Like the Special Education graduate program, College of St. Joseph’s Education Division also offers a graduate program for Special Education Endorsement.

Our graduate program will provide you with an understanding of the issues, laws, and practices in special education, with an emphasis on full inclusion, assessment, collaboration, and team teaching.

You must choose the level at which you want your endorsement during the time of admission. Endorsement across the full range will require an additional practicum and the possibility of additional coursework in Developmental Psychology.

Requirements for the Special Education (Endorsement)


General Education Core

GED500 Educational Research3The student is exposed to contemporary practices in educational research. Topics investigated include: research design, data analysis and interpretation, and literature review. Designs for researching problems and issues in public schools are emphasized through use of the Action Research model. Prerequisite: 21 graduate credits or by permission of the Division Chairperson. Fall and spring course.
GED501 Contemporary Issues in Education or a Contemporary issues course3This course will focus on the identification, definition and analysis of some of the most important problems facing the contemporary, public elementary and secondary schools. Students engage in problem solving strategies which address the routine of daily school operations. Many topics and discussions are designed to bring forth an exposure to local and national issues which impact the school community. Fall course.
GED505 Educational Psychology3Students will examine fundamental principles and concepts which apply to teaching. Learning theories, instructional methods, student diversity, organization and management of the classroom, and assessment approaches will be examined. Application of principles will occur through written exercises and simulations. Field observations will illustrate course-related concepts, and literature reviews will be assigned for exploring particular issues. Students in the School Counseling Program are expected to continue working on entries for their initial licensure portfolio (typically Entry 1). Summer course.

Area of Concentration

GRE513 Reading Assessment, Analysis & Intervention3This course will introduce students to a variety of formal and informal reading assessments for use in the elementary and secondary schools to identify the strengths and needs of students in the area of reading. Students will be trained in administering, interpreting and analyzing data of a qualitative assessment so that they can design effective teaching programs to meet the needs of all students. Prerequisite: GRE512 or permission of the Division Chairperson. Fall course.
GSP503 Behavioral and Learning Characteristics of Students w/ Special Needs3This course provides an introduction to the education of students with special education needs in various educative contexts. Findings from the research, evidence-based practices as well as "best inclusive" practices will be examined. Special Education students must take GPS508 before GPS503. Fall and spring course.
GSP504 Assessment in Special Education3Students will examine assessment procedures, including appropriate test selection, administration and scoring, and legal issues related to special education assessment. Students will prepare reports that describe the results of the assessment procedures and related recommendations for instruction. $15 lab fee. Summer course.
GSP505 Instruction and Curriculum in Special Education3This course focuses on the understanding and applications of "evidenced-based practices and instruction" utilized in the education of elementary and secondary students with learning differences. The elements of Universal Design for Learning, Response to Intervention and Curriculum-based Assessment will be emphasized. Students are expected to do observations and interviews in educative context where students with learning differences are educated. Spring course.
GSP506 Program Development and Management in Special Education3The focus of this course is around designing an Individual Education Program for a student with social and behavioral needs that interfere with the student's accessing the public educational system. The course follows the best practices from EST referral to the progress notes on the IEP. The discussion of the why and the how of each step are integrated into the consideration of the next option, by way of role-plays and seminar discussions. The practical issues are shared, as are the legal and the political considerations. There is the Functional Behavioral Assessment conducted and completed to the creation of a Behavioral Intervention Plan and then practiced as the collection of data is summarized in a process note. This course has many practical parts that are integrated into the experience and that are part of the expectation. Spring course.
GSP508 Special Education Law3This course reviews the requirements of the federal law Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It looks at pertinent court cases which have influenced this law. The state regulations of both Vermont and New York are studied. A case study requiring a comprehensive evaluation and an individualized education plan is required. The relationship of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the American with Disabilities Act and the unique Vermont state statutes and their relationship to IDEA are also studied. Summer course.
GSP510 Education of Students with Cognitive Disabilities3This course examines disability related issues from a "social justice" perspective as it relates to students with Cognitive Disabilities. Specifically, issues such as cultural construction of disability, participation in inclusive school communities, the utilization of evidence based practices for the purposes of assessment, delivery and gaining access to the general curriculum, peer supports etc. It will also examine disability related declarations, laws and policy development and its effects on the education of children and young adults with Cognitive Disabilities and their impact in the design and implementation of IEP's, alternate assessment and primary school transitions. Fall course.


GSP520A Practicum in Special Education*3This purpose of the practicum is to provide the student with field experience to develop the competencies related to the initial licensure in special education. Students are required to spend 60 hours in the field, devote activities to preparation and evaluation, and participate in supervisory meetings. Students work on Entries 1 and 4 of the initial licensure portfolio, Grade of "B" or better is required. $200 Practicum Endorsement Portfolio Fee.
GSP520 Student Teaching in Special Education*12The placement provides the student with opportunity to acquire competencies as an entry-level teacher. Placements are a full semester of full time teaching and are supervised by cooperating teachers and College faculty. Students are expected to progressively assume responsibility for planning, teaching and managing the classroom program. Students are required to attend nine, late-afternoon seminars for receiving assistance on portfolios and more effective instructional practices, classroom management and sharing. Obtained criminal background and child abuse clearance checks. Student Teacher fee. Grade of "B" or better is required.


GSP511 Transition Process for Secondary Students with Special Needs (7-age 21). (Required for students seeking grades 7-age 21 endorsement) OR
Education Elective (k-8)
3With more than 300,000 special education students leaving the high school environment each year, the Individuals with Disabilities Improved Education Act (IDIEA) mandates that every eligible student receive transition services for students age 16 or younger when appropriate. This course will prepare educators to incorporate into the IEP a coordinated set of outcome process oriented activities which promotes movement from school to post-school environments including employment, community involvement, post-secondary education and leisure pursuits. Fall course as needed.