Learning Outcomes

Through the delivery of innovative and graduate programming, which is aligned to best practices within the field of special education, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the underlying principles of special education as an evolving and changing discipline based on educational philosophies and theories, research and application of evidence-based practices, and significant historical events, court cases and legislation that influenced and shaped the development of special education policies and practices to safeguard the legal rights of and improve outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities.
  • Describe key provisions of federal and state legislation that guide the identification of, and the provision of special education services for, students with exceptionalities, including those who are gifted and talented.   
  • Explain how exceptionality, language, cultural and family background interact with development and learning to create individual differences among learners, including unique strengths and special needs.
  • Select, adapt and implement a variety of evidence-based instructional strategies to develop effective individualized instruction that includes accommodations, modifications, assistive technology and provide appropriately challenging learning experiences for individuals with exceptional learning needs.
  • Create positive learning environments for individuals with exceptional learning needs that foster cultural understanding, safety and emotional well-being, positive social interactions and active engagement.
  • Distinguish between typical and atypical language development and the ways that exceptional conditions can interact with an individual’s experience with and use of language, and apply individualized strategies to enhance language development and teach communication skills.
  • Develop long-range individualized instructional plans anchored in general and special education curricula, and systematically translate these individualized plans to carefully selected shorter-range goals and objectives, taking into consideration an individual’s abilities and needs, the learning environment and a myriad of cultural and linguistic factors.
  • Utilize multiple types and sources of assessment information for a variety of educational decisions to minimize bias, and use results to identify learner needs, develop instructional programs, and adjust instruction in response to progress monitoring.
  • Collect and analyze data to identify errors and error patterns and make instructional decisions and modifications.
  • Integrate professional ethics and practice standards, with ongoing attention to legal matters, to make choices and decisions that treat individuals with exceptionalities with respect and dignity and promote their development of meaningful relationships, happiness and opportunities to contribute to their communities.
  • Routinely and effectively collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways.
  • Critically evaluate and discuss the relevance of research methodologies with respect to evidence-based practices for educational professionals, including concepts such as social importance, fidelity, replication, validity, reliability.

The learning outcomes of the programs offered by the Department of Special Education are aligned with professional standards from three sources – Interstate New Teachers’ Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), Connecticut Common Core of Teaching (CCCT) and Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Initial Special Educator Preparation Standards, available at: