Graduate Certificate in Special Education (Moderate to Severe Disabilities)

Graduate Certificate of Completion: Special Education, Moderate to Severe

Offered By: College of Education

Advance Your Teaching Career With a Graduate Certificate in Special Education

The Graduate Certificate of Completion: Special Education, Moderate to Severe from Grand Canyon University (GCU) prepares online students to be effective communicators and mentors for those with moderate to severe learning exceptionalities. Behavior management, special education law and assessment, and individualized education program planning and methods — all encompassed and supported by our Christian worldview — are central components of the curriculum for this special education certificate in moderate to severe disabilities.

This endorsement also meets requirements for an Arizona Provisional Mild/Moderate Disabilities, PreK-12 Endorsement and exceeds credit count requirements for an Arizona Full Mild/Moderate Disabilities, PreK-12 Endorsement by three credits, as well as, meets the Higher Learning Commission’s certificate and endorsement requirements.

GCU's College of Education takes great care in preparing students for their own career in education, as well as the students they will teach in their own classrooms. This graduate certificate in special education online allows students to focus on critical competencies within special education and for their chosen path of teaching students in moderate to severe special education classrooms.

With just 18 credits in an online format, students will have a quick turnaround time in receiving this valuable special education certificate. Visit our Admission Requirements page for more information on how to be admitted into the Graduate Certificate of Special Education online program.

 

Learn Specialized Techniques for Teaching Students With Moderate to Severe Special Education Needs

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GCU emphasizes critical thinking and leadership in the Graduate Certificate of Special Education online program. Students with exceptionalities in any form require additional assistance so that they can become active and successful learners. Teacher candidates in the moderate to severe special education certificate program investigate diagnostic and assessment tools for determining student eligibility and monitoring for progress. Foundational knowledge is built regarding the use of multiple methods of assessment and data sources for diagnostic and educational decisions for individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities.

Throughout this graduate certificate in special education online program, students examine how to create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments through collaboration with colleagues and other professionals. Strategies to develop students' emotional well-being, positive social interactions and self-determination are prioritized. Students also investigate how speech-language pathologists, special education teachers and others assist individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities in the use of augmentative and alternative assistive technology, modifications and accommodations to enhance their communication and learning skills in mathematics and sciences.

Graduate Certificate in Special Education (Moderate to Severe) FAQs

Mild and moderate learning difficulties are high incidence exceptionalities and can include communication disorders (speech and language impairments), mild/moderate intellectual disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, cognitive impairment or a certain spectrum of autism. These programs are usually taught in an inclusive, self-contained, resource or combination of these settings.

These are different from moderate to severe (low incidence) exceptionalities which include intellectual disabilities, blindness, low vision, deafness, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blindness, significant developmental delay, complex health issues, serious physical impairment, multiple disability or a certain spectrum of autism. Individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities are normally taught in a self-contained setting.

Special education careers can be highly rewarding and meaningful. Students of any background deserve the same recognition and teaching as any other. Being able to teach and lead students to a successful education and life can be emotionally fulfilling. As well, special education teachers can find careers not just in a traditional classroom, but also in nonprofit organizations or state programs that promote education and assistance for those with learning exceptionalities.

Moderate to severe special education teachers should embody specific skills, such as patience, creativity, strong organization methods and a calming nature. These skills help teachers develop innovative productive styles that cater to the needs of their students. An intuitive teacher with highly developed and flexible communication skills will be able to understand and support the nuances of their students’ behaviors.

Yes. If you earned a bachelor’s degree in any subject, you can enroll in a teacher certification program, such as GCU’s graduate certificate in special education, and you may qualify to become a licensed teacher in a state. Be sure to check your state’s department of education, as each state has its own certification requirements.

Certificate programs are an alternative to traditional degree-based teacher programs where graduates usually teach in the subject area in which they majored in. This route allows aspiring teachers to become a teacher quickly and typically takes less than a year to finish your studies.

TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 18
Online: 6 weeks
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TRANSFER CREDITS:
The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
PROGRAM TUITION RATE:
Online: $580 per credit [More Info]

Course List

Major:
18 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
18 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

Teacher candidates survey professional ethical principles, professional practice standards, laws, and regulations that guide special educators. Candidates build upon this foundational knowledge to examine the multiple roles and complex situations of professional practice related to individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities. Practicum/field experience hours: 3. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-506 or approved enrollment in the Graduate Certificate of Completion: Special Education, Moderate to Severe.

Course Description

Teacher candidates investigate diagnostic and assessment tools for determining student eligibility and monitoring for progress. Foundational knowledge is built regarding the use of multiple methods of assessment and data sources for diagnostic and educational decisions for individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities. Candidates analyze assessment data and develop an individualized education plan (IEP) for a student. Ongoing collaboration with IEP team members and external stakeholders is emphasized. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine how to create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments through collaboration with colleagues and other professionals so individuals with disabilities become active and effective learners. Strategies to develop students' emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and self-determination are emphasized. Candidates focus on functional behavior assessments, behavior improvement plans, activities of daily living, and positive behavior interventions and supports. Practicum/field experience hours: 9. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-562 or approved enrollment in the Graduate Certificate of Completion: Special Education, Moderate to Severe.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine typical and atypical language development, and associated disabilities and disorders. Candidates investigate how speech-language pathologists, special education teachers and others assist individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities in the use of augmentative and alternative assistive technology, modifications, and accommodations to enhance their communication skills. Practicum/field experience hours: 9. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-566 or approved enrollment in the Graduate Certificate of Completion: Special Education, Moderate to Severe.

Course Description

Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge on a variety of research-based instructional strategies to provide individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities access to content areas. From this foundational knowledge, teacher candidates select and adapt research-based instructional strategies to plan lessons with a focused attention on functional mathematics and sciences. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-568.

Course Description

Teacher candidates select and adapt research-based instructional strategies to provide individuals with moderate to severe exceptionalities access to language arts content. With this foundational knowledge, teacher candidates plan a functional approach to literacy instruction. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SPD-568.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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