Special Education

College of Education
Dean: Jacob Perea

Department of Special Education
BH 156
415-338-1161
E-mail: spedcd@sfsu.edu
Web Site: www.sfsu.edu/~spedcd
Chair: Nicholas J. Certo

Advisers: Program faculty in Communicative Disorders and Special Education

Graduate Coordinator: Nicholas J. Certo

Faculty

Professors—Certo, Goetz, Graham, Hanson, Hunt, Lepire, Lueck, Prinz, Rosen, Soto

Associate Professors—Hsia, LePage, Robinson, Wolfberg

Assistant Professors—Courey, Epstein, Hong, Paillard

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
Certificate in Vocational Special Education
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 considered a pre-professional degree and graduate preparation is required for employment as a speech-language pathologist. Completion of the appropriate academic/clinical graduate program meets requirements of pre-professional training set forth by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for the Certificate of Clinical Competence and by the California Board of Medical Quality Assurance for a license in speech pathology.

Master of Science in Communicative Disorders  The academic and clinical program leading to the M.S. meets requirements of pre-professional training set forth by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for the Certificate of Clinical Competence and by the California Board of Medical Quality Assurance for a license in speech pathology. The communicative disorders program is approved by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 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 SFSU 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 SFSU campus.

Certificate in Vocational Special Education  This program provides educators with further training in how to develop vocational and career education programs for students with disabilities. Students working toward a teaching credential or master's degree may concurrently enroll in the certificate courses for additional specialized training. Also, students having completed a teaching credential or master's degree may enroll in the certificate program as an advanced graduate. The program provides classroom and hands-on training for educators who will teach students with a variety of disabilities. The methods and curriculum of the courses focus on career education, secondary vocational training, transition from youth to adulthood, and supported work.

Doctor of Philosophy in Education: Concentration in Special Education.  Graduate study leading to the Joint Doctorate in Education with 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 curriculum development, administration and supervision, teacher education, and research. 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 programs appear 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. To assure that each graduate student has the required proficiency in written English, two distinct assessments are made by the major department: Level I and Level II.

Level One: The Level I requirement may be a 4 or above on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE, or a passing grade on the Graduate Essay Test (GET). The GET examination is offered at the immediate start-up of each semester. New students planning to take the GET are expected to take the examination their first or second semester. If the student fails, he/she may take the GET examination a second time or enroll in a remedial course. If students elect not to take the course until they have attempted to pass the examination a second time, it is their choice. However, students who have failed the GET twice must enroll in the remedial course to fulfill the requirement. Completion of a remedial course constitutes completion of the requirement; however, this course is not a substitute for the GET unless the student has failed the test at least once. Level Two: is measured by successful completion of Options I, II, or III culminating experience requirements that include one of the following: master's written comprehensive examination, creative work project, field study, or thesis. Satisfactory completion automatically certifies that the second level writing requirement has been met.

Continuing Enrollment Requirement

Classified graduates pursuing a masterís degree are required to meet continuing enrollment status. Continuing enrollment applies during the semester in which a student is applying for graduation. When a student has completed all course requirements for the degree and is in the process of completing a culminating experience from enrollment in a prior semester, the graduate candidate needs to enroll in additional units of their choice at regular fees, or may enroll in EDUC 897, Research in Education (3 units) at a reduced fee. For registration in EDUC 897, contact the College of Education Graduate Studies office, Burk Hall 240, (415) 338-2051. See also Graduate Studies continuous enrollment requirements at www.sfsu.edu/~gradstdy

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN COMMUNICATIVE DISORDERS

Advisers— Epstein, Graham, Robinson

Program courses constitute the specific requirements for a liberal arts major in communicative disorders leading to the baccalaureate degree at this university. This is not a terminal degree for professional employment. Students interested in this program only for the purpose of obtaining a credential should refer to the program of specialized preparation and consult an adviser in communicative disorders. The undergraduate sequence or a program equivalence is prerequisite to the Master of Science in Communicative Disorders.

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.

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Program Units
COMM 410 American Phonetics 4
C D 660 Communicative Disorders 3
C D 651 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism 3
C D 652 Audiology 3
C D 653 Fluency and Voice Disorders 3
C D 654 Audiometry 3
C D 668 Language Acquisition and Development 3
C D 656 Diagnosis of Communicative Disorders 3
C D 658 Communication Development and Disorders 3
C D 659 Articulatory and Phonological Disorders 3
C D 661 Neurolinguistics 3
C D 663 Augmentative and Alternative Communication 3
Total 37

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COMMUNICATIVE DISORDERS

Advisers—Epstein, Graham, Robinson

Applicants must have completed 24 semester hours in communicative disorders, psychology, speech, and/or other related course work or experience prior to admission to the program. See department website for faculty and staff information: www.sfsu.edu/~spedcd.

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. Department application and application deadlines posted at: http://www.sfsu.edu/~spedcd

Selection is based on the following:

When accepted into the program, students are assigned an adviser.

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Speech Pathology Program Units
ISED 797 Seminar in Educational Research 3
C D 880 Advanced Communication Therapy 2
C D 701 Seminar in Language Differences and Disorders in Children 3
C D 705 Aural Rehabilitation 3
C D 708 Seminar in Neurogenic Disorders of Language 3
C D 709 Seminar in Motor Speech Disorders 3
One of the following plans: 6
Plan A
C D 882 Internship in Communicative Disorders (6)  
Plan B1
SPED 898
    and
C D 882
Master's Thesis
 
Internship in Communicative Disorders
 
Plan C 1
SPED 895
    and
C D 882
Field Study
 
Internship in Communicative Disorders
 
Upper division/graduate courses in major or related fields with approval of graduate major adviser (suggested courses listed below) 7
C D 706 Counseling in Communicative Disorders  
C D 707 Advanced Seminar in Language Disorders in Children
C D 710 Seminar in Dysphagia
C D 756 Advanced Diagnosis of Communicatively Handicapped Adults and Children
C D 884 Advanced Diagnosis in Communicative Disorders (2)
SPED 688 American Sign Language I
SPED 743 Augmentative and Alternative Communication
SPED 746 Teaching Individuals with Physical and Other Health Impairments
Minimum total 30
and Master's Comprehensive Written Examination (see department for limitations on repeat of failed examination or portions thereof)

MINOR IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

Adviser—Rosen

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Required Courses Units
C D 300 Human Communicative Development and Disorders 3
PSY 200 General Psychology 3
PSY 431 Developmental Psychology 3
SPED 330 Introduction to Disability 3
Elective courses
Units selected from among the following, or other electives, upon advisement:
6
PSY 435 Behavior Problems of Children  
SPED 310 Exploring Visual Impairment
SPED 370 Introduction to Atypical Infants
SPED 688 American Sign Language
Total for minor 18

MASTER OF ARTS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

Graduate Advisers— All tenured/tenure-track faculty serve as graduate advisers. 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 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 SFSU 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 area 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 Impairment. 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, and a resume. 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 adviser. All students need to consult with their advisers before registration.

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

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Program Units
ISED 797 Seminar in Educational Research 3
SPED 788 Research and Literature, Policy and Practice in Special Education 3
Units selected from the following on advisement 3
SPED 801 Diversity in Special Education: Family Systems, Resources, and Culture  
SPED 779 Family Systems and Services for Young Disabled Children
Upper division/graduate courses in special education, as required by each graduate program 12
Related studies (selected upon approval of graduate major adviser in specialization emphasis) 6
Culminating Experience  
One of the following options (by advisement and approval of major graduate adviser in specialization emphasis): 3-6
Option I:
SPED 894
    or
SPED 895
    or
SPED 898
Creative Work Project in Special Education
 
Field Study
 
Master's Thesis
    and
Oral Defense of Thesis
 
Option II:
SPED 881 Advanced Research Seminar in Special Education
    and
Master's Comprehensive Written Examination
 
Option III:
2 elective graduate seminars (6 units) which reflect critical analysis of literature and application of research skills, by advisement and approval of graduate major adviser
    and
Master's Comprehensive Written Examination
 
Minimum total 30-33

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; Early Childhood Special Education students are required to complete Option I with SPED 881 as a prerequisite; and Mild/Moderate Disabilities students who are advised to select Option I must complete SPED 881 as a prerequisite.

CERTIFICATE IN THE AUTISM SPECTRUM

Adviser—Wolfberg

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 Level II 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:

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.

Course Requirements Units
SPED 791 Nature of Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
SPED 825 Behavior and Instructional Supports: Autism 3
SPED 794 Communication, Socialization and Imagination: Autism 3
SPED 796 Partnerships and Life Issue: Autism 3
Total 12

CERTIFICATE IN EARLY CHILDHOOD SPECIAL EDUCATION

Advisers—Hanson, Hsia, Paillard

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.

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

Written English Proficiency Requirement

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

Program Units
SPED 777 Atypical Infant Development 3
SPED 737
  or
SPED 738
Infant Intervention
 
Preschool Intervention
3
SPED 780 Assessment and Program Evaluation in Early Childhood Special Education 3
SPED 831 Internship in Early Childhood Special Education 3
Minimum total 12

CERTIFICATE IN GUIDE DOG MOBILITY

Adviser—Rosen

The graduate certificate program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Special Education at SFSU 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.

Admission Requirements

Written English Proficiency Requirements

Entry Level: Graduate Essay Test prior to final semester Exit Level: Written Comprehensive Examination administered by program, in conjunction with SPED 831, Internship

Fall, Year 1
SPED 655 Basic Orientation and Mobility 3
SPED 749 Medical and Education Implications or Visual Impairments 3
SPED 741 Introduction to Canine Assessment and Training 3
SPED 755 Formal Guide Work Training 3
Spring, Year 1
SPED 759 Introduction to Client Instruction 3
SPED 761 Instructional Management and Special Populations 3
Fall, Year 2
SPED 831 Internship in Special Education 6
Total Units: 25

CERTIFICATE IN VOCATIONAL SPECIAL EDUCATION

Adviser—Certo

Admission Requirements

The student must have a bachelor's degree and either possess or be enrolled in a program that grants a credential or master's degree. The general requirements for admission to the Master of Arts in Special Education at SFSU will apply. Two professional references are required and transcripts of previous course work must be submitted.

Completion of 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.

Program Units
SPED 716 Technology in Special Education 3
SPED 763 Transition and Transition Planning for Secondary-age Students with Disabilities 3
SPED 805 Internship: Vocational Special Education 3
SPED 850 Issues in Vocational Special Education 3
Total units 12

Footnotes

  1. Plans B and C are recommended for individuals planning to pursue predoctoral education.
    Return to Master of Science in Communicative Disorders curriculum table


SFSU Home   Search   Need Help?  

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1111

Last modified July 06, 2012 by bulletin@sfsu.edu