SPECIAL EDUCATION

The special education program at Millersville University prepares students to teach individuals with disabilities. Students who complete the special education program at Millersville receive a Bachelor of Science in Education degree and a Pennsylvania Instructional I teaching certificate. This comprehensive certificate allows students to teach children from kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12), specifically individuals who are learning disabled, mentally retarded, seriously emotionally disturbed, autistic or pervasively developmentally disordered, physically disabled, health impaired, neurologically impaired or multiple handicapped. According to current Pennsylvania regulations and standards, this certificate may be made permanent upon the completion of 24 post-baccalaureate credits, three years of satisfactory teaching in oneís field of certification and completion of an induction year program.

Students may elect a double major (special education and elementary education) with dual certification (special education and elementary education) through a cooperative program offered by both academic departments. Both majors will be recorded on the studentís transcript. In addition, the Special Education Department encourages individuals with minors to focus on such areas as criminology, foreign languages, psychology and art. A dual major is also possible in special education and psychology.

The department offers students an opportunity to choose elective courses in special education depending upon individual studentsí areas of interest.

Practicum experiences in the local schools are required during the junior-senior years in conjunction with five courses of the special education methods block. The student teaching program offers two different training experiences during the senior year. Students then demonstrate effective teaching skills by applying them in individual, small and large group teaching formats to maximize the educational outcomes achieved by individuals with disabilities.

Prerequisites for Student Teaching
A student shall successfully complete all major required courses (i.e., PSYC 100, 227 or 228, ELED 424 or 425, MATH 104 and 314, SPED 101, 102, 212, 325, 326, 327, 328 and two electives) and attain a 2.5 GPA in the major before engaging in pre-student-teaching block (SPED 431, 432, 433, 434, and 436) or student teaching. Proposed exceptions to these requirements will be processed as follows: The student shall present a written petition to both the coordinator of the professional block and the department coordinator of student teaching. The two coordinators will transmit the petition and their individual recommendations to the full faculty of the Department of Special Education for a final decision. Upon successful completion of the program at MU, a graduate will be able to perform satisfactorily as a self-contained classroom teacher, as a resource room teacher, as an itinerant teacher and/or as a professional resource/consultant to regular classroom personnel.

An important independent learning program is available to all special education majors, in addition to regular course work. Students may complete the Program for Independent Learning in Special Education (PILS) to experience firsthand involvement in the education process. Fulfillment of the PILS Program is not mandatory. The PILS option involves students in observation, tutoring, visitations and further experiences with exceptional children, as outlined in eight block areas of concentration in the student packet. Work on PILS requirements may be done during regular semesters or summers in any sequence of completion.

The department encourages all the special education majors to join the University student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), which has been chartered by the national CEC and which has been active on the MU campus since 1965 (Chapter No. 440). The University CEC chapter offers students opportunities to work directly with individuals with disabilities on and off campus, receive professional newsletters, publications and information, attend state, national and international conferences regarding exceptional children as well as develop leadership abilities.

The special education department also offers elective courses at the graduate level for its upperclass majors and other interested upperclass students. (See the Graduate Catalog for course descriptions.)