Course Catalog

Special Education Course Descriptions

EDU 201 Foundations of Education

3 Hours

This course is an investigation of contemporary education in America and assists candidates in determining their career path, with a special emphasis on the tools and skills necessary to become an effective teacher. Observation experience in a school setting is required. This course is required for all education majors and is taken as the first in the sequence of education courses. EDU 201 is a prerequisite for all other education courses.

EDU 220 Technology for Teachers

1 Hours

This course provides a foundation for integrating technology into the classroom. A primary goal is the development of a mindset intent on exploring, identifying, engaging and applying current, emerging and future technologies in the teaching/learning process. Students enrolled in the course will consider the appropriate relationship of technology to standards and ethical issues. They will design and present technology-enhanced lessons and become skilled, confident users of digital and electronic resources.

EDU 224 Children’s Literature

3 Hours

This course provides an in-depth exploration of various genres of literature for children in kindergarten through grade eight. Teacher candidates will examine the history of and current trends in children’s literature, explore ways of sharing books, and investigate effective strategies for integrating children’s literature into the general curriculum. Opportunities to read to children in actual classrooms will provide extended opportunities to develop knowledge and skills.

EDU 310 Human Relations/Multiculturalism

3 Hours

This course provides candidates with knowledge in the areas of multiculturalism and human relations. Teacher candidates will understand the impact of a changing society on education and human relations. This course provides an understanding of cultural backgrounds and the influences of dehumanizing biases such as racism, sexism and classism and how they affect the lives of students in schools. A field experience is required for this course so there will be related expenses.

EDU 311 Educational Psychology

3 Hours

This course will examine theories of learning and how they may be applied to the classroom. It will include the study of cognitive development, motivation and learning, how knowledge is constructed, constructivism, individual differences in learning, and learning environments. Prerequisites: EDU 201. Non-education majors must have consent of the instructor.

EDU 335 American Indian Education

3 Hours

This course is designed for prospective and experienced teachers. Candidates will learn about the rich American Indian culture in South Dakota and its impact on the education of American Indian students. The study includes an examination of skills necessary for the effective teaching of American Indian children. The course is designed to meet the South Dakota certification requirement in American Indian studies and is required of all teacher education candidates. Out-of-town travel and additional related expenses are required for this class. Prerequisite: EDU 201. Non-education majors must have consent of the instructor.

EDU 380 Evidence Based Reading (K-3)

3 Hours

This course builds the K–3 teacher candidate’s knowledge of evidence-based instructional practices of the five essential components of reading acquisition specific to the K–3 level. The study includes investigation of, diagnosis and prescription and intervention methods needed to prescribe appropriate instruction for the struggling reader. Prerequisite: EDU 201.

EDU 382 Evidence Based Reading (4-8)

3 Hours

This course builds the K–8 candidate’s knowledge of evidence-based reading instructional practices related to students in grades 4–8. An investigation of reading diagnosis and prescription provides candidates with skills needed to identify reading levels and determine appropriate interventions for the struggling reader. Prerequisite: EDU 201.

EDU 412 Adolescent Learners’ Needs

3 Hours

This course will help prepare candidates to teach at the middle grade level. The course will develop an understanding of the middle school concept and the instructional strategies that support that concept. Field experience at the middle level will be required. Prerequisite: EDU 201.

EDU 435 Curriculum Standards & Assessment

3 Hours

This course supports an educator’s ability to design and implement assessment practices that promote student learning by first improving instruction and then gauging its success. Emphasis is placed on constructing reliable and valid assessments; connecting classroom assessment to local, state and national standards, providing effective feedback and grading and understanding individual, classroom and cultural differences that impact assessment. Students will incorporate various assessment procedures in standards-based lessons they plan and teach during the course field experience. Prerequisites: EDU 201 Corequisites for elementary education majors: EDU 442 and EDU 443.

EDU 444 Mathematics Methods and Practicum

3 Hours

This course is a survey of the contemporary mathematical process to be mastered by students at K–8 levels and an awareness of the problem-solving methodologies of teaching concepts, including modification of the curriculum for the exceptional student. Candidates are assigned to classrooms for fieldwork. This course is part of the spring block experience for elementary education majors. Prerequisites: EDU 201 and MTH 150. Corequisites: EDU 424 and EDU 465.

EDU 465 Classroom Management for the K-12

3 Hours

This course will involve the study of strategies for creating successful K–12 learning communities, planning for the school year, developing positive relationships with the students, working with families, establishing classroom procedures and rules, maintaining appropriate behavior, preventing, managing and responding to inappropriate behaviors, motivating students to learn and responding to inappropriate behaviors. Different practices of classroom management will be explored. School law, professional practice, and teacher ethics will also be covered. This course requires a field experience. This course is part of the spring practicum experience for elementary education majors. Courses include in the spring practicum for elementary education majors are: EDU 424, EDU 444 and EDU 465. Secondary education majors are strongly advised to take this course at the same time as EDU 424. Prerequisite: EDU 201. Corequisites for elementary education majors: EDU 424 and EDU 444. Corequisites for secondary education majors: EDU 424 or approval of department chair.

EDU 475 Seminar

2 Hours

Candidates are required to take this seminar during their student teaching experience. Candidates will research the following topics during this seminar: classroom climate, instructional pedagogy, assessment, resume writing and interviewing skills. Candidates are required to complete their electronic portfolio and an action research project during the seminar. Attendance is required in order to successfully complete the student teaching experience. Corequisite: EDU 470, EDU 472, EDU 474, or SPD 470.

SPD 206 Introduction to Exceptional Students

3 Hours

This course defines and examines the nature and needs of exceptional learners, including those with documented disabilities as well as giftedness and those with multicultural heritages. Special education foundations and legal mandates will be discussed. Appropriate accommodations and teaching methods designed to meet the needs of the range of students included in a typical classroom will be examined. The role of teachers, parents and other relevant personnel will be investigated in relation to programming for struggling learners. Students will research a specific educational challenge and complete observation hours in a school setting. Prerequisite: EDU 201 or Corequisite EDU 201 or instructor permission.

SPD 310 Differentiation for Exceptional Students

3 Hours

This course addresses instructional strategies, materials and assistive technology devices needed to provide a positive learning environment for students with disabilities. Future special and general educators enrolled in this course will develop, implement and evaluate curricular adaptations, including accommodations and modifications for students with disabilities. Students will demonstrate ability to select, adapt and use both commercial and teacher-made media and instructional materials, and evaluate and adapt the learning environment to provide students with disabilities an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Prerequisites: EDU 201, SPD 206 or instructor permission.

SPD 311 Students High Incidence Disabilities

3 Hours

This course serves as an overview of the characteristics of students with high-incidence disabilities, their learning needs, and current issues related to their education. The historic foundations, legal considerations, related causal factors and theoretical approaches that apply to the study of mild disability will be addressed. Key issues concerning meeting the needs of all students, including identification and assessment, the development of the Individualized Education Program (IEP), use of evidence-based instruction and transition of the student from school to adult life, will be presented. Candidates will be given an opportunity to learn from practicing special education teachers and observe and work with children with high-prevalence disabilities. Prerequisites: EDU 201 and SPD 206.

SPD 312 Students with Low Incidence Disabilities

3 Hours

This course serves as an introduction to, and a detailed investigation of, educational, sociological, functional and vocational concerns of people with low incidence moderate and severe disabilities. Students will review the history of low-incidence disabilities, learn to determine individual abilities, plan appropriate curriculum and deliver optimal instruction for children and young adults with moderate and severe physical and cognitive disabilities. Topics presented will include historical, legal and health issues working with families, collaborating with team members and supporting transition from school to community life. Prerequisites: EDU 201 and SPD 206.

SPD 315 Assessment of Learners with Special Needs

3 Hours

This course addresses screening, assessment and evaluation of individuals with disabilities from birth through age 21. Candidates will develop, select, administer and interpret both formal and informal instruments and strategies used to determine the level of individual student performance in academic, cognitive, communicative, social, emotional, behavioral, psychomotor, prevocational/vocational and functional skills areas. Candidates will practice using assessment data and other information to determine whether an individual has a disability and requires special education or related services and also to develop appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEP). Standards of ethics and protocol for observation and assessment will be integrated throughout this course. Prerequisites: EDU 201 and SPD 206.

SPD 320 Special Education Law and Collaborative Partnerships

3 Hours

Teacher candidates will focus on the communication skills necessary to work collaboratively and consult effectively about the special needs of students as members of a team that includes parents, administrators, teachers, and agency personnel. The importance of the family-professional partnership will be emphasized. Teacher candidates will examine the impact of historic and current federal and state special education laws, due process and data privacy requirements on the education of students with special needs. This course encompasses a life-span perspective, requiring the teacher candidate to be knowledgeable about birth through adult service systems, as well as transition planning. Prerequisites: EDU 201 and SPD 206 or permission of instructor.

SPD 325 Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

3 Hours

This course focuses on developing and designing positive behavioral and social/emotional interventions, strategies and supports that represent current and best practices for individual and whole classroom management. Candidates will familiarize themselves with the etiology and characteristics of individuals with behavioral and/or emotional challenges. Candidates will also acquire and practice techniques for effective observation and assessment of students with behavioral challenges and develop the skills necessary to design and implement, with other multidisciplinary team members, student behavior management programs. Focus will be on creating classrooms where learning is optimized through peaceful, respectful interactions between students and teachers, as well as among students. Prerequisites: EDU 201 and SPD 206.

SPD 470 Student Teaching K-12 Special Education

14 Hours

Candidates will student teach for 70 school days under the supervision of a certified special education teacher. The student teacher will be assigned to an elementary placement for 35 days and secondary placement for 35 days. This course is part of the professional semester and is taken with a two-credit seminar, which is part of the 16 hours for degree candidates. Candidates also meet during the professional semester for seminar requirements. This course is offered credit/no credit only. The DWU Student Teacher Handbook and seminar syllabus serve as the course syllabus. Prerequisites: Completion of all coursework required for graduation, 2.6 GPA submission of passing scores on required Praxis tests, admission from the education department faculty and approval for student teaching placement.

BIO 101 General Biology

4 Hours

Students will examine concepts and theories in the following areas: the philosophy and methods of science; ecology; cell structure and function; genetics; and evolution. Three lectures, one laboratory. This course is intended to primarily serve those not majoring in the Biological Sciences. Note: A student who takes BIO 101/BIO 101L and then decides to major in the life sciences may take BIO 122 with consent of the instructor. If the instructor determines it is in the best interest of the student to take BIO 120, only BIO 120 will count toward the major. Any student who takes both BIO 101 and BIO 120 can count only one of these courses toward the major. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIO 101L.

HIS 141 History of the Modern World


This course surveys the historical contours of world civilizations with attention to their geographical settings and contexts since approximately 1500. It considers the larger meaning and significance of these civilizations’ respective contributions to the development of the modern world. This course is a breadth of knowledge course as designated by Dakota Wesleyan’s general education program. Breadth of knowledge courses expose students to knowledge and concepts that Dakota Wesleyan University believes all its graduates should possess.

HIS 201 United States History I

3 Hours

This course is the first half of a study of U.S. history from the colonial period to the present. Special emphasis is given to problem-solving techniques using historical case studies. HIS 201 covers the time period to approximately 1877.

HIS 202 United States History II

3 Hours

This course is the second half of a study of U.S. history from the colonial period to the present. HIS 202 covers the time period since approximately 1877.

PSY 237 Developmental Psychology

3 Hours

This course is a sequential study of the individual from conception to death. Students will study research regarding human physical, cognitive and social-emotional development, along with implications for parents, teachers and counselors.

MTH 125 College Algebra

3 Hours

A study of the major concepts of algebra. Topics include: linear, exponential, logarithmic, power, quadratic, polynomial and rational functions and their graphs. Also included is solving equations, inverse functions, transformation of functions, and an introduction to series, sequences, rudimentary statistical concepts, and probability. Modeling of real-world phenomena will be used to reinforce these concepts as pertinent to today’s students. Prerequisite: Math placement or consent of instructor.

MTH 150 Mathematics for Elementary Teacher

3 Hours

This course is designed expressly for the needs of elementary school teachers, including the structure of arithmetic, sets, elementary logic, number systems, relations and functions. Prerequisite: A course in intermediate algebra or another course approved by the education department or permission of the education department.

HLT 232 Health Education

3 Hours

This course involves the study of attainable goals for school, personal and community health, and provides an emphasis on wellness for all ages.

SCI 141 Foundations of Science

3 Hours

This course engages non-science majors with the fundamental laws of nature and the process of scientific inquiry. Students learn how natural laws can help us to understand living things, our planet, and the universe beyond. This course is a breadth of knowledge course as designated by Dakota Wesleyan’s general education program. Breadth of knowledge courses expose students to knowledge and concepts that Dakota Wesleyan University believes all its graduates should possess.

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