Special Education

Education and Professional Studies Building, Room 350

The Special Education Department offers course work leading to an endorsement of Teacher of Students with Disabilities, Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing. This coursework must be completed along with degree requirements for certification in Elementary Education. Graduates of the Special Education Department become capable teachers who believe in the transformative power of an outstanding education. We prepare distinguished educators who work with students with physical, communicative, cognitive, behavioral and specific learning disabilities.


  • A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0.
  • A minimum of B- or better on all education courses
  • Passing scores on the Praxis CORE, or 560 verbal, 540 Math on the SAT, or 23 or higher on the ACT, or 155 verbal, 156 quantitative on the GRE.

Passing scores on the Praxis CORE Academic Skills for Educators Tests, as of 9/1/19:

  • Math Test #5733         Passing Score 150
  • Reading Test #5713    Passing Score 156
  • Writing Test #5723    Passing Score 162

Students who meet the score levels below are not required to take the Praxis CORE:

SAT Scores

  • If taken before 4/1/1995: Math 520, Reading 480
  • If taken between 4/1/1995 to 2/28/2016: Math 540, Reading 560
  • If taken on or after 3/1/2016: Math 570, 610 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing or 30 Reading Section

ACT Scores

  • If taken before 8/28/1989: Math 23, English 20
  • If taken on or after 8/28/1989: Math 23, English 23

GRE Scores

  • If taken before 8/1/2011: Quantitative 720, Verbal 530
  • If taken on or after 8/1/2011: Quantitative 156, Verbal 155

For more information on Praxis exams:  https://www.ets.org/praxis/nj/requirements


  • Completion of NJCU General Education requirements or equivalent
  • Successful completion of major in intended content area
  • Passing scores on appropriate Praxis II Exam
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Successful completion of clinical experience and clinical practice (student teaching)

This includes successful submission of the performance assessment, edTPA, as required by the New Jersey Department of Education.

Note: For the most updated information on this teaching certification program, students are directed to contact the College of Education as changes may have occurred since publication.

Carol Fleres, Co-Chairperson
Professor of Special Education
Hunter College, B.A., University of South Florida, M.A., University of South Carolina, Ph.D.

Charles Reid Taylor, Co-Chairperson
Associate Professor of Special Education
New Jersey City University, B.A.; Seton Hall University, M.A.; New York University, Ph.D.

Helen Friedland
Associate Professor of Special Education
Hunter College, B.A.; City University of New York, M.S.; Teachers College, Columbia University, M.Ed., Ed.D.

Andrew McCabe
Associate Professor of Special Education
New Jersey City University, B.A., M.A.; Rutgers University, Psy.D.

Zandile Nkabinde
Associate Professor of Special Education
University of Zululand, B.Ed.; Harvard University, M.Ed., University of Utah, Ph.D.

The Department of Special Education offers:

  1. A dual certificate bachelor's program preparing candidates to teach elementary and special education, and
  2. A five year bachelor's/master’s degree program preparing candidates to teach elementary and special education, as well as English as a second language.

Course requirements for each concentration are explained in the catalog in detail. The requirements for graduation are listed on Undergraduate Degree Requirements.

Special Education (SPEC)

SPEC 1XX Special Education Transfer Credit (0 Credits)

SPEC 2XX Special Education Transfer Credit (0 Credits)

SPEC 210 Communication Disorders in Children (3 Credits)

This course studies functional speech and communication problems, their nature and causes, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and materials for the more common communication disorders. Emphasis is placed on speech and language development, articulation problems, and stuttering.

SPEC 250 Psychological & Educational Needs of the Exceptional Child (3 Credits)

This course is an overview of the needs of exceptional children. The course focuses on the identification of handicaps and the use of individual and group processes for children having hearing losses, visual problems, speech disorders, emotional-social handicaps, and intellectual deviations. It is strongly recommended that students begin the special education program with this course.

SPEC 251 Introduction Field Experience (1 Credit)

This course includes a minimum of 50 hours of field experience in schools and/or agencies working with children or adults with disabilities or 40 hours of field experience and 10 hours of video analysis. The field experience occurs in partnership districts and/or community agencies. Candidates will document their experiences.

Co-Requisite(s): SPEC 250

SPEC 301 Field Observation and Participation with Exceptional Children (3 Credits)

This course provides a field experience with exceptional children. Permission from the department chairperson is required to register for this course.

SPEC 312 Speech Pathology (3 Credits)

SPEC 314 Anatomy & Physiology of Speech & Hearing Mechanics (3 Credits)

SPEC 315 Psychoeducational Assessment of Special Education (3 Credits)

This course includes presentation, demonstration, and interpretation of techniques of individual psychological examination of exceptional children and youth. The course also discusses various standardized and teacher-made instruments for evaluating the intellectual, perceptual, social and emotional competence of handicapped children, and necessary adaptations for the various types of handicaps.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA

SPEC 320 Educational Needs of the Preschool Handicapped Child (3 Credits)

This course is intended to orient the prospective special education teacher to young children with special needs. Curriculum considerations, the role of parents in the education of their handicapped child, an understanding of child development and deviations from the norm and individualized educational planning are topical areas. Goals of the course are to provide students with competencies in observation, prescriptive teaching, and in improving communication with parents of children with special needs.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA

SPEC 325 Remediation in Basic Skills (3 Credits)

This course is an overview of diagnostic teaching techniques. By employing diagnostic skills, various remediation techniques are covered. Curriculum materials, teaching methods and equipment, educational kits, etc. are introduced.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA, and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)

SPEC 330 Teaching Students with Significant Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (3 Credits)

This course is an introduction to teaching students with significant intellectual and moderate to severe developmental disabilities. It includes biological, sociological, and psychological theories and research. Evidence-based practices in teaching techniques are presented.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA, and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)

SPEC 340 Behavioral Handicaps in Children (3 Credits)

This course is an in-depth consideration of the nature and needs of children with behavioral handicaps. This course deals with problems of etiology, classification, and educational management of the broad spectrum of emotional and social maladjustment. Special reference is made to the problems of children who require special education services. Fieldwork participation is an integral part of the course.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)

SPEC 350 Psychology and Educational Needs of the Learning Disabled (3 Credits)

This course covers etiology, types, associated handicapping conditions, suggested procedures for evaluating levels of disabilities, and suggested procedures for dealing with these disabilities.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA, and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)

SPEC 351 Methods for Teaching the Physically and Multiple Handicapped (3 Credits)

This course orients the student to methods, materials and program planning for teaching the special education child who is orthopedically handicapped. This course also covers causes of this type of handicap, such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal bifida, and other disorders.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA

SPEC 352 Clinical Experience in Inclusive Education I (1 Credit)

This course includes 175 hours of observing and assisting with student learning involving students with and without disabilities (one and a half full days per week). Candidates connect theory to practice, engaging in increasingly responsible, relevant school-based work that emphasizes inclusive education and occurs over a variety of settings.

SPEC 359 Infant Stimulation Programs for Special Needs Children (3 Credits)

Course is intended to prepare prospective special education teachers and other child care workers to be competent in working with infants (ages birth through 2 years). Major goals of the course will be to provide a background of normal infant development and to enable the student to become knowledgeable about stimulation activities applicable to the special needs infant at appropriate development levels. These activities will provide for enhancing the physical, social and intellectual development of the infant child.

SPEC 400 Community Agencies and Resources Serving Children with Disabilities (3 Credits)

This course is a study of counseling and guidance for teachers of children with disabilities, with emphasis on the development of knowledge and skills in the techniques of vocational counseling. A study of resources and agencies providing service to persons with disabilities is also considered.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA

SPEC 403 Special Education, South Africa Field Study (3 Credits)

The role of education in social change: The case of South Africa seeks to provide students with first-hand experience of the South African Educational system. This course requires students to visit and teach in South African schools for 4 days based on pre-prepared lessons revised to suit the children in their placements. Students are expected to observe, interview their South African counterparts, and reflect on their intercultural teaching and learning experience. (Travel plans to be arranged)

SPEC 405 Computer Application Spec. Edu (3 Credits)

This course is designed to familiarize the teacher candidate with the many and varied uses of computer technology in special education. Areas covered include computer technology in the classroom and adaptive and augmentative communication for individuals with disabilities.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA, and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)

SPEC 409 Field Internship in Special Education (8 Credits)

This course is a full-semester experience, teaching special education students in a public or private school setting, under the supervision of college instructors.

Pre-Requisite(s): SPEC 352 and CGPA 3.00.

SPEC 414 Student Teaching Seminar in Special Education (1 Credit)

This seminar is designed to accompany student teaching. Its purpose is to allow sharing of information and experiences for those teacher candidates going through the student teaching process.

Pre-Requisite(s): Permission of Advisor and 3.00 CGPA.

SPEC 417 Field Experience I and Seminar in Bilingual/ESL Special Education in Multicultural Inclusion Setting (3 Credits)

SPEC 499 Supervised Independent Study Special Education (1 Credit)

To offer students the opportunity to study in a specialized or specific area of special education for the purpose of enriching their professional preparation.

SPEC 504 Introduction to Manual Communications (3 Credits)

This course is intended to orient the prospective special education teacher to an introduction to manual communication. The student is expected to achieve an understanding of the rationale for considering manual communication techniques for hearing impaired individuals and other handicapped individuals. The course explores the use of auditory training, speech reading and a variety of manual communication procedures. A rudimentary proficiency in the skill of communicating manually is a prime goal of this course.

SPEC 505 Working with Families of Students with Disabilities (3 Credits)

This course covers values, traditions, and experiences of families from a variety of racial and socioeconomic groups and how cultural/racial differences may enhance educator-parent communication. Candidates learn to effectively support parents in managing their children and youth in home and community while empowering parents to advocate for them at school.

SPEC 506 Multicultural Education for Special Education (3 Credits)

This course deals with issues that impact inclusive education in an urban milieu. It reviews ethnic and socioeconomic issues which impact a student and his or her family's ability to function adequately in an urban educational environment. Assessment and instruction in a multi-ethnic environment, are central to the course.

SPEC 508 Helping Exceptional Children and Youth in the Inclusive Classroom (3 Credits)

This course involves the identification of students struggling to learn with and without disabilities. It emphasizes methods that address all learners and includes collaboration with pupil-personnel service providers for the support of students requiring specialized instruction. Special methods and materials for use in general education are explored.

UG Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA, and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)

SPEC 531 Introduction to Early Childhood and Special Education in Multiple Setting (3 Credits)

This course is about inclusion in the lives of young children in multicultural settings and the implications for teachers. Teacher candidates learn the laws that relate to young children classified as disabled or at-risk for developmental delays. Different types of inclusive early childhood programs are presented and examined. Developmental disabilities, sensory impairments, physical disabilities and health problems are studied.