If you are pursuing the MEd in special education, you must complete a field-based, capstone experience – regardless of licensure needs.
Field-based, capstone experiences vary depending upon whether you wish to attain an initial teaching license via University of Lynchburg, or graduate without gaining an initial licensure via University of Lynchburg.
Your options include:
SPED 691-692; 696-698 Internships (6 credits total)
For those students who are seeking their initial teaching license via University of Lynchburg.
If you are seeking initial teaching license via University of Lynchburg, you must apply for the internship. You must meet the strict guidelines in order for you to be accepted into the internship program.
Some of these guidelines include:
- You must file your application by the due date (typically early September for spring internships, and early February for fall internships).
- You must meet the GPA requirements.
- You must meet state assessment mandates (i.e., Praxis I, VCLA, and/or RVE, dependent upon license-information about these exams can be found on the School of Education website).
- You must pay a non-refundable deposit of $100.
For a license in Special Education-General Curriculum, and/or Special Education-Adaptive Curriculum, you must complete 2 internships, at 2 separate placements, and on 2 different grade levels (e.g., elementary and high school).
The school-classroom site is chosen by the school district, in collaboration with LC. Approval for each site must be made by the school district office. Once approved, you are assigned to a cooperating teacher at each site. You are expected to meet all internship requirements, including assignments, minimum number of clock hours (i.e., 500), training in child abuse and neglect, and training in technology. You will attend on-campus seminars and participate in all required student teaching-type activities.
Students in Early Childhood Special Education complete one internship in Part C, Early Intervention (EI) (birth-2), and one internship in Part B, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) (ages 2-5). The EI placement is typically agency based (e.g., Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia). The ECSE is typically school based, and requires LC-school district approval and coordination. The 500 clock hour requirement is split between the 2 placements based upon your career path. In other words, if you strongly desire to work in EI, you can complete a majority of your hours in the EI placement. The number of hours for each placement should be planned ahead by you and your advisor.
In addition to weekly, recorded observations by the cooperating teacher, the number of observations by the College supervisor is a minimum of 3 per placement (and thus, a minimum of 6 visits overall). One recorded observation by the school principal is typically required.
SPED 694, Field Experience in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (3 credits)
For those who are completing the ASD certificate program. Students who are also completing their MEd programs (and are not seeking initial licensure via LC) are able to substitute SPED 694 for SPED 695.
You will be assigned to an ASD program, in which you engage in a number of assignments that require the demonstration of knowledge and competencies gained in coursework. You must complete a minimum of 60 hours on-site. You will attend on-campus seminars and participate on discussion threads via Moodle.
In addition to on-site supervision by an agency/program lead person, the number of observations by the College supervisor is a minimum of 3.
SPED 695 Advanced Applications in Special Education (3 credits)
For those students who are either:
- Currently teaching, and who are seeking their initial license and/or endorsement via their Local Education Agency (LEA);
- Currently teaching, and who are fully licensed and endorsed. Students in this category must be employed as a special education or general education inclusion teacher in their respective schools;
- Not teaching, but intends to seek a teaching position in the near or distant future, but who does not wish to gain their teaching license via University of Lynchburg;
- No teaching, and has no intention of seeking employment in a school setting, and has no interest in seeking a teaching license; or
- An international student not seeking licensure.
The involvement of a cooperating teacher typically is not required for SPED 695.
You are expected to meet all SPED 695 assignment requirements. A minimum of 60 clock hours is required. Training in the prevention of, and response to, child abuse and neglect, as well as the VDOE technology competencies are not required. You will attend on-campus seminars and participate on discussion threads via Moodle.
The number of observations made by the College supervisor for this course is typically a minimum of 3.
There is no application process for this course, but after registering for the course you should meet with your instructor before the course begins.