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Program Standard 12: Behavioral, Social, and Environmental Supports for Learning

The program ensures that candidates demonstrate knowledge and the ability to implement systems that assess, plan, and provide academic and social skill instruction to support positive behavior in all students, including students who present complex social communication, behavioral and emotional needs. The program provides candidates information on laws and regulations as they pertain to promoting behavior that is positive and self-regulatory as well as promoting safe schools.

Program Standard 12 Component:

Courses in which the component is addressed:

Complete a functional behavioral assessment based on indirect and direct observation

SPED 125

Implement systems that assess, plan, and provide academic and social skill instruction to support positive behavior in all students, including students who present complex social, communication, behavioral and emotional needs.

SPED 125; 146; 247; 171; 172; 175; 176

Federal and California laws and regulations related to positive behavior support and functional analysis of behavior

SPED 125; 247

Develop a positive behavior support plan based on data compiled from functional behavioral assessment

SPED 125

Team collaboration to conduct functional assessment and to write positive behavior support plan

SPED 125

Crisis prevention training

SPED 125

Standard 12 is primarily met through SPED 125: Positive Behavior and Social Supports. This course focuses on: a) theoretical and ethical foundations of positive behavior supports and; b) managing a learning; c) functional behavioral assessment; d) development and implementation of positive behavior support plans, and e) supporting students to develop as self-regulated learners. Teacher candidates complete a Functional Behavioral Assessment on one identified student with challenging behavior. In addition to in-class lectures and class discussion, candidates also complete modules on Functional Assessment at Based on the data compiled from the functional behavioral assessment, candidates complete a Positive Behavior Support Plan. Students access the PENT website at for additional assistance in completing both projects. In addition, each candidate designs a classroom management plan for his or her classroom and specific student population. The plan includes the development of rules and expectations; relationship building with students, colleagues and family members; strategies for increasing student engagement and for providing quality instruction; appropriate response to minor misbehavior; interventions for students with challenging behaviors; and finally, a crisis management plan to respond to behavioral and medical emergencies. Case law and case studies are used to introduce candidates to guidelines for special education student removals for disciplinary purposes (e.g., suspensions, expulsions, manifestation determination, and interim alternative placements), and research reports, case law and case studies are used to discuss the issues involved in use of restraints and seclusion in schools. Guidelines for appropriate use are provided.

Additionally, Standard 12 is addressed in SPED 146: Assessment and Instruction for Students with Moderate-Severe Disabilities, and SPED 247: Advanced Environment Design and Instruction for Students with Moderate-Severe Disabilities. Each of these courses focuses on the development and implementation of systems that assess, plan for, and provide academic and social skill instruction to support positive behavior in all students—including those who have complex social, communication, behavioral, and emotional needs. Specifically, in SPED 146, candidates are required to utilize tools of ecological assessment to identify activity-based and academic skills in need of instruction for a focus student. Subsequently, candidates apply this information to the development of IEP matrices, which articulate the classroom and school contexts across which instruction can be embedded, as well as individual participation plans for the focus student, which identify supports, adaptations, and instruction specific to a context. These same strategies are employed in SPED 147, but applied to the development of individualized communication systems and augmented supports for a student, as well as to the planning of social and relationship supports and instruction.

Concurrent, supervised fieldwork for both credentials (SPED 171/172 and 175/176) requires that candidates implement these classroom and behavior systems, supports, and strategies that are taught and evaluated through core methods course assignments.

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