This course has been developed for those who are currently working as special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) and is mandatory for all SENCOs appointed since 2008. This course will enable you to meet the learning outcomes as prescribed by the government.
You about skills and approaches to leadership; and to develop and evaluate inclusive cultures, systems and approaches to education. These new skills help you to make a difference in your school and to the wellbeing, participation and achievement of children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities.
You reflect on, analyse and respond to current issues of practice through professional learning in the workplace and you are supported by experienced local special educational needs and disability (SEND) professionals as well as a mentor in your own school.
You have access to current SEND practitioners and experts in the field who share up-to-date practice. Your university tutors specialise in SEND and have complementary experience across age phases and special and mainstream schools. Their expertise supports your understanding of inclusive principles and practice, using research and theory to support your reflections, enquiries and study skills.
You complete a number of assessments that are focused on the development of effective practice in your school. Assessments consist of two practice-based portfolios
Portfolio 1 – SENCO as manager
This consists of
Portfolio 2 – SENCO as leader
This consists of
For more information regarding our routes into teaching, including funding, placements, QTS skills tests and career prospects visit our teach site.
12 months part-time
You attend up to ten teaching/tutorial/study days which are spread over the course duration.
This module enables special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) to engage critically with their management role evaluating, reporting on and developing policy, systems and provision in the context of national legislation and guidance, current knowledge on effective practice and wider equality and human rights agendas.
This module enables special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) to engage critically with their leadership role in the context of the principles of inclusion, person centred planning and working in partnership with colleagues, children and young people and their families.
Modules cover • inclusive principles and values • social and medical modules of disability • the role of the SENCO in analysing organisational needs and managing change • the national policy context for SEN and disability including the SEN Code of Practice • equality and data protection requirements • formulating and reviewing policy • accessing and interpreting school data - tracking progression and participation • provision mapping • designing, evaluating and reporting on systems and provision • lesson study and action research methods • rights and duties under equality legislation • person centred planning and partnership working • the local context for the implementation of Child Assessment Framework (CAF), school support and Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) • leadership • role of the SENCO in leading professional learning • holistic assessment • researching and evaluatiing current knowledge and debates regarding high incidence special educational needs and disabilities • theories of learning and development • identifying needs and barriers to learning and participation • systematic evaluation in professional contexts
Portfolio 1 – evaluation and review of policy, and analysis of additional provision for children and young people with SEN.
Portfolio 2 – evaluation of partnership with stakeholders, and planning for strategic professional learning.
This course enhances your skills as a special educational needs co-ordinator so you can continue to improve the school experience for children with SENs or disability and to support the developing practice of other professionals working in your school or setting. It also develops your leadership skills, enabling you to explore whole issues and development. It is also suitable if you want to work in an advisory or support role in the area of SEND.
Academic credits gained by successfully completing this course can be used towards a masters degree.
The College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) offers several advanced certification programs that culminate in a Master of Science in Education (MSEd) degree in Special Education. Four program options are available, corresponding with the age/grade level of the applicant's initial certificate:
-Early Childhood Special Education - Birth to Grade 2 (requires initial certification in early childhood education)
-Early Childhood and Childhood Special Education - Birth to Grade 6 (requires initial certification in early childhood and childhood education)
-Childhood Special Education - Grades 1 to 6 (requires initial certification in childhood education)
-Adolescence Special Education - Grades 7 to 12 (requires initial certification in a subject area)
This program is designed to prepare teachers to operationalize “least restrictive environment” philosophies for children and youth with disabilities. Core themes include collaboration with families and other professionals and pedagogy that respects and responds to individual differences. For teachers with initial certification, this program provides knowledge and skills to fulfill various special education teacher roles in today's schools. Sufficient flexibility exists for individuals from undergraduate programs in special education to either deepen their skills in the field or link their special education foundation with the larger context of general education. Similarly, graduates of early childhood, childhood or adolescence education programs may extend their knowledge and skills with students needing special education.
In addition to graduate courses suited to the degree you choose to pursue, fieldwork and student teaching are important components to the program. The program boasts strong content speciality as well as diverse student and faculty background. Faculty advisors and office staff are eager to assist students in tailoring their course of study and field placements. Students are encouraged to take advantage of a well-established network of alumni and professional connections that will help with field visits and placement. There are urban, suburban and rural schools in close proximity where student teaching opportunities are available.
The completion of this degree and other requirements leads to a New York State certification as a special education teacher. Employment opportunities for teachers have improved significantly over the last few years. Alumni of our programs in education teach at numerous schools regionally and around the country. Due to strict licensure rules, a New York State teaching license is well respected across the nation. Typically, graduates of the programs easily find employment as teachers in other states.
- Online graduate degree application and application fee
- Transcripts from each college/university which you have attended
- Two letters of recommendation (the CCPA will accept additional letters of recommendation)
- Personal statement (Please see the CCPA Admissions website for additional information about the personal statement)
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages)
- Teaching certification for in-service applicants
- Any program-specific materials (please see the CCPA Admissions website for details)
And, for international applicants:
- International Student Financial Statement form
- Official bank statement/proof of support
- Official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic scores
If you need to get a good grounding in special educational needs, disability and inclusion at postgraduate level, this course will broaden and challenge your existing knowledge. It could be a starting point for a future career in a range of settings or help you to develop in your current role. If you are already a SENCO it will give you many skills for your role and help you develop and expand this in line with the range of special needs you may encounter.
Our course doesn’t aim to provide you with all the answers. Instead it will enable you to explore and develop new thinking and ultimately work towards expertise in your field. If you believe that pupils with special needs have untapped potential, and you want to help them explore this, then this is the course for you. Inclusive learning and teaching are at the heart of any good practice; these modules will help you explore this further and understand the important role of nurturing development in all pupils with special educational needs.
You do not need a teaching qualification to study on this course, nor do you have to intend becoming a teacher. We welcome anyone who wants to expand their understanding, knowledge and skill set in the changing world of special education and disability.
You’ll have the opportunity to explore how the education system works for special needs and disability, how it all evolved and the challenges it poses for these pupils. You’ll broaden your knowledge on the range of conditions and their impact on learning and develop new teaching skills to help pupils overcome their day to day challenges. The focus of all modules will be critical thinking, challenging and developing your knowledge to enable you to become an expert in your field.