University Catalog 2023-2024

Special Education

The department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences offers master's degrees in Special Education. The Special Education program at NC State prepares students for excellence in teaching, assessment, curriculum development, classroom and behavior management, teaching students with high incidence disabilities, evaluation and professional leadership, as well as other areas of service to students with disabilities and to schools and agencies. Our nationally recognized faculty provides excellent teaching, leadership opportunities, and high standards of performance.

The NC Department of Public Instruction has conferred accreditation to the graduate programs in Teacher Education and Learning Sciences. The College of Education is approved any the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Admission Requirements

Special Education: A 500-800 word statement describing professional goals is required, along with transcripts and reference letters. Some areas of study require that applicants be qualified to hold a baccalaureate-level teaching license or have teaching experience. A match to resources and faculty areas of interest and expertise is necessary, since the program is competitive. The Graduate School requires a 3.0 in the undergraduate program.


Full Professors

  • Cathy L. Crossland
  • Edward J. Sabornie

Associate Professors

  • Jessica Heather Hunt

Assistant Professors

  • Jamie Nicole Pearson

Practice/Research/Teaching Professors

  • Valerie Ness Faulkner
  • Kristin Hofmann

Emeritus Faculty

  • Douglas A. Cullinan
  • Susan Sinclair Osborne


ECI 571  Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities  (3 credit hours)  

Methods and materials for teaching students with disabilities in elementary and secondary school. Focus on research-supported instructional strategies for teaching academic skills, Universal Design for Learning, implementation of appropriate academic interventions, and evaluation of instructional outcomes within the context of Response to Intervention and Multi-Tier Systems of Supports.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Spring only

ECI 572  Resource Teaching In Special Education  (3 credit hours)  

Resource teaching in area of special education, with emphasis on resource teaching with students with special needs. Types of resource programs, establishment and maintenance of a program, selection of students, curriculum and materials.

Prerequisite: ECI 585

Typically offered in Summer only

ECI 573  Applied Behavior Analysis & Positive Behavior Intervention and Support in Schools  (3 credit hours)  

Concepts and procedures involved in design and implementation of techniques for managing the behavior of students in classroom setting. Focus on methods for defining, measuring, increasing, decreasing, maintaining, and generalizing classroom behaviors in all learners. An exploration of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, and Positive Behavior Intervention and Support in school settings.

Typically offered in Fall only

ECI 576  Teaching Functional and Life Skills to Students with Disabilities  (3 credit hours)  

Methods of instruction and materials related to teaching children and persons with mild-moderate levels of disability are emphasized. Effective general pedagogical approaches are stressed, as well as the teaching of functional academic skills, curricula used in instructions, teaching social and adaptive behavior as well as daily living skills, and transition-related skills necessary for independent adult life. Multi-tiered Systems of Support as well as Positive Behavior Intervention and Support are also discussed.

Typically offered in Spring only

ECI 581  Educational Diagnosis and Prescription For Children With Exceptionalities  (3 credit hours)  

Concept of educational diagnosis of students with exceptionalities, including examination of educational diagnostic procedures in current use in special education. Development of informal diagnostic techniques and procedures for adapting curriculum and instruction for learner with exceptionalities.

Prerequisite: ECI 585

Typically offered in Fall only

ECI 584  Intervention for Behavior Problems of Students with Disabilities  (3 credit hours)  

Curriculum materials, instructional strategies and behavior management techniques related to teaching children and youth with behavioral disorders including individualized instruction, group process, organization and evaluation of classroom programs, parent involvement, community resources and teachers' personal and professional growth and development.

Prerequisite: ECI 583

Typically offered in Spring only

ECI 585  Education of Children with Exceptionalities  (3 credit hours)  

Introduction to field of special education. Focus on historical overview, definitions and terminology in basic areas of exceptionality; etiological factors in exceptionality; developmental and learning characteristics of each area of exceptionality;and educational settings and strategies employed in special education including Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and Positive Behavior Intervention and Support. Review of current educational laws and policies affecting special education.

Prerequisite: 9 hours of ED or PSY

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

ECI 658  Internship In Special Education  (1-6 credit hours)  

Supervised opportunities for advanced professional development in contexts concerned with special education.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Col. of ED and PSY

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

ECI 681  Seminar in Special Education Literacy  (3 credit hours)  

A case study approach is used in the seminar that requires the application of assessment techniques and instructional intervention methodologies in literacy for K-12 students with disabilities. Assigned activities require access to and experience in schools and/or related settings. This seminar is designed to be completed during the last half of the graduate program. It is restricted to graduate students in SPE, SPL, SPM, SPB or consent of instructor.

Prerequisite: ECI 540 or ECI 541 and ECI 581, ECI 585

ECI 682  Spe Ed Seminar in Teaching Numerical Concepts  (3 credit hours)  

This seminar is designed to prepare special education teachers to provide empirically supported instruction in numerical concepts and skills to students with disabilities in special education and general education settings. Particular attention will be paid to student characteristics that impact learning in arithmetic and mathematics and to addressing state and national curriculum standards using instructional organization and strategies that have been shown through research to be effective for this population. Field work in schools and/or related settings is required. Restricted to students in SPE, SPB, SPL, SPM or by consent of instructor.

Prerequisite: ECI 585

Typically offered in Summer only

ECI 695  Master's Thesis Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer