Learning Outcomes

Consistent with the mission, vision, and goals of Seattle University and the College of Education, the Special Education program prepares knowledgeable, ethical and reflective special educators for quality service in diverse communities.  The knowledge base of the program is organized around the following key elements of the organizing theme:

A.  Knowledgeable (Professional) Service
B.  Ethical Service
C.  Reflective Service
D.  Service for Diverse Communities

With the overall goal of preparing knowledgeable, ethical and reflective special educators for quality service in diverse communities, the following broad program competencies guide the preparation of all students:

Foundational Knowledge

Special education professionals have knowledge of the foundations of special education law, characteristics of learners and disability, and individual learning differences.
Special education professionals must be well-grounded in current research and established theories of disability.  Such foundational knowledge should be based on a comprehensive model of legal aspects of disability and special education, research-based learning processes and impact of disability on learning differences taking into account cultural, linguistic and socio-economic diversity.

Instructional Strategies and Curriculum Materials

Special education professionals use a wide range of instructional practices, approaches, methods and curricula materials to support learning by students with disabilities.  These strategies and curriculum must be research- based, involve a thorough knowledge of the learner’s individual differences, and various teaching approaches, materials and organizational models.  Special education professionals must understand and actively address the moral, ethical and values dimensions of disability that affect instruction and students equitable access to effective materials and instruction.

Assessment, Diagnosis and Evaluation

 Special education professionals use a variety of assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluate effective instruction.  Research-based practices include administering a wide range of assessment tools and practices to identify proficiencies and difficulties to plan, evaluate and revise effective instruction that meets the individual needs of the students, including those from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Creating a Learning Environment

Special education professionals create and support an environment that fosters learning through careful planning, content and practice and managing the teaching and learning environment.  Communication and collaborative partnership with other professionals, families and the students are critical to the work of the special education professional.

Professional and Ethical Practices

Special education professionals commit to knowing, understanding, and applying the highest professional standards which include developing and demonstrating positive relationships with students, colleagues, program faculty and educational professionals.

To learn more, download a pdf of student outcomes for the Special Education program.


Please note: The Special Education master’s program has been suspended. We will continue to offer a Special Education endorsement. Please email specialed@seattleu.edu with any questions.