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Success for all learners is a key commitment of Quincy University's School of Education. If that idea inspires you, our Special Education curriculum may provide a path toward a satisfying career that combines high impact with high demand.

Through our Special Education program, you'll gain understanding of learner characteristics, diagnosis, evaluation, program planning, and instruction for students with disabilities ranging from mild to moderate and severe. Our courses are taught by experienced professors who are dedicated to mentoring the teachers of the future.

Because of the high need for expert teachers, you have several paths to help you meet your goals:

  • If you pursue the major in Elementary Education, you may earn full certification in Special Education through a careful selection of courses.
  • If you participate in other teacher education majors, you may meet qualifications for a minor in Special Education or earn an endorsement upon completion of four basic courses in the Special Education curriculum.
  • You may be eligible for targeted financial aid and scholarships for teachers of those with special needs.

Our program offers a bachelor of science degree in Special Education. Candidates at the undergraduate or graduate level can be certified to teach in grades K-12, and the undergraduate program is designed to offer dual certification in special and elementary education. The program also offers a minor and an endorsement in Special Education.

Contact Us

For more information about the Special Education program, feel free to contact:

Dr. Dave Landsom
Associate Professor of Special Education
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


SPE 229     Survey of Exceptional Students
Credit Hours: 3
An investigation into the theories, skills, and attitudes needed to identify and instruct students with disabilities in varied school settings. Emphasis will be placed on students with learning disabilities. In addition, considerable attention will be given to other categories of disabilities. Observation/clinical hours are included in the course requirements.

SPE 235     Diagnosis & Evaluation of Students with Disabilities
Credit Hours: 3
In this course students will become familiar with the basic concepts and procedures relating to assessment in special education. Norm-referenced, achievement, diagnostic, informal, curriculum-based, intellectual, and adaptive assessment will be covered. Interpretation will be stressed. Also application of course principles will be provided in course-based application exercises. Prerequisites: EDU 214, SPE 229.

SPE 239    Characteristics of Students with Special Needs
Credit Hours: 3
This course provides a theoretical frame of reference within which to view challenges faced by students with learning disabilities (LD). A functional definition of LD, possible causes of LD, characteristics of students with LD as well as other mild disabilities, and typical academic deficits experienced by students with mild disabilities, and methods that have been effective in addressing the needs of students with LD will be examined. Observation/clinical hours are included in the course requirements. Prerequisite: SPE 229.

SPE 270-9 Special Topics
Credit Hours: 1-3
Special topics in Learning Disabilities depending upon demand and staff.

SPE 310     Instructional Methods - SPED
Credit Hours: 3
This course will cover critical issues and specific methods and materials relating to the instruction of students with a varying range of needs. Major emphasis will focus on students with mild disabilities such as LD as well as students with other mild to moderate disabilities. Major emphasis will also be placed on the framework for appropriate instruction for students in light of their learning stages, the nature of the learner, and the content. Adaptations and modifications of the general curriculum are included in the course requirements. Prerequisites: SPE 229 and acceptance into the Teacher Education Program.

SPE 323     Mathematics Methods in the Learning Disabilities Curriculum
Credit Hours: 3
This course emphasizes objectives, content, methods, materials, and evaluation of mathematics instruction for special education programs. The course provides a base for understanding mathematics curricula from the pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. There is an emphasis on diagnostic, prescriptive, and evaluative teaching for students with mathematics disabilities. Prerequisites: MAT 110 and 111, EDU 214, and acceptance into the Teacher Education Program.

SPE 370-9 Special Topics
Credit Hours: 1-3
Special topics in education depending upon demand and staff.

SPE 450    Characteristics/Strategies for Behavior Disabilities
Credit Hours: 3
A study of the characteristics, causal factors, and educational implications for the emotionally/behaviorally disordered student. This course will cover strategies for more effective education with parents, community organizations, and school personnel in relation to the E/BD student.

SPE 453    Seminar/Practicum - SPED
Credit Hours: 3
This combined seminar (approximately one semester hour) and practicum (approximately two semester hours) provides a chance to gain additional knowledge about students who pose atypical challenges in terms of learning and functioning within general and special education settings and who are in need of specialized educational and related services. Such services as those provided by special educators who work with low-incidence disabilities, by occupational and physical therapists, medical personnel, and behavioral specialists will be addressed. The student will document at least 100 clock hours of outside-of-seminar experience in interacting with students in school or nonschool settings. Planning for teaching/interactive experiences and researching aspects related to disabilities of focus in the seminar/practicum experiences may be counted within the 100 clock hours. However, a minimum of 70 hours of actual interaction with individuals with moderate and severe disabilities should be documented. Taken concurrently with SPE 469.

SPE 465    Effective Inclusion
Credit Hours: 3
This course concentrates on effective strategies needed to integrate general and special education students, when appropriate, while at that same time recognizing the need for alternative settings. Significant emphasis will be placed on learning the fundamentals of co-teaching between special and general educators, how to construct appropriate Individual Education Plans, and modification of contact area instruction. Prerequisites: SPE 229 and acceptance into the Teacher Education Program.

SPE 466     Characteristics/ID
Credit Hours: 3
This course provides a frame of reference within which to view the exceptionality of Intellectual Disability (ID) as follows: historical and current perspectives of ID, accepted definitions of ID, different levels of ID, overview of educational programming (school age), preparation for adulthood, issues surrounding family living, rights of individuals with ID, and current and emerging issues. Prerequisites: SPE 229 and acceptance into the Teacher Education Program.

SPE 467     Instructional Strategies/ID
Credit Hours: 3
This course will cover critical issues and specific methods and materials relating to the instruction of students with ID. Special emphasis will be given to the following major areas: 1) life-goal planning for individuals and groups with ID; 2) the importance of working effectively with parents and other IEP team members; 3) diagnostic, prescriptive, and evaluative teaching; 4) curriculum planning; 5) functional skills basic to future adjustment (e.g., transitional and vocational skills, social and interpersonal skills, and leisure and recreation skills). Prerequisites: SPE 229 and acceptance into the Teacher Education Program.

SPE 468    Characteristic/Strategies - Mild/Moderate/Severe
Credit Hours: 4
This course provides a frame of reference within which to view Intellectual Disability (ID). It includes an overview of major characteristics and appropriate educational programming with an emphasis on functional life skills. A good deal of emphasis will be placed on life goal planning with emphasis on prevocational vocational, and transitional programming. In addition, some aspects of programming for physical disabilities, multiple disabilities, and other health impairments (POHI) will be addressed. Prerequisites: SPE 229 and acceptance into the Teacher Education Program.

SPE 469    Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorders
Credit Hours: 3
A comprehensive overview of students eligible for special education under the categories of Autism, Other Health Impairments, and Traumatic Brain Injury. Topics will cover characteristics of individual students as well as strategies  to meet educational needs of students eligible in these categories. Taken concurrently with SPE 453. Prerequisites: SPE 229 and acceptance into Teacher Education Program.

SPE 470-9 Special Topics
Credit Hours: 1-3
Special topics in elementary education depending upon demand and staff.

SPE 484     Senior Year Practicum SPED
Credit Hours: 3-6
This course provides opportunities for students to apply their knowledge, skills, and experience in a variety of educational settings which meet their needs and aspirations in the field. A minimum of 50 hours of practicum is required per credit hour.

Program Requirements

Degree Offered: Bachelor of Science

Advanced Placement Opportunities:
Certain general education requirements of the University may be fulfilled with credit by examination. However, no courses in professional or special education may be replaced by credit by examination.

  1. General education requirements for baccalaureate degree.
  2. Complete the pre-professional courses (EDU 213, EDU 214, SPE 229, and ELE 240 or their graduate-level equivalents) with a grade of "C" or better.
  3. Field Experiences (EDU 290, 291, 390, 391).
  4. 50 hours in special education as follows: SPE 229, 235, 239, 240, 310, 315, 316, 317, 323, 450, 451, 453, 465, 468, 469, 499, and either 359/360 or 459/460, or 318.
  5. MAT 110 and 111 Basic Math Concepts I & II or MAT 124 with a "C" or better; COM 101 Fundamentals of Public Speaking; PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology; one course in Health and Physical Education (PED 265 Health and Wellness); American History, 3 hours; U.S. Government, 3 hours; a total of 7 hours in Science, 3 hours of Global Studies.
  6. Successful completion of student teaching in EDU/ELE 498 and Seminar SPE 499. (Students who plan to teach in Missouri should see the Dean of Education for Missouri requirements.)
  7. ENG 111-112 Composition & Texts I & II completed with a grade of "C" or better, or the demonstrated equivalent competency.
  8. Demonstrate professional disposition in coursework and field experiences.

Program Requirements: Dual Certification — Elementary/Special Education:
A dual certification option enables a declared elementary education major or a declared special education major to seek certification in both elementary and special education. This combination will necessarily increase the program length of the current standard elementary education major from 124 to approximately 135-140 semester hours and lengthen the current special education major approximately 5-10 semester hours; however, the combination will significantly enhance preparation, employment opportunities, and employment flexibility for elementary and special education majors. Specific program planning and guidance sheets for this combination will be available to assist students who pursue this combined certification option.

Requirements for a Minor in Special Education:
Illinois State Standards require knowledge and skill in the area of special education. This minor does not lead to Special Education Certification. Eighteen (18) hours are required for a special education minor. SPE 229, 239, 310, 465, and 6 additional credit hours in special education.

Active Learning Opportunities

Quincy's Special Education program includes extensive, field-based, hands-on learning in local schools, in foundational courses, and through clinical and practicum experiences prior to full-time teaching. Our Professional Development School (PDS) model puts you in a local classroom during your first education class and gives you progressively responsible roles as you hone your professional skills. You'll gain experience in public and private schools, working with all age levels and in all class sizes, becoming familiar with the full range of teacher responsibilities. In the PDS model, you'll build expertise with diverse instructional situations and populations, including high-need students. The result? A portfolio that shows you are ready to teach in academically and culturally varied settings, where flexibility and leadership are most needed.

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