I’ve mentioned several times through social media that I’ve been taking some summer courses. You all keep asking for more details so I wanted to share those with you!
I’m currently pursuing an Assistive Technology Certificate from Bowling Green State University. I was looking for a way to earn graduate level hours to move across the pay-scale in my district. I wanted to make those hours count and not just do 15 random hours about technology or education in general. I’m excited that even though my primary motivation is earn hours for class change, I’m learning valuable skills that will benefit my students immediately.
So here are the details! 15 credit hours. All coursework in online.
To obtain the BGSU Certificate in Assistive Technology, participants in this program take five graduate-level courses developed to provide the skills needed to help meet the assistive technology needs of individuals with special needs, and to work effectively with parents, teachers, professionals and school districts that are seeking to introduce assistive technologies into multiple environments.
EDIS 6400 Introduction to Assistive Technology (3)
EDIS 6410 Assessment Processes for Assistive Technology (3)
EDIS 6420 Implementation Strategies for Assistive Technology (3)
EDIS 6430 Integrating and Managing Assistive Technology in the Classroom (3)
One other elective will also be selected.
Detailed information is available here from BGSU.
This semester I’m taking the AT in the classroom and Intro to AT. I think the biggest areas of growth and learning include information about the laws related to IEPs and AT. I also wasn’t very familiar with AT in terms of vision, mobility, positioning, and other areas. The introduction class has taught me a lot about some of the tools available.
The activities have been very functional which is something I value as a working clinician. This week we had to pick an AT device and look at the details like we were purchasing one for our district. We could pick any AT device we were interested in. Info to research included: warranty, tech support, training, return policy, loaner devices, reading the manual, etc. I picked the PRC Accent 1400 and thought it was a great way to make sure you’re covering your bases before spending $8,000 on a device for your student.
Edit: An SLP asked me about the workload and if it is manageable. Right now, in the summer I think the workload for two classes is manageable. I would say I spend 3-6 hours per week working on it. The bulk of the work is due on Sunday each week, although there are assignments due throughout the week sometimes. In most cases the work is reading, reading quizzes, activity sets (that include researching AT devices or watching videos and then answering questions) and lots of discussion boards with classmates. In the fall, there are two classes but they run for concurrent 8-week spans. So I will do one class for 8 weeks followed by another class for 8 weeks. I’ll still complete two classes in the semester but don’t have to take them at the same time which I hope makes it do-able with a full time job.
My school provides some tuition reimbursement but it is still a big investment into my future. Just when I thought I was done with midterms and finals…. I sign up for something like this! Never say never!
Have you done an AT class or program? Leave me a comment or connect on social media! I’d love to hear about it.
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