Graduate Certificate in Special Education

The Graduate Certificate in Special Education targets both part-time and full-time graduate students who wish to develop specialized knowledge in one of five special education strands: autism, learning disabilities, emotional behavioral disorders, gifted, intellectual disabilities. Each strand is relevant for those who work with individuals with disabilities or gifts and talents in a school setting, community setting, day care, or home-based setting. Each of the five strands is comprised of 15-credits that provide a strong knowledge base and pragmatic-practice base. Hours earned for each of the five strands may be applied to a degree program in special education at the master’s or doctoral degree levels. Hours earned in the master’s or doctorate programs in special education may not be used toward the certificate. Each certificate strand requires 15 credit hours.

For accreditation information, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.

Learning Outcomes

  • Scholars will (SW) understand the characteristics of students with specific disabilities and will use this understanding to develop rigorous, differentiated learning experiences (e.g., lesson plans, unit plans, assessment activities) aligned to the specific learning needs of students.
  • SW understand the experiences and background of culturally and linguistically diverse students, as well as how their own cultural background mitigates the way they interact with students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and will plan lesson activities and environments that are culturally responsive to students and their families.
  • SW describe various methods of assessing student learning and social-emotional well being and will implement these assessment techniques, as well as engage in data-based decision making to make targeted instructional decisions to support student learning.
  • SW understand the principles of behavior management (e.g., functional behavior assessment, positive behavior supports, development of classroom rules and procedures) and will implement positive behavior change strategies to support the behavior of students with disabilities in the school environment.
  • SW understand the structure and framework of the general education curricula and environment and will make targeted, data-based instructional decisions to differentiate learning for students with disabilities, ensuring access to the general education curricula.
  • SW define the criteria for identifying an evidence-based practices in special education and will design and implement lessons and interventions using evidence-based practices to support the academic achievement and social emotional well being of students with disabilities in the general education environment.
  • SW understand the principles of effective collaboration with key stakeholders in the education of students with disabilities (e.g., parents, families, general education teachers, special education paraprofessionals, administrators) and will implement effective practices for engaging in collaboration.
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Program Information

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Autism Track

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Emotional Behavioral Disorders Track

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Gifted Track

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Intellectual Disabilities Track

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Learning Disabilities Track

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