Special Education Certificate

Special Education Certificate (SPED)

This 12-credit-hour graduate certificate program is designed to provide the knowledge and understandings needed for classroom teachers, in particular those who are interested in adding Cross-Categorical Special Education Mild/Moderate Disabilities certification to their teaching license by exam.

This is not designed to replace all of the content knowledge acquired through a traditional special education degree program, but rather to provide a resource for teachers interested in moving into Special Education through the exam. The four courses in this special education certificate will provide the minimum critical content needed to be successful in the SPED classroom.

Teachers completing this Special Education certificate will:

  1. Develop strategies for identifying a student’s needs, and develop appropriate differentiated learning opportunities.
  2. Develop tiered systems for supporting instruction and behavior.
  3. Develop Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and understand and explain the Special Education process to the school community, parents and families, and the community at large.
  4. Understand the language development of the exceptional child.
  5. Understand how to engage families as educational partners.


For the Special Education Graduate Certificate, students must complete a total of 10 credit hours:

  • ED 553 Analysis and Characteristics of Cross-Categorical Special Education (3)
  • ED 558 Methods and Curriculum of Cross-Categorical Special Education (3)
  • ED 561 Language Acquisition and Development (3)
  • ED 564 Consultation, Collaboration, and Family Engagement (1)
  • Special Topic Electives (2)


Cory Roup, M.S., Assistant Director of Graduate Education
P: 816.501.2464 / E: Cory.Roup@avila.edu

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