Undergraduate Special Education Program


Spring 2013 - Program Rating - Common Core Content for Special Education - Earned Score 2 stars

Because they cannot teach what they do not know, special education teacher candidates need to have a solid grasp of literature and composition, American and World History, Geography and Science.

Commendably, special education teacher candidates in this state can obtain certification to teach in the elementary grades alone, rather than the overly broad certification to teach PK-12. However, the program only partly meets the standard because the combination of institution and program requirements ensures sufficient coverage of the elementary content special education teachers need solely in:

  • Literature.

Coverage is somewhat deficient in:

  • History.

Coverage is very deficient in:

  • Science.  

REJOINDER to Spring 2013 Program Rating


NCTQ Standard 9.1 Elementary Content Education and Pedagogical Education Courses

The program ensures that teacher candidates have the broad content preparation necessary to successfully teach to the Common Core State Standards.

Indicators that the program meets the standard:

9.1 At the undergraduate level, the institution:

           Undergraduate Catalog

           Common Core Elementary (Special Education) Content Requirements - pg. 120-121  Link to Undergraduate Catalog

Link: Elementary Education (Special Education Track) Program Plan shows core content requirements in:

  • Literature and Composition (12 hours): ENG 101 and ENG 102, ENG 201 and 202;
  • Science (9 hours): Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Physical and/or Earth Science;
  • Social Studies (12 hours): SOC 101 Sociology or SOC 111 Anthropology, HIS 101/102 World History or HIS 201/202 United States History, HIS 369 Geography.

Requires candidates to take at least one course in each topic from each of the subject areas listed below.

  • All coursework except children's literature should only be taught in liberal arts departments.
  • Course content must be broad enough to give candidates the knowledge base to teach the elementary curriculum.

Exempts candidates from specific course requirements on the basis of standardized assessments commonly recognized as demonstrating content mastery at the level provided by post-secondary or rigorous secondary instruction.

Subject A: Literature and Composition

  • Topic (1): World literature ENG 211, ENG 212
  • Topic (2): American literature ENG 303
  • Topic (3): Writing, grammar and composition ENG 101, ENG 102. ENG 308, ENG 300, ENG 409
  • Topic (4): Children's literature EDR 344

Subject B: History and geography

  • Topic (1): Early American history HIS 201
  • Topic (2): Modern American history/government HIS 202, PSC 201
  • Topic (3): World history - modern HIS 102
  • Topic (4): World history - ancient HIS 101
  • Topic (5): Geography - HIS 369

Subject C: Science (at least one course with lab)

  • Topic (1): Biology BIO 101
  • Topic (2): Chemistry CHE 101
  • Topic (3): Physics/physical science PHY 101, PHS 151, PHS 201

Subject D: Fine Arts

  • Topic (1): Music history MHL 101
  • Topic (2): Art history ART 200

Elementary Mathematics (See Standard Five)

  • Topic (1): Algebra MAT 131
  • Topic (2): Numbers and Operations MAT 116
  • Topic (3): Geometry MAT
  • Topic (4): Data Analysis


9.2 For undergraduate programs, the teacher candidate completes an 18 credit hour concentration in a subject area relevant to the elementary (Special Education) curriculum:

  • English EDR 308, EDR 311, EDR 344, EDR 407, EDR 441
  • Mathematics MAT 131, MAT 116, MAT 316, EDU 413
  • Social Studies EDU 345 plus 12 hours of social studies content
  • Science EDU 346 plus 11 hours of science content.


The following courses constitute the Special Education literacy requirements in:

  • Phonemic Awareness (EDR 308, EDR 441)
  • Phonics (EDR 308, EDR 441)
  • Fluency (EDR 308, EDR 311, EDR 344, EDR 407, EDR 441)
  • Vocabulary (EDR 308, EDR 311, EDR 344, EDU 345, EDU 346, EDR 407, EDR 441, EDR 474)
  • Comprehension Strategies (EDR 308, EDR 311, EDR 344, EDU 345, EDU 346, EDR 407, EDR 441, EDR 474).

EDU 300. Introduction and Foundations of Education (2 hours) An overview of the teaching profession with emphasis on functions of the school, school policies, school law, and the effects of court decisions on education practice.  Satisfies the writing intensive course requirement.

EDU 300.1. Introduction and Foundations of Education Field Practicum (1 hour) A 30 hour field experience in a local school taken concurrently with EDU 300.  Teacher Candidates will observe and co-teach with approved master teachers in the field.  Observations of teaching effectiveness (content knowledge, instructional techniques, classroom management) will be completed by the master teacher and university field supervisor.  Written self-reflections are required of each teacher candidate.  The master teacher and university field supervisor will evaluated the Professional Dispositions of each candidate. Lesson plans will be evaluated by the university field supervisor using the lesson rubric.  Link to Lesson Plan Lesson Plan Rubric  Link to Syllabus Hattiesburg

EDR 308. Early Literacy Instruction I: (3 hours) A study of concepts, materials, and teaching strategies for oral language development and systematic early reading and writing instruction, specific to concepts about print, phonemic awareness, and phonics. Link to Syllabus (Hattiesburg)

EDR 311. Early Literacy Instruction II: (3 hours) A study of concepts, materials, and teaching strategies for oral language development and systematic early reading and writing instruction, specific to vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Link to Syllabus (Hattiesburg)

EDR 344. Literature for Children: (3 hours) A study of the classic and current literature for children in print and non-print media. The integration of literature into the elementary school curriculum is emphasized. Link to Syllabus (Hattiesburg)

EDR 407. Communication in the Elementary school: (3 hours) Emphasis is placed on helping the elementary teacher develop skill in teaching oral and written communication skills. The use of an integrated approach with an emphasis on children's literature is stressed. Prerequisites: EDR 308, EDU 311, EDU 345, EDU 346. This class may be online enhanced. Link to Syllabus Hattiesburg

EDR 441. Diagnosis and Correction of Reading Disability: (3 hours) A study of the diagnosis and remediation of reading disabilities. Students diagnose and evaluate the skills of an individual child in a clinical setting and develop and carry out a plan of remediation based on the diagnosis. Prerequisites: EDR 308, EDR 311, and admission to teacher education. Link to Syllabus (Hattiesburg)

EDR 474. Reading in the Middle and Secondary School: (3 hours) The development of reading skills in the content areas is explored. Emphasis is on helping the middle and secondary school student read more effectively. Prerequisite: Admission to teacher education. Link to Syllabus (Hattiesburg)

CONTENT PEDAGOGY COURSES meet literacy requirements in:

  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension.

EDU 345. Social Studies in the Elementary School: (3 hours) The scope and sequence of the elementary social studies curriculum is examined. An emphasis is placed on the development of concepts and generalizations appropriate for the elementary child. A field experience in an elementary school is a component of this course. Prerequisites: social science core. Link to Syllabus Hattiesburg

EDU 346. Science in the Elementary school: (3 hours) An integrated approach to teaching science through discovery and hands-on experiences. A field experience in an elementary school is a component of this course. Prerequisites: Science core. Link to Syllabus (Hattiesburg)

EDU 372. Survey of the Exceptional Child (3 hours) A study of individuals with exceptionalities from the gifted to the profoundly disabled.  Includes a multicultural component which explores the diverse ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds of students and techniques for providing an effective relevant education.  Link to Syllabus

EDU 413 Mathematics in the Elementary School (3 hours) Methodology based on current research and practice is explored using an NCTM standards-based program with an emphasis on mathematical understandings, using manipulatives, and acquiring problem solving skills.  A field experience (30 hours) in an elementary school is a component of this course.  Prerequisites are MAT 116, MAT 131, MAT 316, and admission to Teacher Education Program.  Link to Syllabus Hattiesburg

EDU 436 Classroom Management (3 hours) This course provides information to help students develop proactive strategies to manage the classroom environment and student behavior. Emphasis is placed on students' development of a personal and unique classroom management plan. Prerequisite: admission to Teacher Education. Link to Syllabus Hattiesburg

EDU 440. Kindergarten Education and Practicum (3 hours) A study of appropriate educational practices and programs in kindergarten with an emphasis on Mississippi guidelines. The class includes seminars and teaching experiences in a local kindergarten class. Prerequisites: EDR 308, EDR 311, and Admission to Teacher Education. Link to Syllabus Hattiesburg

EDU 450. Tests, Measurements, and Evaluation (3 hours) The study of the measurement and evaluation of student learning with both criterion and norm referenced procedures.  Prerequisite: admission to Teacher Education.  Link to Syllabus Hattiesburg

EDU 483. Student Teaching (Internship) in the Elementary School (9 hours) The student is assigned to an approved supervising teacher in a local school for 75 days (15 weeks).  Link to Syllabus Hattiesburg