Special Education, Learning and Behavior Disorders

The teacher education program at Thomas More University has been graduating teachers into the profession in several teaching areas for many years by way of the traditional teacher preparation program, the Master of Arts in education (MAT) program, and the Master of Education teacher leader (M.ED.) program. The rationale for implementation of the special education program is the significant need for special education teachers nationally and regionally, presenting shortages in both arenas. The service area is well known for levels of poverty and an increased proportion of special education identified in public schools.

Why study Special Education, Learning and Behavior Disorders at TMU?

The strength of the education programs at Thomas More rests on a quality assurance system that uses the continuous cycle of data decision making. With a four checkpoint system for students, collaboration between education faculty and other content based faculty, reporting to and input from the Teacher Education Committee (TEC), internal and external reporting systems including the annual report, and intense individual advising, multiple points of data are collected and analyzed regularly throughout the year and used to improve the offered programs.

What will I be doing?

The special education program at TMU will train special education teachers for entry into the field with dual certification in a) P-5 Elementary Education/LBD P-12; b) 5-9 Middle Grades Education/LBD P-12; and c) 8-12 Secondary Education/LBD P-12. Program coursework addresses the Kentucky Teacher Standards, Council for Exceptional Children Initial Teaching Standards and Specialty Sets, and EPSB themes while increasing the understanding of assessment; methods, processes, programs and procedures; and behavior management in special education.

Who will I be learning from?

Special education instructors include professors from the Education Department with SPED background. Additionally, students will interact with leaders in the SPED field and other community resources.

Where do alumni work or pursue advanced degrees?

This program is new to TMU. Information regarding future placements and advanced degrees will be forthcoming.

What careers will be open to me?
Special Education teacher with dual certification in:

  • P-5 Elementary Education/LBD P-12

  • 5-9 Middle Grades Education/LBD P-12

  • 8-12 Secondary Education/LBD P-12

What experiential learning opportunities will I have?

The mode of delivery for this program is a hybrid approach in which students have experiential learning experiences in every course via the classroom, online collaboration, and school and community interactions. Because Thomas More University has developed and sustained strong partner relationships with area schools and community resources, leading teachers and educators in the special education field will collaborate with special education professors to provide practical knowledge and experiences while learning and working with K-12 youth in general and special education environments.

Program coursework addresses the Kentucky Teacher Standards, Council for Exceptional Children Initial Teaching Standards and Specialty Sets, and EPSB themes while increasing the understanding of assessment; methods, processes, programs and procedures; and behavior management in special education.

What special requirements exist for admission?

Teacher Education Program

To be considered for admission to the teacher education program, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum GPA: 2.75
  • Completion with appropriate grade of EDU 101/201/201 and COM105
  • Successful completion of the Core Academic Skills for Educators (CASE) in Reading, Writing and Mathematics
  • Acceptable Dispositions
  • KY Administrative Office of the Courts background check (required in EDU 101)
  • VIRTUS compliancy (attended training session, complete VIRTUS background check; remain up-to-date with monthly bulletins
  • Accurate Record of Field Experience/KFETS entries

Student Teaching

In the spring semester of the junior year students will submit an application to student teach.

The following must be met in order to be considered for student teaching:

  • Senior Status: minimum of 90 semester hours completed
  • Teacher Education Program: Previous admission and continuation in good standing
  • Professional Education Courses: Completion of three-fourths of required courses, including field work through junior level
  • Degree Audit with Certification Officer/Senior Advisor
  • Minimum GPA: 2.75
  • Praxis II/Subject Assessment test(s): Passing score(s) on relevant test(s)
  • Acceptable Dispositions
  • VIRTUS: Candidates must remain compliant throughout student teaching
  • 200 Hours of Field Experience completed, as required under 16 KAR 5:050 Section 3
  • Record of Field Experience and KFETS entries must be accurate and up-to-date