Develop a deeper understanding of special education so you can support the strengths
and challenges of students with disabilities.
This 100% online graduate certificate prepares teachers to serve school-aged students
with learning and intellectual disabilities and emotional behavioral disorders. You'll
also be prepared to help younger children receiving early childhood special education
Certificate - Graduate
Est. time to complete:
Why earn a graduate certificate in special education online?
This full-time, flexible online Special Education graduate certificate is designed
General education teachers
Early childhood teachers
Professionals who work with individuals with emotional/behavioral disorders, intellectual
disabilities or learning disabilities
It provides you with the skills and tools you need to effectively address the many
and varied challenges students with special needs face.
Special Education Certificate Tracks
There are five disability specific specialization tracks for this certificate:
Behavior Intervention Specialist (BIS)
Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
Emotional Behavior Disorders (EBD)
Intellectual Disabilities (ID)
Learning Disabilities (LD)
Online Special Education Certification Program
You'll acquire a special education license to help fill the demand for special education
teachers at the state and national level.
Fully online program allows you the flexibility to learn on your own schedule in the
comfort of your own home.
Enjoy hands-on, real-world experiential learning with highly qualified mentors and
practicing special education teachers.
What can I do with an online special education certification?
Median salary range for a special education teacher
Now is an ideal time to pursue a special education graduate certificate. Job prospects are strong due to rising enrollments of special education students and
shortages of qualified teachers. Additional job openings are expected as a result
of teacher retirements or career changes.
Special education teachers typically do the following:
Assess students’ skills and determine their educational needs
Adapt general lessons to meet students’ needs
Develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for each student
Plan activities that are specific to each student’s abilities
Teach and mentor students as a class, in small groups, and one-on-one
Implement IEPs, assess students’ performance, and track their progress
Update IEPs throughout the school year to reflect students’ progress and goals
Discuss students’ progress with parents, other teachers, counselors, and administrators
Supervise and mentor teacher assistants who work with students with disabilities
Prepare and help students transition from grade to grade and from school to life outside
Online Special Education Certification Courses
SPED 510. Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education. 3 Credits.
An introduction to the field of Early Childhood Special Education, primarily for students interested in entering the field. Issues such as program design, parent involvement, identification, infant education, and effects of disabilities will be covered. F,S,SS.
The study of specific strategies, methods, and materials for working with students with emotional behavioral disorders. Prerequisite: Admission to one of the master's programs in special education. F,S,SS.
This course is a masters level methods course designed for professionals seeking to extend their skills in the areas of instruction, functional (life skills) curriculum, program and curriculum development, and functional behavioral analysis for working with students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. Prerequisites: Graduate status and admission to one of the master's programs in special education. F,S,SS.
SPED 508. Introduction to Learning Disabilities. 3 Credits.
The historical perspective and the complexities of identification and characteristics of learning disabilities will be covered. Students will gain an understanding of service delivery models within a multisystems approach. F,S,SS.
SPED 545. Assessment and Behavior Change Systems. 4 Credits.
This course will address the process of identifying behaviors targeted for change and the use of behavioral assessment techniques to identify and analyze behavior-environment relations for the purpose of developing successful, functionally-based intervention strategies. Students will learn a variety of methods for behavior assessment, interventions, analysis of interventions, experimental analysis, and interpreting outcomes including the use of practical behaviorally-based assessment tools such as checklists, rating scales, structured observation tools, and curricular assessments. F,S,SS.
SPED 521. IEP and the Transition Process. 3 Credits.
This course covers the development of a federally mandated Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for students identified with one of the 13 disability areas as defined by IDEA. Additionally, this course focuses on education, personal, and vocational transition for students with disabilities. Assessment and transition program planning will be covered along with interagency collaboration skills and career awareness. F,S,SS.
Leaders in Special Education
Den Bolda, special education teacher at Fargo North High School, is a graduate of
the online special education program.