CPSE 618 Syllabus

CPSE 618 Syllabus

CPSE 618--Syllabus

Brigham Young University

Course Professor

Dr. Betty Ashbaker

340-C MCKB


Phone: 801-422-8361

Course Description

This course studies laws, regulations, and civil court actions in determining services for students with disabilities. Policy issues and problem solving use a legal reference for decision making regarding programs and services for students with disabilities.

Focus: This is an advanced-level course in special education. It includes an extensive coverage of federal and state laws and regulations, as well as civil court actions in the determination of services to children with disabilities. The course places emphasis is on policy issues and practical problem solving using a legal reference as a framework for decision-making.


An introductory course in special education law.

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcome or course objective for this course is an advanced level of the CEC/NCATE Knowledge and Skill Base Standards for teacher licensure. Many of the objectives mirror those of Standard #1 for the Special Education Administrator. These standards are listed at the end of this syllabus, following the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Common Core for Cultural Competencies.

As a student in this course, you will demonstrate through various activities that you understand and implement practices that are in keeping with the laws related to students’ rights and teachers’ and paraprofessionals’ responsibilities (e.g., for equal education, appropriate education for students with disabilities, confidentiality, privacy, appropriate treatment of students, reporting situations related to possible child abuse, and so on). You will gain in-depth understanding of the legal issues related to the delivery of special education services, which you will be able to explain in writing and/or verbally.

You will develop and demonstrate a working knowledge of the following:

 Laws and policies for general and special education including the scope of law in education and its influence on special education, with emphasis on IDEA ’97, NCLB, FERPA, ADA, and 504.

 The evolution of laws and policies that affect the lives of individuals with exceptionalities and their families from birth through adulthood.

 The rights of families as those rights relate to educational issues (procedural safeguards, due process, FERPA, ADA, and the Rehabilitation Act).

 The provisions of IDEA ‘97 including the IEP. FAPE, LRE, and Due Process.

 The influence of administrative rulings and court decisions through case law standards that guide practices.

 Various analytic frameworks that guide legal analysis.

 The dynamic nature of educational law and methods to identify tools and resources to assist students in keeping current.

Required Texts

 The text for this course is Latham, P., Latham, P., & Mandlawitz, M. (2008). Special Education Law. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

 What Every Educator Should Know About

 You must also have access to The American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

 Your state’s regulations for special education.

Course Expectations/Student and Professor Responsibilities

As a student in this course, please be aware of your responsibilities.

Preparation and Participation

Be prepared for each lesson by reading and pondering the readings from the text, online links, and any additional recommended resources. Be prepared to discuss (usually in writing) and evaluate the content. Complete all assignments and written work.

Academic Honesty

The first injunction of the BYU Honor Code is the call to be honest. Students come to the university not only to improve their minds, gain knowledge, and develop skills that will assist them in their life’s work, but also to build character. President David O. McKay taught that “character is the highest aim of education” (The Aims of a BYU Education, p. 6). It is the purpose of the BYU Academic Honesty Policy to assist in fulfilling that aim. BYU students should seek to be totally honest in their dealings with others. They should complete their own work and be evaluated based upon that work. They should avoid academic dishonesty and misconduct in all its forms, including but not limited to plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, cheating, and other academic misconduct.

Honor Code

In keeping with the principles of the BYU Honor Code, students are expected to be honest in all of their academic work. Academic honesty means, most fundamentally, that any work you present as your own must in fact be your own work and not that of another. Violations of this principle may result in a failing grade in the course and additional disciplinary action by the university. Students are also expected to adhere to the Dress and Grooming Standards. Adherence demonstrates respect for yourself and others and ensures an effective learning and working environment. It is the university’s expectation, and my own expectation in class, that each student will abide by all Honor Code standards. Please call the Honor Code Office at 422-2847 if you have questions about those standards.

Preventing Sexual Harassment

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an educational program or activity that receives federal funds. The act is intended to eliminate sex discrimination in education. Title IX covers discrimination in programs, admissions, activities, and student-to-student sexual harassment. BYU’s policy against sexual harassment extends not only to employees of the university, but to students as well. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, please talk to your professor; contact the Equal Employment Office at 422-5895 or 367-5689 (24-hours); or contact the Honor Code Office at 422-2847.

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office (422-2767). Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified, documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the SSD Office. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures by contacting the Equal Employment Office at 422-5895, D-285 ASB.


The substitution of another person's work for the student's own or the inclusion of another person's work without adequate acknowledgment (whether done intentionally or not) is known as plagiarism. Writing submitted for credit at BYU must consist of the student's own ideas presented in sentences and paragraphs of his or her own construction. The work of other writers or speakers may be included when appropriate (as in a research paper or book review), but such material must support the student's own work (not substitute for it) and must be clearly identified by appropriate introduction and punctuation and by footnoting or other standard referencing. Plagiarism is a violation of academic, ethical, and legal standards and can result in a failing grade not only for the paper but also for the course in which the paper is written. In extreme cases, it can justify expulsion from the University. Because of the seriousness of the possible consequences, students who wonder if their papers are within these guidelines should visit or contact the BYU Writing Lab or consult a faculty member who specializes in the teaching of writing or who specializes in the subject discussed in the paper.

Professor's Promises

As your professor for this course, I will:

1. Prepare up-to-date, useful materials.

2. Use effective instruction based on the research literature.

3. Grade student’s work, enter grades into the Independent Study grade book, and return students’ work (where applicable) within 72 hours of receiving it.

4. Respond to student’s questions and communications within 72 hours. Please be aware that Independent Study instructs students to contact the Student Support office before attempting to contact the Instructor.

5. Conduct myself in accordance with standards of professionalism.

6. Use instructional strategies (in written format) to facilitate students' maintenance and generalization of skills across learning environments.

7. Use procedures to increase the student’s self-management, self-control, and self-reliance.

Methodologies/Teaching Strategies

This course is designed to help you reach learning the learning outcomes through a combination of readings and application exercises tailored to your own situation. This includes reading assignments focused on legal topics in education, case studies, and application exercises.

Course Requirements & Grading Policy

Grades are based on your demonstration of competence and effort in handling the assigned tasks, and on a 1-hour final examination.

1. Reading-related activities and writing assignments

Each lesson has from one to six activities. These are written reading-related application assignments, which correspond with class topics and reading materials.

 The purpose of written assignments in this course is to give you opportunities to show your thinking as you learn the legal requirements for special education teachers. You analyze legal actions taken against teachers, and you synthesize your knowledge of the positive actions you can take in your classroom. These writing activities are designed to help you show your understanding of special education concepts.

 All these assignments are limited in length. In several chapters, you are provided with case scenarios involving current issues in special education. Using resource materials, students will write to that issue, covering the following areas:

 Historical background

 Legal emphasis

 Best practices

 Summary with the action you will take, given the scenario or questions

Please document all references and avoid opinions unless they are supported by historical, legal, or best-practice references.

I expect your written reports to be professional. You should proofread your report at least twice prior to submitting it. Reports should be free of errors in spelling, grammar, and typographical errors. Repots should be written in American Psychological Association 6th Edition style format. Papers must be typed (preferably in Microsoft Word) and may be submitted electronically or in hard copy. Remember, always keep copies of your work!

The written assignments are worth 26% of your course grade.

2. Final Exam

A comprehensive final exam covers the learning outcomes of this course. This exam is written rather than multiple choice. It will be closed book. The final exam is worth 35% of your course grade. You can best prepare for the exam by reviewing the learning outcomes for each lesson and making sure that you can thoroughly complete each outcome.

Calculation of Grades

Course Activities / Percent
1. / Portfolio Assignments 13 lessons and 42 activities @ 5 points each. / 210
2. / Chapter quiz @ 13= 10 points each / 130
2. / Final exam (written, comprehensive during the scheduled day of final) / 60
Total / 400

Grade Scale

 A(max:100, min:95)

 A-(max:94, min:90)

 B+(max:89, min:87)

 B(max:86, min:83)

 B-(max:82, min:80)

 C+(max:79, min:77)

 C(max:76, min:73)

 C-(max:72, min:70)

 D+(max:69, min:67)

 D(max:66, min:63)

 D-(max:62, min:60)

 E(max:59, min:0)

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Common Core for Cultural Competencies

CC1K8 Historical points of view and contribution of culturally diverse groups.

CC8K2 Legal provisions and ethical principles regarding assessment of individuals.

CC9S6 Skills: Demonstrate sensitivity for the culture, language, religion, gender, disability, socio-economic status, and sexual orientation of individuals.

Standard 9 - Professional and Ethical Practice

Skills: Practice within the CEC Code of Ethics and other standards of the profession.

 Conduct professional activities in compliance with applicable laws and policies.

 Demonstrate sensitivity for the culture, language, religion, gender, disability, socio-economic status, and sexual orientation of individuals.

 Practice within one’s skill limit and obtain assistance as needed. Reflect on one’s practice to improve instruction and guide professional growth.

 Engage in professional activities that benefit individuals with exceptional learning needs, their families, and one’s colleagues.

Standard 10 - Collaboration


 Concerns of families of individuals with exceptional learning needs and strategies to help address these concerns.

 Culturally responsive factors that promote effective communication and collaboration with individuals with exceptional learning needs, families, school personnel, and community members.


 Maintain confidential communication about individuals with exceptional learning needs.

 Assist individuals with exceptional learning needs and their families in becoming active participants in the educational team by planning methods to collaborative conferences with individuals with exceptional learning needs and their families.

 Communicate with school personnel about the characteristics and needs of individuals with exceptional learning needs.

CEC Knowledge and Skill Base for All Beginning Special Education Administrators

Special Education Standard #1: Foundations

Special Education Administrator

Laws and policies for general and special education.
Evolution of laws and policies that impact the lives of individuals with exceptionalities and their families from birth through adulthood.
Political and economic issues that affect policy development.
Development and implementation of policies and regulations for individuals with exceptional learning needs and their families.
Laws and policies regarding assessment, program evaluation, and accountability related to individuals with exceptional learning needs.
Research related to educational change.
Sources of funding
Laws and policies governing the discipline of all students and implications for individuals with exceptional learning needs.
Legal and ethical issues of behavior management of individuals with exceptional learning needs.
Family systems and the role of families in supporting development and educational progress of the individual with exceptional learning needs.
Interpret laws and policies pertaining to individuals with exceptional learning needs.

Disclaimer: This course is not intended to replace the advice and counsel of a qualified attorney. Rather, it is designed to make educators more aware of the requirements of the laws governing education, especially special education.

INTASC/NCATE Standards for Law Class

INTASC-10 / STANDARD: The teacher fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students' learning and well-being.
INTASC-10.C / The teacher understands and implements laws related to students' rights and teacher responsibilities (e.g. for equal education, appropriate education for handicapped students, confidentiality, privacy, appropriate treatment of students, reporting in situations related to possible child abuse).
NCATE-1.C / Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills: Teacher candidates can apply their professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards to facilitate learning. They consider the school, family, and community contexts in which they work and the prior experience of students to develop meaningful learning experiences.
NCATE-1.C(NT) / Professional Knowledge and Skills: Candidates for other professional school roles have an adequate understanding of the professional knowledge expected in their fields and delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards. They know their students, families, and communities; use current research to inform their practices; use technology in their practices; and support student learning through their professional services.