General Course Information for ECE216: Intro to Special Education

Course: ECE216 - Intro to Special Education
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Description:

An introduction to special education with an overview of suggestions to assist beginning early education teachers prepare to recognize and handle special needs of children and their families.

Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify developmental sequences for observing and formulating individualized program plans.
  • Identify interim actions and program suggestions on how to work effectively with special needs children in an early education setting
  • Demonstrate the development of an individual action plan
  • Identify children whose physical, social, emotional, speech and language, overall communication skills, and/or cognitive development are different from that of other children of their age.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to the needs of diverse families with special education children.
  • Explain importance of developing effective communication strategies for involving families in understanding and supporting individual action plans.
  • Identify professional and ethical standards of practice for early education teachers.
  • Create a portfolio of evidence demonstrating the use of appropriate instructional techniques.
Course Requirements:

Specific Course Requirements: Review three (3) recent articles on a topic related to current ethical issues relevant to special education. The article should have been published within the last two years. Describe the major points in the article and your response. Be prepared to share in small groups. Interview with two (2) preschool teachers who have a child with special needs in their classroom on what successful collaborative strategies they use in dealing with families. Write a summary of the interview Be prepared to share in small groups. Write a paper describing child abuse/neglect reporting process include signs of physical/behavioral characteristics indicative of such abuse/neglect and steps you would take to handle the situation. Create three (3) individual action plans based on the physical and behavioral characteristics and recommendations of culture on social adaptive behaviors and learning disabilities as described in the Paasche, Gorrill and Strom textbook. Answer selected focus questions at the end of each assigned chapter in the deBettencourt and Howard textbook. Be prepared to discuss in small groups Final examination. Field Teaching Experience. Candidates must complete a minimum of five (5) hours of field experience at a designated preschool community site as part of this course. All field experiences must be documented within the context of course work assignments and assessments. Candidates must make, with instructor approval, their own arrangements for this experience. Specific Field Teaching Assignment: Observe the different strategies the teacher uses in classroom management. Write a summary of your observations. Be prepared to share with small group.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures