Special Education ETDs

Publication Date



This qualitative interview study examined the classroom assessment knowledge and beliefs of five recent graduates of the University of New Mexico Special Education Dual License Program (SEDLP). Research questions were designed to gain an understanding in three areas. First, in what ways did recent SEDLP graduates characterize their level of competence (theoretical understanding and practical application) in assessing the progress of students with disabilities in the classroom? Second, in what ways do SEDLP graduates report that they use classroom assessment to inform classroom instruction? Third, what features of the SEDLP teacher preparation program do graduates identify as having positively or negatively impacted their ability to effectively use classroom assessments? To answer these questions, each participant was interviewed twice using a semi-structured question format and constant-comparative methodology. The results showed participant knowledge and specific practices in addressing student affective needs, broadening the application of assessments by individualizing and differentiating, meeting district requirements for assessments, using measurable assessment criteria, and using frequent informal assessment. Classroom instruction was most impacted as participants determined next steps to address knowledge gaps or intervene behaviorally. The SEDLP was characterized as positively impacting classroom assessment in the areas of providing assessment models, multiple examples of types, multiple informal assessment practice opportunities, and organizational and resource availability. It was characterized as lacking instruction in the areas of writing formal assessments and providing opportunities to learn and practice assessments in math. These results lead to implications for future practice and research that are discussed.


Teacher Preparation, Dual License, Classroom assessment, Assessment, Special Education

Document Type




Degree Name

Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Copeland, Susan

Second Committee Member

Peele-Eady, Tryphenia

Third Committee Member

Qi, Cathy

Fourth Committee Member

Keefe, Elizabeth