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Welcome to the Department of Special Education, Foundations, and Research!

The Department of Special Education, Foundations, and Research (SEFR) is a unique blend of three program areas. SEFR includes a variety of courses providing a base for understanding the field of special education, investigating educational research and practice, and meeting the needs of diverse learners and students with disabilities.

The Foundations area, while housed in SEFR, serves across the College of Education and provides core courses essential to preparing educators for the diverse and changing student population in today's schools. The structures on which education is built are coupled with an emphasis on learning diversity, cultural diversity, and global diversity.

The Research area also serves across the College of Education. Faculty in this area provide instruction in research methodology. They also assist faculty and students across the College in various research endeavors including theses, dissertations, scholarly investigation, and grant work.

The Special Education program offers several options for teacher licensure and professional development. Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees are available in either General Curriculum (GC) or Adapted Curriculum (AC). Special Education GC majors will be prepared to serve diverse learners with disabilities in a variety of settings including general education co-teaching classrooms, resource rooms, and self-contained classrooms, as appropriate.

All SPED GC majors also have a concentration in the area of Reading. Candidates for the BS in SPED GC may serve students in a variety of categories such as learning disabilities, mild intellectual disabilities, and emotional/behavioral disabilities. SPED AC majors will be prepared to serve students with more intensive intellectual or physical disabilities. Candidates for the BS in SPED AC may work in a variety of settings.

The Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) - Special Education degree is offered in the areas of Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities, and Low Incidence Disabilities. Four graduate certificate programs in the areas of Assistive Technology, Autism, Behavior Specialist, and Deaf-blindness are also available. Candidates in these graduate programs are prepared for advanced instructional and leadership roles in special education.

For those with a teaching license or degree in another area of study, programs for Lateral Entry, Licensure Only, Add-On Areas, and MAT are available.

A variety of scholarship opportunities are available to candidates majoring in Special Education.

SEFR is proud to house the Irene Howell Assistive Technology (IHAT) Center. The IHAT Center provides candidates access to a multitude of assistive technologies that will benefit students with disabilities.

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Department News
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ECU College of Education hosts Annual Ceremony to Honor Scholarship Recipients, Donors
Video Slideshow from Donor and Scholarship Recipient Ceremony More than 100 students in the East Carolina University College of Education received a record amount of scholarship support for the upcoming academic year. For the 2017-18 academic year, more than $582,000 in merit and need-based scholarships were distributed to 102 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral education students. The awards range from $250-$20,000. Some of the awards are open to all education students while others are earmarked for specific education majors or programs. “Attracting the best students and Continue reading →

SEFR Students in Northern Ireland
Special Education Students Explore Practicum Teaching Experiences in Northern Ireland
College of Education juniors in the special education program traveled to Northern Ireland from Feb. 24 to March 11 as part of a pilot study to explore international practicum teaching experiences and learn more about the education system for students with mild and moderate disabilities. Students Ashley Algard, Heather Aycock, Jaclyn Caryl, Allie Marinello, Logan Mosely and Alexa Weis along with faculty members Debbie Metcalf and Dr. Stacy Weiss visited four schools, a homework club, a center for students with significant behavioral difficulties and an Continue reading →

Sarah Bonin
Special education major receives Bassman Honors Thesis Award
Sarah Bonin, a College of Education student majoring in special education from Cary, has received the 2016-2017 Michael F. Bassman Honors Thesis Award. One student is selected each year for the outstanding senior Honors College thesis or project and a $500 award. Bonin created a reading and math curriculum for students in third through fifth grades, and is believed to be the first education student to win the award, said Dr. Guili Zhang, professor and interim chair of the Department of Special Education, Foundations and Continue reading →