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University of St. Francis logo · College of Education · Regional Educational Academy for Leadership

Assessment and Diagnosis in Special Education
EEND and MEDU-642

  • Template 2015
  • Section TMPL
  • 3 Credits
  • 07/22/2015 to 07/22/2115
  • Modified 08/15/2023

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. 


Provides the candidate with the formal and informal assessment techniques useful for the assessment of special needs learners.  Individually administered achievement, aptitude, and information processing tests will be examined in detail.  The course will present information concerning report writing, diagnostic and prescriptive planning.  Also, methods of interpreting evaluation data, identifying patterns, and presenting results to a consumer in an understandable and clearly written form will be examined.


College of Education Mission

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.

Understanding Students

Understand that students with disabilities have unique learning styles and how the use of different assessment instruments is crucial for developing an appropriate educational program for students with disabilities to succeed in school.

Serving the Community

Understand how to communicate assessment data to students, teachers, parents, administrators, and community members.

Finding Our Professional Selves

Students will begin to cultivate an attitude of professionalism by exhibiting the following behaviors: preparedness, neatness, organizational skills, poise, leadership, self-motivation, responsibility, promptness, professional curiosity, and proper oral and written communication skills.


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:

1.0 Candidates understand assessment as an educational process, as well as the uses and limitation of informal and formal assessments, and strengths and weaknesses of various assessment tools. (IPTS, 7A; CEC: 4.1; NB, 3)

  • 1.1   Match appropriate assessment procedures to purposes of assessment.
  • 1.2   Identify strengths and weaknesses of various assessment tools.

2.0 Candidates understand legal provisions, regulations, and guidelines regarding assessment of individuals with disabilities. (IPTS, 7H; CEC, 4.2, 4.3 ; NB, 3)

  • 2.1   Gather background information regarding academic history.
  • 2.2   Identify students’ educational priorities by developing and conducting an individualized inventory of the student’s home, community, social, and vocational environments and integrated curriculum needs.

3.0 Candidates understand the terminology used in assessments, as well as how to interpret information obtained from standardized tests including age/grade scores, standard scores, percentile ranks, stanines, measures of central tendency, standard deviations, and standard error of measurement. (IPTS,7D; CEC, 4.2 ; NB: 3)

  • 3.1   Interpret information from formal and informal assessment instruments and procedures.
  • 3.2   Create and maintain accurate records.
  • 3.3   Conduct, interpret, and explain diagnostic information for classroom teachers, parents, and other specialists to plan instructional programs.
  • 3.4   Collaborate with families and other professionals in conducting individual assessment and reporting of assessment results.

4.0 Candidates will understand strategies for modifying and adapting formal tests. (IPTS:; CEC,4.2; NB,3)

  • 4.1   Evaluate learning environments and match necessary supports to individual learners’ needs.

5.0 Candidates understand influences of disabilities, culture, and language on the assessment process. (IPTS; CEC,4.1 ; NB,3)

  • 5.1   Gather background information regarding academic history.

6.0 Candidates understand a variety of procedures for identifying students’ learning characteristic and needs, monitoring student progress, and evaluating learning strategies and instructional approaches. (IPTS; CEC 4.2, 4.3 ; NB, 3)

  • 6.1   Analyze performance data and information from teachers, other professionals, individuals with disabilities, and parents collaboratively to make or suggest appropriate modification in learning environments, curriculum and/or instructional strategies.

7.0 Candidates understand accommodations and modifications of national, state and local assessments, and the Illinois Alternative Assessment. (IPTS; CEC 4.2; NB 3)

  • 7.1   Adapt group academic and statewide assessments for students with disabilities.

8.0 Candidates understand strategies for assessing individual learning characteristics and modes of communication. (IPTS; 7E; CEC 4.1, 4.2 , NB 3)

  • 8.1   Assess reliable method(s) of response in individuals who lack typical communication and performance abilities.
  • 8.2   Adapt formal assessment devices to accommodate a student’s mode of communication and response.

9.0 Candidates understand strategies for assessing students’ skills within curricular areas including academic, social and vocational. (IPTS 7E; CEC 4.1, 4.2 ; NB 3)

  • 9.1   Assess the extent and quality of an individual’s access to the general curriculum.
  • 9.2   Monitor a student’s progress through the general curriculum.

10.0 Candidates understand strategies for assessing learning environments and conducting functional behavioral assessments within the environment. (IPTS; CEC 4.2; NB 3)

  • 10.1   Design and implement functional assessment procedures.


Discussions and Responses

Candidates will respond to content-related topics and provide thoughtful feedback to others.

  • Objectives: 1.0-1.2; 3.1 – 3.4; 4.0 – 4.1; 5.0-5.1; 6.0-6.1
  • Standards: IPTS 7A, D; CEC4.1-4.3; NB 3)

Content Quizzes

Candidates will complete quizzes containing information reviewed from course texts and additional resources.

  • Objectives: 2.0-2.2
  • Standards: IPTS 7H; CEC 4.2-4.3; NB 3

Types of Assessments

Candidates will be introduced to the various types of assessments used to evaluate student progress in the classroom and determine the use of the data in the evaluation process.

  • Objectives: 2.0-2.2
  • Standards: IPTS 7H; CEC 4.2-4.3; NB 3

Reliability & Validity

Candidates will focus upon reading assessment scores, explaining how results can be accurately shared with parents/caregivers/staff, and identifying appropriate recommendations based upon data-driven decision-making.

  • Objectives: 3.0-3.1
  • Standards: IPTS 7D; CEC 4.2; NB 3


Candidates will submit an assessment and provide appropriate accommodations to meet specific student needs.

  • Objectives: 7.0-7.1; 8.0-8.2
  • Standards: IPTS 7E; CEC 4.1-4.2; NB 3

Functional Behavior Assessment

Candidates will identify specific student classroom behaviors that may be found within Tier 2/Tier 3 levels and identify an assessment strategy utilized to track and analyze behavior data used during a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA).

  • Objectives: 10.0-10.1
  • Standards: CEC 4.2; NB 3

Transition Plan

Candidates will create a transition plan including appropriate learning/behavior goals for meeting student needs during the move from school to independent living (i.e., employment, community participation, post-secondary education, access to peers, etc.).

  • Objectives: 9.0-9.2
  • Standards: IPTS 7E; CEC 4.1-4.2; NB 3

Final Assignment: Individual Assessment Project

Candidates will administer a variety of Curriculum Based Measurements (CBM) in order to become familiar with the assessment processes and procedures, as well identifying appropriate testing environments.  Assessment results will be graphed reflecting evaluation results and recommendations to support instructional needs.

  • Objectives: 3.1-3.3; 4.0-4.1; 5.0-5.1; 6.0-6.1
  • Standards: IPTS 7D, CEC 4.1-4.2; NB 3

Institutional Policies

Students should use the MyUSF 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 MyUSF portal.

  • A complete listing of university policies and procedures can be found in the University of St. Francis Catalog and Student Handbooks. Students are expected to follow all policies in the USF Catalog and Student Handbook, both of which can be found in the student portal.
  • Students are expected to be familiar with and follow the various procedures and guidelines regarding USF’s COVID-19 Response, including the USF Preparedness Plan and other materials incorporated in the Saints United resource hub (
  • Policies not covered in this document will be handled in accordance with the USF Catalog, Student Handbook, and Program Handbook as applicable.

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 Accessibility 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 Accessibility 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 Accessibility Services at 815-740-3631 or [email protected] . The Office of Accessibility Services is located on the third floor of Tower Hall in room N320. Consultations are welcome; please contact the Office of Accessibility Services for an appointment.

Technology Support

If you are experiencing any difficulty using Canvas or need technical assistance, you have several options to receive support:

  1. 24x7 Live Canvas Support. Canvas has a 24 hour support by clicking on ? Help while in Canvas. You can Chat with Canvas Support, Report a Problem, or call the Canvas Support Hotline. If you experience technical difficulties or have a question about Canvas, you can receive support 24 hours a day seven (7) days a week through the Canvas help menu. From the help menu; select Report a Problem to send an email support request, select Chat with Canvas Support (Student) for a “live” text-based click-to-chat session, or to speak to someone directly use the toll-free number listed under the Canvas Support Hotline (Student). 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
  3. You can phone the Technology Support Center for personal help at (815) 768-8324 or (866) 337-1497 (toll-free) between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday or fill out a Technology Support Center ticket and select Canvas/Online courses as the component.

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

Academic Support Services

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) located in Room N316 in Tower Hall (815-740-5060 or [email protected]) 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.