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 participate in 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.
The Grace College Special Education Program recently received National Recognition by The Council for Exceptional Children.
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 1000
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 1000
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. This course also includes an in-depth study of the etiology and characteristics of high-incidence disabilities, inlcuding learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, emotional disabilities, and mild cognitive disabilities. Also addressed are identification and eligibility considerations in special education. Practices covered include least restrictive environment, response to intervention, and the IEP process. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 2400
This course focuses on providing mild intervetnion to the K-6 student with learning and behavioral needs. This includes educational organization, curricular modifications, and research-based instructional strategies. Students learn to individualize instruction based on the individualized education plan. Students have opportunity to apply course knowledge through applied learning experiences. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 2410
This course deals with issues of definition, incidence, and prevalence of emotional and behavioral disabilities. Students will learn how to implement positive behavior supports and interventions to improve behaviors and socialization. Students apply knowledge through a behavior change project in an applied learning experience. Three hours. Prerequisite: SED 2420
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 2420
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 2420
B.S. in Elementary Education, Grace College; M.S, Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne
Florell Hand joined the Grace College faculty and staff in the fall of 2014. Having taught first, second, and third grades in the Warsaw Community School Corporation, and having later served in the School of Education as a part-time instructor (2008-2011), Florell has returned to her alma mater as Systems Manager, coordinating accreditation, field experience, and teacher licensure. She and her husband, John, reside in Warsaw and have two children, Jessica and John-Dillon.
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