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Special Education Essentials, EDL 900

Instructors: Karen Hammel & Debra Nissen Peters

Topics: Special Education/Needs & Administrative/Leadership
Audiences: Specialist/Counselors & Pre K-12

Think of all the educators who are responsible for working with special education students but have never been trained in these critical topics. General education teachers and teaching assistants are among those who will benefit from this course. The module will help adults working with special needs students bridge that gap. It also helps educators begin to understand the growing population of students diagnosed with mild to moderate Autism. Modules included are: 2025 Special Education Essentials for Every Educator and 2003 Autism Spectrum Disorders - Mild to Moderate Severity.

Topics: Special Education Overview and Autism Spectrum

One-credit course expectations:

The learner's participation for one credit will be verified by:

  1. Completing the two categories of written assignments.
    1. At the end of each layer the learner will submit a few well written but concise remarks to address the layer's content.
    2. A one page summary reflection that is written upon completion of all of the modules incorporated in the selected UND course. End of Course Reflective Statement Requirements are provided. The final reflection must be sent as an attachment to the instructor of record at
  2. Checking the time stamp in the module indicating the amount of time the student spent studying the contents of the module.

Two-credit course expectations:

  1. The learner must complete one or more Authentic Practice Sets completing a minimum of 15 hours of additional work, beyond the requirements for the first credit, for a total of at least 30 hours for two credits.
    1. The additional 15 additional hours is focused on preparation of a portfolio exhibit that documents the design, implementation, and appraisal of an Authentic Practice Set applied to the content of the course.

Please refer to the Course at a Glance document below for more course information (requirements, grading, etc.)

PLEASE NOTE: Upon receipt and confirmation of your course registration with UND, it may take 3-8 days for you to receive a welcome e-mail from your course provider giving you access to this online course.

Individuals with active full subscriptions to Whitewater Learning® will receive a discount on UND Whitewater Learning professional development course tuition by contacting to request a special discount URL.

Register for UND Credit

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This course has grading options. Please select the course with the grading of your choice.


This course has credit options. Please select the course with the credits of your choice.

Online Course - 1 credit S/U grading
Enroll Anytime
Professional Development Credit: 1 - S/U grading
UND Fee: $145
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Online Course - 1 credit Letter grading
Enroll Anytime
Professional Development Credit: 1 - Letter grading
UND Fee: $145
quick details

Online Course - 2 credit S/U grading
Enroll Anytime
Professional Development Credit: 2 - S/U grading
UND Fee: $280
quick details

Online Course - 2 credit Letter grading
Enroll Anytime
Professional Development Credit: 2 - Letter grading
UND Fee: $280
quick details

About Your Instructors

Karen Hammel Karen Hammel

Karen Hammel is a classroom special education teacher with Minneapolis Public Schools in Minnesota. She is licensed in Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD), Developmental Cognitive Disabilities (DCD) and as a Director of Special Education (administration). Hammel works with students 18-21 from all disability areas and serves as an adjunct professor in special education, including courses at St. Cloud State University and Hamline University. Hammel considers herself fortunate have been involved in the development of the Master of Special Education program at Hamline University for students from Teach for America and Teaching Fellows. She also collaborated on the development of a nontraditional teacher education program.

Debra Nissen Peters Debra Nissen Peters

Debra Nissen Peters is an autism resource specialist in the southeast region of Minnesota for the Northfield and Faribault Schools and a consultant to the Minnesota State Academies for the Deaf and Blind. She has more than 30 years of experience in the field of special education as a speech/language pathologist and an autism resource specialist.

Debra earned her MA from the University of Minnesota, a certificate in applied behavioral analysis from Penn State, and a certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Hamline University. Currently, she is the coordinator for the Hamline Certificate Program and on several task forces throughout the Minnesota Autism Network. She has extensive experience with students on the autism spectrum, as well as those with a variety of cognitive, communication, and mental health disabilities.

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