Practicum in Special Education

Course Details

Course Number
SPED 6943
Spring 2017
Days & Times


Emily Rutherford (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

The candidate will meet the following Council for Exceptional Children CEC knowledge and skills standards for all beginning special education administrators/Educational diagnostician depending on practicum. In addition/conjunction to the knowledge and skill listed, the candidate will participate in structured activities designed to develop and enhance the candidate’s special education leadership skills.


Educational Diagnosticians Standards



Theories and methodologies of teaching and learning, including adaptation and modification of curriculum


Assessment procedures that address all disabilities


Develop programs including the integration of related services for individuals based on a thorough understanding of individual differences


Improve instructional programs using principles of curriculum development and modification, and learning theory


Report the assessment of individuals with exceptional learning needs’ performance and evaluation of instructional programs


Select, administer, and score assessment instruments accurately


Analyze error patterns


Prepare comprehensive assessment reports


Select and use formal and informal observation measures


Course Expectations

Dispositions   The special education faculty expects candidates to be reflective, culturally sensitive practitioners and leaders in the profession of education who practice within the Code of Ethics adopted by the CEC.

Special education professionals are committed to developing the highest   educational and quality of life potential of individuals with exceptionalities.

Special education professionals promote and maintain a high level of competence and integrity in practicing their profession.

Special education professionals engage in professional activities which benefit individuals with exceptionalities, their families, other colleagues, candidates, or research subjects.

Special education professionals exercise objective professional judgment in the practice of their profession.

Special education professionals strive to advance their knowledge and skills regarding the education of individuals with exceptionalities.

Special education professionals work within the standards and policies of their profession.

Special education professionals seek to uphold and improve where necessary the laws, regulations, and policies governing the delivery of special education and related services and the practice of their profession.

Special education professionals do not condone or participate in unethical or illegal acts, nor violate professional standards adopted by the Delegate Assembly of CEC.


Grading Standards

This course will have some core requirements with options. What I mean is that everyone will need to do three “real” assessments under supervision (or as many as allowed) or simulated assessments and the 4 intense case studies which I will provide. These cases will also require a full written report.  You will also have to complete a study plan. This will be worth 40 hours of the 90 hours, which will leave 50 hours. This will be done by completing and documenting evidence of meeting any of the standards listed (see link). You may complete another portfolio, like you have done in Diag 1 and Diag 2 and record the times. For example, if you spent 1 hour collaborating with a parent, document it.  You need to be thinking about what standards you need to meet and what resources you have access to (e.g., test kits, Diagnosticians, etc.)-you will submit a practicum plan outlining your proposed set of activities this semester and a portfolio of documentation.  Here are some suggestions for what you can do to meet your requirements:

If possible do this:


  1. Administer, score, and interpret additional assessment beyond the 3 required.
  2. Observe diagnostician go through the process of data analysis of eligibility decisions.
  3. Attend ARDS where the diag goes over testing and MDRs.
  4. Ask if you can go through a few folders of students who did not qualify for special education and find out why and the thought process behind it.
  5. Ask to review any assessments that were bilingual or had some other special circumstance.

Other things to do:

  1. Administer, score, and interpret, brief report additional assessments to “non-students” like Diag 1 and Diag 2. You may either use kits at your school or let me know and I will send you some kits of some tests that you have not used.

If you attend a professional development at an ESC that meets the standards, you may use some of those hours. There are new versions of the Woodcock and WISC coming out. Try to attend a workshop on this. I will be hosting

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at