Welcome to Special Education! The Special Education Program at Grace College is designed for those who are passionate about serving students with disabilities in an educational context.
The Teaching All Learners major is a dual licensure in elementary education and mild intervention that meets the state of Indiana’s exceptional needs licensure requirements to teach students needing mild interventions including those with learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, mild cognitive disabilities, autism, and ADHD at the elementary level (Grades K-6). Our Special Education program is dedicated to equipping candidates in the dispositions, knowledge, and skills needed to be effective in the inclusive classroom. Graduates of the program will be teachers of character who are competent in the profession and have a heart for service.
The program includes a balance of content and methods courses focused on current, research-based practices and methodology. In addition to campus-based coursework, candidates receive over 100 hours of field experience in local K-6 classrooms.
Faculty teaching in this program include professors highly skilled and trained in the area of elementary and special education as well as practicing classroom teachers and administrators. This combination provides for the perfect blend of theory and applied practice. Each faculty member brings unique perspectives and expertise to the major. Students in the major are encouraged to explore the many career options available to professionals both in the elementary and special education field. These careers might include elementary classroom teacher, elementary special education teacher, special education consultant, resource room teacher. Having a dual licensure also prepares the candidate for leadership opportunities within a career and maximizes future professional development.
Some specific highlights of the program include opportunities to collaborate with general education teachers, experiences in a variety of educational settings, and the option to student teach overseas. Grace College is proud to have an actve chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children. Through this student chapter, candidates are provided opportunities for leadership, professional development, and community service.
Examples of courses in this major:
An introduction to the profession of teaching. Learning experiences are structured both in and out of the classroom with the purpose of assisting the college student in making career decisions relative to this profession, e.g., to teach or not, at which level, and in which subject area. Students observe in local schools. Three hours. A grade of B- or better is required to reach candidacy status.
A study of the learner at all grade levels and the many factors affecting learning, including but not limited to, theories of learning, environment, heredity, cultural impact, discipline, classroom management, exceptionalities, and development. The measurement of academic aptitude and achievement is also covered. Practical application is stressed. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 100
This course is designed to develop an understanding of children with exceptionalities in an educational setting. It provides an introduction to the field of special education with particular focus on inclusive practices. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 100
An introductory study of historical, political, and socio-cultural influences in special education. Students will develop an understanding of the implications of special education policy for learners with exceptional needs. Practices covered include least restrictive environment, response to intervention, and the IEP process. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 100 and SED 240
An in-depth study of etiology and characteristics of high-incidence disabilities, including learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, emotional disabilities, and mild intellectual disabilities. Also addressed are identification and eligibility considerations for high-incidence disabilities. Students have opportunity to observe high-incidence disabilities through applied learning experiences. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 100 and SED 240
This course deals with issues of definition, incidence, and prevalence. Classification systems are identified along with the key conceptual models. Planning procedures and strategies are reviewed for improving behaviors and teaching socialization. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 100 and SED 240
A study of the integration of special education in the regular classroom setting. Service delivery models for students with special needs are identified and explored. Importance is placed on collaborative procedures, special services, and instructional modifications that regular and special education teachers use to meet the learning needs of special needs students in regular education classes. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 100
Study of the principles and practices of diagnostic procedures in special education. Formal and informal assessments, standardized tests, test administration, test interpretation, and summary writing in the academic areas of reading, math, and written expression are examined. Utilizing assessment as a means for formulating educational goals and instructional objectives are explored. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 100 and SED 242
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.S. in Music Education: All area/All grade, Grace College; B.S. in Applied Music: Oboe Performance, Grace College; M.S. in Special Education, Indiana University, Ed.D. in Special Education, Regent University
Dr. Cheryl Bremer has served as a special educator at both the elementary and middle school levels. She earned the Outstanding Student Teacher Award at Grace College in 1992. In addition to her public school teaching experience, Dr. Bremer owned and operated an early childhood movement and music studio for 8 years. Her research interests include special education recruitment and peer mediated instruction. She is Department Chair for Special Education for the School of Education, teaches courses in special education, and is involved in curriculum development for the Master of Education Program at Grace College. Dr. Bremer was recently awarded the 2012-2013 Outstanding Professor of the Year for the Indiana Council for Exceptional Children.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Eastern Illinois University; M.A. in Education, Ball State University
Prof. Owen joined the Grace faculty in 2001 after 17 years teaching elementary education in the public school system. In 2010 she was appointed Dean of the School of Education, but continues to teach all levels of education students. She was recognized for her hands-on, practical, applied, and innovative teaching with Grace College's Alva J. McClain Excellence in Teaching award in 2004. She is currently completing a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education through Walden University. Prof. Owen is actively involved in her community by participating in local scholarship committees. Her family attends Warsaw Community Church, where she is a storyteller for the 4-year old room, serves on the Thread Team, and volunteers as a barista in the coffee shop. Prof. Owen lives in Winona Lake with her husband, Randy. They have four children -- two who have already graduated from Grace.
B.A. in German Education, Indiana University; M.S in Education: Secondary Administration, Indiana University; Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction: Instructional Design and Development, Purdue University
Dr. Gaerte has served as teacher and principal at both the elementary and secondary levels in both Christian and public schools. He was the Virginia state representative for ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) and served two years as President of Indiana's ATE-I (Association of Teacher Educators). Dr. Gaerte has also been a presenter at the National ATE Conference workshop regarding Grace's alternative placement program for student teachers.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Grace College; M.S. in Elementary Education: Reading Endorsement, University of St. Francis
Prof. Carol Vosberg taught first grade for 20 years in the Whitko (IN) corporation before coming to Grace. Prof. Vosberg also coordinates the Education Resource Center in the School of Education. She and her husband, Jim, a Grace College graduate and retired elementary school teacher, have two grown sons who are also Grace graduates.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Grace College; M.Ed. in Educational Administration, Ohio University; Ph.D. in Educational Administration, Ohio University
Dr. James Bowling’s multiple roles at Grace College include Professor of Education, Director of Institutional Assessment, and Coordinator of Instructional Design for the institution's faculty. He is an ACSI accreditation team member, as well as an NCATE accreditation team member. Dr. Bowling formerly chaired the Department of Teacher Education at Grace College, now the School of Education. Dr. Bowling has been a regular presenter at the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) conferences in the Midwest Region and has led workshops in and taught at the master’s degree-level in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Dr. Bowling received Grace College's Honorable Mention for the McClain Award for Excellence in Teaching.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Grace College; M.A. in Christian School Administration, Grace Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Teacher Education, The Ohio State University
Dr. Jeffrey Peck taught for 13 years in elementary and middle schools in Arkansas and Ohio before earning his doctoral degree in Teacher Education at The Ohio State University. Since 1997, he has taught at the college level in Ohio, North Carolina, and Indiana. He has been at Grace College since 2008.
B.A. in Elementary Education, Anderson University, with an endorsement in Middle School Social Studies; M.A. in Curriculum, Design, and Instruction, Olivet Nazarene University
Professor Hoffert joined the Grace College faculty in 2011 and teaches courses in reading development, assessment, instruction, and intervention. Prof. Hoffert began her career teaching third and fifth grade in a diverse public school setting. After earning her master's degree, she completed an additional year of literacy coordinator training through Purdue University. Her training focused on best practices in literacy instruction, job-embedded coaching, and effective professional development. Following her Purdue training, Prof. Hoffert was asked to serve as a district literacy coach and staff developer for Warsaw Community Schools. During this time, the district made significant gains in their language arts standardized test scores. Her professional interests include early literacy assessment, response to instruction/intervention, and teaching reading to English Language Learners. Prof. Hoffert lives in Warsaw with her husband, David, and their three young children, Ryun, Robinson, and Roosevelt.
B.S. in Elementary Education, Manchester College; M.S. in School Psychology, Ball State University; Ed.S. in School Psychology, Ball State University
Professor England has been teaching classes in special education assessment and intervention at Grace since 2010. She has worked as a school psychologist since 2002--working with students ranging in age from preschool to high school. Her interests focus on early childhood evaluation and social-emotional assessment (including autism evaluations). She is the Spring Conference Chair for the Indiana Association of School Psychologists. Prof. England is involved in Tri-Kappa--a women's organization focused on charity, scholarship, and the arts. She and her husband live near Warsaw and have three small girls, five dogs, a cat, two hamsters, and a goldfish.
A.A. in Criminal Justice, Manchester College; B.A. in Social Work, Manchester College; M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work, Fordham University, NYC; M.S. in School Administration and Supervision, Indiana State University; Ed.S. in Educational Administration, Indiana State University
Professor England has been teaching classes in general and special education for the past 15 years. He has worked as a school social worker, principal, and assistant director of special education. He is currently the Director of Special Services for the Wabash-Miami Area Program for Exceptional Students. His interests focus on alternative and special education, specifically regarding students with emotional disabilities, autism, and deaf and hard of hearing, as well as school leadership. He has presented at national and international conferences on the topics of alternative education, positive behavior intervention and support/school-wide discipline, crisis training, and the use of mental health services in public schools. Prof. England is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana State University. He lives with his wife, Sara, and their three daughters near Warsaw.
B.S. in Elementary Education and All Schools Mild and Intense Interventions, Illinois State University; M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
Professor Rhodes has elementary classroom experience and has taught special education classes in elementary and middle school.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
What others are saying:
“It's exciting to hear about all the great things that are happening at Grace! I am so proud of my education and I would recommend Grace's program to anyone who asks.”
“I feel like all of my experiences that I was given at Grace really did prepare me, as best they could, for teaching the last two years. If I could give one piece of advice to the younger generation of teachers it would be to make sure you are prepared to be flexible! The ability to change and adapt with what is currently best practice in schools is the only way to survive in teaching.”
—Carolyn Crafton (B.S. Special Education, 2009)
I have supervised five student teachers during my experience as a teacher. Four of them were from Grace College. The students from Grace were knowledgeable in new teaching trends, hard-working, and ready to experience the classroom environment. The college's faculty has been accommodating and helpful in facilitating a positive experience for the student and classroom teacher. I have been extremely impressed with the staff and students in the School of Education at Grace College.
—Stacy Huffer, Supervising Teacher, 4th Grade
Grace College plays an integral part of the Warsaw/Winona Lake community, including the local public school system. Teacher Education students begin to participate in the local classrooms very quickly after arriving as freshmen. The students are highly skilled and energetic contributors to their assigned schools. The educational professionals that are produced by Grace College upon graduation have become part of the entire Warsaw system, from the classroom to the principal's office to the district administration. Grace College produces high quality graduates!
—Jan Knoop, Supervising Teacher
I have always been impressed with the quality of student teachers from Grace College. They are well-prepared, understand the expectations of teaching, and are professional.
—Carla Milliman, Supervising Teacher
It is a distinct pleasure to work with the Grace College School of Education. I view Grace College students entering my classroom as an opportunity for my fourth graders to benefit from role models of character and competence. The education program at Grace College encourages students to gain valuable hours of classroom experiences early in their teaching program. This model program builds competency by scaffolding skill development in planning, instruction, classroom management and professionalism.
The teaching profession is indeed a balance of choices and relationships. I’ve worked closely enough with Grace College Professors to recognize and appreciate their ability to guide education students with compassion and wisdom grounded in faith along career pathways that on occasion change direction.
—Judy Kinsey, Supervising Teacher, 4th Grade