Special education means specially designed instruction to ensure a free and appropriate education for students regardless of the extent or type of their disability. The Department of Special Education prepares special education teacher candidates and general education teacher candidates to work with students with disabilities in the areas of mild/moderate disabilities, severe disabilities, early childhood special education, vision impairments, and students who are deaf & hard of hearing. At the graduate level, the Department of Special Education prepares tomorrow's leaders in the field at both the master's and doctoral degree levels.

The preparation of teachers and leadership personnel includes adaptation of curriculum, accommodation to meet student needs, collaboration with schools and the community, assessment of student abilities, behavioral interventions, special education policy, and legal issues.

What's Happening in SPED

The Department of Special Education recently held their annual Spring Reception, , which honors our graduating students, school district cooperating teachers and the recipients of the Outstanding Alumni Award and the Jeanette M. Misaka Outstanding Service Award. For 2014-2015 the recipients were:

Shamby Polychronis - Outstanding Alumni Award
Randy Schelble - Jeanette M. Misaka Outstanding Service Award


markell & studentMarkell McCubbin, a former graduate student in the Department of Special Education, was recently featured in a front page article in the Salt Lake Tribune (Apr. 20, 2015). Markell works at the Pingree Center, a school focused on educating students with autism spectrum disorders. She is in charge of the school's GROW program (Getting Ready for Our World), which provides community-based and other training for adolescent students, which is focused on teaching functional skills in the home and community such as grocery shopping and meal preparation. The Pingree Center and the University of Utah have had a decades long collaborative relationship involving teaching and research activities. Read the Salt Lake Tribune article>>

Jodie & studentsStudent teaching offers unique and unexpected opportunities for teacher candidates in the Special Education Department. This was the case for Jodie Carter, a student teacher in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialization area. On February 12th, Jodie, under the supervision of her cooperating teacher, Cheryl Baker, took her 1st grade class from Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind to the State Capitol for a demonstration teaching day, in an effort to share their skills with the legislators. Prior to the 8th annual “School on the Hill” day, these 1st graders wrote to their legislators, inviting them to visit their “ capitol classroom”. The students had a tour of the capitol and Jodie taught her students spelling and reading while being visited by 3 legislators and one legislative aide. One student made a book mark for his legislator. This was a memorable experience for the 1st graders, Jodie and her cooperating teacher, and for members of the legislature. Congratulations Jodie Carter, we told you student teaching would be exciting. Read the Deseret News article >>

LeanneDr. Leanne Hawken has co-authored a new book, Building Positive Behavior Support Systems in Schools: Functional Behavioral Assessment (2nd ed.) (2015 – Crone, Hawken, & Horner). This book includes chapters co-authored by other faculty and graduate students in the Department of Special Education (Matt Jameson, Kaitlin Bundock, Robert O’Neill). In the spirit of effective collaboration it also includes a chapter co-authored by colleagues from Utah State University (Drs. Courtenay Barrett and Donna Gilbertson).

Utah Multi-Tiered System of Supports Conference will feature keynote speakers Timothy Shanahan, Ph.D., and Johnny Collett, M.Ed..
$75 Early Bird Registration
February 1 - May 1

May 30, 2015
9:30AM - 12:30PM

Participants will interact in dance, theatre and music from leading state arts educators. The festival is designed to promote arts integration and how to build bridges of success for individuals with disabilities.

Go Global in the College of Education!

cusco peru
For more information, contact:
Susan Johnston