Feb 27, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities

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Location: Memorial Hall 3126
Phone: (540) 568-6193
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/coe/exed/

Academic Unit Head
Dr. William White

Graduate Program Director
Dr. Dannette Allen-Bronaugh

L. Deportes, S. Wasta, W. White

Associate Professors
D. Allen-Bronaugh, K. Bethune, S. Blatz, R. Bosch, K. Koubek, T. Thomas

Assistant Professors
T. Brown, R. Rodriguez, S. Snyder, M. Williams

L. Schick

Admission Criteria

In addition to The Graduate School qualifications for admissions, potential candidates must meet the following requirements for all programs.

  • Undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 or higher.
  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university.

Check with the program to which you are applying for additional admission criteria. Admission criteria may vary by program.

The Department of Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities offers Master of Arts (M.A.T.) and Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree programs. The M.A.T. leads to professional licensure in Virginia while the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree programs may lead to a certificate or endorsement in Virginia but is not an initial licensure program. The programs are designed to prepare resilient teachers and other allied professionals who are advocates for children and youth with disabilities, are qualified for the complexity of their professional roles, and are reflective problem-solvers.

Graduate level preparations are available in autism, behavior specialist, early childhood special education, equity and cultural diversity, gifted education, inclusive early childhood education, special education K-12 adapted curriculum, special education K-12 accessing the general education curriculum, teaching English as second language, and vision impairments.

Candidates working toward the completion of either the M.A.T. or the M.Ed. degree programs, or the add-on endorsement programs, must obtain at least a letter grade of “B” in all graduate level required or elective courses. Candidates who receive a letter grade lower than “B” must repeat the course. Should a candidate receive a letter grade of “B-” or “C” in a required or elective course external to the special education program, the “B-” or “C” may be offset by a letter grade of “A” as stipulated in The Graduate School grading policy; however, the three “C” dismissal policy still applies.

Exceptions to all program requirements must be approved in writing by the graduate program director, the Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities department head and by the dean of The Graduate School. When exceptions relate to licensure, the approval of the dean of the College of Education is also required.


The mission of the James Madison University professional education unit is to prepare caring, knowledgeable, skilled and reflective educators who believe that all students can learn and succeed. Our candidates and faculty are committed to lifelong learning and aspire to meet educational needs in a changing, pluralistic and democratic society. The personal and professional development of candidates is accomplished by emphasizing excellence and continuous innovation in quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.

James Madison University’s College of Education is distinguished through faculty and candidate achievements, academic rigor, excellence in teaching, candidate and faculty interactions and relationships, technological innovations, and national recognitions. The college maintains relevance through active and growing interactions with other colleges within the university and with local, state, regional, national, and international communities.

The college is committed to providing:

  • Graduate programs that emphasize advanced knowledge in a specialty area and the development of effective leadership and professional skills for addressing the needs of a changing society.
  • Continuing professional development and service programs in cooperation with public and private schools and agencies, other colleges, institutions, and businesses.
  • The undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the Virginia State Board of Education.

The basic philosophy of the college is reflected in the following goals:

  • To educate individuals for the multiple professions included in the college at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, not merely by transmitting skills and knowledge but by stimulating creativity, developing cognitive abilities, and encouraging the testing of hypotheses and reinterpretation of the human experience.
  • To encourage a balanced faculty orientation toward teaching, research, scholarship, community service and professionalism that recognizes individual strengths and preferences of the college’s faculty.
  • To create an environment that fosters an atmosphere of open communication among candidates, faculty members and community.
  • To anticipate societal needs and provide necessary resources for implementing effective on- and off-campus programs now and in the future.

Department Mission and Outcomes

The Department of Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities at James Madison University is committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service that will influence policy and practice related to the education of individuals with exceptionalities. Our mission is to prepare exemplary professionals to generate, use and disseminate knowledge about teaching, learning and human development to solve critical educational and human service problems in a diverse global community. To that end, graduates of the program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of characteristics and issues surrounding those areas of exceptionality identified for services through federal and state legislative mandates.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of historical, current and emerging perspectives on theory and practice.
  • Demonstrate understanding of social, cultural and linguistic influences on children, youth and adults who are exceptional learners.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of principles of learning and theoretical approaches for cognitive, physical and behavioral intervention.
  • Demonstrate a level of skill competence sufficient to assure positive growth and development in those individuals served.
  • Serve as reflective, resilient teachers or professional service providers who are advocates for individuals with exceptionalities.


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