2016-2017 Graduate Academic Catalog

The Center for Special Education

The Center for Special Education at Lesley University is dedicated to understanding and promoting the knowledge needed by educators to improve the teaching of students with exceptional learning needs. The center seeks to create collaborations among families, schools, and communities that will enhance learning and development for every child, adolescent, and adult. Through forums and conferences, the center disseminates information about current instructional technologies and approaches; it also conducts research and develops products to aid teachers and provides resources for students, teachers, families, school systems, and policymakers on critical questions related to the teaching and learning of individuals with special needs.

Current research and development focuses on the effects of trauma on learning. In collaboration with the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative of Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Harvard Law School, and a grant from the Oak Foundation, the center has developed courses on the impact of trauma on learning. The Lesley Institute for Trauma Sensitivity (LIfTS) partners with many districts throughout Massachusetts and is expanding our reach nationally and internationally.

The center has also developed a twelve-credit Graduate Certificate in Trauma and Learning program, offered through a school or district cohort model, that focuses on examining the impact of traumatic experience on student learning and developing strategies to cultivate trauma sensitive environments.