Program

120

Total Credits

41-44

Total Classes

On Ground

Format

The philosophy of the Special Education program is based on beliefs that influence the nature and content of instructional offerings. Emphasis is placed on incorporating practical application with theoretical discussion and legal/ethical aspects of facilitating learning of children with disabilities.

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“It’s a very rigorous program. You have so much field experience that by the time you are done student teaching, you are ready to be in the classroom and be in charge.”
 
Jessica Dilyard Tillotson ‘13
TEACHER, ONSTED ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, ONSTED, MICH.
Jessica Dilyard Tillotson ‘13

Learn about the Education Program at Siena Heights University.

The primary goal of the Special Education program is to develop self-confident, inquisitive, and thoughtful educators who are grounded in the breadth and depth of Learning Disabilities and Cognitive Impairments.

The philosophy of the Special Education program is based on beliefs that influence the nature and content of instructional offerings. Emphasis is placed on incorporating practical application with theoretical discussion and legal/ethical aspects of facilitating learning of children with disabilities.

Siena Heights University’s philosophy of preparing special education students to teach individuals with Cognitive Impairment is built on 10 major points:

  1. Education is for all individuals.
  2. Individuals with cognitive impairment are better served when programs are determined by individual learning needs and not categorical labels. 
  3. Accurate data is the driving force of educational programs and are the foundation for goals and objectives of an educational program.
  4. The full continuum of placements and all educational and community resources must be available to the individuals with cognitive impairment. The determination of the least restrictive placement must be based on assessment data.
  5. The education of individuals with cognitive impairment should begin as early as possible and continue as long as needed. In all facets of life, transitions from one period to the next are critical.
  6. The program for preparing teacher education candidates to teach individuals with cognitive impairment should cover all areas of learning including academic, social, daily living, and prevocational/vocational. The program must be based on research data and best practice.
  7. The standard curriculum is the base for building an individual educational program for individuals with cognitive impairment.
  8. The schools, as well as the teachers and other school professionals, are an integral part of the community. The special education teacher should provide both direct and indirect services and support to the community.
  9. A role of a teacher education program is to meet the educational needs of Michigan individuals.
  10. The Michigan Department of Education’s standards, Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE), and current best practices should be the platform on which the teacher education program builds. A goal of the program is to provide leadership in the development of improved instructional program.   

Carrie Mitchell
Associate Professor of Education and Coordinator of Special Education
cmitchel@sienaheights.edu
517-264-7899

Siena Heights University’s Division of Education was granted national accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for the full seven years, from Spring 2020 to Spring 2027. This accreditation certifies the forenamed professional initial certification programs has provided evidence of meeting all CAEP’s standards.


  • Graduate hiring rate of 100 percent
  • A total of 74 percent of courses have clinical field experience
  • Hands-on modeling of instruction

Costs & Aid

We know that college can be expensive, but we don’t want cost to keep you from attending Siena Heights University! We offer numerous financial aid opportunities. Federal aid is available to students who qualify by completing the FAFSA. Feel free to contact us with questions about financial aid opportunities, or click on one of the links below.