This course provides students with knowledge about the types of disabilities and the behavioral and instructional supports used for working with special needs students. Common terms and acronyms of the special education process are also identified. Learning outcomes are based on the National Paraeducator Standards Levels One, Two and Three and include information on the important role paraprofessionals/paraeducators have in supporting school success. Students will be provided with numerous modes of learning, including lecture, group discussion, application activities and classroom observations to assist them in learning and demonstrating the content of the Exceptional Learners course. (3 credits)
- ENG 101: English Composition 1
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
- Summarize the Individuals with Disabilities Act.
- List different categories of exceptional learners and the characteristics of each.
- Explain how exceptional learners are identified.
- Identify strategies to educate different types of exceptional learners.
- Describe the role of paraeducators in supporting exceptional learners in the general education and special education classrooms.
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Discipline Search.
Course Activities and Grading
Discussions (Weeks 1-8)
Quizzes (Weeks 1, 2, 4, 5 & 7)
Family Member Interview and Reflective Journal (Week 3)
Classroom Observation, Verification & Reflection Form (Week 6)
Final Paper (Week 8)
Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore
- Turnbull, Ann et.al. Exceptional Lives - with Access Code. 9th ed. Pearson, 2020. ISBN-10: 0-13-489363-8 or ISBN-13: 978-0-13-489363-1
- National Resource Center for Paraeducators Website: http://www.nrcpara.org. Students are encouraged to sign up for the free mailing list on this page.
Readings and Exercises
Topic: Exceptional Learners Overview
Topics: Family and Diversity
Topics: Learning Disabilities and Communication Disorders
Topic: Emotional Disturbance
Topics: ADD and ADHD
Topics: Intellectual Disability and Multiple Disabilities
Topics: Low Incidence Disabilities
Students are required to complete one observation of a paraeducator working in an educational setting, where they will submit a signed verification form and reflection form in Week 6 of this course. Students are also required to interview a family member who has a child with a disability, where they will submit reflection form in Week 3 of this course. Because it does take time to make arrangements to observe in a school setting, students are required to begin planning for these visits in Week 1. Students may contact the school of your choice. The College has provided a letter of introduction to assist students in arranging for the visit.
COSC Accessibility Statement
Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.
COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources
Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.