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Special Education

Special Education

Special Education cropped“I had the privilege to be a part of the High Point University School of Education for four years.  From my experiences in the local schools to the life lessons that I gained in the classroom, the faculty and staff of the School of Education have provided me with priceless opportunities.  With an amazing education from HPU and a wonderful support system, I know I will be an extraordinary special education teacher.“

Ms. Becca Irvine, Class of 2013

Program Overview

The education program at High Point University has long been recognized for its excellence throughout North Carolina and the eastern United States. Our program is based within the liberal arts tradition; it is rigorous, field-centered and highly personalized. The teacher education programs at High Point University meet the requirements of both the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the North Carolina State Board of Education.

Special education majors have a choice between two programs of study, General Curriculum or Adapted Curriculum.  A major in special education will qualify a student for licensure either in Special Education: General Curriculum (K-12) or Special Education: Adapted Curriculum (K-12) depending upon which program of study they choose to follow.  Several General Education area requirements and core courses may be fulfilled by required courses in professional education and supporting disciplines.

Students are now able to take American Sign Language.

A Focused Curriculum

High Point University’s Education Program provides students with the chance to become closely involved in local schools. As a result, our students are engaged in many pre-professional activities such as literacy and technology tutoring, mentoring and assisting with small group and whole class instruction beginning their freshman year. All fieldwork experiences are carefully structured and supervised by faculty in the School of Education so that our students are challenged to grow in their knowledge, skills and dispositions.

All students who are admitted to the teacher education program take courses in child development, classroom management, technology, assessment and highly specialized integrated methodology courses needed to interact, instruct and engage today’s 21st century student. This reflects the School of Education’s commitment toward providing a program of study that exemplifies “best practices” in teacher education. Each student’s required coursework culminates in a full-time student teaching internship, which is typically completed during the senior year.

Faculty members bring a wealth of experience and maintain professional affiliations within their fields of study by conducting research, presenting at professional conferences and serving on numerous educational boards at the local, state and national level. All faculty members in the School of Education have held roles in the public schools including classroom teachers, principals, program administrators and school psychologists.


Program Goals – General Curriculum

Goal 1:  That prospective General Curriculum Teachers will develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to become effective leaders in their classrooms, the school and in the teaching profession.

  • To demonstrate high ethical standards by upholding the School of Education’s Code of Professional and Ethical Behaviors, The Code of Ethics for North Carolina Educators and the Standards for Professional Conduct.
  • To develop the skills needed to engage in collaborative and collegial professional learning activities.

Goal 2:  That prospective General Curriculum Teachers will develop the knowledge and skills needed to implement the policies, process and procedures for providing special education services.

  • To demonstrate the knowledge of the policies, process, and procedures for providing special education services from pre-referral to placement.
  • To demonstrate the knowledge of the policies, process, and procedures for providing special education services after placement and during implementation of the IEP.

Goal 3:  That prospective General Curriculum Teachers will develop the knowledge and skills needed to implement assessment and understand how it drives research-validated instructional and behavioral intervention.

  • To demonstrate the knowledge and skills to use a variety of assessment techniques to plan and implement instruction, monitor student progress and document learning.
  • To develop the skills needed to use both formative and summative assessment data to monitor, evaluate, and inform instruction.
  • To demonstrate the knowledge and skills to teach K-12 students to use behaviors that promote success in the learning environment, which include the development of social competence.
  • To learn how to incorporate instructional strategies designed to facilitate K-12 student cooperation, collaboration and learning.

Goal 4:  That prospective General Curriculum Teachers will develop the knowledge and skills needed to implement mathematics, language and literacy instruction in a systematic multi-sensory approach to teaching.

  • To demonstrate the knowledge and skills to use multi-sensory methods to teach communication skills, reading, written expression and mathematics.
  • To learn how to integrate 21st Century skills, technologies and content in instruction.

Goal 5:  That prospective General Curriculum Teachers will develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to work effectively with families, general education teachers, and other professionals.

  • To develop the skills needed to collaborate and consult with families, general education teachers, and other professionals.
  • To learn how to use materials or lessons that counteract stereotypes and incorporates different points of view in instruction to produce global citizens in a democratic society.
  • To learn how to provide instruction that reinforces the process strategies for critical thinking and problem solving.

Program Goals – Adapted Curriculum

Goal 1:  That prospective Adapted Curriculum Teachers will develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to become effective leaders in their classrooms, the school and in the teaching profession.

  • To demonstrate high ethical standards by upholding the School of Education’s Code of Professional and Ethical Behaviors, The Code of Ethics for North Carolina Educators and the Standards for Professional Conduct.
  • To develop the skills needed to engage in collaborative and collegial professional learning activities.

Goal 2:  That prospective Adapted Curriculum Teachers will develop the knowledge and skills needed to implement the policies, process and procedures for providing special education services.

  • To demonstrate the knowledge of the policies, process, and procedures for providing special education services from pre-referral to placement.
  • To demonstrate the knowledge of the policies, process, and procedures for providing special education services and transition planning during implementation of the IEP.

Goal 3:  That prospective Adapted Curriculum Teachers will develop the knowledge and skills needed to implement assessment and understand how it drives research-validated instructional and behavioral intervention.

  • To demonstrate the knowledge and skills to use a variety of assessment techniques to plan and implement instruction, monitor student progress and document learning.
  • To develop the skills needed to use both formative, summative and functional behavioral assessment data to monitor, evaluate, and inform instruction.
  • To demonstrate the knowledge and skills to teach K-12 students to use behaviors that promote success in the learning environment, which include the development of social competence.
  • To learn how to incorporate instructional strategies designed to facilitate K-12 student cooperation, collaboration and learning.

Goal 4:  That prospective Adapted Curriculum Teachers will develop the knowledge and skills needed to implement best practices in curriculum, assessment and instructional methods for students with low incidence disabilities.

  • To demonstrate the knowledge and skills to use multi-sensory methods to teach functional, academic, social and life skills and accommodations for students with low-incidence disabilities.
  • To demonstrate knowledge of transition to community, workplace, and post-secondary education for students with low-incidence disabilities at the secondary level.
  • To demonstrate basic proficiency in American Sign Language and understanding of the American Deaf Culture.

Goal 5:  That prospective Adapted Curriculum Teachers will develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to work effectively with families, general education teachers, and other professionals.

  • To develop the skills needed to collaborate and consult with families, general education teachers, and other professionals.
  • To become familiar with community and health agencies which serve the adapted population and their families.
  • To demonstrate the knowledge needed to effectively implement advocacy skills to assist in the transition of students with low-incidence disabilities to across K-12 settings, and into employment and future living opportunities.