History, Legal Issues, and Support Systems in Special Education, Wasson, Summer 2019

Course Number: EDU 5515 C71
Instructor: Andrea Wasson
Location: Montpelier Elks Club, East Montpelier
Dates and Times: June 28, 2019
3 graduate
Tuition: $1,590

Note: Please register directly with the Vermont Higher Education Collaborative (VT-HEC). VT-HEC will then give you the link to Castleton's online registration form. Payment is payable and due to VT-HEC.

Course Structure

This is a hybrid course. This means that some of the course will be delivered in a traditional face to face format and some will be delivered through online learning. For this summer offering, there will be one face to face session, June 28th from 8:30-4:30. Attendance is mandatory. The rest of the course will be delivered in weekly online learning modules. 

Because the course is limited to 4 weeks, students should plan to spend 10-12 hours per week engaging with the course content, completing readings and assignments. Students must have access to high-speed Internet and be able to log on several times per week during the course dates.

Course Description

This course examines the legal and ethical issues embedded in the provision of special education services to individuals with disabilities and their families. The course addresses the historical treatment of people with disabilities from a service delivery model perspective. Significant legislation and court decisions will be addressed along with current special education legal requirements and local, state, and community issues impacting services. Specific attention will be given to ways in which disability may be viewed as a form of diversity. Additionally, important frameworks and concepts including social construction of disability, self-determination, inclusion, collaboration with diverse families and person-centered planning will be explored in-depth. The course will be delivered in an online format with one face to face class session. Active engagement and participation regardless of learning platform is expected by all participants.

Course Objectives

As a result of successful completion of this course you will:

  1. Recognize the historical and contemporary individuals who have contributed significantly to special education.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of major trends and contemporary issues that impact general and special education.
  3. Understand the foundation and history of special education.
  4. Understand ethical issues in the education of students with disabilities.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of local, state, and community issues impacting services to students and families.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of collaborative teaming as it applies to IEP teams including parent/school partnerships and working with diverse families.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of key litigation and federal and state legislation affecting special education as well as VT State Special Ed. Regulations.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of procedures governing the referral, evaluation, eligibility determination, program planning and placement of students with disabilities. 
  9. Develop a framework for understanding the perspective of families and individuals with disabilities and understand the concepts of self-determination and advocacy.

Course Assignments

  1. Discussion Board posts: 15 points. Taking a course online means that you will spend considerable effort interacting with and discussing course content in an online environment. Discussion boards will play a central role in how you engage with your peers to explore the course readings. As such, you are expected to be an active participant and to be prepared for online class discussions. You will be evaluated on both the quality of your response and your timeliness in meeting posting deadlines. Quality responses are thoughtful and reflective, offering both personal views in a respectful manner as well as making specific connections to the assigned readings. One-liners are not acceptable. When prompted to post a response to a peer, please be specific in your comments. Simply posting “ditto”, “nice idea” or “I agree/disagree” is not sufficient. You will need to offer detailed responses to your peer’s postings. Etiquette for online posting will be reviewed at our face-to-face class session
  2. Completion of IRIS CENTER Learning Tasks: 15 points This course utilizes a rich supplemental learning platform through the IRIS Center. Learning modules will be assigned to deepen your knowledge of course content and learning objectives. Students will be expected to answer the assessment questions at the end of the module and submit their response through Global Classroom. An assignment link will be made available.
  3. Additional Assignments (10 points each) that will be submitted electronically include: 
    • Self-study on the Special Education Regulations 
    • Disability/Eligibility Chart
    • Memoir Assignment
    • Film Analysis Wikis
    • Special Education Administrator Interview
    • Parent Interview
    • Special Education Process Project

Descriptions of each of these assignments will be posted on Canvas and thoroughly reviewed on the first day of class.

Total points: 100

Required Texts

1. VT State Special Education Regulations

2. All Children Matter: A History of the Woodstock Learning Clinic: 1967-1987; Woodstock Learning Trust: 1987-2013 (ISBN: 978-1-935052-68-5)

3. Memoir: Self-Selected from a selection of titles to be provided

4. Articles to be downloaded from Canvas

For additional course information

Andrea Wasson
(802) 522-2097

For additional registration information

Julie Medose
(802) 498-3350

Register online now!