Participating Universities

UBC Okanagan

Simon Fraser University

Special Education Coursework Offered by

Teacher Education Programs in British Columbia

[Updated Spring 2013]


University of BC (Vancouver, BC)

UBC¹s mandatory courses in Special Education, for all UBC teacher education students, are as follows:

EPSE 308 (Human Development, Learning and Diversity); EPSE 310 (Assessment and Learning in the Classroom); EPSE 311 (Cultivating Supportive School and Classroom Environments) and EPSE 317 (Development and Exceptionality in the Regular Classroom).  

UBC also offers studies in Special Education for professional development for teachers and other professionals by way of a post-baccalaureate Diploma in Special Education. This diploma is comprised of 30 credits of EPSE courses at the 300-400 level. Some sample courses include  EPSE 303 (Teaching Highly Able Learners); EPSE 312 (Introduction to the Study of Exceptional Children); EPSE 320 (Classroom Inclusion of Students who are Blind and Visually Impaired); EPSE 421 (Assessment of Learning Difficulties); EPSE 410 (Assistive Technologies in Special Education), EPSE 411 (Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Individuals with Severe Speech and/or Physical Impairments); EPSE 437 (Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Behaviour Disorders); and EPSE 449 (Education of Students with Autism).


Vancouver Island University (Nanaimo, BC)

VIU’s mandatory courses in Special Education--taken by all VIU teacher education students—are as follows: Mandatory Courses: EDTE 532 (Special Educational Needs in the Classroom); EDTE 615 (Human Development: Special Educational Needs); EDTE 618 (Human Development: Special Educational Needs); EDTE 311 (Human Development); EDPB 503 (Child and Youth Development).

As well, the VIU Post-degree Diploma in Special Education consists of the following courses:

EDTE 620 (An Introduction to Special Education); EDPD 591 (Literacy/Numeracy: Foundations and Exemplary Practices); EDPD 583 (Social, Emotional  and Behavioural Needs: Foundations & Exemplary Practice); EDPD 584 (Assistive Technology: Foundations & Exemplary Practices); EDTE 61 (Individual Assessment Using Level B Standardized Measures); EDPD 585 (Collaborative Planning for Student Success); EDPD 582 (Special Topic: Investigation of Practice); EDPD 586 (Gifted Learners:  Investigation of Practice); EDPD 587 (Modifying Curriculum for Low Functioning Students: Investigation of Practice); EDPD 588 (FASD: Investigation of Practice); EDPD 589 (Autism: Investigation of Practice); EDPD 590 (Conference Related Special Project).

There’s more! VIU’s new Masters in Special Education degree program was launched in Sept. 2010.


University of Northern B.C. (Prince George, BC)

UNBC’s required courses in Special Education are EDUC 435: (Learning and Diversity: Inclusive Classrooms (incl. development of IEPs, adapting and modifying work, assessment, reporting, working with parents, socialization skills); EDUC 436: Learning & Diversity: Learning Disabilities (bureaucratics – white book, funding, IEPs, laws, MoE handbooks; General Learning Disabilities – instruction; Specific learning disabilities: FASD, ASD, dyslexia, AD(H)D; Assessments; Role of school-based teams.)

In addition, several UNBC required courses include content related to Special Education topics:

EDUC 333: (Learning, Development & Motivation, including Exceptional Learning Needs and IEPs; Special Education and Standardized Testing); EDUC 357: (Language & Literacy:  Reading & Writing including diagnosis and remediation of reading difficulties); EDUC 456: (Language & Literacy:  Across the Curriculum, including learning tools for special education); EDUC 340 : Curriculum Models (including Special Needs and Emergent Curriculum); EDUC 341 (Principles of Instruction, including learning tools for special education; Special Needs Students and IEPs; Special classes, inclusion, and pull-out programs). EDUC 342: (Social Dynamics of Classrooms, (including learning tools for special education); EDUC 346: (Introduction to Aboriginal education, including special education issues and historical perspectives for Aboriginal students); EDUC 431: (Educational technology, including assistive and adaptive technologies; website design for visually-impaired children); EDUC 360: (Curriculum & Instruction: Introduction, including planning for special needs students–adaptations); EDUC 413:  (Counselling Skills, including collaboration with school-based team members to develop IEPs for special needs students).

UNBC’s M.Ed. degree in Special Education, offered via the internet, offers the following courses:

EDUC 633 (3): Human Development: Implications for Education; EDUC 635 (3): Educating Exceptional Students; EDUC 636 (3): Language and Learning Disabilities; EDUC 609 (3): Aboriginal Learners: History, Culture, and Ways of Knowing; EDUC 620 (4): Educational Assessment and Evaluation; EDUC 621 (3) Classroom Assessment Practices; EDUC 622 (4): Psycho-educational Assessment; EDUC 632 (3): Language Development: Implications for Education; EDUC 634 (3) Achievement Motivation; EDUC 637 (3) Interventions for Literacy Disorders; EDUC 638 (3) Mathematic Disorders and Remediation; EDUC 639 (3) School-Based Teams, Consultants, and Families; EDUC 640 (3) Focus on a Selected Disability; EDUC 642 (3) Personal and Career Planning for Students with Special Needs;


University of the Fraser Valley (Abbotsford and Chilliwack, BC)

UFV’s Teacher Education Program requires every student to complete two core courses with a special education focus, EDUC 412 (Introduction to Development and Special Learning Needs) (3 credits) and EDUC 454: (Mental Health & Special Learning Needs in Schools) (2 credits)

UFV offers other Special Education-related courses as well:
ECE 160: (Introduction to Disabilities); ECE 242: (Practicum – Special Needs), CYC 496: (Special Topics–Disability Issues); FAM 03: (Understanding Children’s Behaviour(; HSER 196: (Personal Care for Persons with Disabilities); PSYC 241: (Psychological Disorders); SLA 203: (Communication Disorders & Intervention Techniques); SOWK 496: (Disability Issues).


Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops, BC)

TRU's Teacher Education Program requires every student to complete two Special Education courses: EDPY 3100 (Child Development and Teaching), and EDPY 4100 (Special Education). An optional 3-credit Special Education Course is also offered: EDPY 4150 (Specific Learning Disabilities).

In addition, TRU offers post-B.Ed . Certificate and Diploma Programs in Inclusive and Special Education . Individuals seeking admission to these programs must have a B. Ed. Degree (or the equivalent), and be eligible for certification in BC. The Certificate program is comprised of five courses for a total of 15 credits. The Diploma program is comprised of ten courses for a total of 30 credits. Fifty percent of the certificate and diploma courses may be transferred in from other universities' special education course offerings, with approval from the Inclusive and Special Education Coordinator.

TRU's course offerings for the Certificate and/or Diploma programs consist of the following: EDPY 4200: (Assistive Technologies in Special Education); EDPY 4210: (Assessment of Learning Difficulties; EDPY 4220: Field Experience in Special Education); EDPY 4230: (Selected Topics in Special Education); EDPY 4320: (Behaviour Management for Children in Regular Classrooms); EDPY 4340: (Differentiation in Mathematics); EDPY 4380: (Methodologies and Interventions for Beginning Reading and Writing); EDPY 4390: (Fluency and Reading Comprehension). EDPY 4400 : (Methodologies and Intervention for Writing); EDPY 4410 : (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) (1 credit); EDPY 4420: (Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (1 credit); EDPY 4430: (Structuring School Discipline (1 credit); EDPY 4440: (Autism Spectrum Disorder) (1 credit); EDPY 4450: (Leadership in Special Education) (1 credit); EDPY 4460: (Functional Behaviour Assessment) (1 credit); EDPY 4470: (Universal Design for Differentiated Instruction); EDPY 4480: (Learning Disabilities in the General Education Classroom); EDPY 4500: (Directed Studies); EDPY 4800: (Introduction to Special Education and Children with Learning Difficulties); EDPY 4810: (Advanced Assessment of Learning Difficulties; EDPY 4820: (Advanced Adaptations and Modifications); EDPY 4830: (Assessment and Learning Practicum); EDPY 4840: (Programming for Children with Behaviour Disorders).

The TRU Masters of Education – Inclusive and Special Education has been proposed and its commencement is planned for September 2014.


University of BC, Okanagan (Kelowna, BC)

In UBCO’s teacher education program, two courses in Special Education are mandatory. In the Elementary teacher education program, the required Special Education courses are EDUC 405: (2 credits) (Developing Learner); and EDUC 415: (2 credits) (Learning Difficulties).

In the Secondary teacher education program, the required Special Education courses are EDUC 405: (2 credits) (Developing Learner), and EDUC 456:  (3 credits) (Special Needs in Secondary Education).

UBCO also offers a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (15 credits) and a Diploma Program (30 credits) in Inclusive Education. The courses available for these Certificate and Diploma programs are the following:

UBC Okanagan Post Baccalaureate Courses in Inclusive Education

EPSE 421: Assessment of Learning Difficulties (3 credits); EPSE 431: Programming for Children with Specific Learning Disabilities (3 credits); EPSE 437: Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Behaviour Disorders (3 credits); EPSE 464: Literacy for Diverse Learners in the Elementary Grades (3 credits); EPSE 465: Literacy for Diverse Learners in Middle and Secondary Grades (3 credits); EPSE466: Numeracy for Diverse Learners (3 credits); EPSE 467: Social and Emotional Development of Diverse Learners (3 credits); EPSE 468: Creating Positive Learning Environments for Inclusive Education (3 credits); EPSE 469: Education for Students with Sensory Loss and Motor Impairments (3 credits); EPSE 470: Selected Topics in Inclusive Education (3/9 credits); EPSE 471: Applied Project in Inclusive Education (3/6 credits); EPSE 472: Issues in Inclusive Education (3 credits)

ETEP: EDUC 405: The Developing Learner; EDUC 415: Learning Difficulties

STEP: EDUC 405: The Developing Learner; EDUC 447: The Adolescent in the Classroom; EDUC 456: Special Needs in Secondary Education.


Trinity Western University (Langley, BC)

In TWU’s teacher education program, EDUC 310: (The Exceptional Child in the Regular Classroom) is a mandatory course. EDUC 412: (Strategies for the Exceptional Student) is an optional course.

TWU also offers a 24-semester hour Minor in Special Education, completion of which can count as one of students’ two subject-area specializations.

Other courses that include content related to the needs of special learners include:  EDUC 321 (Curriculum Planning for the Classroom including classes on Differentiated Curriculum); EDUC 401 (Assessment for Learning including classes on Differentiated Assessment); EDUC 455, 456, 457, 458, 459, 460, 471, 472 (Curriculum and Pedagogy Courses in specific subject areas that also include attention to inclusive pedagogy and planning); EDUC 400:  Classroom Leadership and Management (topics include interventions for children and adolescents with behavior disorders). 


University of Victoria (Victoria, BC)

UVIC’s mandatory course in special education for all teacher education students is ED-D 420: (Learning Support: Context and Key Issues).

In addition to this course:

  • The B.Ed. Elementary 4-year program offers four additional courses as electives: ED-D 421: (Recognition and Assessment of Learning Needs); ED-D 422: (Management and Adaptation of the Classroom Environment); EDCI 424: (Adaptation of Curriculum and Instructional Strategies (Literacy); EDCI 428: (Adaptation of Curriculum and Instructional Strategies [Mathematical]). Students in this program may also choose from EDCI 441: (Supporting Learners Experiencing Difficulties with Literacy I). and EDCI 442: (Supporting Learners Experiencing Difficulties with Literacy II), although these courses are typically taken by practising teachers through Continuing Studies in Education.
  • The secondary physical education teaching area (5-year B. Ed. Secondary program) now includes EPHE 250: (Inclusion of Students with Special Needs in Physical Education).

UVIC also offers a 7.5 unit / 15 credit Professional Specialization Certificate in Special Education, and a 15 unit /30 credit Diploma in Special Education.


Simon Fraser University (Burnaby and Surrey, BC)

In the SFU PDP (Professional Development Program), EDUC 401/2 and EDUC 405 include special needs pedagogy in experiential, reflective, and theorized ways.  All the modules of the PDP and PQP include special needs pedagogy as an integrated piece of the EDUC 401/2/5 programmatic weave.  This is particularly so for PTEM (becoming PLP) where expertise in supporting special needs students is attenuated in terms of inclusive curricular and instructional practices.

EDUC 315: (Individual and Developmental Differences in Language Acquisition); EDUC 422: (Learning Disabilities); EDUC 424: (Learning Disabilities Laboratory); EDUC 427: (Teaching Children with Special Needs in Inclusive Classrooms).

At SFU, courses are not the only way for student teachers to learn how to teach students with special education needs. All SFU undergraduate courses in Education include psychological and instructional bases for addressing special needs education.

Field Programs Graduate Diploma, Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Special Education, Learning and Developmental Disabilities Minor. Coursework includes EDUC 828: (Instructional Practices for Inclusive Classrooms), EDUC 829: (Contemporary Issues in Learning Disabilities), and EDUC 876: (Cognitive Intervention Research).


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