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Lake Superior State University

Elementary Education: Special Education - Learning Disabilities: Bachelor of Science

Program Description

The Special Education - Learning Disabilities program expands the basic elementary education program to prepare teachers to work with students with learning disabilities from kindergarten through grade 12. Program features include extended field experience in regular and special education settings, and focused development of the knowledge and skills critical for effective teachers.

Graduates are prepared for elementary-level teacher certification in Michigan, which permits individuals to teach in self-contained classrooms at grades K-8, and in all subjects at grade K-5, as well as a Learning Disabilities endorsement for grades K-12.  Individuals may also qualify to teach the subject of an optional academic minor in grades 6-8.

Students begin their studies with a focus on general education requirements and elementary planned program coursework.  If they opt for an academic minor this coursework also begins in year one.  They complete the initial professional education coursework in their sophomore year, and apply for formal admission to the program at the end of that year. By that time, they will have also passed the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Professional Readiness Examination.

Special education and upper-level professional education coursework, along with the completion of the elementary planned program and optional minor, are the focuses for the junior and senior years. Students in the special education program complete two semesters of student teaching, one in a regular elementary education setting and one in a special education setting. These experiences are normally in the fifth year of the program, depending on the individual student's progress through the program. Generally, student teaching will be in the Eastern Upper Peninsula or in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Elementary Education and Learning Disabilities tests must be passed prior to beginning student teaching.

Note: Candidates who complete an optional minor and pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification subject test for that minor meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act and are considered "highly qualified" for the subject area of the endorsement shown on their Michigan teaching certificates.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Content Knowledge:  Candidates apply appropriate depth of knowledge to engage learners in mastering content.

Learner-centeredness: Candidates value the uniqueness of each individual through their commitment to learners and learner-centered processes.

Pedagogical Knowledge:  Candidates engage learners using a variety of instructional strategies and perspectives.

Professional dispositions: Candidates demonstrate professional dispositions, assuming the full role of the teacher.

Reflection: Candidates self-evaluate and reflect on feedback from others, including students, to continually improve their pedagogical practices.

Degree Requirements

The components of the Elementary Education: Special Education - Learning Disabilities:  Bachelor of Science program are:

Special Education (32 credits)

  • EDSE301 Introduction to Special Education 3
  • EDSE302 Communication and Community 3
  • EDSE320 Introduction to Learning Disabilities 4
  • EDSE401 Issues and Trends Impacting Learning Disabilities & Special Ed 3
  • EDSE403 Assessment and Diagnosis 3
  • EDSE404 Instruction and Technology for Learning Disabilities-Preschool to Empl 4
  • EDSE480 Student Teaching Seminar: Special Education 1
  • EDSE492 Internship/Supervised Student Teaching: Learning Disabilities 8
  • PSYC301 Exceptional Child and Adolescent 3

Elementary Planned Program (49 credits) 

  • MATH103 Number Systems & Problem Solving 4
  • MATH104 Geometry & Measurement 4
  • MATH207 Principles of Statistical Methods 3
  • BIOL104 Survey of General Biology 4
  • NSCI101 Great Lakes Region: Chem, Phy, and other Laws of Nature 4
  • NSCI102 Great Lakes Region: Geology and Resources 4
  • POLI110 Introduction to American Government and Politics 4
  • GEOG201 World Regional Geography 4
  • HIST131 United States History I 4
  • HIST321 History of Michigan 2
  • ENGL180 Introduction Literary Studies 3
  • ENGL222 English Grammer & Language in Context 3
  • ENGL335 Children's Literature 3
  • CHLD225 Emergent Literacy 3

Academic Minor (Optional): Students may complete a teaching minor in either Language Arts or Mathematics (see the requirements in this catalog for these teaching minors).

Professional Education Sequence (45 credits)

  • EDUC101 Self as Learner 1
  • EDUC250 Student Diversity & Schools 4
  • EDUC301 Learning Theory and Teaching Practice 3
  • EDUC330 Reading in the Elementary Classroom 3
  • EDUC350 Integrating Technology 3
  • EDUC410 Corrective Reading in the Classroom 3
  • EDUC411 Elementary Language Arts and Methods Across the Curriculum 2
  • EDUC415 General Instructional Methods 2
  • EDUC420 Math Methods for Elementary Teachers 2
  • EDUC421 Science Methods for Elementary Teachers 2
  • EDUC422 Social Studies Methods for Elementary Teachers 2
  • EDUC423 Arts Methods for Classroom Teachers 2
  • EDUC424 Health/Physical Education Methods for Classroom Teachers 2
  • EDUC460 Classroom Management 2
  • EDUC480 Directed Teaching Seminar 2
  • EDUC492 Directed Teaching 10

Formal admission to the program, qualification for student teaching, and successful completion of the program requires:

  • Completion of the Professional Education Sequence courses with a grade of B- (2.70) or higher.
  • Completion of all required courses in the education cognates and teaching minor with a GPA of 2.70 or higher and no grade below a C (2.00).
  • Completion of the elementary planned program with a GPA of 2.70 or higher and no grade below a C (2.00).
  • Completion of the General Education Core Requirements with a gpa of 2.00 or higher.
  • Passing scores on all required Michigan Test for Teacher Certification tests.

The Elementary Education program undergoes periodic review, evaluation, and alignment with the Michigan Department of Education standards. Since program approval and renewal cycles vary, individuals should contact the School of Education regularly to confirm the current requirements of each program component. Graduates must meet the standards that are in place at the time of completion of their programs, in order to be recommended to the Department of Education for teacher certification.

General Education: All LSSU bachelor's degree candidates must complete the LSSU General Education Requirements.

A minimum of 124 credits (at the 100 level or higher) must be earned for graduation with a cumulative gpa of 2.70 or higher.  A gpa of 2.70 or higher is also required in your Major, and a gpa of 2.00 or higher is required in your General Education Requirements.

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