Introduction to Special Populations

Western Texas College

  1. Basic Course Information
    1. An enriched integrated pre-service course and content experience that provides an overview of schooling and classrooms from the perspectives of language, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnic, and academic diversity and equity with an emphasis on factors that facilitate learning.  The course provides students with opportunities to participate in early field observations of P-12 special populations and should be aligned as applicable with State Board for Educator Certification Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities standards.  Must include a minimum of 16 contact hours of field experience in P-12 classrooms with special populations. 
    2. Pre-requisite for this course is EDUC 1301.
  2. Student Learning Outcomes
    1. Describe the characteristics of exceptional learners (e.g. Learning Disabilities, Gifted and Talented), including legal implications.  
    2. Describe and analyze characteristics of diverse learners (e.g. language, gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity) and how diversity impacts learning.
    3. Describe the impact of socio-economic status on learning and creating equitable classrooms.
    4. Demonstrate an understanding of the benefits and challenges of racial, ethnic, and other types of cultural diversity in the classroom.
  3. Exam and Assessment Requirements
    1. Chapter Assignments/Quizzes will comprise 20% of the final grade.
    2. Proctored Exams will comprise 35% of the final grade.
    3. Interviews/Observations will comprise 40% of the final grade.
    4. Discussions will comprise 5% of the final grade.



Not Proctored

Weekly Discussions



Chapter Assignment /Quizzes



Proctored Mid-Term/Final Exams



Teacher Interview/Observations






  1. Proctoring Requirements and Options
    1. Per WTC online course policy a minimum of 35% of course work must be proctored by an approved testing organization.  
    2. Western Texas College will provide a variety of affordable proctoring options through the use of SmarterProctoring.  Students will get to choose from College and University Testing Centers, WTC Institutional Testing Centers, Professional Testing Centers and an Online Proctoring Service B-Virtual.  The number of proctored exams and proctoring options may vary between courses at the instructors discretion.  Writing intensive courses may require students submit papers through Turn It In or Grammarly to check for plagiarism instead of requiring a proctor.
    3. Students should be aware that they are responsible for all testing center fees and that these fees will vary.  If students are provided and choose the B-Virtual option the cost will be $10 per exam.  If you are required or prefer the testing center option, the costs of the testing centers in your area will be provided prior to making your selection.
    4. For all exam questions, worksheet questions, and scenarios- the following will indicate the measure of success in reaching the Student Learning Outcomes:
      • 85-100% accuracy-Advanced mastery of learning objectives
      • 70-84 % accuracy-Developing mastery of learning objectives
      • 60-69 % accuracy –Emerging mastery of learning objectives
      • less than 60% accuracy indicates the student has not met the learning objectives
  2. Major Course Requirements
    1. Chapter Assignments are due on Sundays of most weeks before 11:59 pm. Worksheets are graded for length and quality of answers, grammar and spelling, and use of complete sentences. Most worksheets have a discussion component which will be assessed as a separate the grade.
    2. Exams are composed of multiple-choice questions, which are graded   objectively. Exams are offered online and may be taken from a home or school computer within a one-week period.
    3. Interviews/ Observations are due on Sundays before 11:59 pm. Due to the nature of the online course it is impossible for me to arrange your observations for you, so it your responsibility to identify and arrange your own observations. You must ask permission and provide whatever the school requires for your clearance.  You are required to document what you have observed in the observation assignment papers. The more detailed the paper the better the grade. Make sure to check your spelling, grammar and use complete sentences. 
    4. You will be required to follow the guidelines established by the school districts that you observe in.  You are their guests.  Please observe their policies for sign in and out, cell phones, dress, etc.  Start early to be cleared, because the school will likely require a criminal background check.  You cannot pass this class without completing the observation hours and providing documentation of the hours on the field experience log.  Random checks of logs will be made to verify that you completed the observations.
  3. Information on Books and Other Course Materials
    1. Teaching Special Students In General Education Classrooms.
      ISBN 0-13-186209-x,  by Rena B. Lewis Allyn & Bacon/Merrill  
  4. Other Policies, Procedures and important dates. Please refer to the WTC catalog for the following:
    1. Campus Calendar
    2. Final Exam Schedule
    3. How to drop a class
    4. Withdrawal information
    5. Student Conduct/Academic Integrity
    6. Class Attendance
    7. Students with Disabilities
  5. Policies on academic integrity, including collaborative work:
    1. Policies on missed and late exams and assignments: Makeup exams will be given only during the week before finals. It is to your advantage to take exams on time. Makeup exams do not provide bonus points or the benefit of a curve. Worksheets turned in after the due date will be deducted 20%.   More than two weeks past due date assignments cannot be submitted.  For special circumstances, please notify instructor.
    2. Policies on class participation and classroom decorum/civility: The discussion topics provide a forum for students to participate and interact with other students. Offensive language or angry disputes will result in students being barred from the discussions and, consequently, a lower grade.
    3. Policies on academic integrity, including collaborative work: Collaborative work for study sessions and assignments is encouraged. However, final worksheet answers should be the student’s own work and not simply copied from someone else, including the textbook author. Worksheets that appear to be the same will both receive “no credit”. Any collaboration during tests is considered cheating, and the tests will receive a zero score.
    4. The student will summarize causes, incidences and characteristics of exceptionalities related to the domains of development; discuss current terminology and practices for intervention strategies; identify appropriate community resources and referrals for individual children and families; review legislation and legal mandates and their impact on practices and environments; explain the role of advocacy for children with special needs and their families. 
  6. Weekly Course Schedule
    Week One Read Chapter One and Discussion Assignment
    Week Two Read Chapters 2 & 3 and assignments for this week
    Week Three  Exam One Chapters 1-3
    Week Four Read Chapters 4 & 5 and assignments for this week
    Week Five Read Chapter 6 & 7 and assignments for this week
    Week Six  Read Chapter 8 and assignments for this week
    First Observation Due this week!!!
    Week Seven Proctored Mid-Term Exam, Chapters 4-8, 90 min.
    Week Eight Read Chapters 9 & 10 and assignments for this week
    Week Nine Read Chapters 11 & 12 and assignments for this week
    Week Ten Spring Break
    Week Eleven  Exam Three Chapters 9-12 1 1/2 hour time limit
    Second Observation due this week!!!
    Week Twelve Read Chapter 13& 14 and assignments for this week
    Week Thirteen Read Chapters 15 & 16 and assignments for this week
    Week Fourteen Read Chapters 17 & 18 and assignments for this week
    Week Fifteen   Third Observation due this week
    Teacher Interview due this week
    Field Observation Log due this week
    Week Sixteen     Proctored Final Exam Chapters 13-18


Last Modified: September 16, 2019