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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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Dr. Sandra Warren serves on plenary panel at Council of Chief State School Officers Fall Meeting
Dr. Sandra Warren, Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Special Education Foundation and Research, recently served on a plenary panel discussing the role of formative assessment in balanced assessment systems at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Fall Meeting in Minneapolis, MN. Joining Dr. Warren on the panel were: Dr. Rick Stiggins, Founder & President, Pearson Assessment Training Institute; Dr. Margaret Heritage, Senior Scientist, WestEd; and Dr. Kenji Hakuta, Lee L. Jacks Professor, Stanford University. During the hour long conversation before Continue reading →

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“Most Likely to Succeed” film screening inspires students and faculty
On Sept. 27th, the College of Education held a film screening of Most Likely to Succeed. The 82 people in the audience were a mixture of faculty and students.  Most Likely to Succeed aims to help all schools re-imagine their purpose and create learning experiences that prepare kids for life in the 21st Century. The film has been shown at multiple film festivals including Sundance and Tribeca Film Festival. These screenings create a space for meaningful and necessary discussion between educators, administrators, parents, and students about how steps Continue reading →

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East Carolina University’s College of Education welcomed visitors from Hiroshima University Sept. 18-21.
The international educational exchange and partnership has existed for 20 years, allowing faculty and students from ECU, Pitt County Schools and Hiroshima University to share and learn from each other. Each summer two Pitt County teachers and an ECU faculty member are invited to go to Hiroshima, present at a conference and meet graduate students who will come to ECU in the fall. While in Greenville, the Hiroshima University graduate students visited classes at Elmhurst and Wahl-Coats elementary schools and C.M. Eppes Middle School. They Continue reading →