The elementary/special education program is designed to prepare and certify teachers for dual certification in elementary and special education. Today’s special education and general education children are frequently taught together in the same classroom. The philosophy of inclusion supports this approach. The dual certification major strengthens the preparation of teacher candidates to instruct both special education and general education children who will be assigned to their classrooms.
Successful completion of the dual certification in elementary/special education program and attainment of Maryland state minimum passing scores on Praxis I and II lead to Maryland initial teaching certification in elementary (grades 1-5) and special education (grades 1-8). Program completers are prepared to teach children with and without disabilities in regular and inclusion classrooms. The focus within special education is on teaching students with mild and moderate disabilities who have learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and/or emotional disturbance. Additionally, program graduates are prepared to work effectively in collaborative teams of both special and general education teachers and school specialists. The dual certification program in elementary/special education includes many field experiences and is based conceptually on InTASC, CEC, and ACEI standards, as well as on the Maryland State Department of Education’s “Redesign of Teacher Education.” The yearlong internship during the final two semesters takes place in two settings: one in an elementary classroom and the other in a special education program.
Requirements for the Dual Certification Elementary/Special Education Program
Three phases comprise major and teacher certification program in elementary/special education, each of which has specific course requirements and field experiences. The elementary/special education certification program requires students to demonstrate multidisciplinary breadth by completing:
- 9 credits in English
- 12 credits in science (at least one course in biological science and at least one course in physical science)
- 12 credits in mathematics (to include MATH 111, MATH 120 or MATH 201 or MATH 207; MATH 106; MATH 107; and MATH 112 or PSY 211)
- 9 credits in social sciences to include U.S. History and Introduction to Psychology
Some Core Curriculum courses may satisfy the requirements for multidisciplinary breadth.
The dual certification in elementary/special education major is divided into sequential steps consisting of Prerequisite, Phase I, Phase II and Phase III. The departmental unit assessment plan features a checkpoint at each step through which students must pass before advancing to the next phase.
The courses in the prerequisite portion of the dual certification in elementary/special education program prepare students for the professional sequences in Phases I, II and III. Along with these prerequisite courses, students must complete field experiences in designated Professional Development Schools (PDSs). While completing prerequisite courses, dual certification in elementary/special education students must obtain Maryland’s minimum passing score on Praxis I.
- EDUC 204 Foundations of Education in a Diverse Society (3 credits)
- EDUC 223 Childhood Development (3 credits)
- EDUC 224 Processes and Acquisition of Reading or EDUC 515* Processes and Acquisition of Reading (3 credits)
- EDUC 236 Children and Youth with Exceptionalities (3 credits)
*Courses at the 500 level are open only to students who have earned a baccalaureate degree and have been accepted to Hood’s Graduate School. They may carry additional graduate course requirements.
Entry to Phase I is contingent upon 1) successful completion of prerequisite courses, 2) maintaining a 2.75 G.P.A. in education courses and overall G.P.A., 3) successful performance in prerequisite field experiences, 4) meeting Maryland’s minimum passing score on Praxis I or MSDE equivalent (e.g., SAT, ACT), 5) submission of the Phase I application, and 6) endorsement by the Program Advisory Council. By the end of Phase I, students submit their entry folio and apply for entrance into Phase II.
- EDUC 316 Reading Instruction (3 credits)
- EDUC 320 Science Curriculum, Methods, Materials, and Assessment (3 credits)
- EDUC 330 Social Studies Curriculum, Methods, Materials, and Assessment (3 credits)
- EDUC 353 Special Education Methods: Elementary School (3 credits)
- EDUC 354 Special Education Methods: Middle School (3 credits)
- EDUC 373 Assessment, Diagnosis and Prescription in Special Education (3 credits)
Entry to Phase II is contingent upon 1) successful completion of Phase I courses, 2) successful performance in Phase I field placements, 3) maintaining a 2.75 G.P.A. overall and in education courses, 4) a score of “Emergent” or higher on the entry folio, 5) submission of the Phase II application, and 6) endorsement by the Program Advisory Council. Phase II is the initial semester of the yearlong internship. Students participate in full-time course work and field experiences in a designated PDS. Phase II courses are only open to students admitted to the yearlong internship. Phase II courses must be taken concurrently. When Phase II students are not in class, they are interning in a PDS. While in Phase II, students should be completing their PRAXIS II tests specific to elementary education and special education certification..
- EDUC 317 Materials for Teaching Reading (3 credits)
- EDUC 321 Mathematics Curriculum, Methods, Materials, and Assessment (4 credits)
- EDUC 340 Assessment for Reading Instruction (3 credits)
- EDUC 347 Classroom Organization and Management (3 credits)
- EDUC 360 Introduction to Teaching Seminar and Internship (3 credits)
Entry into Phase III is contingent upon 1) successful completion of Phase II courses, 2) successful performance in Phase II internship, 3) maintaining a 2.75 G.P.A. overall and in education courses, 4) submission of the Phase III application, and 5) endorsement by the Program Advisory Council. The dual certification program in elementary/special education student will be engaged in a full-time teaching internship in designated PDSs. Phase III courses are only open to students who have successfully completed Phase II and have been approved to continue in the yearlong internship. Toward the end of Phase III and in partial fulfillment of program requirements, the student submits the exit folio, which must meet the rating score of “Proficient” or higher. Completion of Phase III and the certification program is contingent upon meeting Maryland’s minimum passing score on Praxis II tests specific to elementary education and special education certification.
- EDUC 449 Teaching Internship in Elementary/Special Education (12 credits)
- EDUC 460 Professional Development Seminar (3 credits)