Special Education

Welcome to UAB where students become skilled, reflective educators through Special Education graduate degree programs in Collaborative Teacher (CT) K-12, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), and Visual Impairment (VI). These innovative program offer degrees and/or certification at three levels—alternative masters, traditional masters and specialist. 

The alternative masters program (AMP) is for graduate students who do not already hold teacher certification in elementary or early childhood education. To be eligible for seeking initial teacher certification at a masters level, applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a 2.75 GPA on their transcript from a regionally accredited college. They must have passed the Basic Skills test and the Praxis II exam in the targeted teaching field and also met other criteria stipulated by the ALSDE. Upon completing the AMP, candidates earn alternative Class A certification in this teaching field.

The traditional masters program (MAE) is for teachers who already hold Class B initial certification in any area of education. Upon completing the MAE, they earn Class A certification in the special education teaching field.

The Collaborative Teacher Autism Spectrum Disorders Educational Specialist (EdS) degree program is for teachers who already hold either an Alabama Class B or Class A certificate in any field of special education OR have at least 3 years of verified, full-time teaching experience with special populations and hold a valid Class A Professional Educator Certificate. 

The Collaborative Teacher:  Concentration in Reading Educational Specialist (EDS) degree program is for teachers who already hold either an Alabama Class B or Class A certificate in any field of special education OR general education who have at least 2 years of verified, full-time teaching experience with special populations or general populations and hold a valid Class A Professional Educator Certificate.  Individuals pursuing this certificate/degree must complete one of two tracks in this program.  The track selected depends upon the type of valid, prerequisite Alabama professional educator certificate held PRIOR to unconditional admission to the Class AA Program in Collaborative Teacher.  Track 1 is for candidates who DO NOT currently hold a valid Alabama Class A Certificate in Collaborative Teacher.  Candidates who must take this track of courses are those with a valid, prerequisite Alabama Class A Professional Educator Certificate in any teaching field (other than Collaborative Teacher).  To be eligible to pursue Track 2 courses, candidates MUST hold a valid, prerequisite Alabama Class A Professional Educator Certificate in Collaborative Teacher.

For detailed information regarding admission requirements for the School of Education graduate programs, please visit the Admissions Requirements website at https://www.uab.edu/education/studentservices/admission-requirements.

Master of Arts in Special Education Collaborative Teacher K-12

The MA.Ed. in Special Education degree for the Collaborative Teacher K-12 program requires a minimum of 33 hours. A minimum GPA of 3.25 is required.

RequirementsHours
ECT 620Formative and Summative Assessment3
ECT 621Program and Lesson Planning3
ECT 622Language and Communication Facilitation3
ECT 623Instructional Methods3
ECT 624Sensory, Health and Physical Methods3
ECT 625Positive Behavioral Supports3
ECT 626Assistive and Instructional Technology3
ECT 627Collaborative Processes3
ECT 628Legal Issues and Trends3
ECY 600Introduction to Exceptional Learner 13
ECT 631Practicum in Collaborative Teaching K-123
Total Hours33
1

 May not be required if previously completed

Master of Arts in Special Education Collaborative Teacher K-12 Fifth Year Alternative Masters

The MA.Ed. in Special Education degree for the Collaborative Teacher K-12 Fifth Year Alternative Masters program requires a minimum of 44 hours. A minimum GPA of 3.25 is required.

RequirementsHours
ECT 521Program and Lesson Planning3
ECT 523Instructional Methods3
ECT 529Teaching Literacy and Reading in Inclusive Settings 3
ECT 528Legal Issues and Trends3
ECT 520Formative and Summative Assessment3
ECY 600Introduction to Exceptional Learner3
ECT 531Internship in Collaborative Teaching K-126
ECT 532Student Teaching Seminar 1
EDU 500Education as a Profession1
ECT 522Language and Communication Facilitation3
ECT 524Sensory, Health and Physical Methods3
ECT 525Positive Behavioral Supports3
ECT 526Assistive and Instructional Technology3
ECT 527Collaborative Processes3
ECT 530Effective Teaching and Learning 3
Total Hours44
1

 May not be required if previously completed

Master of Arts in Early Childhood Special Education

The MA.Ed. degree in Early Childhood Special Education program requires a minimum of 39hours. A minimum GPA of 3.25 is required.

RequirementsHours
ECY 635Foundations of Early Childhood Special Education3
ECY 637Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education3
ECT 621Program and Lesson Planning3
ECY 636Early Intervention and Preschool Curriculum and Methods3
ECT 655Early Primary Curriculum and Methods3
ECT 625Positive Behavioral Supports3
ECT 654Communication and Technology Applications In Early Childhood Special Education3
ECT 627Collaborative Processes3
ECY 639Transdisciplinary Collaboration and Consultation in Early Childhood3
ECY 689Advanced Topics in Special Education
EDR 652Pre and Early Reading Instruction3
ECY 600Introduction to Exceptional Learner 13
ECY 670Practicum in Early Childhood Special Education6
Total Hours39
1

 May not be required if previously completed

Master of Arts in Education in Special Education Visual Impairment P-12 Fifth Year Alternative Masters

The M.A.Ed. degree requires a minimum of 50 hours for the Special Education Alternative Master's for the Visual Impairment P-12 program. A minimum GPA of 3.25 is required.

RequirementsHours
ECT 521Program and Lesson Planning3
ECT 523Instructional Methods3
ECY 662Meth and Material for Teaching the Visually Impaired3
EDR 540Developmental Reading I3
ECT 527Collaborative Processes3
ECT 520Formative and Summative Assessment3
ECY 600Introduction to Exceptional Learner 13
ECY 687Early Childhood/Elementary School Student Teaching6
ECT 532Student Teaching Seminar 1
EDU 500Education as a Profession1
ECT 522Language and Communication Facilitation3
ECT 524Sensory, Health and Physical Methods3
ECT 525Positive Behavioral Supports3
ECT 526Assistive and Instructional Technology3
ECY 664Braille, Orientation and Mobility3
ECY 665Anatomy and Educational Implication of the Eye3
Advisor-approved EDF Elective (500 level or above)3
Total Hours50
1

 May not be required if previously completed

Master of Arts in Education in Special Education Visual Impairment P-12

The M.A.Ed. degree requires a minimum of 39 hours for the Special Education for the Visual Impairment P-12 program. A minimum GPA of 3.25 is required.

RequirementsHours
ECT 620Formative and Summative Assessment3
ECT 621Program and Lesson Planning3
ECT 622Language and Communication Facilitation3
ECT 623Instructional Methods3
ECT 624Sensory, Health and Physical Methods3
ECT 625Positive Behavioral Supports3
ECT 626Assistive and Instructional Technology3
ECT 627Collaborative Processes3
ECY 662Meth and Material for Teaching the Visually Impaired3
ECY 664Braille, Orientation and Mobility3
ECY 665Anatomy and Educational Implication of the Eye3
ECY 600Introduction to Exceptional Learner 13
ECY 686Practicum In Special Education: Visually Impaired
Total Hours36
1

 May not be required if previously completed

Educational Specialist in Education with a Concentration in Collaborative Special Education K-12: Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Ed.S. degree for the Collaborative Special Education K-12: Autism Spectrum Disorder program requires a minimum of 36 hours. A minimum GPA of 3.50 is required.

RequirementsHours
ECT 700ASD: An Introduction3
ECT 701ASD: App of Assessment Inform3
ECT 702ASD: Meth Mod to Sev Function3
ECT 703ASD: Meth High Funct Learn- Asp3
ECT 704ASD: Collaboration-Consultation3
ECT 705ASD: Sem Adv Mathods2
ECY 600Introduction to Exceptional Learner 13
ECT 710ASD: Practicum3
Data Based Decision Making with Field Experience and Research Project
EPR 700Data Based Decision Making3
EPR 700LField Experience/Data Based Decision Making1
EPR 700RSchool Based Problem Research Project/Data Based Decision1
Professional Leadership with Field Experience and Research Project
EDL 735Professional Leadership3
EDL 735LField Experience/Professional Leaderhip1
EDL 735RSchool Based Problem Research Project/Professional Leadership1
ECT 679Advanced Legal Aspects of Special Education3
Total Hours36
1

 May not be required if previously completed

Courses

ECY 535. Foundations of Early Childhood Special Education. 3 Hours.

This is the introductory graduate course in the early childhood special education program, which is designed to provide an overview of the field of early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE) and address policy issues, the importance of collaboration, and future directions. Candidates must develop competencies in the areas of historical and philosophical foundations of EI/ECSE, federal, state, and local laws and legal requirements, characteristics of young children with known or suspected disabilities, family-professional partnerships, service delivery options, recommended practices, current policy issues and trends, and professionalism and ethics. Another important aspect of this course is professional development and life-long learning. Candidates must demonstrate a number of research and technology skills such as: accessing resources to support graduate studies; conducting reviews of the early childhood special education resources and literature; using American Psychological Association (APA) professional style writing; utilizing technology to support graduate studies; and identifying professional development resources for life-long learning. Course content and assignments are designed to promote critical thinking, problem solving skills, evidence-based practice application, and resource identification.

ECY 536. Early Intervention and Preschool Curriculum and Methods. 3 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to provide candidates with the knowledge, skills, methods, and attitudes necessary to deliver effective intervention/education to young children (birth through five) with known or suspected disabilities and their families from a variety of social, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. The course will include discussions and readings on topics central to an adequate understanding of the conceptual and theoretical foundations underlying current curriculum and methods for young children. Special emphasis will be placed on supporting families in all aspects of intervention. Attention will be given to developmentally and individually appropriate practices that facilitate inclusive environments. Candidates will be familiarized with instructional strategies and technologies. Course content and assignments will promote the use of critical thinking skills, problem solving, and technologies as they are applied to instructional programs for young children with known or suspected disabilities and their families. The course objectives will be assessed through completion of the course requirements and class participation. The content of this course is based on evidence-based practices, which integrate the best available research evidence with professional and family wisdom and values. Emphasized throughout this course are the following objectives: how to be a member of a transdisciplinary team in providing instruction, how to respond to cultural diversity, how to provide services in high-poverty communities and LEAs, and how to utilize evidence-based practices in all aspects of services. These priority areas will be addressed throughout the course.
Prerequisites: EDU 500 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 535 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 537 [Min Grade: C]

ECY 537. Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education. 3 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to prepare the candidate with knowledge and practical applications regarding the screening and assessment of young children with known or suspected disabilities (ages birth through eight). Both child-level and family-level assessment procedures will be emphasized. The candidate completing this course will be prepared to make professional decisions regarding the screening, assessment, program planning, and progress monitoring of young children with disabilities. Course content and assignments will promote critical thinking and problem solving skills. The content of this course is based on evidence-based practices, which integrate the best available research evidence with professional and family wisdom and values. Emphasized throughout this course are the following objectives: how to be a member of a transdisciplinary team in providing services in the natural environment, how respond to cultural diversity, how to provide services in high-poverty communities and LEAs, and how to utilize evidence-based practices in all aspects of assessment. These priority areas will be addressed throughout the course.

ECY 538. Physical and Health Care Support in Early Childhood Special Education. 3 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to provide candidates with the knowledge, skills, methods, and attitudes necessary to deliver effective intervention/education to young children with physical and health impairments. The course will include discussions and readings on topics central to an adequate understanding of the conceptual and theoretical foundations underlying typical and atypical motor development and neurodevelopment. Candidates will become proficient in motor skill facilitation, positioning, handling, feeding and health care support. The course objectives will be assessed through completion of the course requirements and class participation.

ECY 539. Transdisciplinary Collaboration and Consultation in Early Childhood. 3 Hours.

This course is designed for students to develop the knowledge, skills, and ability to work collaboratively with other professionals who provide inclusive services to infants and young children with delays or disabilities and their families. Emphasis will be placed on working as members of teams, which include families, early childhood special education, and the related services of physical and occupational therapy. Topics include teamwork, group decision-making, team process, leadership, and communication, the evidence that supports these practices, and how such issues influence services for young children and their families. A significant portion of content/discussion will focus on the roles and functions of various disciplines (including family members) as team members. Case studies will be used in simulations of transdisciplinary teamwork in action.

ECY 562. Methods and Materials for Teaching Visual Impairments. 3 Hours.

Principles and procedures for developing and implementing curricula for persons who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind. Field experience required.
Prerequisites: ECY 600 [Min Grade: D]

ECY 564. Braille, Orientation and Mobility. 3 Hours.

Principles of teaching reading, transcribing and writing Braille; tests, curricula and technology for Braille literacy. Fundamentals in teaching spatial orientation and mobility for persons who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind.
Prerequisites: ECY 600 [Min Grade: D]

ECY 565. Anatomy and Educational Implication of the Eye. 3 Hours.

Knowledge and evaluation of the visual system and use of low vision devices and other prescriptive devices for persons who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind.
Prerequisites: ECY 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 661 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 662 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 663 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 664 [Min Grade: C]

ECY 572. Early Childhood/Elementary School Student Teaching. 3-9 Hours.

Provides individualized field-based experiences that will meet the unique needs of ECSE candidates in the 5th year, non-traditional program. Students complete internships in settings that include children who present a wide range of disabilities within the (0-3), (3-5), and (5-8) year age ranges. This internship experience is tailored to the unique needs and experiences of each student.
Prerequisites: EDU 500 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 535 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 536 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 537 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 538 [Min Grade: C] and ECT 555 [Min Grade: C]

ECY 600. Introduction to Exceptional Learner. 3 Hours.

An overview of exceptionality as it pertains to children and adults. Both high and low incidence populations will be examined. Each area of exceptionality will be reviewed in terms of etiology, diagnosis, prevalence, remediation, and educational strategies.

ECY 607. Counseling Parents of Exceptional Children. 3 Hours.

Dynamics of family life and parental and sibling reactions to handicapped individuals are addressed in this course. Prerequisite: ECY 600.

ECY 635. Foundations of Early Childhood Special Education. 3 Hours.

This is the introductory graduate course in the early childhood special education program, which is designed to provide an overview of the field of early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE) and address policy issues, the importance of collaboration, and future directions. Candidates must develop competencies in the areas of historical and philosophical foundations of EI/ECSE, federal, state, and local laws and legal requirements, characteristics of young children with known or suspected disabilities, family-professional partnerships, service delivery options, recommended practices, current policy issues and trends, and professionalism and ethics. Another important aspect of this course is professional development and life-long learning. Candidates must demonstrate a number of research and technology skills such as: accessing resources to support graduate studies; conducting reviews of the early childhood special education resources and literature; using American Psychological Association (APA) professional style writing; utilizing technology to support graduate studies; and identifying professional development resources for life-long learning. Course content and assignments are designed to promote critical thinking, problem solving skills, evidence-based practice application, and resource identification.

ECY 636. Early Intervention and Preschool Curriculum and Methods. 3 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to provide candidates with the knowledge, skills, methods, and attitudes necessary to deliver effective intervention/education to young children (birth through five) with known or suspected disabilities and their families from a variety of social, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. The course will include discussions and readings on topics central to an adequate understanding of the conceptual and theoretical foundations underlying current curriculum and methods for young children. Special emphasis will be placed on supporting families in all aspects of intervention. Attention will be given to developmentally and individually appropriate practices that facilitate inclusive environments. Candidates will be familiarized with instructional strategies and technologies. Course content and assignments will promote the use of critical thinking skills, problem solving, and technologies as they are applied to instructional programs for young children with known or suspected disabilities and their families. The course objectives will be assessed through completion of the course requirements and class participation.

ECY 637. Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education. 3 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to prepare the candidate with knowledge and practical applications regarding the screening and assessment of young children with known or suspected disabilities (ages birth through eight). Both child-level and family-level assessment procedures will be emphasized. The candidate completing this course will be prepared to make professional decisions regarding the screening, assessment, program planning, and progress monitoring of young children with disabilities. Course content and assignments will promote critical thinking and problem solving skills. The content of this course is based on evidence-based practices, which integrate the best available research evidence with professional and family wisdom and values. Emphasized throughout this course are the following objectives: how to be a member of a transdisciplinary team in providing services in the natural environment, how respond to cultural diversity, how to provide services in high-poverty communities and LEAs, and how to utilize evidence-based practices in all aspects of assessment. These priority areas will be addressed throughout the course.

ECY 638. Physical and Health Care Support in Early Childhood Special Education. 3 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to provide candidates with the knowledge, skills, methods, and attitudes necessary to deliver effective intervention/education to young children with physical and health impairments. The course will include discussions and readings on topics central to an adequate understanding of the conceptual and theoretical foundations underlying typical and atypical motor development and neurodevelopment. Candidates will become proficient in motor skill facilitation, positioning, handling, feeding and health care support. The course objectives will be assessed through completion of the course requirements and class participation.

ECY 639. Transdisciplinary Collaboration and Consultation in Early Childhood. 3 Hours.

This course is designed for students to develop the knowledge, skills, and ability to work collaboratively with other professionals who provide inclusive services to infants and young children with delays or disabilities and their families. Emphasis will be placed on working as members of teams, which include families, early childhood special education, and the related services of physical and occupational therapy. Topics include teamwork, group decision-making, team process, leadership, and communication, the evidence that supports these practices, and how such issues influence services for young children and their families. A significant portion of content/discussion will focus on the roles and functions of various disciplines (including family members) as team members. Case studies will be used in simulations of transdisciplinary teamwork in action.

ECY 662. Meth and Material for Teaching the Visually Impaired. 3 Hours.

Principles and procedures for developing and implementing curricula for persons who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind. Field experience required.
Prerequisites: ECY 600 [Min Grade: C]

ECY 664. Braille, Orientation and Mobility. 3 Hours.

Principles of teaching reading, transcribing and writing Braille; tests, curricula and technology for Braille literacy. Fundamentals in teaching spatial orientation and mobility for persons who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind.
Prerequisites: ECY 600 [Min Grade: C]

ECY 665. Anatomy and Educational Implication of the Eye. 3 Hours.

Knowledge and evaluation of the visual system and use of low vision devices and other prescriptive devices for persons who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind.
Prerequisites: ECY 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 664 [Min Grade: C]

ECY 670. Practicum in Early Childhood Special Education. 3-6 Hours.

Provides individualized field-based experiences to meet the unique needs of graduate candidates in ECSE. Students complete practicum experiences in settings that include children who present a wide range of disabilities within the 0-3, 3-5, 5-8 year age ranges. This practicum experience is tailored to the unique needs and experiences of each student.

Faculty

Causey, Cora, Instructor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education, 2014, B.A., (Birmingham Southern), M.A., Ph.D. (UAB)
Hill, Kelly L., Temp Assistant Professor of English as a Second Language, 2015, B.S., M.A., Ed.S., Ph.D. (UAB)
Perry, Tonya, Associate Professor of Secondary Education, 2002, B.A. (North Carolina), M.A., Ph.D. (UAB), NBPTS
Voltz, Deborah, Professor of Special Education, 2013, B.A. (National College of Education), M.A. (UAB), Ed.D. (UAB)
Wang, Yu-Mei, Associate Professor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education, 2016, B.S. (Alabama State); M.A., Ed.S., Ph.D. (UAB)