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Urban Special Education BS

School of Urban Education
Undergraduate major / Bachelor of Science

This is an undergraduate licensure program, intended to certify educators with an initial certification to work as academic and behavior strategist (ABS), in addition to earning a Bachelor of Science degree. The ABS certification program provides experiences in foundations, methods, content, and practicum experiences associated with teaching urban students with exceptionalities, urban students with disabilities, and urban students with gifts and talents.

Are you interested in an Urban Education degree? Sign up to learn more at our information session on October 12 at 5 p.m.

Special emphasis of the undergraduate ABS program focuses on the legal aspects of educating urban students with disabilities, characteristics of urban exceptional children, and the assessment, instructional, and collaborative strategies associated with educating urban students with exceptionalities. The undergraduate ABS special education program provides candidates with tools for providing person-centered education and better adapting lessons based on different learning types and levels. Special education opens up opportunities for both personal and professional growth. This program is most appropriate for individuals who are interested in working with students with disabilities, individuals who are interested in the major or minor in special education or those individuals who may be interested in additional certifications.

The Urban Special Education ABS Program goals are: 

  1. Through critical inquiry, participate in the development and evaluation of evidence and research-based practices intended to improve the learning of urban students with disabilities. 

  1. Demonstrate skills for group facilitation and collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, including the students in their classrooms to improve services and outcomes for urban students with disabilities. 

  1. Develop self-reflective and critical thinking skills that promote innovative special education practice and learning using multiple perspectives. 

Student outcomes

The Urban Special Education ABS Program’s 12 outcomes are aligned with our Department’s mission and goals as well as the Professional Educator and Licensing Board Standards, the Special Education Core Standards, and Council for Exceptional Children Special Education Specialist Advanced Preparation Standards. Students completing the program are able to:

  1. Model the role of a knowledgeable and caring urban special education teacher in a global society; 

  1. Conduct action research within urban special education classroom and school settings; 

  1. Accommodate urban students with disabilitiesdifferences through appropriate inclusive practices; 

  1. Model self-reflective practice, dedication, and ethical instruction; 

  1. Reflect a commitment, knowledge, and skill to be advocates for urban students with disabilities, their families, and the urban education profession; 

  1. Employ best practice, innovative pedagogy, and skilled assessment for educating urban students with disabilities; 

  1. Undertake multifaceted professional roles within school settings and within the education profession; 

  1. Interpret, analyze, and apply the professional research literature on educating urban students with disabilities; 

  1. Exhibit leadership and collaborative skills with colleagues, parents, and students; 

  1. Assume multiple leadership roles within urban classrooms and school communities; 

  1. Utilize appropriate technology and multimedia to organize, analyze, interpret, and present information; and 

  1. Use digital communication as an effective learning tool 

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Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

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Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Urban Special Education BS now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

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Program eligibility requirements

To be eligible for acceptance to the Urban Special Education major and  licensure program, students must submit a School of Urban Education (eForm) and apply for admission to the Urban Teacher Program.

To be admitted in the Urban Teacher Program, students need to meet the requirements and criteria stated in the Urban Education undergraduate admissions requirements

In addition to completing required coursework, the following are among the requirements for program completion and special education ABS K-12 licensure:

  • Completion of at least 120 hours of practicum experiences in urban students in K-12 classroom settings are required prior to student teaching.
  • Completion of 15 weeks of full-time student teaching.
  • Passing all required licensure exams and performance assessments.
  • Background check and licensure application with fee.

Course requirements

Prerequisites

COURSES REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION TO THE URBAN TEACHER PROGRAM

These courses are open to all students and are among the requirements for admission to the Urban Teacher Program. In addition to the below list an Urban Teacher Program-approved ethnic studies course (contact the School for a list) and the University General Education Requirements (All 10 Goal Areas completed, 40cr).

EDU 200 Introduction to Urban Education and Reflective Teaching

3 credits

This course provides an introduction to urban learners, urban teaching, and urban school systems using case studies and first-person accounts of teaching and learning in an urban environment. Current issues facing urban P-12 students, teachers, schools, districts, and communities will be discussed. Society's responsibility to urban schools will be examined along with the roles that teachers and schools play in increasing student achievement and leading school improvement. Key concepts of the Urban Teacher Program will be introduced including the importance of high expectations, student and teacher resiliency, educational equity, using the community as a resource, and reflection. Various perspectives and dimensions of the achievement gap will be examined, including causes due to discrimination and perspectives on what constitutes high educational achievement for culturally and linguistically diverse youth. Students in this course are expected to explore and express their own…

Full course description for Introduction to Urban Education and Reflective Teaching

EDU 203 Multicultural Education

3 credits

This course introduces prospective urban teacher candidates to core concepts and approaches of multicultural education including issues related to student, family and community diversity based on race, culture, language, class, gender, sexual orientation and disability. Issues of oppression, privilege and equity in relation to schools and society are also addressed as students use their life experiences as a multicultural reference point to begin to understand the life experiences of the diverse students who attend urban public schools. Emphasis is placed on demonstrating the multicultural competence required of all successful teachers working with diverse urban youth. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Multicultural Education

PSYC 308 Child Psychology

4 credits

This course provides an overview of the science of child psychology. Major theories and research related to a child's perceptual, motor, emotional, social and cognitive development are reviewed, and their practical applications are explored. Overlap: PSYC 308T Child Psychology Theory Seminar.

Full course description for Child Psychology

PSYC 417 Language and Communication Development in Early Childhood Education

4 credits

This course provides students with foundational knowledge of the development of the communication skills in young children from birth through age eight. Topics include: hearing and speaking, speech and language development, vision and visual motor skills, and emergent literacy and small motor skills development. The process of learning more than one language is addressed as well as strategies for working with children for whom English is not the first language. The application of knowledge in the areas of assessment, individualization and referral are addressed and practiced.

Full course description for Language and Communication Development in Early Childhood Education

CORE ONE: FOUNDATION COURSES (15 CREDITS, PREREQUISITES: ALL REQUIRED FOR URBAN TEACHER PROGRAM ADMISSION)

Core one courses include 25 hours of documented urban field experiences

EDU 200 Introduction to Urban Education and Reflective Teaching

3 credits

This course provides an introduction to urban learners, urban teaching, and urban school systems using case studies and first-person accounts of teaching and learning in an urban environment. Current issues facing urban P-12 students, teachers, schools, districts, and communities will be discussed. Society's responsibility to urban schools will be examined along with the roles that teachers and schools play in increasing student achievement and leading school improvement. Key concepts of the Urban Teacher Program will be introduced including the importance of high expectations, student and teacher resiliency, educational equity, using the community as a resource, and reflection. Various perspectives and dimensions of the achievement gap will be examined, including causes due to discrimination and perspectives on what constitutes high educational achievement for culturally and linguistically diverse youth. Students in this course are expected to explore and express their own…

Full course description for Introduction to Urban Education and Reflective Teaching

EDU 203 Multicultural Education

3 credits

This course introduces prospective urban teacher candidates to core concepts and approaches of multicultural education including issues related to student, family and community diversity based on race, culture, language, class, gender, sexual orientation and disability. Issues of oppression, privilege and equity in relation to schools and society are also addressed as students use their life experiences as a multicultural reference point to begin to understand the life experiences of the diverse students who attend urban public schools. Emphasis is placed on demonstrating the multicultural competence required of all successful teachers working with diverse urban youth. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Multicultural Education

PSYC 385 Educational Psychology

4 credits

This course introduces psychological perspective to teaching and learning in classroom contexts through an overview of theories, principles, issues, and related research in educational psychology. Through readings, lectures, discussions, videos, activities and assignments, we will explore thinking, learning and memory in both classroom and daily life situations. Topics include, but not limited to: child and adolescent development, research in educational psychology, cognitive process and motivation, information processing, assessment of student learning, classroom management, and instructional strategies in education.

Full course description for Educational Psychology

EDU 430 Historical and Cultural Foundations of Urban Education

3 credits

This course explores historical, cultural, and sociological foundations of urban education in the United States. Core concepts include democracy and education, educational equity for all students and historical as well as contemporary relationships between school and society. Emphasis is on issues of power and the educational segregation and attempted deculturalization of historically marginalized groups. Resilience and persistent struggles for equal educational opportunity in the face of oppression are also emphasized from diverse cultural perspectives. Philosophical, legal, cultural and ethical perspectives about education are explored as students develop critical awareness of issues to further develop their own philosophies of urban education. The community is a resource for cross-cultural inquiry and learning about the educational strengths and challenges faced by diverse groups living in urban areas. Students gain understanding of the contributions and lifestyles of various…

Full course description for Historical and Cultural Foundations of Urban Education

EDU 435 Teaching and Assessing English Language Learners

3 credits

This course includes an examination of the process of second language acquisition and strategies for teaching English Language Learners (ELL) subject matter content in urban K-12 classrooms. Prospective teachers will learn how to modify mainstream course materials and instructional strategies so that ELL students can engage in course content while simultaneously developing their English language skills. Course activities and expectations include demonstrating teaching strategies; developing lesson modifications; evaluating textbooks and other materials and resources available in the field; and examining issues in testing students of limited English proficiency for placement, diagnosis, exit, and evaluation. There is a requirement of a 10-hour field experience in urban setting involving classroom participant-observations and working with an ELL student.

Full course description for Teaching and Assessing English Language Learners

CORE TWO: PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION COURSES (14 CREDITS)

EDU 483 Foundations of Teaching Reading in Urban Grades K-6

3 credits

This course explores the fundamentals of reading instruction. The course provides Early Childhood and pre service k-6 teachers with knowledge of the foundations of the reading and writing process, strategies and curriculum materials to support reading and writing instruction, assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluate effective reading instruction, and create a literate environment that fosters reading and writing.

Full course description for Foundations of Teaching Reading in Urban Grades K-6

EDU 487 Methods of Teaching Reading in Urban Grades K-6

3 credits

This course presents an in-depth study of the predominant current philosophies and methodologies of Early Childhood and Elementary reading instruction. Emphasis will be placed on the critical elements in literacy development. These elements are: phonemic awareness, phonic instruction, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension. Current organizational procedures and foundations of reading instruction will be presented. Special consideration is given to effective practices and adapting instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Full course description for Methods of Teaching Reading in Urban Grades K-6

MAED 106 Math for Elementary Teachers

4 credits

This course provides the background for teaching contemporary mathematics in the elementary school. The use of mathematics manipulatives for modeling the basic operations is emphasized. Set theory, numeration, and the system of whole numbers, integers and rational numbers are considered. Requirements include knowing what mathematics is expected of and taught to K-6 learners. Mathematics is taught as an integrated and continuous curriculum.

Full course description for Math for Elementary Teachers

MAED 440 Teaching Mathematics to Urban Learners in Grades K-8

4 credits

This course provides students with the knowledge and experience of intermediate and middle school mathematics to be an effective teacher in urban, multicultural classrooms. The content of this math methods course emphasizes the interconnectedness of curriculum, instruction and assessment. The overarching philosophical framework for this course is the social justice perspective of mathematics education particularly for urban students. Field experience in an intermediate or middle school mathematics classroom is required. Prerequisites for Mathematics Teaching majors: EDU 300 Assessment of Learning and Teaching in Urban Grades 5-12 and EDU 306 Urban Middle School and High School Methods and at least 24 credits of Math courses required for the Mathematics Teaching major. Prerequisite for Urban Elementary Education majors: MATH 106 Math for Elementary Teachers AND one of the following: MATH 110 Math for Liberal Arts OR MATH 115 College Algebra OR STAT 201 Statistics I. Corequisite…

Full course description for Teaching Mathematics to Urban Learners in Grades K-8

CORE THREE: PROFESSIONAL CONTEXT AND METHODS COURSES (21 CREDITS, PREREQUISITES: ALL CORE ONE, TWO, AND THREE REQUIREMENTS)

Core three courses include 40 hours of documented urban field experiences

SPED 300 Foundations of Special Education in Urban Settings

3 credits

This is the introductory course in the urban special education degree/licensure program . This course provides an overview of urban student exceptionalities, urban students with disabilities and urban students with gifts and talents. Special emphasis will be placed on the legal aspects of educating urban students with disabilities, characteristics of urban exceptional children, and the assessment, instructional, and collaborative strategies associated with educating urban students with exceptionalities.

Full course description for Foundations of Special Education in Urban Settings

SPED 360 Legal, Political, Ethical Issues in Special Education

3 credits

Students in this course will examine and discuss the legal aspects of special education law, litigation, and ethics of professional practice in special education. In addition, the course will use an antiracist lens when discussing how provisions in the legislation and litigation affect the identification, eligibility determination, planning, programming, and instruction of urban students with disabilities.

Full course description for Legal, Political, Ethical Issues in Special Education

SPED 410 Supporting Inclusive Education through Differentiation and Technology

3 credits

Students will examine and explore effective instructional practices including technology and assistive technology, differentiation of instruction, cooperative learning, accommodations and adaptations leading to inclusive models of education that promote urban student with disabilities growth, development, and independence.

Full course description for Supporting Inclusive Education through Differentiation and Technology

SPED 405 Assessment Practicum in Urban Special Education

2 credits

This methods course is a practicum that is designed to integrate an urban field experience focusing on the basic psychometric foundations of standardized and classroom-based assessment to inform data-based decisionmaking about exceptionality, eligibility, and educational programming for urban students with disabilities. The practicum is a co-requisite with SPED 400 where candidates can expect to be placed in an urban education/special education setting to complete various applied learning activities.

Full course description for Assessment Practicum in Urban Special Education

CORE FOUR: STUDENT TEACHING (9 CREDITS, PREREQUISITES,: ALL CORE ONE, TWO, AND THREE REQUIREMENTS)