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This is a one year full-time or two year part-time study program which is available to early childhood educators who possess the personal, professional and academic qualifications necessary to work with people of diverse abilities. It provides students with both theoretical and practical experiences which introduce them to a variety of intervention methods.

Participants also acquire skills necessary to create and implement individual treatment and educational programs for exceptional children. Applicants must have acquired either the College's two year early childhood education or youth worker diploma, or their equivalent. All applicants will also be required to attend an interview as part of the application process.

Special Education Diploma Courses

Courses: Year 1

SPE 3233 Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology

A study of human body systems, disabilities and health impairments which help us understand delays and exceptionalities in developmental progress and early learning.

PSA 1036 Communication & Sensory Disorders

Students will examine communication and sensorimotor disabilities.  Communication skills lie at the base of much of what is done in special education, and therefore must be fully understood.  Students will discuss the significant impact hearing, vision and language disorders have on learning and development and the ways teachers can assist visual learners to attain maximum benefit from school and society.  All students will have a basic understanding of computers in the classroom.

PSA 1046 Individual Differences in Learning and Behavior

This course contains information on mental retardation, learning disabilities, and the gifted and talented.  Educational services created should not be determined solely by the type of exceptionalness being addressed; therefore, there is an examination of the various categories of exceptionalness.  All students will receive certification in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention.

SPE 3083 Introduction to Counselling

This course will focus on the development of skills necessary to counsel, one on one, and in small groups. Students will be invited to explore their individual beliefs regarding youth and/or persons having diverse needs. The role of counselling in the helping relationship will be addressed.

SPE 3213 Observation, Screening and Assessment

Students must understand and apply observation and recording methods and testing instruments in the classroom, lab and clinical setting to obtain accurate assessments useful in the creation of intervention programs.

SPE 3223 Working With Adults in Vocational and Residential Settings

This course is an introduction to the history, philosophy and acceptable practice in the fields of adult care and programming.  An examination of those services available to adults with specialized needs, as well as the appropriate delivery of these services, will be a primary focus.

SPE 3163 Early Intervention: Theory

The history and development of the Early Intervention will be reviewed. Students will look at current practice as it relates to children with diverse abilities due to developmental, genetic and environmental influences. Specific interventions will be explored in the areas of cognition, motor function, communication and self help.

SPE 3173 Early Intervention: Practical Application

This course provides practical experience in understanding interdisciplinary approaches to intervention and the provision of treatment and educational plans.  Students will take part in a home intervention service with opportunity to apply skills in observing, reporting, the design of individual education plans and working with parents.


1 year full time
Part-time in Truro only


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