This course provides an introduction to the field of special education and the legal mandates guiding inclusive classroom practices. Students will be introduced to the characteristics of children with specific disabilities or atypical development and to the specialized instruction and services designed to meet individualized student needs. A strong emphasis will be placed on evidenced-based practices and multidisciplinary and collaborative approaches to special education. Multicultural and diversity issues will also be discussed. 10 hours of observation in either an inclusive or an exclusively designed learning environment for exceptional learners will be required. Therefore, students enrolled in this course must have up-to-date child abuse, criminal and FBI clearances as detailed under the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law.