Program Proposal: Teacher of Children With Severe Special Needs Teacher Preparation Program


Program Proposal: Teacher of Children With Severe Special Needs Teacher Preparation Program

Catalog Entry

“Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding.” - Robert John Meehan

This artifact, written in the early 1980's, shows the steps the teachers in the Special Education department at Fitchburg State University went through to teach children with severe special needs. Due to each child's uniqueness, every teacher is to be certified in helping children with severe disabilities. This artifact is a proposal that gives a helping hand to students who are severely handicapped through the teachers’ doing. In the 1980’s, public school systems were causing the choice of integrating the Special Education program to increase, creating a high demand for highly trained teachers. The Special Education department at Fitchburg State University provides helpful information and guidance to teachers working with children with severe disabilities. Rather than seeing a learning disability as an impairment, these teachers see it as an opportunity to help their students. They want to create a curriculum that helps individuals and groups based on assessment goals and observational data.

This proposal creates a program that helps teachers recognize some ways to teach children with severe learning disabilities. It gives specific objectives to teach and produces teachers who are capable of having a good student-teacher bond. These teaching programs include competencies that become goals for many students with the intention of teacher-training programs. Some of the abilities are learning to be responsible, being able to make decisions and being able to solve problems Additionally, the particular goal for those becoming certified teachers “has been arranged into four phases” that students will be introduced to (Program Proposal). Therefore, it assists future teachers in expanding their knowledge of teaching children with severe disabilities.

The faculty handbook states that even though a learning disability is not visible, it is not the same as a physical impairment. A learning disability is an impairment that influences one individual’s ability to process information including how they take it in, understand it and express it. Children with learning disabilities may develop a “language based and/or perceptual problems that affect reading, spelling, and written language” (Faculty Handbook). This displays how their difficulty is more mental than physical. In a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention article, the author claims that “mental disorders among children are described as serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions” (Children's Mental Disorders). This shows how a mental impairment greatly differs from a physical impairment. Furthermore, this artifact focuses on creating a curriculum program for teachers to understand strategies during pre-practicum requirements of the training program.

Along with the training for teachers, this allows students to develop community living skills and ways to communicate with others. Future teachers will learn how to collect data from the programs to help children with severe special needs. It benefits the children by giving them the opportunity to develop in areas such as educational, social, emotional and vocational needs. In fact, these programs are fit for any age, as “all children and adults can benefit from educational programs” (Program Proposal). The goal for this proposal is to have everyone in the classroom, including teachers, to appreciate the skills that the students will develop during the course of this training program. Those abilities include developing means of communication, independent living, and some occupational skills.

Through the roles of these faculty members, the ability to encourage those who have severe disabilities has increased significantly. The Special Education Department Fitchburg State University gives its own share of their views on disability. Working with a child with a severe disability may require effective consulting skills and guidelines from the program. These helpful tips will definitely come in handy for future teachers in this field. This artifact also provides methods for those with severe learning disabilities to adapt to their surroundings. Through this proposal, they are training these college students to become knowledgeable teachers through many training sessions.

Overall, future teachers of students with learning disabilities will help them exceed their potential in all aspects of life, not just in academics. Certified teachers should understand by the end of this proposal that students with disabilities just need a little extra help to succeed in areas they lack in. It is completely possible to help them reach a considerable academic goal just like students in general education do. These pre-practicum hours that the program provides will allow future teachers an opportunity to practice strategies and classroom management by learning in an academic setting. Overall, this program proposal for teaching students with severe special needs will ensure a successful outcome from both the teacher and the student.


“Children's Mental Disorders.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 June 2019,

“Physical Disability Programs and Information.” Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 30 Sept. 2019,

Artifact Owner

Fitchburg State University Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library Archives & Special Collections

Artifact Condition

Great condition. No blemishes or marks.

Artifact Material

Paper, typed

Catalog Entry Author(s)

Jessica Kuffour, Student, Fitchburg State University


Erin Maida, Student, Fitchburg State University



“Program Proposal: Teacher of Children With Severe Special Needs Teacher Preparation Program,” Cultural Heritage through Image, accessed February 4, 2023,

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