Special Education 781

EDSP 781:782 Teaching Internship in Special Education: Adapted Curriculum

EDSP 781: Elementary K-8

EDSP 782: Seconday 6-12

Corequisites: Enrollment in one or more of the following courses: EDSP 566, EDSP 664, EDSP 665, EDSP 667, EDSP 668, EDSP 670; departmental approval that student meets professional performance criteria

Credit Hours: (1-6)


Detailed Description of Content of Course

During this internship, teacher candidates work with K-12 students in the adapted curriculum. Placements are completed at the elementary, middle and/or secondary levels. Each 6-hour course represents a one-half semester, full-time placement of 300 clock hours and a minimum of 150 supervised teaching hours with students with adapted curriculum.  An instructor provides overall supervision of the internship experience through weekly assessment of logs, digital teaching recordings and feedback on performance-based assignments.
Key topics addressed throughout the internship experiences include:

•    Individualized education program implementation, including transitions
•    Characteristics of learners
•    Assessment and evaluation in special education
•    Assessment of behavior and provision of behavioral supports
•    Collaboration, consultation, and case management
•    Curriculum and instruction
•    Self-determination skills
•    Legal and regulatory aspects of schools and special education
•    Professional characteristics and dispositions


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Internship: observation, conference, planning, teaching, and evaluation via primarily distance education methodologies

  • Goals and Objectives of the Course

    Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address NCATE Standard 1a Content Knowledge, 1b Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Skills, 1c Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills, 1d Student Learning, and 1d Professional Dispositions.
    The codes included below refer to the CEC Knowledge and Skill Standards and the Virginia  Department of Education teacher licensure competencies. Code for CEC Standards: CC = Common Core; IC = Independence Curriculum. Code for VADOE Standards: AC = Adapted Curriculum; and VPS = Virginia’s Professional Studies.
    Upon completion of this course the student wil

Apply understanding of foundations of special education and engage in professional and ethical practice by:

  • Articulating a personal philosophy of special education (CC1S1; CC9K1)
  • Practicing within the CEC Code of Ethics and other standards of the profession (CC9S1)
  • Upholding high standards of competence and integrity and exercise sound judgment in the practice of the profession (CC9S2)
  • Acting ethically in advocating for appropriate services (CC9S3)
  • Conducting professional activities in compliance with applicable laws and policies (CC9S4)
  • Demonstrating commitment to developing the highest education and quality-of-life potential of individuals with exceptional learning needs (CC9S5)
  • Demonstrating sensitivity for the culture, language, religion, gender, disability, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation of individuals (CC9S6)
  • Practicing within one’s skill limit and obtain assistance as needed (CC8S7)
  • Using verbal, nonverbal, and written language effectively (CC9S8)
  • Conducting self-evaluation of instruction and reflecting on one’s practice to improve instruction and guide professional growth (CC9S9; CC9S11)
  • Accessing information on exceptionalities, unique services, networks, organizations, and research-validated practices (CC9S10; CC9K4)
  • Engage in professional activities and participate in professional organizations relevant to individuals with exceptional learning needs, their families, and one’s colleagues (CC9S12)

Demonstrate ability to use instructional strategies to benefit individuals with severe disabilities in the adapted curriculum (VPS2) by:

  • Selecting, adapting, and using instructional strategies and materials according to characteristics of the individual with severe disabilities with adapted curriculum (CC4S3)
  • Selecting and using research-supported methods for academic and functional instruction using a variety of strategies, technologies and tools determined to be effective with students with adapted curriculum. (VI4K1-19, VI4S1-4; VPS2)

Assume responsibilities for instructional planning and evaluating students’ educational programs (VPS2) (AC2a and AC2b) by:

  • Applying an understanding of classroom organization, scope and sequence of the general curriculum, and structures of varied instructional settings
  • Identifying and prioritizing areas of the functional and academic curriculum and accommodations for individuals with exceptional learning needs (CC7S1)
  • Developing and implementing comprehensive, longitudinal individualized programs in collaboration with team members, including the individual and family members (CC7S2; CC7S3; AC2a)
  • Using functional assessments to develop intervention plans (CC7S4)
  • Preparing lesson plans, including using task analysis, specifying learning objectives, preparing materials, and planning assessment tasks (CC7S5; CC7S6; CC7S10; CC7S11)
  • Planning and implementing age- and ability-appropriate instruction and specialized instructional strategies (VC2b)
  • Using instructional time effectively (CC7S12)
  • Making responsive adjustments to instruction based on continual observations (CC7S13)
  • Incorporating and implementing instructional and assistive technology into the educational program (CC7S9)
  • Integrating affective, social, and life skills with academic curricula (CC7S7)
  • Developing and selecting instructional content, resources, and strategies that respond to cultural, linguistic, and gender differences (CC7S8)
  • Designing, implementing, and evaluating instructional programs that enhance social participation and integration across environments (AC2b)

Create and maintain positive learning environments and social interactions (AC2c) by:

  • Creating a safe, equitable, positive and supportive learning environment in which diversities are valued (CC5S1)
  • Establishing and maintaining rapport with individuals with and without exceptional learning needs (CC5S7)
  • Designing learning environments and individualized supports that encourage active participation in individual and group activities and varied program placements (CC5S4; CC5S3)
  • Using effective and varied classroom management techniques and individualized positive behavioral supports (CC5S10; CC5S5; VPS3)
  • Using performance data and information from all stakeholders to make or suggest modifications in learning environments (CC5S6)
  • Designing and managing consistent daily routines (CC5S12; )
  • Structuring, directing, and supporting the activities of para-educators, volunteers, and tutors (CC5S15)
  • Creating an environment that encourages self-advocacy and increased independence (CC5S9; )
  • Planning instruction in a variety of educational settings, including community-based settings when appropriate (AC2d)
  • Using universal precautions (CC5S16)

Practice collaboration, consultation, and case management skills (AC3)by:

  • Maintaining confidential information about individuals with exceptional learning needs (CC10S1)
  • Collaborating with families and others in the assessment of individuals with exceptional learning needs and in development in of educational plans (CC10S2)
  • Participating in collaborative conferences with individuals with exceptional learning needs, their families, and other professionals (CC10S5)
  • Using problem solving skills to develop, implement, and evaluate collaborative activities (CC10S7)
  • Communicating with other school personnel about the characteristics and needs of individuals with exceptional learning needs (CC10S9)


Assessment Measures

Each semester enrolled, interns will complete a log documenting hours and tasks, participate weekly in an on-line interactive journal with their supervisor and peers detailing their progress and applying concepts learned in their classes. Interns will also submit digitized recordings of their instructional interactions with students with written reflections on the quality and effectiveness of instruction/intervention. In addition, the following performance-based assignments will be completed for the internship associated with each methods course (taken concurrently with 781/782):
•    EDSP 566 Design, implement and evaluate an individualized instructional program using a skill targeted for instruction from the target student’s IEP
•    EDSP 664 Comprehensive analysis of target student’s current IEP with recommendations
•    EDSP 665 (1) Analysis of the supports necessary to include a learner with complex needs into a general education classroom AND (2) Design and conduct an instructional program in self-help skills for a learner with both a significant cognitive and physical disability.
•    EDSP 667 Gather communication assessment data, and design, implement and evaluate an AAC program for a target student.
•    EDSP 668 Completion of a transition plan for a target student ages 14-21
•    EDSP 670 Completion of a functional behavior assessment on a target student, and development and implementation of a positive behavior support plan with evaluation data.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval
Approved:  April, 2010