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.The Department of Special Education, Foundations, and Research has a strong and diverse faculty who are dedicated to providing the instruction, challenge, and support necessary for the development of exceptional teachers. If you have questions about the courses, degree programs, or certificates offered by SEFR, I would be happy to provide additional information through phone or email conversation.
Interim Department Chair
133 Speight Building
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 area 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 two graduate certificates in Autism 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 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.
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.