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Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Special Education MAT

Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) program at UNF is to prepare highly qualified special education teacher candidates with the requisite knowledge, skills, dispositions, and cultural and linguistic competencies necessary to effectively meet the diverse educational and accessibility needs of children and young adults with disabilities in educational and community settings.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able:

Knowledge of Literature of Discipline (req)

Develop an inquiry project around mathematics, which includes a literature review that supports the inquiry question

Independent Research/ Professional Practice (req)

During their culminating internship, candidates are expected to document their impact on the learning outcomes of students with disabilities. This assignment includes developing information about the context, student assessment data, lesson planning and implementation, and assessing the extent of student learning and/or skill development.

Assessment Approaches

The student learning outcomes for the program's Graduate Academic Learning Compact are aligned with the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAPS):

  1. Instructional design and lesson planning. Students will:
    • Align instruction with state adopted standards at the appropriate level of rigor.
    • Sequence lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge.
    • Design instruction for students to achieve mastery. 1d. Select appropriate formative assessment to monitor learning. 1e. Use diagnostic student data to plan lessons.
    • Develop learning experiences that require students to demonstrate a variety of applicable skills and competencies
  2. The learning environment. Students will:
    • Organize, allocate, and manage the resources of time, space, and attention.
    • Manage individuals and class behaviors through a well-planned management system.
    • Convey high expectations to all students.
    • Respect students’ cultural, linguistic, and family background. 2e. Model clear, acceptable oral communication skills.
    • Maintain a climate of openness, inquiry, fairness, and support. 2g. Integrate current information & communication technologies.
    • Adapt the learning environment to accommodate the needs of diverse students.
    • Utilize assistive technologies to enable students to achieve their educational goals
  3. Instructional delivery and facilitation: Students will:
    • Deliver engaging and challenging classroom lessons.
    • Deepen students’ understanding through content area literacy and application of the subject matter.
    • Identify gap in student subject matter knowledge.
    • Modify instruction to respond to preconceptions or misconceptions.
    • Relate and Integrate the subject matter with other disciplines and life experiences.
    • Employ higher-order questioning techniques.
    • Apply varied instructional strategies to teach for student understanding.
    • Differentiate instruction based on assessment of student learning needs.
    • Support, encourage, and provide immediate and specific feedback to students to promote student achievement.
    • Utilize student feedback to monitor instructional needs and to adjust instruction
  4. Assessment. Students will:
    • Analyze and apply data from multiple assessments to diagnose students’ learning needs and inform instruction based on those needs.
    • Design and align formative and summative assessments that match learning objectives and lead to mastery.
    • Use a variety of assessment tools to monitor student progress, achievement and learning gains.
    • Modify assessment and testing conditions to accommodate learning styles and varying levels of knowledge.
    • Share the importance and outcomes of student assessment data with the student and the student’s parent/caregiver(s).
    • Apply technology to organize and integrate assessment information.
  5. Continuous improvement, responsibility and ethics. Students will:
    • Design purposeful professional goals to strengthen the effectiveness of instruction based on students’ needs.
    • Examine and use data-informed research to improve instruction and student achievement.
    • Use a variety of data independently and in collaboration with colleagues to evaluate learning outcomes, adjust planning, and continuously improve effectiveness of the lessons.
    • Collaborate with the home, school, and larger communities to foster communication and to support student learning and continuous improvement.
    • Engage in targeted professional growth opportunities and reflective practices, both independently and in collaboration with colleagues.
    • Implement knowledge and skills learned in professional development in the teaching and learning process.
  6. Professional Responsibility and Ethical Conduct. Students will:
    • Adhere to the Code of Ethics and Principles of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession of Florida.

Additional Information

Candidates in the M.A.T. in Exceptional Student Education program are assessed in their knowledge of literature of the discipline and their ability to engage in independent research or professional practice. Using the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAPs), Florida Exceptional Student Education competencies, and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) teaching standards, candidates are assessed by means of written examinations; field and inquiry-based/student impact instructional projects; audio-visual, oral and teaching presentations; scholarly papers and coaching cycles, which are rated using agreed upon rubrics.

The program maintains a robust and comprehensive assessment plan and results, but for the specific purposes of this Graduate Academic Learning Compact, a subset of student learning outcomes and assessment measures are included here, and they are focused on ways in which the program assesses student learning in three key areas as outlined by UNF's Graduate Academic Learning Compact policy:

  1. Knowledge of Literature of the Discipline is assessed using through students' development of an inquiry project in EEX 5484 Foundations of Exceptional Education and Services around mathematics, which includes a literature review that supports the inquiry question.
  2. Independent Research/Professional Practice is assessed through students' culminating internship in EEX 6841, when candidates are expected to document their impact on the learning outcomes of students with disabilities. An internship-embedded assignment requires students to develop information about the context, student assessment data, lesson planning and implementation, and assess the extent of student learning and/or skill development