Undergraduate Catalog 2012 - 2013


View By Minor

For undergraduate admissions contact admissions@wpunj.edu

For graduate admissions contact graduate@wpunj.edu

Please send catalog comments to catalog@wpunj.edu

Department of Special Ed & Counseling

Professor: P. Danzinger, C. Mulrine

 Associate Professors:  J. D’Haem, P. Griswold, K. McNeal, M. Urgolo Huckvale (chair), T. Vandergast

 Assistant Professors:  P. Brilliante, A. Chambers, L. Dean, K. Decker, M. Drew, M. Gonzalez, M. Hinkle, I. Van Riper, P. Weng 

The Department of Special Education and Counseling collaborates with the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education and the Department of Secondary and Middle School Education to offer dual licensure (DL) programs leading to Early Childhood P-3 certification, Elementary Education K-6 certification or Secondary Education K-12 certification with an endorsement as Teacher of Students with Disabilities (TSD). Candidates in the Elementary Education/TSD program may also earn a 5-8 Subject area endorsement. 

Coursework and field experiences prepare teacher candidates to plan, implement, and assess instruction in regular education inclusive classrooms and in self-contained special education settings. The curriculum includes an introduction to public education in a diverse society, learner characteristics associated with disabilities identified in IDEA 2004 and their effect, and content related to educating all students to assume roles in society.

The focus is on research-based practices in assessment, instructional strategies, classroom management, and the use of general technologies to enhance classroom teaching and adaptive/assistive technologies to permit all learners to access the general education curriculum to the maximum extent possible. Important aspects of the program are its emphasis on developing collaborative practices with colleagues and parents, including those from culturally diverse backgrounds, and addressing lifespan issues and transitions.

The DL program has earned accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) by enabling teacher candidates to demonstrate proficiency in the teaching standards established by the New Jersey Department of Education and the Council for Exceptional Children, the Association for childhood Educaiton International, the Natiional Association for the Education of Young Children and subject area professional organizations. While graduates are certified to teach in all disability categories, except sensory impairments, the majority of special education coursework addresses the needs of learners with mild or moderate disabilities. 

Most courses meet during the day; field experiences begin in junior year and continue through the senior teaching internship. Assuming a liberal arts major of 36 credits, students would need to complete  15 to 17 credits beyond the minimum of 120 credits needed to graduate to complete the DL program. Thus, good planning,  frequent contact and the preparation of a path to graduation with an advisor are necessary for timely degree completion. Below is a summary of program requirements.


All students entering William Paterson University in fall, 2011 or afterwards must complete the Universal  Core Curriculum (UCC) requirements.  In certain areas of the University Core Curriculum, the DL programs have identified required courses and directed electives.  Selection of specific courses should be made with an advisor. In order to be accepted into a DL major, students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the end of 60 credits, pass the PRAXIS CORE Battery of Academic Skills for Educators exam

In order to enter the last three semesters of the DL majors (the practicum semesters and the student teaching semester), a student must successfully complete areas 1-3 of the UCC courses before beginning the first practicum semester. Teacher candidates apply to the Office of Field Experiences by October 15 for placement the following fall and by March 15 for placement the following spring. Applications and the accompanying biographical data form are available from the Office of Field Experiences and on its website www.wpunj.edu/coe/Departments/OFE/ofehome.htm. By the time a teacher candidate has completed 60 credits, she/he must obtain a New Jersey substitute teaching license. In addition, the teacher candidate must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and a GPA of 3.0 or better in the DL major, with at least a C in each education course in order to student teach. DL majors must also take and pass the appropriate Praxis II Subject Assessment exam(s) by August 1st to student teach in the fall semester and by January 1st  to student teach in the spring semester. 

Since advisement is critical to timely degree completion, students interested in pursuing the DL programs are encouraged to contact the department as soon as possible, visit the department's webpage frequently for updated information at http://www.wpunj.edu/coe/departments/sped/  and develop a path to graduation with their advisor. 

All students must complete a major in an appropriate liberal arts or science area (listed below), in addition to their education major.

For P-3 and K-6 education majors seeking the TSD endorsement, the following liberal arts or science majors are acceptable: 

  • Africana-World Studies 
  • Anthropology 
  • Art: History, Studio, Fine Arts
  • Asian Studies(East Asian or South Asian)
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Communication: Interpersonal, Print Journalism 
  • Earth Science
  • English: Literature, Writing
  • Geography
  • History 
  • Latin American Studies
  • Integrated Math and Science 
  • Liberal Studies in Humanities and Social Science (select areas only) 
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy 
  • Political Science
  • Psychology 
  • Sociology: General Studies
  • Spanish 
  • Women and Gender Studies

For students seeking the middle school endorsement (5-8 on the K-6 certificate), the following academic majors are acceptable: 

  • Asian Studies(Chinese Language, Japanese Language)
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • English (literature, writing) 
  • Geography(used towards Social Studies 5-8 license)
  • History((used towards Social Studies 5-8 license)
  • Integrated Math and Science
  • Liberal Studies Humanities and Social Science(selected areas only)
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science(used towards Social Studies 5-8 license)
  • Spanish

For secondary education majors seeking K-12 certification in a specific subject field with TSD, a list of approved majors offered by the University with a list of corresponding teaching certificates offered by the state of New Jersey follows: 

  • Art (fine arts, history, studio)
  • Asian Studies(Chinese Language or Japanese Language) 
  • Biology
  • Chemistry 
  • Earth Science
  • English* (literature, writing)
  • Geography(used towards Social Studies 5-8 license)
  • History(used towards Social Studies 5-8 license)
  • Integrated Math and Science
  • Liberal Studies Humanities and Social Science(selected areas only)
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science(used towards Social Studies 5-8 license)
  • Spanish

Students who enter William Paterson with an AA or AS degree earned since 2005 from a New Jersey community college will be assumed to have met the general education requirements of the University. However, each education major has directed electives that are required. It is expected that all courses and field experiences in the professional preparation program will be completed at the University. Transfer credits in education are generally not accepted for courses taken toward an associate's degree, unless a specific articulation agreement has been reached with the two-year college. Limited transfers or substitutions of professional courses from other colleges are accepted only from NCATE-accredited institutions and must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the department chairperson for approval. 

To be eligible for dual certification in either elementary or secondary education, teacher candidates must complete a prescribed education major. This professional preparation program is an intensive one in the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching that culminates in a full semester, senior year, teaching internship in a school system. Teacher candidates must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in the education major as well as a pverall GPA of 3.0.  

All certification candidates must take and pass the appropriate PRAXIS II Subject Assessment exam(s) before entering the student teaching semester. Information regarding PRAXIS examinations is available from the Office of Educational Enrollment and Certification, 1600 Valley Road, room 4113. Information and registration for the PRAXIS II exams are available online at www.ets.org. Candidates completing the K6/TSD/5-8 program must take and pass all required Praxis exams for their program of study prior to their student teaching semester. It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure that the university has received all Praxis score information according to the required timelines. The test codes and required pass scores can be found online at http://www.wpunj.edu/coe/departments/sped/sped-programs.dot

Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6:11-5.1, teacher candidates successfully completing one of the professional program sequences as well as passing the appropriate Praxis II Subject Assessment Examination(s) are issued a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) that permits them to seek employment in New Jersey requiring instructional certification. The standard (permanent) certificate will later be issued to an individual who achieves certain evaluation ratings within a three-year(consecutive)span of teaching, as per N.J.A.C.:6A:9B-8.7.(Program and certification requirements are subject to change, pending NJ Department of Education changes).

Other Requirements for Early Childhood P-3/TSD    K-6/TSD and K-12 TSD Majors 

Additional requirements for Elementary and Early Childhood Education Majors may be found at the following links: 

Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education Webpage


Office of Enrollment and Certification Website


Office of Field Experience Website


In addition, P-3/TSD and K-6/TSD majors need to complete two courses in Mathematics, two courses in History one of which has to be an American History course, and two courses in Science.

Students majoring in K-12/TSD must complete either BIO1140 or BIO1200.