Issues and Trends in Exceptionality – EDUC 721

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

A research oriented course that focuses on issues and trends that face the discipline of special education. The course utilizes research to analyze and examine through written discussions controversial issues in various areas of exceptionalities.




It is imperative that all educators are prepared to deal with the special needs of exceptional students. Ministering to those in need is the professional responsibility and the spiritual mandate for every Christian. Furthermore, it is necessary that doctoral-level students are able to investigate, interpret, and conduct research that leads to informed decision-making as it affects the education of those with disabilities.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the candidate will be able to:

  1. Understand the problems and issues associated with delivering instruction and services to students with disabilities at various academic levels.
  2. Use critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze and synthesize information relevant to the topics related to issues and trends in special education.
  3. Acquire appropriate research skills by selecting a researchable topic of study, conducting a review of literature, and formulating an appropriate research plan for carrying out that investigation.
  4. Gain competence in using the publication guidelines of the American Psychological Association.
  5. Gain competence in written communication skills as evidenced by performance in discussion board and written assignments.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (6)

Discussion Boards are collaborative learning experiences. The candidate will chose a position after doing the readings for both sides of the issue that week. The student will argue either for or against the topic for that module/week’s reading assignment. The candidate’s argument must be submitted in a thread of at least 300 words. For each thread, the candidate must support his/her assertions with at least two citations in current APA format. The candidate will then reply to a classmate with an opposing viewpoint using a coherent argument that is logical, properly formed in manner and respect, and coherent. Each reply must cite at least one source in current APA format. Acceptable sources include the textbook, the Bible, and article reviews.

Journal Article Critiques (6)

The candidate is required to complete 6 Journal Article Critiques throughout the course. The candidate must select articles related to the topic for his/her Literature Review. Each critique must be 1–2 pages, must follow current APA style, and must be completed using the outline provided in Blackboard.

Course Comprehensive Paper

Thesis: The candidate must have an appropriate topic chosen for his/her Research Proposal, which will be used for the Literature Review. The candidate will then formulate a strong thesis statement.

Research Proposal: The Research Proposal is intended to help the candidate begin thinking about appropriate research techniques. The research proposed must be related to the research topic. The candidate is not required to perform the research that is proposed here, nor does the candidate need to know the specific statistical analysis. The Research Proposal must be 3–5 pages and must follow current APA style.

Literature Review: The candidate will write a 10–15-page Literature Review that utilizes 15–20 sources, primarily research journal articles, and follows current APA style. This assignment will be submitted through SafeAssign and in Blackboard.