This course is designed to provide an in-knowledge of critical issues in special education and the mental health of children and adolescents that will enable the learners to think broadly about the issues and interconnections and their relevance for policy and decision-making. This course will draw on a bioecological model of development (Bronfennbrener, 1992) to guide discussions as we will investigate the effects of systems (e.g., community, family, school) and culture on mental health promotion and risk as well as on children’s access and support through special education services. Students will examine the contribution of key theoretical learning models that often guide research design and practice. Students will be able to analyze key policy and practice issues that affect children and youths’ wellbeing and mental health as well as be able to synthesize points of intersection between the special education system, mental health, and social systems. This course will engage students in an in-depth examination that influence the implementation of programs or practices designed to support students with special education needs (including early risk and intervention) as well as those to promote wellbeing and mental health. Students will gain expertise in their knowledge of the complex and interrelated factors affecting student success in general and special education systems as well as in-depth knowledge of risk and resilience frameworks for mental health in children.
Applied Psychology and Human Development