University Courses

How Courses are Selected for Provisional Endorsement

Four qualified InSpEd members, including two members of the Expert Panel, assessed courses independently, employing a consensus approach to resolve disagreements.

Using the InSpEd Standards as a guide, nine broad criteria were identified as essential components of a postgraduate qualification in special/inclusive education. These criteria address the skills and knowledge required to work in a range of special education positions in prior to school, school and post school positions and include:

1. Individual/personalised program development including the selection of individual goals and objectives;

2. Data-based instruction including the collection of data to establish individual programs and to monitor progress towards achieving goals and objectives;

3. The use of evidence-based instructional strategies, including direct, explicit and systematic instruction;

4. The principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis, including functional behaviour assessment, positive behaviour support programs, systems of prompting and reinforcement and manipulation of antecedent events;

5. Programming for individuals with high support/complex needs (i.e., individuals with significant intellectual and multiple disabilities) including skills in programming for early communication, social and functional skill development;

6. Collaborative teamwork including skills needed to work with families and other professionals;

7. Knowledge of the relevant policies and legislation relating to individuals with disabilities;

8. Knowledge of research methods and the ability to read and evaluate research into effective interventions for individuals with a range of disabilities; and

9. Practical experience within the course. This might include a prescribed number of days in a special education setting or assignments involving the assessment, program development, implementation and evaluation for individuals with disabilities or other special needs.

The information used to assess courses for endorsement was taken from university websites. Although the available information on websites will be limited, it is important that potential students of postgraduate special education courses are provided with enough information to allow them to make informed decisions as to which course will best prepare them to work in the field. Because information was incomplete, minimal evidence was used to determine that the essential criteria had been met. Provisional endorsement of courses is, therefore, offered and universities are invited to provide more information for full endorsement.