Participating Universities

Okanagan School of Education

Simon Fraser University

Special Education Coursework Offered by

Teacher Education Programs in British Columbia

[Updated Fall 2018]


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 (The Inclusive Classroom: The Special Needs Learner); EDTE 311 (Human Development); EDPB 503(Child and Youth Development).

As well, the VIU Inclusive Education Graduate Diploma consists of the following courses:

GDSE 620 (An Introduction to Special Education); GDSE 591 (Literacy/Numeracy: Foundations and Exemplary Practices); GDSE 583 (Social, Emotional  and Behavioural Needs: Foundations & Exemplary Practice); GDSE 584 (Assistive Technology: Foundations & Exemplary Practices); EDTE 610 (Individual Assessment Using Level B Standardized Measures); GDSE 585 (Collaborative Planning for Student Success); GDSE 582 (Special Topic: Investigation of Practice); GDSE 586 (Gifted Learners:  Investigation of Practice); GDSE 587 (Modifying Curriculum for Low Functioning Students: Investigation of Practice); GDSE 588 (FASD: Investigation of Practice); GDSE 589 (Autism: Investigation of Practice); GDSE 590 (Conference Related Special Project).

VIU also offers a Masters in Special Education degree program.  Courses in this program include: MEDS 510 (Foundations of Special Education); MEDL530 (Critical Issues in Special Education); MEDS 520 (Development and Exceptionality in Human Learning); MEDS 540 (Teacher as Researcher in Special Education); MEDS 610 (Individual Assessment and Intervention Planning); MEDS 620 (Translating Special Education Research into Practice).


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). 

For September 2017 and January 2018: Beginning in September 2017, all students will be required to take EDUC 336 (Learning and Diversity: Include Classrooms/Learning Disabilities) which will combine the content and foci of EDUC 435 and EDUC 436 as they are phased out. 

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 Inquiry-based 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 Bachelor of Education (Elementary) Program requires every student to complete two 3-credit Inclusive and Special Education courses: EDIE 3100 (Child Development and Teaching), and EDIE 4100 (Special Education). A 3-credit Special Education Course elective is also offered: EDIE 4150 (Inclusive Education: Specific Learning Disabilities). 

TRU's Bachelor of Education (Secondary) STEM Program requires every student to complete two 3-credit Inclusive and Special Education courses: EDIE 3100 (Child and Youth Development and Teaching), and EDIE 4150 (Inclusive Education: Specific Learning Disabilities). 

TRU’s Masters of Education offers five elective 3-credit Inclusive and Special Education courses.  These courses are also open as professional development opportunities for teachers on a course by-course basis, following approval of the M.Ed. Coordinator.  EDUC 5100 Selected Topics in Exceptionalities: Foundations of Inclusive Education; EDUC 5110 Mind, Brain, and Education: An Introduction to Educational Neuroscience; EDUC 5120 Assessment of Exceptionalities: Theory and Practice; EDUC 5130Managing Multiple Systems: Policy and Practice; EDUC 5140 Literacy for Individuals with Exceptionalities: Theory, Research, and Practice.


Okanagan School of Education (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. All 7.5 units/ 15 credits from the Certificate ladder into a 7.5 unit/30 credit Diploma in Special Education for a total of 15 units /30 credits upon successful completion of both programs. Both programs are offered in online format.

M.Ed. and MA in Special Education degree programs:

The University of Victoria offers a course-based M.Ed. and a research-based M.A. in Special Education. These programs provide the opportunity for advanced study in research and practice to support the needs of students with exceptionalities. This includes students with learning disabilities, emotional and behaviour disorders, sensory impairments, communication disorders, intellectual and physical disabilities, chronic health conditions, or students who are gifted. Practices that promote inclusion, resilience, and the developmental health of exceptional populations across multiple contexts (e.g., school, home, community) are emphasized.?


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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