Scope and Sequence
The scope and sequence of the program is designed to ensure that students develop their skills and knowledge in a logical and meaningful way. In the first year of the program, students focus primarily on their general education certification to ensure that they build a strong foundation in the fundamentals of effective teaching. During the second year of the program, students focus on their special education coursework. Students will be provided with a detailed course schedule at the beginning of each term.
Year One: Student Growth and Achievement and Content-Methods Courses
In the first year of the program, students are enrolled in both student growth and achievement and content-methods courses.
Student Growth and Achievement Courses
Student growth and achievement courses represent the knowledge and skills all great teachers must have regardless of the grades or subjects that they teach. These classes encompass three of the four elements of effective teaching: Self and other people, classroom culture, and teaching cycle. In student growth and achievement courses, students also create and follow their pathways for student growth and achievement. Finally, some student growth and achievement courses provide the opportunity to select elective topics within a course. Elective modules within a course address a variety of teaching knowledge and skills, such as teacher-organization skills or launching restorative justice practices with PK–12 students.
Content-methods coursework comprises the knowledge and skills necessary to teach a particular grade or subject. Content-methods coursework is taught in grade- and/or subject-specific groups led by a faculty member with that particular area of teaching expertise and experience.
Year Two: Teaching Exceptional Learners Courses (Weekly Class Sessions)
During the second year of the program, the scope and sequence is designed to ensure that students develop specialized skills and knowledge around designing and implementing specialized instruction in a logical and meaningful way. For this reason, most coursework is taught in weekly sessions by the full-time Relay faculty member. Weekly sessions build on prior knowledge and establish the foundation for increasing rigor and complexity across the year. Additional sessions may be taught on Saturdays by adjunct instructors.
See the AY21-22 Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education/Dual Certification Course Overview (PK–12 and ECE) for a listing of courses by term and details about the topics and skills taught in each course. Please note that there may be some program variation within courses and programs.
Effective teachers of exceptional learners have the ability to assess and address the needs of an individual student with precision and intentionality. To provide sufficient practice in this skill, students will provide one-on-one intervention to a student for the entirety of their second year. Teachers’ work with their PK–12 students will directly relate to their coursework. Faculty will observe teachers during their one-on-one interventions in order to provide formative feedback and evaluate progress.
To see firsthand how students are progressing as teachers, faculty members will observe students’ classrooms multiple times over the course of the program. Faculty members’ expectations for these observations will become more complex as the students progress through their time at Relay. Observations may be used for course assessment and/or to meet requirements for certification. For additional details, see Classroom Observations.
Special Education Capstone
As a final assessment, all students will reflect on the one-on-one work they have done during the intervention intensive and advocate for a specific revision to their student’s educational program. This written analysis and reflection, combined with a presentation to both peers and faculty, is an opportunity to synthesize the learning the student has done across the year.