Students who have a teaching certificate may wish to pursue a graduate-level certificate in Special Education. There are many opportunities for online learners to achieve this goal.
Online Graduate Certificate in Special Education Coursework
Graduate-level certificates in Special Education are available in online platforms that allow learners to gain an insight into teaching in a special needs classroom. Programs can be taught to students from a remote location, allowing students to work from home or wherever an internet connection is available. Courses are often around 18 credit hours in length.
Introduction to Special Education
These types of courses are meant to give learners a broad overview of working with exceptional students. Courses may go over labels used to describe each student's disabilities, terminology, and even law as it pertains to education. Classes give students an introduction to the exceptional student classroom.
Teaching in Special Education
Courses in this subject will focus specifically on teaching techniques and theory. Students will learn how to adapt teaching methods to tailor them to a special needs learning environment. The focus on these courses is how to achieve learning in a positive environment for a range of students who have special needs.
Learning Disorders and Evaluation
These courses will prepare students to recognize and evaluate special needs. These courses focus on learning disorders and how to communicate with parents that their children may need specialized learning attention. Classes will incorporate tools and case studies to help students further their understanding of positive teaching methods for learning disorders.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Classes specifically geared toward Autism Spectrum Disorder are a common requirement in online graduate certificates in Special Education. Courses may look at Autism Spectrum disorder as well as some other closely associated disorders that affect communication. Classes will work with learners to build a foundation in identifying learners with such needs and in communication techniques for exceptional learners.
Capstone or Internship
Some courses may require an in-classroom experience or a capstone project to culminate in the certificate program. Students may be required to put together a final presentation on an in-depth topic in special education. Students will demonstrate knowledge and practical skills in teaching in a special education environment.
Program Admittance Requirements for an Online Graduate Certificate in Special Education
Applicants will be required to hold a bachelor's degree and, in most cases, a valid and current teaching license. Most programs require a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and applicants should submit transcripts when completing applications. Many of the applications require a personal statement, which should detail what the potential student would like to achieve with such a certificate, or how the certificate will enhance the learning environment where the applicant teaches. Students will be expected to fill out a graduate application form as well as provide a current resume.
There are numerous opportunities for those who wish to complete a graduate certificate in Special Education in an online learning environment. Classes range from specific (such as those focused on Autism Spectrum Disorder) to broader in scope (introduction to Special Education courses).