Program Overview

It is intended that successful completion of the Special Education program will lead to initial licensure from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to educate students with moderate disabilities on the Pre-K through Grade 8 levels.

Gain Field-Based Experiences Sooner

Stonehill’s Special Education major provides students with core content and pedagogical knowledge necessary for running a special education classroom. Coursework covers fundamental topics like disability law and procedure, teaching students with disabilities basic math and reading skills, and setting IEP goals.

Unique to Stonehill’s Special Education program is the increased focus placed on reading and writing in course curricula. Students take specialized literacy courses that provide them with the knowledge base necessary for assessment and intervention of children experiencing reading and writing difficulties. Stonehill students majoring in special education are also afforded the opportunity to participate in field-based experiences earlier in their academic careers than usual.

Featured Special Education Courses

Introduction to Special Education

This course provides a survey of current knowledge on individuals with disabilities within the context of human growth and development across the life span. Content includes historical factors, legislation, etiology, characteristics, needs and educational strategies, including existing and emerging technologies, assessment, and support services, of/for individuals with disabilities ranging from mild, moderate to severe levels of varying disabilities. The course will study the impact of disabilities on academic and social/emotional performances. Field experience is required.

Behavior Management

This course explores how to identify, record, evaluate, and change social and academic behaviors of special and diverse populations. It explores theories of classroom management and various approaches to management including use of technological tools. The course emphasizes developing classroom and individual behavior-management plans.

Teaching Math to Students with Disabilities

This two-credit course examines the causes and correlates of math difficulty, contemporary methods of assessment in the domain of math, and evidence-based instructional approaches and interventions for students with math learning disabilities. Students will acquire an understanding of typical development in the domain of mathematics, profiles of various mathematics learning disabilities, methods for assessing mathematical competencies, and research-proven instructional techniques for this population.

Creating Caring and Compassionate Educators

Students majoring in special education benefit from the wisdom and experience of our professors. In addition to serving as classroom teachers, our faculty members have held positions in the Learning Disabilities Program within the Department of Neurology at Boston Children's Hospital, and have specializations in such areas as autism research and behavioral analysis.

Students use the knowledge and skills gained from coursework to become global citizens dedicated to creating equal opportunity for all in the classroom. Our professors are not only focused on teaching students what they need to know to secure a teaching license, but also educating them on the necessity of approaching their work in special education with an abundance of care and compassion.

Photo from Camp Shriver at Stonehill College

Career Development Resources for Students

The Stonehill Career Development Center (CDC) offers extensive assistance to students seeking employment, pursuing advanced studies or participating in postgraduate service opportunities. By working with our mentors, students are empowered to build lifelong career management skills.

Education Studies Specific Career Resources

  • Education Mock Interview Week – Alumni in administrative positions in school districts prepare students for job interviews.
  • Externships and internships in New York; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles (weeklong and semesterlong programs) give students critical field experiences.
  • CDC staff members regularly work with Education Department faculty to present programs on preparing for teaching jobs from resume and cover letters to interviewing.

Research Opportunities

Students who have completed their first year at Stonehill have opportunities to perform significant, publishable, full-time research under the guidance of and in collaboration with an experienced faculty researcher.

Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

SURE is an opportunity for students who have completed their first year at Stonehill to perform full-time, high-quality research over the summer under the guidance of an expert faculty researcher. The experience includes weekly lunches, postgraduate career seminars, program-wide outings and a student poster session in the fall.

Recent Projects

  • Briana Burke '13 with Eunmi Yang, assistant professor of Education: “Investigating impacts of community based learning on preservice teachers’ perceptions of teaching STEM subjects and working with diverse group of students.” (Summer 2012)

Earn Your Master's in Inclusive Education

The Inclusive Education Master’s Degree Program prepares students to deliver evidence-based instruction and intervention for individuals with disabilities in Pre-K to 8 settings. Stonehill education students can complete a traditional four-year undergraduate program and contact the Office of Graduate Admission in their junior year for information about enrolling full-time on campus or in the Stonehill Teacher Residency Program to earn a Master of Education.

Learn More

Contact Information

Margaret E. Pierce

Associate Professor of Education, Education Studies Department Chair
College Center 110C

Lisa Biederwolf

Administrative Assistant II