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Continuing Teacher Education

Faculty of Education

Special Education Specialist

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All of our courses are fully online.

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Course Schedule
Session Dates Deadline Status
Fall 2021 Sep 27, 2021 - Dec 03, 2021 Sep 10, 2021 Open
Fall/Winter 2021 Nov 08, 2021 - Feb 11, 2022 Oct 29, 2021 Open
Winter 2022 Jan 24, 2022 - Apr 08, 2022 Jan 14, 2022 Open
Late Winter 2022 Feb 21, 2022 - Apr 22, 2022 Feb 11, 2022 Open
*Registration will remain open until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the posted registration deadline date.
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Course Description

  • CONT506
  • CAN 685.00
  • 125 hours
  • EN
  • Online

The Additional Qualification course Special Education Specialist extends the knowledge and skills of Part 2 and continues to focus on theory and practice in special education. Critical to the delivery of special education is the ability of teachers to ensure positive learning experiences for students. The focus of this course is on leadership development by acquiring an in-depth knowledge of special education policies and practices.

Teachers will be involved in analyzing current Ontario legislation, regulations, and policies concerning ethical issues related to students with special needs. By evaluating and extending the application of equitable practices and advocating for the needs of students, parents, and teachers, an understanding of the broader role of the specialist teacher will be acquired.

Leadership development is enhanced by designing innovative practices to meet student needs, reviewing school system accountability in compliance with Ministry of Education policy, knowledge of the legal issues and challenges associated with special education, and current trends in theory and research relating to students with exceptionalities. A focus on creating a positive learning environment that reflects care, diversity, and equity are foundational in this course. In addition, this leadership course has been developed for teachers who already have a deep level of learning about subject content and pedagogy gained from practical teaching experience, professional reading, and previous coursework.

This course meets the Ontario Regulation 184/97 that requires a full course consist of at least 125 hours of work. Candidates are required by the Ontario College of Teachers to spend 125 hours on course-related discussion, work, and assignments for Special education specialist. There are seven modules of work in this program.

Course Learning Expectations

In this course you will have the opportunity to:

• review and implement Ministry of Education curriculum
• apply the theoretical understanding and foundation necessary to design, implement and assess programs for students identified as exceptional
• enhance awareness of holistic learning environments conducive to the intellectual, social, emotional, physical, linguistic, cultural, spiritual, and moral development of the student, including awareness of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit ways of knowing and their perspectives
• reflect on social, emotional, intellectual, linguistic, cultural, spiritual and moral issues as they relate to diverse areas of special education
• provide support for colleagues to develop, use, accommodate, and modify expectations, strategies, and assessment practices based on students’ developmental and special needs as outlined in the Individual Learning Plan (IEP)
• work collaboratively with in-school personnel, parents, guardians, and the community
• access a variety of resources, including technological resources, within and beyond the educational system to enhance and support student learning
• develop openness to innovation, change, and reflective practice
• inquire into practice through reflection, active engagement, and collaboration
• integrate information and communication technology into teaching practice
• embed theory in practice
• develop and demonstrate leadership qualities
• implement current curriculum, trends in teaching methods, models and approaches to meet the needs of all students
• to design and evaluate programs that engage students to achieve obtainable objectives, based on qualities and characteristics of ability and disability
• foster commitment and confidence among staff to meet the needs of individual students
• provide examples of effective practices in identification, assessment, and meeting the needs of individual students
• review relevant research, school improvement plans, school and board level special education plans
• develop consultation skills in order to enhance special education at the school and board levels

What You'll Do

You will complete activities that will:

• engage your peers in collaborative discussions about critical issues and trends in special education in Ontario
• extend your knowledge and understanding about special education tribunals, the legislation governing special education in Ontario, and leadership development
• enhance your knowledge of special education funding models, delivery of programs and services models, and special education plans
• provide you with opportunities to share strategies for adapting curriculum and instructional strategies for working with students with a variety of exceptionalities with a focus on behaviour exceptionalities and autism spectrum disorder

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Application Requirements

1) OCT Membership showing completion of Part 2


Signed by a Supervisory Official* from your School Board confirming that you have two years (388 days) of teaching experience since becoming a certified teacher, one year (194 days) of which is in the subject area of this course.

*The Ontario College of Teachers defines "Supervisory Official" as the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent of the school board for a teacher employed by a Board of Education. A principal or headmaster is not recognized in this capacity. For a teacher employed by a private school, the "supervisory official" is the Ministry of Education official (Education Officer) appointed to your school. For overseas experience the appropriate Supervisory Official is the person your Principal reports to.

**Please note that a new form is always required for a Part 3 (Specialist) course as experience is course/subject specific.

***In the case of Special Education, the required year of teaching experience in the subject area does not have to be in segregated special education classroom; it can be in an integrated special education classroom.

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Course Materials

This course has no required resources

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Applicants who require accommodations for a specific learning need (e.g., learning disability) within their AQ/ABQ course, should click here for further information and support.

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