Welcome

Youngstown State University is located an hour from Cleveland and Pittsburgh.  The Department of Counseling, Special Education, and School Psychology develops professionals who are committed to empowering individuals to achieve their full potential.  

The mission of the Department of Counseling, Special Education, and School Psychology is to develop professional counselors, intervention specialists, school psychologists, and related helping professionals. We seek to produce graduates who are sensitive to the impacts of human development, culture, and context upon students and consumers of education and counseling services. Graduates are caring and compassionate teachers, counselors and professionals; who are self-reflective; who promote opportunity and social justice for the impoverished urban and rural populations; and, who are committed to empowering individuals to thrive, and to achieve their fullest potential.

We offer one undergraduate program with two degree options in Special Education.  The Intervention Specialist (Mild/Moderate licensure or Moderate/Intensive Licensure) programs requires a minimum of 124 s.h. 

In addition, we offer several graduate degree programs. The CACREP accredited masters degree in Counseling has options in a) Clinical Mental Health Counseling, b) School Counseling, c) Addiction Counseling, and d) Student Affairs & College Counseling.  The masters degree in Special Education includes options in Intervention Specialist (Mild/Moderate Licensure) and Autism and Related Disabilities (Moderate/Intensive Licensure).  The educational specialist degree in School Psychology includes a master’s degree in Intervention Services.   

The faculty and students within the Department of Counseling, Special Education, & School Psychology are committed to academic success, excellence, and engagement.  The department has a consistent record of accomplishments in relation to the mission and goals of YSU, assessment activities/results, research and scholarly activity by faculty and students, examples of student success and academic excellence, and community engagement activities. 

Jake J. Protivnak, Ph.D.
Department Chairperson / Associate Professor
3312 Beeghly College of Education
(330) 941-1936
jjprotivnak@ysu.edu

For more information about the Department of Counseling, Special Education, and School Psychology, contact the Department Office at 330-941-3257 or visit our Department website.  

UnderGraduate Degree Program 

Special Education

The department offers a BS and MS in Education with specialization in mild/moderate (M/M) disabilities and moderate/intensive (M/I) disabilities. The undergraduate programs lead to licensure in the Intervention Specialist Mild/Moderate (M/M) and Intervention Specialist Moderate/Intensive (M/I). An Intervention Specialist (M/M) serves students with moderate cognitive disabilities. The Intervention Specialist (M/I) serves students with moderate to intensive cognitive disabilities. The program emphasizes the behavioral needs of students with disabilities.

UnderGraduate CourseWork Areas

Counseling

The counseling program offers a limited number of undergraduate elective courses for students who are interested in developing counseling knowledge and skills and/or pursuing a graduate degree in counseling. The undergraduate counseling courses focus on mental health and wellness, leadership, career/life planning, and helping skills.The counseling program offers an MS in Education degree with program options in clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, student affairs, college counseling, and addiction counseling. Candidates in clinical mental health, school, college, and addiction counseling are prepared to meet the requirements for licensure and national certification as a counselor. A complete listing of program options and course descriptions are presented in the YSU Graduate Catalog and on the department's website.

COURSETITLES.H.
COUN 1587Introduction to Health and Wellness in Contemporary Society3
COUN 1588Exploring Leadership: Theory and Practice3
COUN 1589Success in Career and Life Planning3
COUN 2650Foundations of Helping Skills for Allied Health Professionals3
COUN 2651Foundations of Helping Skills for Human Ecology Professionals2

Reading and Study Skills (RSS)

The Reading and Study Skills Center, operated by the Department of Counseling, Special Education, and School Psychology in the Beeghly College of Education, provides individualized and group instruction in improving reading rate and comprehension as well as college-level study strategies. The Center maintains a laboratory component for the following courses mandated for students based on the COMPASS® Reading Test (CRT):

COURSETITLES.H.
RSS 1510AAdvanced College Success Skills3
RSS 1510BBasic College Success Skills3
RSS 1510CSTEM Advanced College Success Skills4

Additional services offered by the R&SS Center include individual tutoring in study strategies, reading rate and reading comprehension, college success workshops, and assistance with preparation for standardized tests such as APK, MCAT, MAT and GRE. Peer tutors are available to work with students on an individual basis. Stop in the R&SS Center to schedule an appointment or visit our website to complete the Self-Referral Peer Tutoring form (under Services we offer).

The services offered by the Reading and Study Skills Center are free of charge to all registered YSU students. The Reading and Study Skills Center is located in the lower level of Maag Library in Room 154. For further information, contact the Reading and Study Skills Center at (330) 941-3099; visit the Reading and Study Skills Center website; or e-mail the Center at rdgstudyskillsctr@ysu.edu.

Chair

Jake J. Protivnak, Ph.D., Chair


Professors

Kathleen Aspiranti, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Margaret L. Briley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Kristin L. Bruns, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Carrie R. Jackson, D.Ed., Assistant Professor

Victoria E. White Kress, Ph.D., Professor

Sung Hee Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Don Martin, Ph.D., Professor

Kenneth L. Miller, Ph.D., Professor

Matthew Paylo, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Jake J. Protivnak, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Richard W. VanVoorhis, D.Ed., Associate Professor

Amy E. Williams, Ph.D., Assistant Professor


Instructor

Jennifer Vaschak, M.S., Instructor

Special Education

The BS in Ed degree requires coursework as listed below:

Intervention Specialist License (K-12) Mild/Moderate Disabilities 

Intervention Specialist License (K-12) Moderate/Intensive Disabilities 

Counseling

COUN 1587    Introduction to Health and Wellness in Contemporary Society    3 s.h.

Provides an introduction to the wellness model integrating physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Using current research, students explore decision-making models examining ethical, theoretical, multicultural, and practical concerns in developing their own wellness strategies.
Gen Ed: Well Being, Social and Personal Awareness.

COUN 1588    Exploring Leadership: Theory and Practice    3 s.h.

Introduction to the study of leadership through theoretical and practical applications. Through group interaction, discussions, and change projects, students will develop their leadership knowledge while acquiring skills to solve leadership challenges within diverse organizations. The course will provide students with intellectual and interpersonal opportunities to practice the process of becoming effective leaders.

COUN 1589    Success in Career and Life Planning    3 s.h.

The course will facilitate the development of career and life planning skills. This course is designed for, but not restricted to, entering and undeclared students. This course will emphasize identifying strengths, clarifying values, exploring career options, developing effective decision-making skills, and learning life skills related to health, finances, relationships, and community responsibility.

COUN 2650    Foundations of Helping Skills for Allied Health Professionals    3 s.h.

Skill development in learning how to foster helping relationships and increase communication skills with individual, family, or group-related patient needs in a health care setting. Emphasis on ethical, cultural, socioeconomic, and special needs in allied health care settings. Includes an experiential skill video training component.

COUN 2651    Foundations of Helping Skills for Human Ecology Professionals    2 s.h.

The course will facilitate the development of helping skills with individual, family and/or groups. Emphasis is on ethical, cultural, socioeconomic, and special needs in human service settings. Courses will include overview of counseling skills and theories that will assist students to address client care needs.

COUN 5821    Seminar in Guidance and Counseling    1-3 s.h.

Study of selected topics chosen by staff, e.g. career guidance, counseling process, and other contemporary issues in school personnel work.
Prereq.: Upper-division standing.

COUN 5822    Seminar in Guidance and Counseling    1-3 s.h.

Study of selected topics chosen by staff, e.g. career guidance, counseling process, and other contemporary issues in school personnel work.
Prereq.: Upper-division standing.

COUN 5823    Career Education and Career Guidance    2 s.h.

Study of public school career education and career guidance programs; the career education continuum, legislation relating to vocational programs, historical development, and principles of vocational education and vocational guidance. Also a survey of economic services: distributive education, human resources, programs, and placement.
Prereq.: Upper-division standing.

COUN 5825    Group Processes in the School    2 s.h.

An introduction to group activities applicable to the needs of students in the school setting. Includes the study of group processes and group dynamics for social and personal problem solving as well as in the general area of individual and group behavior. Also a study of programs that provide for counselor-teacher cooperation in the development of groups in the classroom.
Prereq.: Upper-division standing.

COUN 5879    Talented Students and Their Families    3 s.h.

A study of consulting and referral practices related to the developmental, social and personal difficulties often experienced by gifted/talented students and their families. Includes a field study component.
Prereq.: Upper-division standing.

COUN 5888    Introduction to Health and Wellness Counseling    3 s.h.

Provides an introduction to basic counseling principles with special focus on those factors encountered in the provision of health and wellness-related services.
Prereq.: Upper-division standing.

COUN 5895    Counseling Workshop    1-3 s.h.

Selected topics related to prevention and intervention approaches in school and community settings. Designed primarily as continuing professional education, this course is not included in counseling degree programs.
Prereq.: Upper-division standing.

COUN 5898    Orientation and Ethical Issues in Community Counseling    3 s.h.

This course provides students with an introduction to the field of professional counseling and the foundations of community counseling. The course addresses the following topics: history, philosophy, cultural dynamics, advocacy, consultation, technology applications, and trends in professional and community counseling. The counseling profession's ethical standards are also addressed with an emphasis on the ACA code of ethics and counselor ethical decision making processes. Requirements differ for undergraduate and graduate students.

Special Education

SPED 2630    Individuals with Exceptionalities in Society    3 s.h.

Characteristics, adjustment problems, special needs with emphasis on educational solutions, co-teaching, and inclusionary practices. The laws and implementation; placement, programming, due process, resources recommended for accommodation of exceptional learners in diverse settings.

SPED 2631    Intervention Strategies with Special Needs Children in Early Childhood    3 s.h.

Development of teaching skills of the regular early childhood educator in meeting the intervention needs of young children with special needs (disabilities, at-risk, and/or gifted) in inclusive classrooms and programs. Emphasis on classroom support for IEP/IFSP goals and objectives.
Prereq.: PSYC 3755.

SPED 3715    Characteristics and Needs of Children and Youth with Mild/Moderate Disabilities    3 s.h.

Description, classification, development, and academic and social adjustment of children with learning disabilities. Relates the contributions of diverse disciplines to theory and practice. Developmental approach to motor, perceptual, cognitive, language and social-emotional functioning within an educational context.
Prereq.: SPED 2630 or SPED 2631.

SPED 4831    Assessment and Referral in Early Childhood    3 s.h.

Development of skills in referral and assessment techniques for the regular early childhood educator with emphasis on both formal and informal methods such as observation, authentic assessment, standardized measures and interviewing. Attention to children with disabilities and/or gifts and talents.
Prereq.: Upper-division status.

SPED 4839    Supervised Student Teaching: Moderate/Intensive Intervention Specialist    4-12 s.h.

Grading is CR/NC.
Prereq.: FOUN 1501, FOUN 3708; PSYC 3709; EDTC 3771; SPED 2630 or SPED 2631, SPED 5828, SPED 5833, SPED 5835, SPED 5851, SPED 5853, SPED 5863, SPED 5864, SPED 5866, SPED 5867; senior status and approval of the chair.
Concurrent with: SPED 4869.
Gen Ed: Capstone, Capstone.

SPED 4849    Supervised Student Teaching: Mild Moderate/Disabilities    4-12 s.h.

Grading is CR/NC.
Prereq.: FOUN 3708, completion of the reading block (TERG 2601, TERG 3701, TERG 3702, TERG 3703) & STEP block (SPED 4854, SPED 5835, SPED 5864, TERG 3703) SPED 2630 or SPED 2631, SPED 5853, SPED 5863, SPED 5866, senior status, and approval of the chairperson; see requirements for student teaching under BCOE.
Concurrent with: SPED 4869.
Gen Ed: Capstone, Capstone.

SPED 4854    Cross-Curricular Interventions    4 s.h.

Field application of principles of reading in the content areas, organization and implementation of cross-curricular content areas across grade levels. Includes management of special education/inclusionary classrooms; part of a ten-week intensive field experience entitled STEP (Special Teacher Education Program).
Prereq.: SPED 5828, SPED 5834, or SPED 5868.

SPED 4857    Applied Technology in the Education of Children and Youth with Disabilities    4 s.h.

Explores various concepts related to the use of applied technology for children and youth with disabilities. Includes assistive technology and alternative modes of communication as well as the use of appropriate software.
Prereq.: Admission to upper-division COE status.

SPED 4863    Char Needs Mild Mod Disab    4 s.h.

SPED 4869    Student Teaching Seminar for Special Education    2 s.h.

Applied behavior management and classroom environment, reflective teaching techniques. Daily lessons, the student teacher's interactions with children and youth, teachers and administrators. Grading is CR/NC.
Prereq.: Concurrent with: SPED 4839 or SPED 4849.
Concurrent with student teaching.

SPED 5802    Educ of Exceptional Children    3 s.h.

SPED 5810    Introduction to Sign Language    3 s.h.

Deaf Culture, ASL, and English Sign Language differences will be discussed. Students will acquire basic proficiency in sign language.
Prereq.: Special approval.

SPED 5828    Education for Children and Youth with Emotional and Behavior Needs    4 s.h.

Instruction, curriculum and program development for youth who are identified with emotional disturbance and as a result are often in conflict with educational and social systems. Successful completion of 30-hour field experience is required.
Prereq.: BCOE upper-division status.

SPED 5833    Characteristics and Needs of Exceptional Children and Youth with Moderate/Intensive Disabilities    3 s.h.

Identification and intervention in critical areas of development for individuals with moderate/intensive disabilities including autism. Developing objectives, planning and implementing adapted curriculum in consultation with interdisciplinary specialists.
Prereq.: Upper-division status in COE, SPED 3715.

SPED 5834    Educational Strategies and Methods for Children and Youth with Moderate/Intensive Disabilities    4 s.h.

Curriculum planning, teaching methods, habilitation and rehabilitation for persons with multiple and/or severe developmental disabilities. Practicum included.
Prereq.: Upper-division status in COE, SPED 5833.

SPED 5835    Classroom Management for Exceptional Children and Youth    4 s.h.

Management of the exceptional person's behavior; adaptations of the classroom environment to facilitate learning and personal social adjustment. Communicating effective management programs to parents.
Prereq.: Upper-division status in COE.

SPED 5836    Characteristic Need Mod Intnsv    3 s.h.

SPED 5851    Transition Planning, Social Skill Development and Health-Related Issues    3 s.h.

Emphasis on lifelong career orientation and the development and implementation of a K-12 prevocational/vocational curriculum. Effective teaching of interpersonal communication and social skills. Classroom climate, self-esteem, health-related issues. Integration of practical experiences in the classroom, home, and community.
Prereq.: Upper-division status in COE.

SPED 5852    Prog Development Instructional Strategies for Learners with Moderate to Intensive Except Learn Needs    3 s.h.

This course is designed to expand technical terminology and applied practices for candidates working towards licensure for students with moderate to intensive exceptional learning needs. Candidates will create individualized objectives, apply evidence-based practices, and report progress. Successful completion of a 30 hour field experience is required.
Prereq.: Admission to BCOE Upper Division, SPED 5834.

SPED 5853    Diagnosis and Intervention in Mathematics for Special Education    3 s.h.

Principles, practices, materials and aids for teaching mathematics in special education. Diagnostic and evaluation procedures; individualized instructional techniques; observation, tutoring, and participation. Field experience required.
Prereq.: Upper-division status in COE.

SPED 5858    Intervention Concepts and Strategies in Early Childhood Special Education    2 s.h.

Review and analysis of the methods by which young children construct knowledge about their physical, social and intellectual worlds. Study of patterns of normal and atypical development from birth through age eight, as well as the development of appropriate models for effective intervention.
Prereq.: PSYC 3755.

SPED 5863    Char Needs Mild Mod Disab    4 s.h.

SPED 5864    Service Coordination, Collaboration, and Consultation for Students with Special Needs    3 s.h.

Enables teachers of exceptional individuals to gain cooperation and involvement of professionals, parents, and children. Communication skills and sensitivity to individual and cultural differences.
Prereq.: Upper-division status in COE.

SPED 5865    Workshop in Special Education    1-4 s.h.

Intensive study and related activities in one or more of the following special education curriculum areas: trainable mentally retarded, educable mentally retarded, learning disability/behavior disorder, multi-handicapped. May be repeated if content is different.
Prereq.: Admission to upper-division COE status.

SPED 5866    Assessment and Referral of Exceptional Children and Youth for the Intervention Specialist    3 s.h.

Development of skills in referral and assessment techniques in the areas of mild/moderate and moderate/intensive disabilities. Informal and formal methods including observation, authentic assessments, standardized measures, interviewing. Referral, initial and subsequent evaluation, annual review concerns.
Prereq.: Upper-division status in COE.

SPED 5867    Intervention and Remediation of Receptive/Expressive Language Dysfunction    3 s.h.

Theory and practice of intervention and remediation of basic cognitive processes especially in the areas of receptive and expressive language and cognitive skills for the intervention specialist.
Prereq.: Upper-division status in COE.

SPED 5868    Mild/Moderate Disabilities Practicum    4 s.h.

Diagnostic procedures used to develop a comprehensive assessment of a child's current functioning. Individualized education program/case study developed and partially implemented.
Prereq.: Upper-division status in COE, SPED 5866 and SPED 5867.

SPED 5870    Independent Study in Special Education    1-4 s.h.

Individual work under special education staff guidance; curriculum development or special education areas; individual problems in community agencies or school.
Prereq.: Admission to upper-division COE status.

SPED 5871    Characteristics and Needs of Gifted Children    3 s.h.

Introduction to gifted education. Overview of the theoretical and research base for gifted education, including appropriate classroom environments, teacher qualifications, and support services to meet the diverse social, emotional, and intellectual needs of gifted children. Current program standards.
Prereq.: Admission to COE upper-division status.

SPED 5872    Assessment and Referral for Children and Youth with Exceptionalities for the Intervention Specialist    3 s.h.

Development of skills in referral and assessment techniques for the special educator in the areas of moderate/intensive disabilities. Emphasis will be given to informal and formal methods such as observation, authentic assessment, alternate assessment, rubrics, inventories, interviewing, task analysis, functional behavioral analysis, curriculum based measurement, DIBELS/SWIS, and formal standardized measures.
Prereq.: Admission to BCOE Upper Division Status.

SPED 5873    Communication and Literacy Skills for Learners with Significant Disabilities    3 s.h.

This course focuses on enhancing functional communication and literacy skills of students with severe disabilities. Assessment and strategies to increase communication form, function and literacy are covered. The course addresses aided and non-aided augmentative systems and alternative communication systems with an emphasis on using a multi-modality approach.
Prereq.: Admission to BCOE Upper Division Status.

SPED 5878    Teaching Gifted and Talented Students    4 s.h.

Theory and organization of curriculum with design and integration of content subjects into varying models. Wide range of strategies and identification of resources and materials as well as investigations in educational technology and appropriate applications for gifted children.
Prereq.: Upper division status in COE; SPED 5871 and permission of instructor.

Reading & Study Skills

RSS 1510A    Advanced College Success Skills    3 s.h.

A course designed to develop students' skills essential for college studying. The primary focus is improving the comprehension and retention of college textbooks. Major topics include reading rate flexibility, vocabulary growth, learning style preferences, and critical reading skills. Students meet for classroom instruction, computer-aided instruction, and small group tutoring sessions to discuss and practice strategies. Open to students based on Composition and Reading Placement Test (CRPT). Grading is A, B, C, NC. Does not count toward a degree.

RSS 1510B    Basic College Success Skills    3 s.h.

A course designed to acquaint and assist students in their transition to studying at the college level. Course content stresses development of skills in word recognition, vocabulary, and reading to find main ideas, supporting evidence and conclusions in college textbooks. Students meet for classroom instruction and small group tutoring sessions to discuss and practice various thinking, listening, and reading strategies to improve college performance. Open to students based on Composition and Reading Placement Test (CRPT). Grading is A, B, C, NC. Does not count toward a degree.

RSS 1510C    STEM Advanced College Success Skills    4 s.h.

Develops study skills in STEM disciplines by improving comprehension and retention of textbook and lecture materials. Covers reading rate flexibility, vocabulary growth, learning style preferences, critical reading, and problem solving. Uses classroom instruction, computer-aided instruction, and small-group tutoring sessions to apply strategies, including STEM-based lecture applications. Grading: A, B, C, N/C. Does not count toward a degree.
Prereq.: placement into MATH 1501 and ENGL 1540 and RSS 1510A.

RSS 1570    Approaches to Professional Assessments    2 s.h.

A course designed to assist students in preparation for graduate and professional-level standardized tests. Students will critically analyze the basic components of such tests. Emphasis will be placed on test requirements, test formats, guidelines for answering and scoring, and test-taking strategies.

RSS 1571    Approaches to Professional Assessments/Applications    1 s.h.

A course designed to prepare students for graduate and professional-level standardized tests. In study groups, students will critically analyze the basic components of the test for which they are preparing, including requirements, test formats, guideline for answering and scoring, and test-taking strategies, in conjunction with effective pedagogical procedures.