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"Degrees & Programs"


Orientation to the Exceptional Child




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Please Note: Attendance and participation are mandatory in all University courses, and specific requirements may differ by course. If attendance requirements are not met, a student may be removed from the course. Please review the Course Attendance Policy in the Catalog for more information.

University of Phoenix reserves the right to modify courses. While widely available, not all programs are available to residents of all states. Please check with a University Enrollment Representative.

Course level: Undergraduate

This course provides an overview of the categories of exceptionality for elementary-age students with special needs. The course focuses on differentiated methods and techniques used for the identification, assessment, and instruction of diverse populations. Historical perspectives and information related to special education law and current policies and practices are examined. This course is not available for enrollment to residents of Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming and individuals who reside outside the United States.



What you'll learn

Course skills and outcomes

Week 1

  • Identify historical perspectives and current practices of exceptional children.
  • Define inclusion.
  • Assess inclusion opportunities in classrooms and schools.
  • Examine terminology, acronyms, and language used in exceptional learning.
  • Analyze definitions of exceptional learners.
  • Analyze the federal, state, and local legal structures governing programs for students with exceptionalities.
  • Examine public policy and its effect on educational issues regarding students with exceptionalities.
  • Evaluate the effect of public policy on classroom practices.
  • Discuss major laws and principles that address student and parent rights pertaining to student placements.

Week 2

  • Identify the characteristics, prevalence, causes, and identification processes associated with low-incidence exceptionalities and high-incidence exceptionalities.

Week 3

  • Identify the characteristics and needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students.
  • Explore procedures for initiating special education services.
  • Explain service delivery options for students with an IEP.
  • Define related services for special education students.

Week 4

  • Analyze instructional strategies used in adapting learning activities to individual students’ needs.
  • Analyze strategies for adapting classroom management to individual students’ needs.
  • Provide examples of assistive technology that can be used with exceptional students.
  • Identify different types of collaboration approaches.
  • Explain the key components of effective professional collaboration.

Week 5

  • Determine appropriate assessment techniques needed to evaluate exceptional learners.
  • Describe how to differentiate assessment of gifted and talented students.
  • Define how to use technology to assess exceptional learners.
  • Examine the RTI process used to determine students’ abilities and functioning levels, including identifying exceptional learners.
  • Describe the referral, evaluation, and placement processes.
  • Identify support services, personnel, community resources, and agencies available to provide educational resources.


Why take courses at University of Phoenix

Accreditation that matters

We’ve been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( for more than 40 years.

Real-world instructors

Learn from instructors who bring an average of 25 years of working experience to the classroom.

Affordable and potentially reimbursable

Our tuition and fees are competitive and fixed. Also, check to see if your employer will cover you for this course.

Next Steps

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Call (844) 937-8679

Transfer Credits

Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer

Need to transfer credits to another college or university?

Before you enroll in a course, check with your school of choice to make sure they will accept our transfer credits and to understand any requirements or limitations. Then you can complete your course, and request your official transcript be sent to your school. That’s it!

How to request your transcripts