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Dr. Shantel Farnan

Dr. Tekle Wanorie

Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Special Education programs

"Communicate often with both classmates and the professor. Dig deep into their learning and teaching—as in the online environment, we learn a lot from one another."

Degrees Held:

  • EdD. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis – University of Missouri, 2016
  • Ed.S. – Northwest Missouri State University, 2008
  • M.S. in Educational Leadership/Elementary – Northwest Missouri State University, 1999
  • B.S. in Elementary Education/Mentally Handicapped – Northwest Missouri State University, 1995

Career Highlights:

  • Special Education Director for 12 years, with six of those years including also being the Director of a Special Education Cooperative of 21 school districts
  • Safe Schools Educational program grant (funded $453,000 FY06). Assisted with organizing, writing and editing for funding to increase services for at-risk students within the Northwest Missouri Special Education Cooperative. This grant was used to begin Area Cooperative for Educational Support (ACES), which include an alternative school.
  • Co-Presenter (Oct. 2013). "Collaboration Between Preservice Teachers: Faculty Research and Student Views." Presented at the "Critical Questions in Education" annual conference (International) in San Antonio, Texas, with students and faculty from Northwest Missouri State University.
  • Dean's Award for Teaching - College of Education and Human Services, Fall 2013
  • Sorority Women in Education honoree, Fall 2014
  • Communications editor for Teacher Education Division (TED), a subdivision of Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

Which class do you teach online?

Special Education Administration, and Transition/Career Education for Students with Disabilities.

What do you want your students to take away from class?

For Special Education Administration:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge, skill and understanding of concepts related to special education laws and procedures
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of similarities and differences of IDEA and Section 504
  3. Demonstrate knowledge, skill and understanding regarding accommodations and modifications for students with disabilities in the regular education classroom
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of current trends and issues in special education: over-representation of minorities, collaboration and inclusion
  5. Demonstrate awareness and knowledge of student issues: discipline, high-stakes testing, graduation requirements, and extra-curricular activities
  6. Recognizes the importance of long-range planning and curriculum development; develop, implement and evaluate curriculum based upon standards and student needs

For Transition/Career Education for Students with Disabilities:

  1. Discuss the laws governing transition planning and the rationale for transition planning for students with disabilities
  2. Distinguish among vocational education, career education, and transition programs and be able to select, plan and coordinate a set of transition activities through transition plans/IEPs for individuals with disabilities
  3. Recognize similarities and differences among students with disabilities and the potential impacts of differences in values, languages and customs that can exist between home and school regarding instruction and transition decisions and programming
  4. Describe transition assessments and various transition options/supports/agencies for students with disabilities making transitions and identify methods of monitoring, recording, evaluating and reporting performance in the four domains (academic/vocational, domestic/self-help, recreational/leisure, community functioning).
  5. Examine the relationship of special education to the organization and function of educational agencies, state or community/consumer agencies, and advocacy groups and promoting and providing partnerships with individuals, families and school and community in order to meet the transition needs of the student
  6. Assess the importance of independence, self-determination (including self awareness, self management, self control, self reliance and self esteem) and student-led IEPs in the transition process. This includes assessing the impact of learner's academic and social abilities (including behavior), attitudes, interests and values on instruction and career development as it pertains to transition.

Why did you start teaching?

I started college teaching after I had been a special education teacher and director. Some of the best parts of those days were when I could work collaboratively with a teacher or parent to develop strategies that would work for children with disabilities. I realized, as a professor in special education, I could assist teacher candidates and learning professionals with these strategies every day through courses, and it would eventually impact thousands and thousands of students with disabilities and continue to make a difference.

What advice would you give to your online students?

Communicate often with both classmates and the professor. Dig deep into their learning and teaching, as in the online environment we learn a lot from one another. Ask questions if you need assistance and feel free to contact me. Meet with me and/or others in an online or web-conferencing format if needed. Manage your time wisely and, if possible, set up a "class time" and space where you are working online as often as you would be sitting in a class.

What qualities make someone particularly successful as an educator?

  • Passion and desire for working with children and families and collaborating/communicating with all stakeholders
  • Deep level of content knowledge
  • Flexibility
  • Ability to differentiate and be culturally responsive
  • Successful planning and use of evidence-based instructional and engagement strategies
  • Ability to create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments
  • Use of multiple methods of assessment, data-sources and research in making educational decisions

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

"Pyramid Response to Intervention" by Mike Mattos.

What do you do when you need a laugh?

Spend time with my family.

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