Special Education Law

Navigating the many facets of special education law can be overwhelming. However, with the right tools and resources, K-12 educators and administrators can be prepared to tackle even the most challenging situations. Through easy-to-understand texts, Special Education Law introduces information relating to various disabilities, IEPs, Section 504 Plans, transitional services, roles of educational professionals and their responsibilities, detailed descriptions of laws and relevant court cases, and much more.

Course Name: Special Education Law

Course Number: EDUC 717Z

 Semester Credits: 3

Course Description

Understanding the ins and outs of special education law can seem like a daunting and sometimes overwhelming feat. This is especially true for general education teachers, who are usually the first to notice when a student might require special education services. With ever-changing laws, how do you know your legal responsibilities, and more importantly, how can these students reach their maximum potential despite their limitations? Through jargon-free and easy to understand texts, the student will learn how to understand student disabilities, the pre-referral, referral, and evaluation process, Individualized education programs (IEPs), Section 504 plans, transitional services, roles of education professionals and their responsibilities, detailed descriptions of laws and related court cases, storing and maintaining records, and many more related topics.


  • Understand the definition of special education law and how disabilities are classified under various laws and regulations
  • Gain both a broad and detailed explanation of the differences and similarities of Section 504 and IDEA 2004 and what each of these laws and plans entails
  • Obtain information on what it means to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
  • Learn what it means to determine the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
  • Learn the legal responsibilities of IEP team members
  • Explore the detailed process, from start to finish, of an IEP
  • Understand how to interact with parents in an efficient and caring manner
  • Receive information on basic principles of the laws and regulations regarding student supervision
  • Learn about the laws and regulations regarding student discipline and behavior
  • Understand how to properly document and keep legal records 

Course Contents

  • Understanding special education and the laws that affect it
  • Parent-educator partnership
  • Referral and evaluation process, including the pre-evaluation process
  • Partnering with peers, administrators, and paraprofessionals
  • General education teachers and basic principles of IEPs
  • Other students who require accommodations and related services
  • Classroom management and student behavior
  • Implementing appropriate behavior interventions
  • Understanding the importance of documentation
  • The rules of record keeping and confidentiality
  • Assessment, grades, graduation, and diplomas
  • Avoiding unilateral action
  • Presenting a positive image: monitoring yourself inside and outside school

How to Register

Are you ready to dive into the world of Special Education Law? Students can complete this three-semester credit course online or via an emailed PDF format. All books and materials are mailed to the student regardless of the format selected. Like all courses offered through Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne, this course features online chat support and quick grading turnaround times. This course is open for registration at any time during each semester. Upon completion, students receive graduate, non-degree semester credit on official transcripts from the University of La Verne, an accredited university in La Verne, California.

Registration is simple and can be done online or over the phone. Courses are available on a rolling basis during three standard semesters, and you can begin whenever you are ready! Students may enroll in up to a maximum of 15-semester credits at any time during each semester.

The registration dates are:

Fall: September 1 – January 31

Spring: February 1 – May 31

Summer: June 1 – August 31

Special Education Law, offered by Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne, will give you practical, straightforward tools and resources to ensure you understand the legal requirements of IEPs, Section 504 Plans, and other special needs services. Once you have this knowledge in your toolkit of information, you will be ready to help meet your students’ needs every day!

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