Special Education 101: Foundations, Purpose, & Challenges

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  • 11
  • 9
    Exams &
  • 1,474
    have taken this course
  • 30
    average time
  • 3.0

Course Description

Special Education 101 explains why people with disabilities deserve respect rather than pity in their quest for full engagement in school and post school life, why special education is mandated by policy and law to meet the education needs of students with disabilities, how its goals are affected by the nation's commitment to equalize educational opportunities for this group of learners, the revolutionary basis of these equal opportunity goals, why an equalized educational experience should empower students with disabilities to be self-determined at school and beyond, and how current practice falls far short of these equal rights expectations.

This self-paced online class is ideal for teachers wanting to update their professional skills, classroom assistants seeking more knowledge about the field and parents trying to understand how best to argue for equal opportunities. Be informed and inspired without the hassle of commuting or matching a pre-determined schedule.  If you are a well-disciplined and motivated learner, you will thrive in our instructor-led environment.
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
  • Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

    Course Lessons

    Average Lesson Rating:
    4.5 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
    "Extraordinarily Helpful"
    (1,943 votes)


    These lessons course explains why special education is mandated by law and what its main goals are, as well as why it has yet to achieve its central purpose of improving self-determination prospects of students with disabilities. 0 Total Points
    • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course

    Lesson 2: The Equal Opportunity Foundation

    This lesson describes the pity-based justifications for helping people with disabilities. 5 Total Points
    • Take Poll: Parent Power
    • Complete Assignment: Introduction

    Lesson 3: The Emergence of Equal Opportunity Ethics

    Describes the basis of special education law: equal opportunity ethics. 80 Total Points
    • Take Poll: Supreme Court Support of Disability Rights
    • Complete: Quiz 1

    Lesson 4: Equal Opportunity for People With Disabilities

    This lesson describes events leading to the equal opportunity promise for people with disabilities. 80 Total Points
    • Review 2 Articles: Disability Discrimination; A Guide to Disability Rights Laws
    • Take Poll: Special Education Effects
    • Complete: Quiz 2

    Lesson 5: Legitimizing the Equal Opportunity Ethic

    This lesson describes the events that led to equal opportunity policies. 0 Total Points
    • Take Poll: Why Special Education?

    Lesson 6: The Three Self-Determination Revolutions

    This lesson describes the third self-determination revolution responsible for promoting equal opportunity principles. 5 Total Points
    • Take Poll: Access and Achievement
    • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment: Self-Determination Revolutions

    Lesson 7: Equalizing Educational Opportunities for Black Students

    This lesson describes the study that provided the basis for the first equal educational opportunity policy. 60 Total Points
    • Take Poll: Misplaced Students
    • Complete: Quiz 3

    Lesson 8: Applying the Equal Opportunity Principle for Students With Disabilities

    This lesson describes how special education policy was based on the Brown decision as well. 60 Total Points
    • Take Poll: Misplacements in General Education
    • Complete: Quiz 4

    Lesson 9: Explaining How Equal Opportunity Affects Self-Determination

    This lesson describes the logic behind equal opportunity policies affecting people's capacities, and opportunities for self-determination. 5 Total Points
    • Review Article: The Disability Rights Movement
    • Take Poll: Misplacements in Special Education
    • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment: How does Equal Opportunity Affect Self-Determination

    Lesson 10: How Special Education Affects Students With Disabilities

    This lesson describes the unintended consequences of special education policy on the education of students with disabilities. 30 Total Points
    • Review Article: Inclusion of Students with Learning Disabilities
    • Take Poll: Ultimate Goal of Special Education Policy
    • Complete: Quiz 5


    Summarizes major points, and their connections with the next course in the sequence: Special Education: Advocacy, Law, and Policy 5 Total Points
    • Take Poll: Inclusion of Students with Disabilities
    • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
    • Complete: Final Assignment - Takeaways
    Total Course Points

    Learning Outcomes

    By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
    • Describe the equal opportunity foundation.
    • Describe the emergence of equal opportunity ethics.
    • Describe legitimizing the equal opportunity ethic.
    • Describe equal opportunity for people with disabilities.
    • Summarize the three self-determination revolutions.
    • Describe equalizing educational opportunities for black students.
    • Describe applying the equal opportunity principle for students with disabilities.
    • Explain how equal opportunity affects self-determination.
    • Explain how special education affects students with disabilities, and
    • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

    Additional Course Information

    Online CEU Certificate
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    Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
    Course Title: Special Education 101: Foundations, Purpose, & Challenges
    Course Number: 33392
    Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
    Lessons Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars (1,943 votes)
    Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
    Course Type: Professional Development (Self-Paced, Online Class)
    CEU Value: 3.0 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
    CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
    Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
    Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
    Instructor: Dr. Dennis Mithaug
    Syllabus: View Syllabus
    Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
    Course Fee: $70.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $95.00

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    Student Testimonials

    • "The lessons and texts provided were very comprehensive and informative....The course contianed a wealth of information on issues affecting special education. There was prompt feedback regarding questions that I had, as well as prompt reporting of test results. I felt that the instructor was very attentive to my progress in the course." -- Therese B.

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