Graduate Certificate in Special Education

This graduate certificate program in Special Education is designed for Education Specialist individuals who want to enhance their career and deepen their knowledge of special education and inclusive classroom management.

*This certificate in Special Education does NOT qualify students for a Teaching Credential in Special Education.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Examine the causes and characteristics of students with learning disabilities.
  2. Develop approaches for successful classroom management.
  3. Examine Instructional techniques for effective teaching and assessing.
  4. Identify and analyze behavioral solutions.
  5. Research accommodations and adaptions necessary for student success.


Graduate Certificate in Special Education
12 Credits
Admission Requirements

Applicants interested in pursuing a graduate certificate in Special Education must meet the general admission requirements for GRADUATE ADMISSIONS.

Program Requirements

For more information about program requirements and completion refer to the University Catalog.


MAE515: Literacy Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities

The course focuses on language development and the relationship between language and reading acquisition for students with mild disabilities. Students will learn concepts central to typical and atypical language development; language achievements at different ages; concepts of emergent literacy, models of reading acquisition and skilled reading.

MAE519: Classroom and Behavior Management in the Inclusive Classroom

This course focuses on children with special needs. It provides an overview of behavioral disturbances in the classroom. Medical, behavioral and socio-cultural interventions will be explored with an emphasis on creating positive classroom environments that enable students with learning and behavior problems to participate productively in the classroom learning community. Embracing a philosophy of inclusion, diversity is celebrated. It examines and applies an approach of differentiated learning to meet the strengths and needs of a wide range of children in the classroom.

MAE521: Content Area Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities

This course focuses on expanding the understanding of development and cognition in and academic and functional performance of students with disabilities, how these are similar to and different from all developing students, and how this understanding informs the teaching of students with disabilities in the primary and middle school environments. Another area of exploration is the ways in which these differences need to be addressed within a standard aligned system that demands high expectations of students with disabilities so that they have true access to the general education curriculum. This course will enhance the development of a range of instructional supports and use of validated practices in prospective teachers for inclusive settings, especially in content area subjects, but also the supporting skills of reading, written language and math, that are necessary for success in today’s classrooms.

MAE523: Autism Spectrum Disorders: Characteristics and Educational Implications

This course is designed to prepare teachers to work in a variety of environments serving children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) including the general education classroom, inclusive settings and specialized settings. Evidence-based practice, philosophical approaches, and specific intervention techniques are examined. These practices are considered within the continuum of services and collaborative models utilized in designing effective instructional environments for students with ASD.