Elementary Education and Special Education

Grounded in the liberal arts tradition and consistent with the University’s mission of service, our elementary and special education programs integrate content-oriented curricula with comprehensive study of teaching methods and practical field experience in diverse settings. We emphasize culturally responsive teaching and attentively revise our curriculum to ensure that our students are implementing the most current, innovative and effective practices in the schools where they work.

Our Program

Our practice-based elementary education curriculum delivers diverse content knowledge designed to ready students to apply for Rhode Island teacher certification in grades 1-6. Rigorous coursework espouses a general, liberal and humanistic education while emphasizing foundational studies, specialized methods and a program of expanding field experience – all of which culminates with required student teaching in one of our many partnering elementary schools.

The special education program – which can only be taken as a double major with elementary education – prepares majors to work with students impacted by mild and moderate special needs. Our students examine exceptionality and its relation to learning styles, teaching styles and service delivery models. Through comprehensive coursework and field experience, majors develop strategies that respond to students’ behavioral needs while effectively managing their classrooms and their teaching practice.

Our elementary education and special education programs are committed to graduating highly qualified, well-prepared teachers who are active participants in the lives of children and the vitality of schools.

Program Spotlight: Exceptional Opportunities

Elise Capozzi, a double major in elementary and special education, was drawn to the mission of the Council for Exceptional Children from the moment she was introduced to the organization during Club Rush as a first-year student. Now a senior and serving her second consecutive year as the chapter’s president, she’s on her own mission to introduce CEC’s important work to many more across the campus community.

 My involvement in CEC has given me a better understanding of organizations that advocate for individuals with disabilities. These organizations allow families to work with professionals and meet other families who also have children with the same disability. It is important for educators to be familiar with these organizations in order to provide them as resources for families.

Our Faculty

Comprehensive instruction and personalized guidance from our committed and experienced faculty ensures that our students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to put theory into practice, and to become exemplary practitioners and scholars.​

 

Meet Our Faculty

Life After Salve

 This program is in a league of its own. I am a better educator because I am capable of reaching all students of all academic and functional abilities. 

Jennifer Laramie ’18, special educator, Dothan Brook Elementary School, Wilder, Vermont

 

Our program prepares graduates to become certified teachers, but the diverse knowledge and skills that are gained – including organization, writing and presenting, working with parents or guardians, summarizing ideas, flexibility, creativity, explaining ideas clearly, decision-making, lesson planning, working in teams, technological skills and so much more – makes our majors ideal candidates for a wide variety of jobs and careers, both in and out of the classroom.

Some of those may include:

  • Adult education teacher
  • Alumni relations coordinator
  • Athletic coach/director
  • Child life specialist
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Day care administrator
  • Education management
  • Educational materials sales
  • Educational therapist
  • Employee trainer
  • Financial aid counselor
  • Grant writer
  • Guidance counselor
  • Instructor, college/university
  • Librarian
  • Media center specialist
  • Missionary worker
  • Physical education instructor
  • Registrar/admissions director
  • Resource teacher
  • School administrator
  • School psychologist
  • Social services volunteer
  • Special education administrator
  • Speech pathologist
  • Student affairs administrator
  • Student personnel administrator
  • Teacher, industrial arts
  • Training specialist
  • Tutor
  • Vocational rehabilitation counselor

Major in Elementary Education (B.S.)

15 courses | 51 credits

Required courses:

  • EDC120: Introduction to Race and Inequality in American Education
  • EDC190: Teaching Physical Education and Health
  • EDC203: Technologies for Instruction and Assessment
  • EDC206: Phonics
  • EDC220: Child and Adolescent Development, Learning and Teaching: Theories and Applications
  • EDC243: Children’s Literature
  • EDC298: Tutoring and Mentoring in a Multicultural Society I
  • EDC299: Tutoring and Mentoring in a Multicultural Society II
  • EDC305: Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School
  • EDC320: Teaching Literacy and Language
  • EDC323: Teaching Mathematics and Science in the Elementary School
  • EDC431: Student Teaching at the Elementary School Level
  • EDC432: Student Teaching Seminar

Students also complete the following courses in other disciplines:

  • SED211: Introduction to the Characteristics of Students With Exceptionalities
  • SED232: Principles and Procedures for Behavior and Classroom Management

Major in Special Education (B.S.)

9 courses | 34 credits

Required courses:

  • SED211: Introduction to the Characteristics of Students With Exceptionalities
  • SED225: Language Development and Communication Problems of Children
  • SED232: Principles and Procedures for Behavior and Classroom Management
  • SED305: Intensive Intervention: Curriculum, Methodology and Assessment for Students With Mild/Moderate Disabilities
  • SED310: Special Education in the Inclusive Classroom: Curriculum, Methodology and Assessment for Students With Mild/Moderate Disabilities
  • SED331: Assessment Procedures for Children With Disabilities
  • SED350: Collaboration: Home, School and Community
  • SED411: Student Teaching in Special Education
  • SED432: Student Teaching Seminar

Minor in Special Education

All education majors, along with students not majoring in education, are welcome to minor in special education. Our minor does not meet the requirements for special education teacher certification.

Required courses for elementary education and secondary education majors:

  • SED211: Introduction to the Characteristics of Students With Exceptionalities
  • SED225: Language Development and Communication Problems of Children
  • SED232: Principles and Procedures for Behavior and Classroom Management
  • SED350: Collaboration: Home, School and Community
  • Two elective courses in special education

Required courses for early childhood education majors:

  • SED211: Introduction to the Characteristics of Students With Exceptionalities
  • SED225: Language Development and Communication Problems of Children
  • SED370: Working With Young Children With Language and Literacy Challenges
  • SED380: Strategies for Young Children With Diverse Learning Needs
  • SED397: American Sign Language I
  • One elective course in special education

Required courses for non-education majors:

  • SED211: Introduction to the Characteristics of Students with Exceptionalities
  • SED225: Language Development and Communication Problems of Children
  • SED350: Collaboration: Home, School and Community
  • Two elective courses in special education
  • One additional course approved by the coordinator of elementary and special education
 

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