Dover, Delaware

Delaware State University

Undergraduate Special Education, Traditional


National Rank

Updated 2014
Key Standards
Selection Criteria
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User Comments

The program fully meets the standard because candidates for admission to teacher preparation programs must have obtained a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, providing assurance that they have the requisite academic talent.

Early Reading
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User Comments

Courses reviewed: EDUC 335, EDUC 325, and EDUC 324

The research-based content proven to be necessary for teaching all children to read should be clearly evident in course materials such as lecture topics, assignments and textbooks. All of a program's required reading courses — not just some courses — should impart what is necessary to teach reading.

The program does not meet the standard. Looking at a full range of course materials, there is little or no evidence of adequate instruction on the components of effective reading instruction.

Elementary Mathematics
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User Comments

Courses reviewed: MTSC 105, MTSC 106, MTSC 205, and EDUC 306

Teacher candidates, even those who excel in math, generally require three semesters of coursework, complemented by adequate field practice in order to progress from a procedural to a conceptual understanding of the essential mathematics topics taught in the elementary grades.

The institution does not fully meet this standard because it simply does not require a sufficient number of courses to allow for adequate coverage of the essential topics.

Content for Special Education
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User Comments

Special education teacher preparation programs and state licensing must distinguish between elementary and secondary levels, as they do for general education. This program's state offers only an overly broad PK-12 special education certification, a "generic" certification for which it is almost impossible to conceive of adequate content preparation for special education teachers. While the program should adequately ensure that special education teacher candidates are adequately prepared, it is no surprise that it is does not do so. In fact, it is notable that the program ensures that teacher candidates are somewhat prepared in elementary content, secondary content or both

Instructional Design for Special Education
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User Comments

The central feature of accommodations for students with high-incidence special needs is the design of instruction that allows them to access the general education curriculum. Preparation for special education teacher candidates must contain sufficient instruction and practice on the minor modifications, major adaptations or major enhancements to the curriculum that will allow students with special needs to learn access content in English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

The program fully satisfies this standard because it requires several courses (or the equivalent) with a strong focus on instructional design in a particular content area or in multiple content areas and this coursework requires a sufficient number of assignments requiring teacher candidates to design instruction that can meet a range of student needs.

We note a substantial number of relevant assignments in additional required coursework for special education candidates that is not offered by the special education department and/or has a clinical focus but nonetheless clearly addresses instructional design in content instruction.

Student Teaching
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User Comments

A high-quality student teaching experience depends on: 1) sufficient feedback as defined by at least four -- and ideally five or more -- observations with written feedback provided at regular intervals, and 2) the capacity of the program to play an active role in the selection of cooperating teachers, as evidenced by its solicitation of substantive nominating information related to mentoring skills and instructional effectiveness. The standard separately reports on, but does not rate, clear communication to school districts that cooperating teachers must be both strong mentors of adults and highly effective instructors. Such communication may be either explicit (in letters or handbooks directed at school district personnel) or implicit (in the nature of information solicited from principals or teachers nominated for the role of cooperating teacher).

The program meets this standard because it provides student teachers with nearly sufficient feedback, and fully asserts its critical role in the selection of cooperating teachers by obtaining substantive information on both of the two characteristics of cooperating teachers required by the standard -- that they be effective instructors and that they be capable mentors.

Although this did not affect the rating, the program clearly communicates to school districts both of the characteristics of cooperating teachers required by the standard -- that they be effective instructors and capable mentors.

Booster Standards
Classroom Management
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User Comments

Teachers can teach and students can learn only in a functional classroom environment where students are engaged and productive. Teacher candidates will be better prepared to establish a productive classroom environment if the evaluation and/or observation instruments used to evaluate their student teaching performance provide feedback on specific classroom management strategies that together constitute a coherent management approach.

The program meets only a small part of the standard because the feedback provided to student teachers omits many critical components of a coherent management approach as outlined by the standard.

The program's evaluation and/or observation instruments provide feedback on student teachers' ability to:

  • manage student engagement
  • manage disruptive student misbehavior

The program's evaluation and/or observation instruments do not provide feedback on student teachers' ability to:
  • establish and/or reinforce expectations for classroom behavior
  • manage time; manage materials; manage the physical classroom
  • recognize appropriate behavior through meaningful praise or other positive reinforcement
  • manage minor student misbehavior

Other Standards

See all Undergraduate Special Education Programs

Other Ranked Programs at Delaware State University
Undergraduate Elementary