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University of St. Francis logo · College of Education · COE

Serving Special Populations
MSED-670 (REAL 695)

  • Template 2019
  • Section TMPL
  • 3 Credits
  • 07/22/2019 to 07/29/2100
  • Modified 07/19/2020

Mission Statement

As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership. 


This course focuses on role of the principal and school leaders to ensure a free and appropriate public education for all students. This course will provide an understanding of the scope of special needs and related services, legal obligations of schools, and rights of special student populations (including early childhood, English as a Second Language, differentiated instruction, special education (RTI, 504, IFSP), social and emotional issues, school improvement plans and gifted students. Appropriate placement and services for students with special needs is emphasized.


The mission of the College of Education is to prepare competent and caring educators who understand students, serve the community and develop professionally to become ethical decision-makers and leaders.


Candidates will gain an understanding of the special populations they serve within their school communities.

Candidates will learn how to engage in collaboration with faculty, staff, caregivers, and other stakeholders to create effective educational programs for all students.

Candidates will develop the professional skills to become an educational leader and advocate for all students.


Access to standards referenced in this section can be found HERE

By the conclusion of the course, each participant will be able to do the following:

  1. Nurture and sustain a culture of collaboration, trust, learning, and high expectations (CF1, ISLLC 2.1 and ELCC 2A)
  2. Monitor and evaluate the management and operational systems (CF1, ISLLC 3.1, and ELCC 3A)
  3. Promote and protect the welfare and safety of students and staff (CF1, ISLLC 3.3 and ELCC 3C)
  4. Ensure a system of accountability for every student's academic and social success (CF3, ISLLC 5.1, and ELCC 5A)
  5. Collect and analyze data and information pertinent to the educational environment (CF2, ISLLC 4.1, ELCC 4A)
  6. Promote understanding, appreciation, and use of the community's diverse cultural, social, and intellectual resources (CF2, ISLLC 4.2 and ELCC 4B)
  7. Build and sustain positive relationships with families and caregivers (CF2, ISLLC 4.3, and ELCC 4C)
  8. Safeguard the values of democracy, equity, and diversity (CF3, ISLLC 5.3, ELCC 5C)
  9. Consider and evaluate the potential moral and legal consequences of decision-making (CF3, ISLLC 5.4 and ELCC 5D)
  10. Promote social justice and ensure that individual student needs inform all aspects of schooling (CF3, ISLLC 5.5, and ELCC 5E)
  11. Ensure a system of accountability for every student's academic and social success (CF3, ISLLC 5.1, and ELCC 5A)
  12. Model principles of self-awareness, reflective practice, transparency, and ethical behavior (CF3, ISLLC 5.2 and ELCC 5B)
  13. Advocate for children, families and caregivers (CF2, ISLLC 6.1 and ELCC 6A)
  14. Assess, analyze, and anticipate emerging trends and initiatives in order to adapt leadership strategies (CF2, ISLLC 6.3, ELCC 6C)



REQUIRED - Leading Equity-Based MTTS for All students. McCart & Miller (2019). Sage. 

REQUIRED - Case Studies for Educational Leadership (11th edition). S. Midlock. Pearson.



Candidates will respond to weekly discussion and reflection prompts.

  • Course outcomes 2,6,8,12
  • Standards ISLLC 3.1, 4.2, 5.2, 5.4
  • Standards ELCC 3A, 4B, 5D, ELCC 5B

Analyze a School’s MTSS Foundation

Candidates will identify the strengths and challenges within a school's MTSS foundation.

  • Course outcomes 5, 14
  • Standards ISLLC 4.1, 6.3
  • Standards ELCC 4A, 6C

Infographic for Stakeholders

Candidates will create an infographic for stakeholders that shares one of the following topics: 1) the identification process for potential English Learners, or 2) the stages of language acquisition.

  • Course outcomes 6, 13
  • Standards ISLLC 4.2, 6.1
  • Standards ELCC 4B, 6A

Case Study

Candidates will analyze a case study and develop an action plan that addresses identified issues within the case study. 

  • Course outcomes 1, 3, 5, 9
  • Standards ISLLC 2.1, 3.3, 5.1, 5.4
  • Standards ELCC 2A, 3C, 5A, 5D

Analyze an MTSS Structure

Candidates will identify the strengths and challenges within a school's equity-based MTSS structure.

  • Course outcomes 4, 10, 11
  • Standards ISLLC 5.1, 5.5,
  • Standards ELCC 5A, 5E

Support Services Document

Candidates will create a school/district informational document for parents/guardians that outlines services provided to students that promote equitable educational practices. 

  • Course outcomes 4, 6, 7, 12, 13
  • Standards ISLLC 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1
  • Standards ELCC 4B, 4C, 5A, 5B, 6A

Institutional Policies

Students should use the USF portal as the first resource for guidance and support on items such as student complaints, safety, security and transportation questions, contact information for various USF departments, student support services such as counseling and academic resources. Information on these resources can be found in the For Students section of the USF portal.

A complete listing of university policies and procedures can be found in the University of St. Francis Catalog and Student Handbooks. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. Collaboration is only acceptable when it is explicitly acknowledged. Ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses. Since a lack of integrity hinders the student’s academic development, it cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Violations include but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and denying others access to information or material. See the University of St. Francis Catalog for further clarification and information on grievance procedures.

Services and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (ADA)

The University strives to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). A student who requires special accommodations or arrangements due to a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services. This contact preferably should occur no later than the first week of classes. Early contact before the semester starts is encouraged to allow sufficient time to provide accommodations. Extra time is needed for some types of accommodations such as sign language interpreters or special text formatting. Should a need arrive after the start of a semester; the student is encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible. Note that accommodations are not retroactive. Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

USF is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs, regardless of the course format. If you have a documented disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate in a course, complete course requirements, or benefit from the University’s programs or services, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 815-740-3631 or [email protected] . The Office of Disability Services is in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) and is located on the second floor of the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Library in room L214. Consultations are welcome, please contact the Office of Disability Services for an appointment.

Academic Support Services

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) located in Room L214 in the Library (815-740-5060) offers various types of academic services.  Online and distance learning students can contact ARC for appropriate resources.  ARC serves students who need tutoring in many areas of study including writing and math.  Library services include a number of online services and full text databases.  Call the Library at 815-740-5041 for additional information.  If you need academic-related resources or assistance, please contact the Academic Resource Center.

Notice of Copyright

This course may contain copyrighted materials that are intended to support the learning experiences of students currently enrolled in the course. No student may retain or further disseminate any copyrighted materials, in their entirety or any portion thereof, under penalty of law.

Technology Support

  1. The Department of Academic Technology (DAT) administers the learning management system Canvas. If you are experiencing any difficulty using Canvas or need technical assistance, you have several options to receive support, including:
  1. 24x7 Live Canvas Support. If you experience technical difficulties or have a question about Canvas, you can receive support 24 hours a day 7 days a week through the Canvas help menu. From the help menu, select Chat with Canvas Support for a “live” text-based click-to-chat session,
  2. select Report a Problem to send an email support request, or speak to someone directly by using the toll-free number listed under the Canvas Support Hotline.

NOTE: Responses to Canvas’ email-based Report a Problem request system will go to your USF email account, NOT your personal email.

2. Online Self-Service Help Resources. A student user guide and other resources for solving issues related to Canvas can be found at LearnItNow

3. Telephone Support from DAT. You can also phone the Department of Academic Technology for personal help at (815) 740-5080 or (866) 337-1497 (toll-free) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

For any technical support issues that are not related to Canvas, please contact the USF Technology Support Center (TSC). You can reach them via: