The programs of study in Special Education consist of five curricular components: freshman seminar and general education, the specialty area, professional studies, content pedagogy (methods and internship), and academic concentration. Upon successful completion of the program and related requirements, graduates are eligible for a Standard Professional I license to teach in the State of North Carolina. The NC Department of Public Instruction issues the teaching license based on University recommendation.
The Special Education program in General Curriculum is one of 12 teacher education programs offered at UNCP. Special Education majors are subject to Teacher Education Program policies, admission requirements, continuation requirements, and graduation requirements. For more information about teacher education policies and requirements, turn to the previous section.
The Special Education programs are accredited by the National Association for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the NC State Board of Education.
The Teacher Education Program standards for all education majors are described fully in the UNCP Teacher Education Program Teacher Candidate Handbook.
Program Goals and Objectives
The goal of the Special Education Program is to prepare effective and qualified professionals that provide research-validated instruction and behavior supports to maintain at grade level students with disabilities who are enrolled in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. The following are the objectives for the undergraduate Special Education Program.
The effective and qualified pre-service special educator
1. acquires basic skills, knowledge, and attitudes in a wide variety of disciplines including the arts and the humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and the social sciences.
2. develops the ability to analyze.
3. experiences a interdisciplinary curriculum which emphasized the interrelationship of the culture, research and practices deemed appropriate and necessary in educational and social settings.
4. completes an Academic or Professional Concentration (Reading is suggested) of sufficient depth and breadth to complement and strengthen their overall program of studies and area of specialization.
5. acquires knowledge and understanding of human growth and development; foundations of education; the purpose, organization, and administration of the schools; the teaching-learning process; positive behavior supports; collaboration with general education teachers; curriculum; and methodology.
6. demonstrates necessary competencies through systematic field experiences at both the elementary and secondary level, and a culminating and comprehensive student teaching internship.
7. develops a broad background in the various categories of exceptional, diverse, and at-risk students, and demonstrates special skills in teaching students with mild disabilities across various content areas and ages; and in various settings.
8. demonstrates appropriate communication skills and a professional attitude for collaboration with parents, school personnel, and other related professionals.
9. demonstrates a diagnostic-prescriptive orientation toward instruction and behavior intervention, and is able to offer intensive and explicit individual and small group instruction.
10. provides leadership in implementing special education procedures and policies.
11. experiences, through personal investigation and growth, increased self-actualization, and in turn, foster self-worth and confidence through positive interaction with learners who have mild disabilities.