Education at Aquinas College

Learning Disabilities K-12 major

Learning Disabilities K-12 major (36 credits): Major Requirements:

At least 18 credits of the Learning Disabilities major must be taken at Aquinas College. The learning disabilities major is available for either elementary or secondary certification. Please contact an advisor in the School of Education regarding appropriate academic minor choices for secondary candidates.

Required Courses:

  • EN466
  • EN461
  • EN444
  • EN442
  • EN443
  • EN454
  • EN465
  • EN464
  • EN445
  • EN462
  • EN470
  • EN490


  • EN466/EN566 Classroom Management (3)

    Offered fall and spring semesters. This course is designed to provide teacher candidates with the tools, strategies, and theories to successfully manage K-12 classrooms. Participants will learn to create collaborative classroom communities that intertwine with effective teaching and academic success through course activities that are linked to observations in K-12 classrooms. Participants learn how to create both student- oriented conflict management systems based on concepts of social justice, and positive support plans for students with specific behavioral needs. Participants then connect concepts of effective, engaging lesson and curriculum planning to create a holistic successful classroom management philosophy. Prerequisite: EN201/501. Field Component: fifteen (15) hours. Prerequisite: EN201/EN501 or Michigan Teaching Certificate. Field Component: 15 hours

  • EN461/EN579 Inclusion I (3)

    Offered fall and spring semesters. Inclusive education begins with the philosophy behind education and the emergence of an inclusive educational approach to students with disabilities in the general education classroom. Appropriate instructional objectives will be examined that fit children and adolescents in an inclusive educational setting. Adaptations to the general education curriculum will be assessed and matched with the academic, social/emotional, physical and behavioral needs of the child or adolescent. The maintenance of conditions and strategies for suitable instruction will be linked to the learning goals of the individual student. The ability of the general education teacher to function as a member of the IEP team will be stressed in light of other important relationships such as those with parents, paraeducators and other teachers. Prerequisite: EN201/501 or Michigan Teaching Certificate, may take during the same semester as EN201/501. Field component: minimum of two (2) hours.

  • EN444/EN520 Literacy I: Foundations (3)

    Offered fall and spring semesters. This course provides a foundation in the key concepts and principles related to the development of literacy broadly understood as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students will read extensively across theories and practices associated with the teaching and learning of literacy, become familiar with the tools used in the field, and observe literacy instruction in practice. Prerequisite: EN201/501 or Michigan Teaching Certificate, may take concurrently with EN201/501. Field component: fifteen (15) hours.

  • EN442/EN541 Literacy II: Assessment (3)

    Offered fall and spring semesters. This course presents a comprehensive study of formal and informal literacy assessment measures with an emphasis on assessments used by classroom teachers and school-based literacy specialists. Students will use assessment results to plan for instruction and intervention of reading difficulties. Emphasis will be placed on assessment procedures and analytical techniques, developing literacy goals based on assessment results, and interventions for struggling readers/writers. Students will assess K-12 students and develop appropriate individualized instructional plans based on students' strengths, challenges, and interests. Prerequisites: EN201/501 or Michigan Teaching Certificate and EN444/520. Field component: fifteen (15) hours.

  • EN443/EN543 Literacy for the Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learner (3)

    Offered fall and summer semesters. Required for language arts, learning disabilities, ESL and reading endorsements. Not an education method elective. This course is designed to present effective literacy instruction for linguistically, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse students. Topics explored will include matching students to books, academic vocabulary instruction, classroom management, and classroom learning environment. Students will work in a diverse classroom throughout the semester, observing for literacy practices and assisting students with reading and writing needs. Prerequisite: EN442/541. Field component: thirty (30) hours tutoring in school setting (daytime).

  • EN454/EN554 Content Area Literacy (3)

    Offered fall and spring semesters. Required for secondary certification. Education method elective for elementary certification, particularly candidates interested in teaching middle school. This course is the study of literacy in content material across the curriculum for students in grades 6–12. Strategies are presented that enhance student comprehension while reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and doing an activity within a discipline. There is a fieldwork component, working with secondary students who need assistance in literacy strategies. In addition, Common Core State Standards will be incorporated into the study of content area literacy. Prerequisite: EN201/501 or Michigan Teaching Certificate. Field component: fifteen (15) hours.

  • EN465/EN665 Co-Teaching and Collaboration (3)

    Offered fall semesters. This course examines the various models of co- teaching and collaboration used by special and general educators in the K-12 general education environment. It also provides instruction and experience in creating and differentiating curriculum utilizing a backwards-design model, and providing access to the general education curriculum. Finally the course examines multiple aspects of collaboration within special education including parents, paraprofessionals, and other school personnel.

  • EN464/EN564 Learning Disabilities: Theory to Practice (3)

    Offered fall semester. Required for the Learning Disabilities major. Not an education method elective. This course is designed to provide students with knowledge of learning disabilities as related to historical foundations, legislation, causes, characteristics, identification, and service options. Students will also learn about instructional strategies and practices for students with reading, writing, and math disabilities. Prerequisite: EN201/EN501 or Michigan Teaching Certificate, EN461.

  • EN445/EN645 Early Intervention (3)

    Offered spring semester. This course offers the candidate an opportunity to know about and to understand early childhood students who are at risk for development delays or with established conditions. An exploration of etiology and developmental characteristics of young children with exceptional needs frames the study. Candidates will gain a foundation upon which they can build the skills to understand, analyze and reflect upon best practices and use/apply sound professional strategies to assist young children. Emphasis shall be placed on the ability to instruct and adapt instruction for children at risk for optimal development. This course will also focus on the tools of assessment and methods of referral for young children with disabilities, with an emphasis on the goals and benefits of assessment. IFSP, IEP, early intervention and legal issues surrounding these topics will be featured. Prerequisite: EN320/620 or EN464/564. Field component: twenty (20) hours in an approved site.

  • EN462/EN562 Special Education Curriculum and Methods (3)

    Offered spring semester. Required for the Learning Disabilities major. Not an education method elective. This course is designed to enhance students’ knowledge of currently used methods and curricula in special education settings. Students will develop IEP goals and plan instructional units based on assessment information. Emphasis will be placed on research-based teaching strategies, differentiated instruction, and Universal Design for Learning. Prerequisite: EN201/EN501 or Michigan Teaching Certificate, EN461/EN579, EN464/EN564. Field component: minimum ten (10) hours.

  • EN470/EN570 Special Education Assessment (3)

    Offered spring semester. Not an education method elective. This course provides an overview of the primary types of assessment used within special education for identification and ongoing monitoring. Emphasis will be placed on the use of data to make decisions pertaining to diagnosis of a Specific Learning Disability and goals for individualized education programs. Additional topics include: basic concepts of measurement, formal test administration, limitations in existing instruments ordinarily used in assessing exceptional children, use of accommodations for students with disabilities on both state and local assessments, ethical concerns related to assessment, and behavioral or academic observation. Prerequisite: EN464/564. Field Component: five (5) hours.

  • EN490/EN568/EN569 Learning Disabilities Practicum and Seminar (3)

    Offered fall and spring semesters. Required for the Learning Disabilities major. Not an education method elective. This course provides guided practice in special education settings working directly with students who have special needs. During the course of the practicum, the student will become more adept in the development and implementation of effective assessment and teaching strategies for students with learning disabilities and students who are at-risk. Each student is required to serve a minimum of 80 hours in a designated special education setting at either the elementary or secondary level. In addition, students will participate in seminar sessions which will be held throughout the semester. Prerequisite: EN201/501 or Michigan Teaching Certificate, EN461/579, EN462/562, EN 464/564, EN470/570, and School of Education approval. Field component: minimum of eighty (80) hours.