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					                    Handbook for Educational Diagnostician Program
                                Texas State University
                                  Table of Contents

I. College of Education at Texas State University ……………………………                  2
       Curriculum and Instruction Department ………………………………                      2
       Faculty Listing ………………………………………………………...                                2
       RRHEC Campus ………………………………………………………                                      3

II. Educational Diagnostician Program ………………………………………..                        3
    Admission to the Program ………………………………………………….                              3
       For students with a Master’s degree seeking certification only………..     4
       For students seeking a Master’s degree and certification
               Admission to the graduate school………………………………                    4
               Program of work ……………………………………………….                             4
       For all students seeking admission to the diagnostician program ……...   5
       Recommended sequence of courses ……………………………………                          5

III. Tips: Course Information to Keep in Mind when Planning for Classes ……     6

IV. Program Standards …………………………………………………………. 8
       Summary of State-mandated Standards ………………………………… 8
       Comprehensive Departmental Examination ……………………………. 9
       State-mandated Examination (TExES) ………………………………….. 9

V. Q & A ……………………………………………………………………...                                         10

VI.   Final Semester Checklist………………………………………………….                             12

VII. Application………………………………………………………………..                                     13

             I. The College of Education, Texas State University at San Marcos
The College of Education comprises three academic departments: Curriculum and Instruction;
Educational Administration and Psychological Services; and Health, Physical Education, and

Teacher education is a campus-wide commitment at Texas State. Many academic departments
offer core curriculum courses and major/minor courses, and the College of Education offers the
certification courses. Programs leading to teacher certification are available for elementary,
middle, high school and all-level teachers. These are the EC-4 (Early Childhood through Grade
Four), the 4-8 (Grade Four through Grade Eight), the 8-12 (Grade Eight through Grade 12), and
All-Level (Early Childhood through Grade 12) certificates.

Students seeking the EC-4, 4-8, or Special Education certificate will be majors in the College of
Education, and students seeking the 8-12 or All-level certificate will complete an academic
major of their choice in the appropriate department. Within the HPER Department in the College
of Education, students may acquire certificates to teach Physical Education or Health.

The College of Education offers two doctoral degree programs. One is a Doctor of
Philosophy degree with a major in School Improvement, and the other is a Doctor of Philosophy
degree with a major in Adult, Professional, and Community Education. More information about
these degrees may be obtained from the Graduate College or from the College of Education

The Curriculum and Instruction Department is housed in the Education Building. There are a
dozen departmental programs, many of which offer initial teacher certification and others that
offer support for teachers at different phases of their careers (e.g., New Teacher Induction,
Teacher Fellows Program, Teacher Recruitment). Programs include Bilingual Education, Career
Alternatives in Special Education (CASE), Educational Technology, Gifted and Talented,
Reading, Elementary and Secondary, and Special Education. The departmental website can be
accessed through links under Academics on the Texas State University website.

The Special Education faculty and their contact information are as follows:

Dr. Marilyn Goodwin                                         Dr. Brenda Scheuermann                                  

Carolyn McCall                                              Dr. Jo Webber                                 

Dr. Larry Wheeler, Graduate Advisor                         Chair, Curriculum and                                            Instruction: Dr. Patrice Werner
Dr. Amanda Boutot                                           phone: (512) 245-2157                                            ED 3044

Round Rock Higher Education Building (RRHEC)

The Round Rock Higher Education Center combines the efforts of Texas State University-San
Marcos, Austin Community College, and Temple College at Taylor to offer educational
opportunities in North Austin and Williamson County. These three colleges provide workforce
training and development, as well as academic certificate programs. You can earn a Master's
degree, Bachelor's degree or an Associate's degree.

The RRHEC is located in the beautiful new Avery Building located at 1555 University
Boulevard (formerly Chandler Road) in Round Rock, 78664. RRHEC information can be
accessed via their website

At the current time there are a limited number of special education courses available at the

                     II. What is the Educational Diagnostician Program?
The educational diagnostician program prepares students to work in the schools with special
needs populations, their teachers and families. One of diagnosticians’ chief responsibilities is to
collect data and administer evaluations required for establishing eligibility for special education
        Requirements for professional educational diagnostician certification are:
         A Master’s degree in education
         A valid Texas teacher certificate
         Two years of teaching experience
         Successful completion of required coursework
         Successful completion of the state certification exam, the TExES

Admission to the Educational Diagnostician Program
Prior to applying to the Educational Diagnostician program at Texas State University,
students must possess a valid Texas teacher certificate and two years teaching experience in a
public or accredited private school (special education teaching experience recommended but
not required).

There are two types of students seeking admission to the diagnostician program: those who
currently have a Master’s degree and are seeking certification only, and those who are seeking a
Master’s degree in conjunction with certification. Programs of study will be vastly different for
the two groups for obvious reasons. Programs of study will also vary for individuals with
Master’s degrees because of differences in previous graduate work, amount of time lapsed since
coursework, work experience, previous grades, etc. The Graduate Advisor develops a degree
plan for students seeking a Master’s degree and a deficiency plan for those students who have a
Master’s and are seeking certification only. Therefore, the degree plan or deficiency plan
developed by the Graduate Advisor is the key document for students to follow for planning
coursework throughout the program.

For Students Who Already Possess a Master’s Degree in Education
Students with a Master’s degree in education may seek information prior to making a formal
application to the program by contacting the Graduate Advisor (GA; currently Dr. Wheeler).
       Unofficial deficiency plan vs. official deficiency plan. A student who already has a
Master’s in education and wonders how many credits he/she will need to become certified may
send his/her transcript directly to the GA for an “unofficial deficiency plan.” There is no cost
associated with this service. This plan becomes an “official deficiency plan” when the student
decides to pursue it, applies to the graduate school and pays $75 for the Advising Center to
develop, with the input of the GA, an official deficiency plan.

For Students seeking a Master’s Degree in Education in Conjunction with Educational
Diagnostician Certification
       Admission to the Graduate School. Students without a Master’s degree seeking to be
admitted to the educational diagnostician certification program must first be admitted to the
Graduate School. The basic graduate school requirement is a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 hours of
undergraduate work and completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The Graduate School
may take one of three actions upon receiving applications: (1) admitted unconditionally, (2)
admitted conditionally, or (3) not admitted. Once students are accepted, the Graduate School
develops a degree plan in conjunction with the special education Graduate Adviser (GA).

       Program of Work. Students wishing to obtain a Master’s degree and certification as an
educational diagnostician concurrently will need to complete a 36-hour degree program. Students
should list their major as special education (24 hours required) with a specialization as
educational diagnostician. They should list their minor as cognate (12 hours, non-special
education courses).

In general, the following coursework should be completed. This listing is by category; the
recommended sequence of courses follows in the next few pages.

Characteristics, Legal, and Ethical Foundations (6 hours)
     SPED 5360 Survey of Exceptionality
     SPED 5385 Educational Diagnostician Ethics, Standards, and Procedures

Curricula and Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities (9 hours)
      SPED 5313 Educating Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
      SPED 5340 Principles and Practices in Effective Instruction for Students with Disabilities
      SPED 5327 Educating Students with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

Psychoeducational and Other Diagnostic Procedures (9-12 hours)
     SPED 5334 Assessment and Evaluation of Students with Disabilities
     COUN 5305 Standardized Testing (optional; some overlap with SPED 5334)
     EDP 5376 Psychoeducational Assessment
     SPED 5390 Practicum (last course taken)

Cultural Diversity (3 hours)
     EDP 5394 Psychological and Cultural Aspects of Instruction and Remediation
     CI 5330 Multicultural Teaching and Learning

Behavioral and Social Skills (6 hours)
     SPED 5375 Classroom and Behavior Management Strategies for Students with
     SPED 5380 Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in Schools

For All Students Seeking Admission to the Educational Diagnostician Program
Students must submit the appropriate material to the Graduate College for admission into the
university. In addition, there is also a diagnostician program application form to be filled out by
potential applicants and returned to the GA. A copy of this form is contained in the appendix.
Students also may access this form at the website The
application form requests background educational information and work experience, including
GPA and GRE score. The completed form, all transcripts, a resume, and one letter of reference
should be returned to the GA in one packet.

Changes to degree/deficiency plan. Once a student is admitted, the GA develops a Degree Plan
(for those seeking a Master’s) or a Deficiency Plan (for those seeking certification only). If
substitutions to either plan are requested by the student, he/she must apply to the GA, who will
decide if it is appropriate and then will initiate the change with the Advising Center.

Recommended Sequence of Courses. Following the development of a student’s
degree/deficiency plan, he/she should know the specific courses needed and should complete a
planning worksheet. As some courses are prerequisites to others and some are offered only
during one semester a year, this planning is crucial to timely completion of courses and
graduation goals. A copy of the planning form can be accessed via the website above.

First Sequence:
SPED 5334 Assessment & Evaluation of Students with Disabilities
SPED 5360 Survey of Exceptionality

Second Sequence
SPED 5385 Educational Diagnostician Ethics, Standards, and Procedures* (can also be taken
             at end of program, prior to or concurrent with SPED 5390, Practicum)
COUN 5305 Standardized Testing (optional)

Third Sequence
SPED 5313 Educating Students with Emotional/Behavior Disorders
SPED 5340 Principles and Practices in Effective Instruction for Students with Disabilities
SPED 5327 Educating Students with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

Fourth Sequence
EDP 5376     Psychoeducational Assessment (prerequisite: SPED 5334)

Fifth Sequence
EDP 5394       Psychological/Cultural Aspects of Instruction/Remediation
               (prerequisite: EDP 5376)
CI 5330        Multicultural Teaching and Learning

SPED 5375     Classroom Behavior Management Strategies
SPED 5380     Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports in School

Final Sequence
SPED 5390 Practicum for Educational Diagnosticians (prerequisites: all coursework; a B or
              better in EDP 5376; and prior approval of instructor and GA)

For further information contact:
Graduate Admission                           Advising

Dr. Michael Willoughby                       Dr. Larry Wheeler
Graduate Dean                                Professor and Graduate Advisor, Special Education
Graduate College                             Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Texas State University – San Marcos          Texas State University – San Marcos
San Marcos, Texas 78666                      San Marcos, Texas 78666
(512) 245-2581                               (512) 245-2037

            III. TIPS: Course Information to Keep in Mind When Planning and
                                  Registering for Classes

   1) COUN 5305 is not a prerequisite to EDP 5376. It is no longer a required course but can
      be taken if you need hours to complete your program. You may ask for a substitution if
      there is another course you prefer to take in lieu of it. SPED 5334 Assessment and
      Evaluation of Students with Disabilities is a prerequisite to EDP 5376. You should have a
      strong basic knowledge of tests and measurement terminology before taking 5376.

   2) EDP 5376 Psychoeducational Assessment is a hands-on testing course where you learn
       to give the individualized, standardized, norm-referenced tests that are part of a
       diagnostician’s basic repertoire. It is intensive, time-consuming, and requires finding
       students on whom to practice administering the tests. Keep the time requirement in mind
       when planning your semester. PLEASE NOTE: This is considered a core class which
       teaches essential testing skills; therefore, students must obtain a B or higher in order to
       progress to the next courses in the program. Students making a C or lower must re-take
       the class until competency is attained.

3) There are currently two courses for diagnostician students only. They are: SPED 5385
   Ethics, Standards and Procedures, and SPED 5390 Practicum.

4) SPED 5385 covers standards, laws, ethics, policies and procedures and is taught only in
   spring semester at the San Marcos campus. It was envisioned as a course to be taken
   early in the program but can be taken whenever it fits your schedule, even at the end of
   the program if need be. Taking it toward the end of the program may better prepare you
   to take the TExES.

5) SPED 5390 (Practicum) should be the last course in your program. It is site-based,
   meaning that you will need an educational diagnostician or an LSSP in your district to
   agree to be an on-site supervisor. If you are not currently employed, we can help you find
   a district and an on-site supervisor.

If needed, you can take another course concurrent with practicum. It is not recommended that
you try to take two courses in addition to practicum in one semester. You should talk to the
practicum instructor and/or the Graduate Adviser if you are not sure of when to take the
practicum and which courses, if any, to take concurrently.

   Requirements of the practicum:
    You can do the practicum while continuing in your current job. You need to get the
      support of your principal and whomever else to whom you report (supervisor). With
      the proper permission or supports in place, there should be no surprises when you
      begin because you may need to take personal days, switch your hours or schedule
      around for a short period, etc.
    The duty of the on-site supervisor is making sure that you have all the experiences to
      complete your requirements, including finding referrals and co-signing your reports
    The specific requirements of the syllabus may change somewhat from semester to
      semester, but probably will not basically differ from the following:
           5-6 full individual evaluations (FIES) with students with different
                           disabilities; you do all testing and report writing
           5-6 meetings, including different types of ARDs and staffings; you write
                           narrative summary notes for each
           Functional Behavioral Analysis and a Behavior Intervention Plan (one each)
           an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
    This practicum is experience-based, not hours-based, meaning that there are no set
          hours per week. Some weeks you may spend 12-15 hours and some weeks, very
          little time. It will depend upon when the referrals are made, students are
          available, meetings are set, etc.
    Weekly meetings on campus are not held. Typically students in practicum meet in a
          group with the instructor two or three times as needed over the course of the
    SPED 5390 is credit/no credit.

   6) Summer Course Offerings: Courses that are being offered this summer will probably
      also be offered next summer, but there is no guarantee of that. The SPED and EDP
      faculty recognize that it would be better for you if more courses were offered in summer,
      but there are many factors that decide summer course schedules. This uncertainty in
      course offerings is a very good reason for getting your course sequences in order as early
      in the program as possible. Several special education courses are usually offered in
      summer, such as SPED 5334. EDP 5394 may be offered in summer. EDP 5376 and
      SPED 5390 will probably never be taught in summer for both academic and practical
      reasons. (Access to public school students and time are issues).

                                       IV. Program Standards
Two sets of professional standards serve as guidelines for the coursework in the diagnostician
program at Texas State University and the competencies required of its graduates. National
standards were developed by the international special education professional organization, the
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). These standards include knowledge of:
        laws and policies related to assessing individuals with exceptional learning needs
        factors that influence the overrepresentation and stigmatization of individuals with
           cultural and linguistic diversity
        influences of diversity on assessment results
        range of individual abilities within categories of exceptionality
        communication about assessment purposes, methods, results and implications to team
        basics of assessment:
                 * skills necessary to administer and interpret tests
                 * standards for test validity and reliability
                 * use of standard error of measurement
                 * understanding possible sources of test error
                 * selection of assessment instruments based on technical quality
                 * use of formal and informal observation techniques

A second set of standards for diagnosticians in the state of Texas was developed by the State
Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). These standards for educational diagnostician
certification serve as the foundation for the required state certification examination (the TExES),
the professional growth plan, and continuing professional education activities for diagnosticians.
A summary of these standards follows:

       Standard I. The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of the
       purpose, philosophy, and legal foundations of evaluation and special education.

       Standard II. The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of ethical
       and professional practices, roles, and responsibilities.

       Standard III. The educational diagnostician develops collaborative relationships with
       families, educators, the school, the community, outside agencies, and related service

       Standard IV. The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of
       student assessment and evaluation, program planning, and instructional decision making.

       Standard V. The educational diagnostician knows eligibility criteria and procedures for
       identifying students with disabilities and determining the presence of an educational

        Standard VI. The educational diagnostician selects, administers, and interprets
       appropriate formal and informal assessments and evaluations.

       Standard VII. The educational diagnostician understands and applies knowledge of
       ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity and the significance of student
       diversity for evaluation, planning, and instruction.

       Standard VIII. The educational diagnostician knows and demonstrates skills necessary
       for scheduling, time management, and organization.

       Standard IX. The educational diagnostician addresses students' behavioral and social
       interaction skills through appropriate assessment, evaluation, planning, and instructional

       Standard X. The educational diagnostician knows and understands appropriate curricula
       and instructional strategies for individuals with disabilities.

  These standards are incorporated into coursework for diagnosticians, particularly in EDP
  5376, SPED 5334, SPED 5385, and SPED 5390. Candidates should become familiar with both
  sets of standards.

Comprehensive Departmental Examinations
Students seeking a Master’s degree in conjunction with certification as a diagnostician must take
departmental comprehensive exams. Comprehensive examinations are administered during the
final semester of the student’s coursework to assess the student’s level of knowledge gained
throughout the Master’s degree program. Students should be aware that high grades in courses
do not necessarily guarantee success on the comprehensive exam.

State-Mandated Competency Examination, the TExES: During the last semester of
coursework, students in the graduate program for educational diagnosticians should take the
required TExES exam. The scheduled dates and procedures for registering and taking the
examination are available on the SBEC website ( ).

                                   V.      Questions & Answers

Q: When are the graduate classes in special education needed for diagnostician
certification usually held?
Special Education graduate classes are usually offered at 5:00 or 6:30 in order to accommodate
students’ work schedules. Some educational psychology classes have been offered at 3:00 but we
have been working with that program to ensure that diagnostician students can access needed
classes with a later start time.

Q: How do I register for departmental comprehensive examinations?
Contact the Graduate Advisor at the beginning of the semester in which you plan to take your
comprehensive exams (the semester in which you plan to graduate). Examinations are scheduled
during all three semesters.

Q: How should I prepare for departmental comprehensive examinations?
The department offers a study guide to help students in their preparations.

Q: When can I take my TExES for Educational Diagnostician certification?
This is a rigorous state competency examination that should be taken during your last semester in
the program.

Q: How do I go about registering for and taking the TExES?
The student should contact the Graduate Advisor early in his/her last semester to obtain
permission to take the exam. The GA then forwards the student’s name to an officer in the
College of Education, who will email the student with a number code that allows the student to
register online.
All information needed for registering and taking the TExES is available on the SBEC website
( ). The student is responsible for registering and passing the TExES and for
meeting all deadlines in order to become certified.

Q: What can I do to prepare for the TExES?
The SBEC website offers a preparation manual for educational diagnosticians that can be
downloaded and studied prior to taking the TExES. This manual contains 17 questions that are
similar in format and content to the questions on the exam.

 Neither a review session nor preparation manual specifically for diagnosticians is offered by the
department at this time. However, students should keep in mind that the required diagnostician
coursework and the TExES exam are based upon the same SBEC standards. Some students have
found it helpful to form study groups to help prepare themselves for this exam.

Q: How do I become certified?
 After completing your coursework, the comprehensive exams (if needed), and the TExES, you
apply to SBEC online by filling out their form. SBEC then forwards that form to the Texas State
designated certification officer.

Q: Do I have to renew my certificate?
Yes, certificates are currently good for five years. The holder of the certificate needs 200 hours
of continuing education (or about 40 hours per year) to renew the certificate.

                      Last Semester Checklist **

Prior to your last semester, set up your practicum experience (see
handbook under “Practicum”).

____ Begin Diagnostician Practicum

____ Apply for Graduation via Catsweb on the Texas State website

____ If participating in the graduation ceremony, order cap, gown, and

____ Send a copy of all classes taken to Dr. Wheeler at

____ If receiving a master’s degree, request permission to take written
     comprehensive exams by notifying Dr. Wheeler

____ Complete comprehensive exams

____ Request permission to take the state certification test, the TeXes
     Diagnostician Exam by notifying Dr. Wheeler

____ Once you have received your approval code from the university,
     register for TeXes Exam through SBEC website

___ Complete the TeXes Exam

____ Complete Diagnostician Practicum and turn in portfolio

____ After you have passed all exams and graduated, register for
     Diagnostician certificate through SBEC website

** Prepared by students in their last semester of the program as an aid for future

                                Texas State University
Name: ___________________________________________________________
             First                Middle                   Last

Mailing Address: ______________________________________________________________
                       Street and Number

__________________________________     _____________        __________________
       City                              State                      Zip code
Home Phone: _________________________ Work Phone: ____________________________

Email: __________________________________                Student ID ______________________

Ethnicity (Optional): ________________________

Semester Entering: Fall _______, Spring _______, Summer I _______, Summer II _______
                         Year           Year                Year              Year

Previous Educational Experience

Please attach all transcripts and answer the following questions:

_____ Do you currently possess a master’s degree?
      If yes, please list major:___________________________________________________
                    and minor: ___________________________________________________
_____ Are you currently pursuing a master’s degree in conjunction with certification?
_____ Are you a postgraduate student seeking certification only?

Teacher Certification
Circle all teacher certificates you currently possess:

Elementary Education
Secondary Education (Content area _______________________________________________)
EC – 4
8 – 12 (Content area ___________________________________________________________)
Special Education
Other (Specify___________________________________________________________)

Teaching Experience
List the number of years of teaching experience you have acquired in all settings listed below:

_____ General Education: Elementary              _____ Special Education: Elementary

_____ General Education: Secondary               _____ Special Education Secondary

_____ Bilingual                                  _____ Other: _____________________

Please list: Your overall GPA: _____ ____ Your GRE score:____________

In the space below, in your own handwriting, please describe your work experience over the past
five years and your reason(s) for wanting to become an educational diagnostician. Any relevant
volunteer or other work experience with persons with disabilities should be included.

Please submit: 1) A resume, 2) One letter of reference, and 3) This application to:
Graduate Advisor, Special Education

Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Texas State University-San Marcos
San Marcos, TX 78666-4616