The Department of Special Education is dedicated to the preparation of educators who establish effective teaching and learning environments for individuals with disabilities in state, national, and global communities.
Unique Features of the
Department of Special Education
COMMUNITY OPTIONS 2 PROJECT
The CO2 Project is a unique partnership with the Department of Special Education and the St. Cloud School District 742 housed on the SCSU campus. This transition program serves youth 18-21 years of age who have developmental/cognitive disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. CO2 students participate in work experience and job training opportunities in an inclusive, age-appropriate setting. Special education teacher candidates have the opportunity to complete field experiences in this program and to participate in transition planning for the students in the program.
MINNESOTA ORGANIZATION ON FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME DISORDERS (FASD): THE TRAINING FOR SCSU TEACHERS PROJECT
The Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) works in partnership with the Department of Special Education to provide opportunities for students to earn credits while working with a family and their child who has a diagnosis of FASD. Students assist and monitor the child in the child's home and school setting. The SCSU student can also attend an IEP meeting with the family at the child's school, and possibly attend other therapies the child is receiving. The idea is that the SCSU students will become more knowledgeable about the special needs of children with FASD. Instructors work with the 160 general education and special education majors in the SPED 203 SPED Foundations courses to provide these opportunities for teacher candidates.
LD SUMMER READING AND MATH CAMP
In collaboration with the Sauk Rapids Rice School District, the Department of Special Education at St. Cloud State University conducts a large remedial summer program in reading, writing, and math with over 200 children in grades K-8. The summer camp is designed around two primary purposes. First, it provides an opportunity for eligible SCSU graduate candidates to complete practica (the graduate equivalent of student teaching). Second, the camp is designed to improve the performance of elementary and secondary students experiencing learning difficulties in reading and mathematics.
ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND ASSESSMENT CENTER
Candidates enjoy access to the most current adaptive technology and assessment materials at St. Cloud State. The Special Education Department maintains a laboratory with 10 computers to serve both undergraduate and graduate candidates. The ATAC includes one of the finest collections of high- and low-tech adaptive equipment in the Midwest. We update assessment materials (tests, checklists, scoring programs) each semester.
STUDENT COUNCIL FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
St. Cloud State boasts one of the most active SCEC Chapters in the region (http://www.stcloudstate.edu/sped/cec.asp). The Student Council for Exceptional Children is the student arm of the Council for Exceptional Children, the premier professional organization of special education teachers. Each year the SCEC organizes a professional conference. Through this conference, candidates meet many in-service teachers, principals, and directors of special education. Most years, interested SCEC members raise money and attend the national CEC convention, a wonderful professional development and national networking opportunity. Students in the past few years have traveled to Seattle and New Orleans.