The mission of the Department of Special Education, Foundations, and Research is to provide comprehensive programs and rich clinical experiences in special education, core educational foundation, and research knowledge and skills for all teacher education students. The courses offered by these programs are designed to prepare teachers who are reflective practitioners and leaders who provide effective professional service to the community, the state, and the nation. The Department also houses three graduate certificates and the Irene Howell Assistive Technology Center.
The Special Education, Foundations, and Research programs are committed to the preparation of teachers who are knowledgeable, reflective, technologically proficient, and skilled in meeting the needs of a diverse student populations and evaluating their practice and its impact on their students. The programs place an emphasis on service through faculty participation in the improvement of the public schools, participation in the development and creation of educational policy for North Carolina, and engagement in scholarship and research/creative activity.
The Special Education program offers an exciting array of undergraduate, graduate, and licensure-only special education programs on-campus and through distance education. The program offers many opportunities for professional development in all areas of special education. The B.A. in Special Education satisfies the requirements for a combination of the North Carolina A-Level Special Education-General Curriculum and A-Level Reading Licensure, or the A-Level Licensure in Special Education – Adaptive Curriculum. The MAEd in Special Education satisfies the requirements for the North Carolina M-Level Licensure in Special Education – Learning Disabilities, Emotional and Behavior Disorders, Intellectual Disabilities, or Low Incidence Disabilities. The Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education satisfies the requirements for the North Carolina A-Level Licensure in Special Education-General Curriculum.
The Foundations program draws from multiple disciplines to provide core course work in the historical, philosophical, and conceptual foundations of education for all of ECU's graduate and undergraduate teacher education programs. The Foundations program provides graduate and undergraduate teacher education students with an historical and current context of education systems, policies and practices. The coursework ensures that they are culturally responsive to diverse learners, develop the leadership and civic capacities to be reflective practitioners and agents of positive change on behalf of all learners, and have the requisite knowledge of learning, motivation and assessment to understand the classroom as an instructional system.
The Research program provides core coursework in understanding and conducting research for all of ECU's graduate teacher education programs. Practitioners in graduate teacher education programs develop the capacity to critically analyze and perform research to further the knowledge-base in education, validate educational practices, and test the efficacy of their own practice as teachers. The Research program's courses facilitate understanding and application of methods for reasoning, and the capacity to use and evaluate research. Through the Research program's courses, practitioners in graduate teacher education programs develop the knowledge and skills to design, implement, and communicate, in writing and through presentation, their analysis and synthesis of others' research and the outcome of their own research and its implications for practice.
The Department of Special Education, Foundations, and Research offers three graduate certificates in Autism, Deaf-Blindness, and Assistive Technology. These certificates are offered to education, related service, and health care professionals. The Graduate Certificates courses prepare practitioners in the knowledge and skills necessary to implement research-based instructional and related services and utilize assistive technology. Practitioners completing the Certificates are equipped to improve the educational outcomes for students with autism spectrum disorders or deafblindness and enhance the functional performance of individuals with disabilities.
The Irene Howell Assistive Technology Center is an important part of the Department of Special Education, Foundations, and Research. The Assistive Technology Center houses an array of devises, software and other resources, and programs to prepare students and professionals across the University to serve individuals in need of assistive technology services and devices through education, research, and direct service.
Irene Howell Assistive Technology Center
The Irene Howell Assistive Technology Center operates as a resource, demonstration, research, and training center for faculty and students across the university. The Center prepares faculty and students to serve individuals in need of assistive technology services and devices through education, research and direct service (in support of research or training). The Irene Howell Assistive Technology Center houses an array of devices, software, and other resources that are available for exploration and for loan. The Center conducts research on the efficacy of various devices for different populations of individuals with special needs in partnership with faculty and students across Colleges and Departments, and professionals from schools and community agencies and services.