism Spectrum in diverse settings. Through participation in coursework that includes embedded field experiences, students will acquire working knowledge of current training models, strategies and philosophies to guide them in working with individuals on the autism spectrum at the early childhood, elementary and secondary/transition level.

 

Certificate in Early Childhood Special Education This program offers an opportunity for students enrolled in professional programs or practicing professionals in education to pursue additional training in working with young children with special needs (from birth to five years) and their families. Further, the trans-disciplinary approach to this training makes the program equally valuable for related professionals, such as physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, nurses, psychologists, and social workers. Graduates of the program may hold jobs in a variety of public and private early childhood education settings which include schools, hospitals, and government agencies.

 

Certificate in Guide Dog Mobility The graduate certificate program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Special Education at SF State and Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. in San Rafael, California. The program prepares professionals to serve as guide dog mobility instructors for the blind and visually impaired. Instructors train specially bred dogs to serve as dog guides and provide specialized instruction to people who have visual impairments in their travel with a dog guide. Courses are conducted primarily on the campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California (approximately ½ hour north of the SF State campus.

 

Doctor of Philosophy in Education: Concentration in Special Education. Graduate study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a Concentration in Special Education is offered jointly with the University of California, Berkeley.

 

The program provides preparation for people interested in a leadership role in research, policy, advocacy, curriculum development, administration and supervision, and teacher education. Check with the department for specific application procedures for each campus: spedcd@sfsu.edu, http://www.sfsu.edu/~spedcd.

 

Admission to Graduate Programs and Certificates

The following two sections provide a general introduction to admission requirements and written English proficiency requirements for graduate programs in the Department of Special Education. Details regarding the joint doctoral program appears in the section titled "Education Doctoral Studies."

 

A minimum 3.0 GPA is required for certificates and master’s degrees, including the fields of special education and communicative disorders. Applications are available from the Department of Special Education, (415) 338-1161, www.sfsu.edu/~spedcd.

 

Certificate applicants must first be eligible in accordance with all university requirements as outlined in the Certificate Programs section of this Bulletin. This same section includes university program guidelines and procedures to be followed in filing for the award of the certificate when it is completed.

 

The following university requirements apply to graduates in the Master of Arts in Special Education and the Master of Science in Communicative Disorders.

 


Written English Proficiency Requirement

Each graduate student must demonstrate the ability to write English correctly and effectively at the graduate level. To assure that each graduate student has the required proficiency in written English, two distinct assessments are made by the major department: Level One and Level Two.

 

Level One: Applicants will be required to submit evidence of one of the following as part of their application for admission to our M.S. in Communicative Disorders and M.A. in Special Education:

  • Score of at least 4.0/6.0 on the GRE Analytical Writing Test or GMAT Analytic Writing Assessment.
  • Score of at least 4.5/6.0 on the essay test of the paper-based [PBT] TOEFL (a minimum score of 24/30 on the Writing section of the Internet-based test [iBT] TOEFL).
  • Score of at least 6.5/9.0 on the IELTS writing test, or a concordant score on the Pearson Test of English.
  • Passing status score of at least 220 on the CSET Writing Skills Test.

 

Applicants who do not meet this requirement may be denied admission. If all other areas of the application are strong, a faculty member may choose to file a petition with Graduate Admissions to request conditional admission. If conditional admission is granted, the student will need to pass one of the tests listed above, or complete an English writing course from an approved list that will be maintained by the department prior to filing for advancement to candidacy.

 

Level Two:

Master of Science in Communicative Disorders: students will be required to complete one of the following plans of currently approved culminating experience:

Plan A (3 units):

C D 884, Advanced Diagnosis in Communicative Disorders (3) and Master’s Comprehensive Written Examination; or

Plan B (6 units):

C D 898 Master’s Thesis in Communicative Disorders (3) with Oral Defense of Thesis, and C D 884 Advanced Diagnosis in Communicative Disorders (3); or

Plan C (6 units):

SPED 895 Field Study: Special Education (3) and C D 884 Advanced Diagnosis in Communicative Disorders (3).

 

Master of Arts in Special Education: students will be required to complete one of the following options currently approved for a culminating experience:

Option I (3 units):

SPED 894 Creative Work in Special Education (3 units); or
SPED 895 Field Study (3); or
SPED 898 Master’s Thesis (3), and Oral Defense of Thesis.

Option II (3 units):

SPED 881 Advanced Research Seminar in Special Education (3); and Master’s Comprehensive Written Examination.

Option III (6 units):

Two elective graduate seminars, which will reflect critical analysis of literature and application of research; and Master’s Comprehensive Written Examination.

 

Continuing Enrollment Requirement
M.S. in Communication Disorders & M.A. in Special Education

 

Students admitted to a master’s degree program during or after fall 2008: If a student enrolls in one of the Culminating Experience courses, such as C D 898 or SPED 898 (Thesis), SPED 895 (Field Study) or SPED 894 (Creative Work) to complete their masters degree, and does not finish their study by the end of the semester, or by the following semester (grace semester), they need to enroll in at least one course during each successive semester until they complete their culminating experience and a grade is entered by their committee chair.

 

If there is a break in enrollment before the culminating experience is completed, the student upon return will be required to retroactively enroll for semesters in between and must continuously enroll every semester thereafter until completed.

 

If a student is completing the master’s comprehensive written examination during the semester of graduation and has completed all degree requirements, they also need to enroll in at least one course.

 

Students in one of the above situations can enroll in the following low cost course available to meet this Continuous Enrollment Requirement:

EDUC 499 College of Extended Learning
Registration is online by going to http://www.sfsu.edu/online/clssch2.htm and accessing the Extended Learning Class schedule, locate EDUC 499 and proceed with enrollment.
Academic Senate Policy on the Continuous Enrollment: http://www.sfsu.edu/~senate/documents/policies/S08-246.html

 

Students admitted to a master’s program during or before spring 2008: If a student enrolls in one of the culminating experience courses, such as SPED 898 (Thesis), SPED 895 (Field Study) or SPED 894 (Creative Work) to complete their master’s degree, and does not finish their study by the end of the semester, they need to enroll in at least one course during the semester they intend to graduate and a grade is entered by their committee chair.

 

If a student is completing the master’s comprehensive written examination during the semester of graduation and has completed all degree requirements, they also need to enroll in at least one course.

 

Students can meet this requirement by enrolling in EDUC 499 through the College of Extended Learning http://www.cel.sfsu.edu/register/forms.cfm

To register contact: Graduate Coordinator, College of Education Burk Hall 240 415.338.2051 http://coe.sfsu.edu/grad/graduate-office

 

Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders

Advisors: Epstein, Graham, Robinson, Solomon-Rice, Yu

 

Program courses constitute the specific requirements for a liberal arts major in communicative disorders leading to the baccalaureate degree at this University. The undergraduate sequence or a program equivalence is prerequisite to the Master of Science in communicative disorders. A master’s degree in the area of speech-language pathology (SLP) is required for professional license to practice in the field. A doctoral degree in Audiology (AUD) is required for professional licensing in audiology. All undergraduates, regardless of their intention to become an audiologist or speech-language pathologist, take the same coursework. Twelve core courses are required for the major. The B.A. degree is not a terminal degree. While the B.A. degree in CD does not qualify the student to practice speech-language pathology or audiology, there are related fields open to the B.A. graduate that include employment as teacher’s assistant, classroom aide, child development worker, and speech-language pathology assistant with additional intern experience beyond the undergraduate degree. In addition, the BA degree in CD is strong preparation for a number of graduate programs in special education, education, rehabilitation counseling, and related fields.

 

The undergraduate degree requires 120 units minimum. Students entering the program must hold the status of junior, and declare communicative disorders as the major. Students are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Complete one college course in each of four areas: biological sciences, physical sciences, math, and social sciences.
  • Complete a linguistics course, or equivalent, regarding language structure.
  • Demonstrate a minimum GPA of 2.0.
  • Download the Undergraduate Communicative Disorders Major Guide (http://www.sfsu.edu/~comdis/pdf/UG_Major_Guide.pdf) and initial next to each of the specified activities as they are completed.
  • Download and carefully read the Essential Functions Guide (http://www.sfsu.edu/~comdis/pdf/Essential%20Functions.pdf) that describes the essential characteristics necessary for success in the SLP field.
  • Meet with an advisor to review requirements of the professions in communicative sciences and disorders.

 

All undergraduates, regardless of their intention to become an audiologist (Au) or speech-language pathologist (SLP), take the same coursework. Twelve core courses are required for the major. The B.A. degree is not a terminal degree.

 

Enrollment priority in upper division courses is granted in the following order: conditional graduates admitted to the major, graduating seniors in the major, juniors in the major, second-baccalaureate majors, unclassified graduate students, and Open University students on a space available basis.

 

To advance in the undergraduate program, students must:

  • Maintain an overall grade point average of C or better (2.0 GPA).
  • Receive a grade of C- or better in C D 660, C D 668, and C D 661 during the first semester in the program.

 

Students who do not meet these criteria cannot take any additional courses in the sequence. Courses with C- grade must be retaken before enrollment in the complete sequence may continue.

 

Communicative Disorders (B.A.) — 36 units

 

Master of Science in Communicative Disorders

Advisors: Epstein, Graham, Robinson, Solomon-Rice, Yu

 

Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent coursework in communicative disorders prior to application to the M.S. degree in Communicative Disorders at San Francisco State University, meaning an undergraduate major in communicative disorders, or an equivalent at the post-baccalaureate level. In addition, coursework in biological/physical sciences, statistics, and social sciences is required prior to admission to the graduate program (generally completed within the undergraduate degree to fulfill general education requirements). See program and department websites for program and faculty information: www.sfsu.edu/~spedcd and www.sfsu.edu/~comdis.

 

Admission to Program

Admission to the graduate program in communicative disorders is a two-step process that should be completed simultaneously:

  1. Apply to San Francisco State University: Complete the on-line CSU Mentor application. Follow all other requirements for admission to the University by accessing www.sfsu.edu/~grad stdy/.
  2. Apply to the Department of Special Education. Application for Communicative Disorders and application deadlines are posted at: http://www.sfsu.edu/~spedcd.

 

Selection is based on the following:

  • Completion of the SF State Level I Written English Proficiency (WEP) requirement must be met prior to admission. Applicants will be required to submit evidence of one of the following as part of their application for admission to our M.S. in Communicative Disorders and M.A. in Special Education:
  • Score of at least 4.0/6.0 on the GRE Analytical Writing Test or GMAT Analytic Writing Assessment.
  • Score of at least 4.5/6.0 on the essay test of the paper-based [PBT] TOEFL (a minimum score of 24/30 on the Writing section of the Internet-based test [iBT] TOEFL).
  • Score of at least 7.0/9.0 on the IELTS writing test, or a concordant score on the Pearson Test of English.
  • Passing status score of at least 220 on the CSET Writing Skills Test.
  • A completed departmental application form, official transcripts, and two letters of recommendation from former professors or individuals conversant with work with speech, language, and/or hearing impaired individuals must be submitted. Check with department for deadlines.
  • Evidence of satisfactory completion of prerequisites, and an undergraduate degree in communicative disorders or completion of equivalent courses which are prerequisites to the graduate courses in the program. Applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree in communicative disorders will be required to complete equivalent coursework prior to admission as a graduate student.

 

When accepted into the program, receive advising from Communicative Disorders faculty members.

 

Communicative Disorders (M.S.) — 56 - 80 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

Required Academic Courses (33 units)

Clinical Practicum (9 units)

Internships (11 - 17 units)

Optional Specializations (15 units maximum)

Culminating Experience (3 - 6 units)

One of the following plans:

Note: Plans B & C are recommended to individuals planning to pursue predoctoral education. In addition, completion of Plan B, thesis and oral defense, or Plan C, field study, are accepted in lieu of the master’s written comprehensive examination.

 

Minor in Special Education

Special Education, Minor — 18 units

 

Master of Arts in Special Education

Graduate Advisors: All tenured/tenure-track faculty serve as graduate advisors. See web site for program emphasis and associated faculty:www.sfsu.edu/~spedcd.

 

General Information

Candidates may specialize in an area of emphasis that includes one of the following.

 

Early Childhood Special Education. Program emphasis is designed to provide special education personnel with the skills to successfully facilitate the development of young children (birth to 5 years) with disabilities. Emphasis is placed on providing culturally competent family-centered services through an interdisciplinary approach.

 

Guide Dog Mobility. This program utilizes the resources located on the campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California (approximately one hour north of SF State campus. The guide dog mobility emphasis prepares instructors to teach people who are blind to travel by using specially trained dog guides. Graduates of the program will be prepared to assume wide ranging and complex professional roles in a variety of settings, including guide dog schools that provide residential training and/or in-home instruction. Specialized evaluative and follow-up services are a component of training.

 

Mild/Moderate Disabilities. Program includes in-depth study of specific learning disabilities, mild to moderate cognitive impairments, and emotional and behavioral disturbance. Program focuses on both in-school and outside-of-school contexts.

 

Moderate/Severe Disabilities. Program includes topics in autism, deaf-blindness, moderate to severe mental retardation, multiple disabilities, and emotional disturbance. Curriculum development and instructional practices in multiple natural environments.

 

Orientation and Mobility. Courses and field experiences prepare professionals to teach skills of independent travel to people who have visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities. Curriculum includes independent travel in indoor and outdoor environments; orientation; sensory and motor development; concept development; daily skills; use of low vision and electronic travel devices in travel. Program includes instruction of people aged birth through the senior years.

 

Physical and Health Impairments. Program includes orthopedic impairment, other health impairments, multiple disabilities; and traumatic brain injury of children, youth, and adults. Courses emphasize augmentative and alternative communication, assistive technology, literacy, and collaborative teaming.

 

Visual Impairments. Program emphasis is on collaboration, working with families, and an approach to individual differences to address the disability-specific needs of the diverse population of students who are blind or who have low vision. Curriculum covers assessment, independent living skills, Braille, technology, and other rehabilitative tools.

 

Vocational Special Education. Focuses on how to develop vocation and career education programs for students with disabilities. Courses emphasize career education, legal/administration issues, job development, technology, transition from school to work and community living, and supported employment.

 

Admission to Program

Admission to the graduate program in special education is a two-step process that should be completed simultaneously:

 

  1. Apply to San Francisco State University: Complete the on-line CSU Mentor application. Follow all other requirements for admission to the University by accessing www.sfsu.edu/~grad stdy/.
  2. Apply to the Department of Special Education.

 

The department application requests background information, transcripts, a goal statement, two letters of reference, evidence of successful completion of the Level I Writing English Proficiency requirement, and a résumé. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required for admission to a master’s degree in special education. The department application and application deadlines are posted at: http://www.sfsu.edu/~spedcd; or call: (415) 338-1161.

 

Upon acceptance into the program, students are assigned an advisor. All students need to consult with their advisors before registration.

 

Upper division courses offered by the department may be considered upon approval of the graduate advisor.

 

Special Education (M.A.) — minimum total 30 - 33 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

Core Program (9 units)

One course selected from the following on advisement:

Upper Division/Graduate Courses (12 units)

Courses in Special Education, as required by each graduate program

Related Studies (6 units)

Selected upon approval of graduate major advisor in specialization emphasis.

Culminating Experience (3 - 6 units)

One of the following options by advisement and with approval of major graduate advisor in specialization emphasis.

Note: Option I is required for the following emphasis areas: Moderate/Severe Disabilities students are required to take SPED 898 and an oral defense of thesis, unless advised to select a different plan; Early Childhood Special Education students and Mild/Moderate Disabilities students who are advised to select Option I must complete SPED 881 as a prerequisite.

 

Certificate in the Autism Spectrum

This graduate level certificate is designed to prepare highly qualified professionals to meet the unique educational needs of learners with autism spectrum disorders in diverse settings. Through participation in coursework that includes embedded field experiences, students will acquire working knowledge of current training models, strategies and philosophies to guide them in working with individuals on the autism spectrum at the early childhood, elementary and secondary/transition level. Graduate students enrolled in the Master of Arts and/or Education Specialist Credential in Special Education may have the option of pursuing the degree, credential and certificate concurrently without adding additional requirements. Students possessing a M.A. or M.S. degree in special education or a related field may complete the certificate program, including prerequisites, as a post-master’s degree program.

 

Admission to the Program

The specific requirements and procedures for acceptance to the autism spectrum graduate certificate program are as follows:

  • Students must meet the standards required for candidates for a master’s degree program in special education or provide evidence of advanced graduate training (master’s degree) in special education or a related field.
  • Students who wish to concurrently pursue the certificate, the Master of Arts in special education and the Education Specialist credential must complete all preliminary credential coursework
  • Students who wish to apply to SF State for the certificate only will apply to the University through CSU Mentor
  • Complete a Department of Special Education application
  • Interview with program faculty upon request

 

Completion of the Program

The student must maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA in order to continue in and complete the program.

 

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Students must meet the English proficiency requirement by demonstrating competence through a written examination during the first semester of enrollment and the completion of a written paper.

 

Autism Spectrum, Certificate — 12 units

 

Certificate in Early Childhood Special Education

This certificate program is intended for practitioners in human services fields, such as nursing, psychology, physical and occupational therapy, social work, speech and language therapy, who do not possess a California Education Specialist Credential. See also Education Specialist Credentials. Course substitutions may be considered by advisement for students who wish to pursue extended specialized coursework in areas such as family services, infant intervention or preschool intervention.

 

Admission to the Program

To be admitted students must meet the standards required for candidates for a master’s degree program in Special Education. To apply students must hold a 3.0 minimum grade point average and submit two letters of recommendation, transcripts of all college or university level training, and a position statement documenting interest in this certificate, and a resume. An area of emphasis is declared at the time of application.

 

Completion of the Program

  • The student must maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA in order to continue in and complete the program.
  • An application for the internship is required by February 28 for fall semester enrollment and by September 28 for spring semester enrollment.

 

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Students must meet the English proficiency requirement by demonstrating competency on a written paper or examination.

 

Early Childhood Special Education, Certificate — 12 units

 

Certificate in Guide Dog Mobility

The graduate certificate program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Special Education at San Francisco State University and Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. in San Rafael, California. The program prepares professionals to serve as guide dog mobility instructors for the blind and visually impaired. Instructors train specially bred dogs to serve as dog guides and provide specialized instruction to people who have visual impairments in their travel with a dog guide. Placement with Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. is limited. Check with department for admission cycles. Department of Special Education, 415-338-1161, www.sfsu.edu/~spedcd, or spedcd@sfsu.edu

 

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree, in any area from an accredited university
  • Minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0
  • Application for Graduate Admission to SF State
  • Application for Program Admission to Department of Special Education

 

Written English Proficiency Requirements

Entry Level: See Level One written English proficiency requirement for graduate admission in Special Education. Exit Level: Written Comprehensive Examination administered by program, in conjunction with SPED 831, Internship

 

Guide Dog Mobility, Certificate — 25 units

 

 

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