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Special Education and Clinical Sciences

Director: 
Christopher Murray, Department Head
CONTACT PERSON: SPECS Academic Secretary
Phone: 
541-346-5521

Location

Mailing Address: 
Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences, College of Education
5261 University of Oregon
Eugene
OR
97403

Through teaching, research, and service, the Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences (SPECS) seeks to improve the quality of education, employment, and community living for children and adults with special needs and their families. The department has three graduate majors: communication disorders and sciences, school psychology, and special education. The department also offers an undergraduate degree in communication disorders and sciences and a minor in special education.

Programs in the Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences improve the quality and outcomes of education, employment, and community living for children and adults with special needs and their families through teaching, research, and service. SPECS faculty actively recruits and supports opportunities for graduate students of all ethnicities, abilities, and orientations.

Undergraduate studies
  • The bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences prepares students for graduate programs in speech-language pathology or audiology.
  • Students in the Special Education minor explore beliefs, attitudes, and issues related to disability.
Graduate studies master's and doctoral degrees may be earned in
  • Communication Disorders and Sciences
  • School Psychology
  • Special Education

Programs

The mission of the Communication Disorders and Sciences (CDS) program is to prepare students to become speech-language pathologists who work successfully with individuals of all ages who are challenged by disorders in communication, cognition, and swallowing and who represent diverse ethnic, cultural, linguistic, social and economic backgrounds. The ability to apply evidence-based practice to the process of enhancing communication skills in meaningful and ecologically valid contexts is emphasized throughout the program. Graduates are prepared to conduct research, provide direct service and consultations in educational and clinical settings.

The CDS program is committed to the goal of preparing students to become speech-language pathologists who can work successfully with individuals of all ages who are challenged by communication disorders and who represent diverse cultural, linguistic, social, and economic backgrounds. The ability to apply empirical evidence, logic, and a scientific perspective to the process of enhancing communication skills in meaningful and ecologically valid contexts is emphasized throughout the program. Graduates assume positions in direct service, leadership, and research in educational, clinical, and consultation settings.

The bachelor's degree in CDS is considered a pre-professional degree. Students can earn either a bachelor of science (B.S.) or a bachelor of arts (B.A.). The CDS program is committed to the goal of preparing students to become speech-language pathologists who can work successfully with individuals of all ages who are challenged by communication disorders and who represent diverse cultural, linguistic, social, and economic backgrounds. The ability to apply empirical evidence, logic, and a scientific perspective to the process of enhancing communication skills in meaningful and ecologically valid contexts is emphasized throughout the program

The doctoral degree program in communication disorders and sciences emphasizes advanced knowledge, scholarship, leadership, and clinical competence in speech-language pathology and cognitive communication sciences. Effective cognitive communicative skills play a key role in the achievement of academic, social, and vocational success and, in turn, in the development of productive and contributing citizens. The philosophy of the Communication Disorders and Sciences (CDS) program is that the ability to communicate and process effectively is a fundamental right of all human beings. When this right is compromised through circumstances affecting any child, adolescent, or adult, society suffers along with the individual.

The main objective of the graduate programs in School Psychology at the University of Oregon is the preparation of problem solving psychologists who work effectively with others in the identification and remediation of social and educational problems with children and adults. The aim of this professional preparation is to develop school psychologists who are grounded thoroughly in the principles of human behavior and educational psychology. School psychology students at the University of Oregon are trained to be scientists/practitioners.

According to the U.S. News & World Report annual survey of top graduate schools, the Special Education program (SPED) at the University of Oregon is Number 3 in the nation—for the 12th year in a row! Our world-renowned faculty provides students with cutting-edge knowledge in evidence-based practices and all students are provided with guided opportunities to apply this knowledge in various settings including early childhood programs, public schools, in one of our clinics, and through research experiences in one of our 17 research and outreach units.

The minor in special education is for students who plan to pursue a career teaching in general or special education, want to work in non-school settings with individuals who have disabilities, or investigate issues concerning disability. The minor offers three options: educational services, disability studies, and pre-licensure SPED teaching.

The faculty and staff in the Special Education major at the UO College of Education are committed to making a difference for people with disabilities and their families by increasing their success in schools, workplaces, and community settings. The master's degree program in special education (SPED) emphasizes knowledge of learners who are identified with learning disabilities, behavior disorders, autism, or severe disabilities. Graduate studies in special education build capacity through personnel preparation, research, outreach, and dissemination. These efforts are focused on systemic approaches to preventing the incidence and prevalence of disabilities as well as to designing and delivering evidence-based services for students with disabilities and their families.

The Early Intervention special education (EI) endorsement program prepares professionals to work with children from birth through age eight who have disabilities ranging from mild to severe. The program integrates didactic course work with practical experience. Full-time students can complete the program in four to six terms. The program can be completed as a 27-credit add-on endorsement (EI I) to an elementary or special education license or as a stand-alone endorsement (EI II).

This two-year licensure and endorsement program prepares pre-service or in-service teachers to work with students with disabilities ages 3-21 in a variety of settings including early childhood/elementary and middle/high school. Graduates of the program are prepared to apply for an initial special education teaching license and endorsement across these multiple levels making this a highly flexible option.

The doctoral program in special education prepares individuals for research and teaching positions in higher education, research positions with private foundations, administrative positions in school districts and other state educational agencies, and consultation positions in professional education. The depth and breadth of research, teaching service, and preparation at the UO College of Education transcend many program options in special education.