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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
ToshaOwens
Owens named recipient of Council for Exceptional Children Award
Dr. Tosha Owens, East Carolina University assistant professor of special education, was selected as the recipient of the 2018 Council for Exceptional Children, Division for Research, Student Research Award in the area of Single-Subject Design. Through a blind-review process, Owens received the award for her paper entitled, “Tiered Teacher Coaching on the Implementation of a Self-Monitoring Strategy with Students At Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.” The Council for Exceptional Children is a national, professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children Continue reading →

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Dr. Zhang conducts workshop at American Evaluation Association annual conference
Dr. Guili Zhang, East Carolina University College of Education Chair of the Department of Special Education, Foundations and Research, conducted a workshop at the American Evaluation Association annual conference in Washington, DC, Nov. 6-11. Zhang’s workshop focused on “Conducting Sound Evaluations using the Context, Input, Process and Product Evaluation Model.” Zhang also attended the “Meet the Authors” event and held a book signing session for her book, “The CIPP Evaluation Model: How to Evaluate for Improvement and Accountability.” Dr. Guili Zhang has been serving as Continue reading →

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The Magic of Mursion
Junior EC Scholar Meghan Lower reflects on her experiences using the Mursion Lab at the ECU College of Education. My first experience with Mursion was through a simulated job interview. Even though I used the word simulated, I certainly did not feel as if it was a simulation. The interview was very authentic, as I received personalized feedback in real time as if were a real interview. The avatar that interviewed me had appropriate gestures and body language that reflected what it was saying. Honestly, Continue reading →