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 2.5+ 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.

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.
Prerequisites: EDU 500 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 600 [Min Grade: C]

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.
Prerequisites: EDU 500 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 535 [Min Grade: C]

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.
Prerequisites: EDU 500 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 535 [Min Grade: C]

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.
Prerequisites: ECY 600 [Min Grade: C]

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.
Prerequisites: ECY EDU [Min Grade: C] and ECY 600 [Min Grade: C] or ECY 635 [Min Grade: C] or ECY 637 [Min Grade: C]

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.
Prerequisites: EDU 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 635 [Min Grade: C]

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.
Prerequisites: EDU 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 635 [Min Grade: C]

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.
Prerequisites: ECY 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 635 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 636 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 637 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 638 [Min Grade: C]

ECY 672. Internship in Early Childhood Special Edu. 3-6 Hours.

Provides individualized field-based experiences that will meet the unique needs of ECSE candidates in the 5th year, nontraditional program. Students complete an internship in settings that include children who present a wide range of disabilities within the 0-3, 3-5, 5-8 year age ranges. This internship experience is tailored to the unique needs and experiences of each student.
Prerequisites: ECY 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 635 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 636 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 637 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 638 [Min Grade: C]

ECY 686. Practicum In Special Education: Visually Impaired. 3-6 Hours.

Clinical experiences with persons who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind in various educational settings; demonstration of curriculum development, assessment, and teaching in structured situations.
Prerequisites: ECY 600 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 662 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 664 [Min Grade: C] and ECY 665 [Min Grade: C]

ECY 687. Early Childhood/Elementary School Student Teaching. 3-9 Hours.

These courses are required in UAB’s Alternative Masters Program (AMP) for a Master of Arts in Education with Alternative Class A certification for teaching in the following areas: Collaborate Teacher K-12, Early Childhood Special Education,Visual Impairments P-12. The purpose of ECT 531, ECY 672, and ECY 687 is to prepare teachers to use Best Practices for teaching within their content area. As stipulated by the ALSDE Administrative Code, determining readiness to serve as a certified teacher shall require competence to teach as demonstrated in an internship of 15 weeks of full-time student teaching. Collaborative Teacher K-12 and Visual Impairments P-12 interns will have two placements to satisfy their K-12 and P-12 certification requirements (i.e., 7.5 weeks in a K-5 placement and 7.5 weeks in a 6-12 placement).

ECY 689. Advanced Topics in Special Education. 1-6 Hour.

A group seminar focused on transdisciplinary teaming in early intervention and early childhood special education. The course is designed for students representing the discipline of early childhood special education, general early childhood education, speech-language pathology, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
Prerequisites: ECY 600 [Min Grade: C]