Special Education Certification

Developing Hearts and Skills

The need for teachers with skills in special education is growing exponentially. With the online certification in special education at Alvernia University, you’ll gain a credential that can instantly improve your marketability as a teacher and help you successfully manage your classroom. And we’ll show you how to develop a connection with students and transform their lives.

The Alvernia Difference

At Alvernia University, you can earn your certification in as little as one year in a format that works best for you.

  • Experience

    Learn alongside dedicated faculty members and staff that have real-world expertise.

  • Flexibility

    Study in a convenient and flexible format that allows you to maintain your schedule.

  • Interactive

    Grow your skills as a teacher to make an impact in the lives of students.

Potential Careers

The special education certification prepares you to educate children who have special needs — in a special education classroom or inclusive classroom environment. Since this certification is offered for grades PreK-8 and 7-12, you can tailor the credential to the age group of your choice. The certification program expands your marketability as a classroom educator or special classroom educator, with a curriculum that includes instruction techniques, promoting prosocial behavior and other skills that will help you assist students in meeting their goals.

Courses

Courses (27 credits):

MED 505 Introduction to Individuals with Special Needs (Required first course)
This course reviews all areas of student exceptionalities and how special education services are acquired, developed and provided in today’s schools. Students will learn how family and community collaboration together with research-based educational practices assist individuals with exceptionalities be successful in home, school and community settings. Ten (10) hours of fieldwork with children in community settings are embedded in this course.
MED 515 Differentiated Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms
This course focuses on content, methods, and materials specifically oriented to assisting students with diverse needs to achieve academically and socially in today’s inclusive schools. Competencies and best practices needed by school leaders as well as classroom teachers who address the needs of students with disabilities are addressed in the course objectives.This course reviews all areas of student exceptionalities and how special education services are acquired, developed and provided in today’s schools. Students will learn how family and community collaboration together with research-based educational practices assist individuals with exceptionalities be successful in home, school and community settings. Ten (10) hours of fieldwork with children in community settings are embedded in this course.
MED 522 Practicum (30 hours)
This experience is an introduction to the teaching profession. Students will have the opportunity to observe a practicing teacher in action and work with students in the classroom. As described in the Practicum I and II Handbook, this experience is the first developmental phase which provides active observation and participation.
MED 523 Practicum (30 hours)
This experience provides the candidate with the opportunity to apply theory to practice in learning, motivation and development through lesson plans, assessment and management. There will be supervised observation and teaching in local school sites with an emphasis on teaching individual lessons.
MED 535 Collaboration and Legal Issues in Special Education
This course will focus on understanding the legal statutes and regulations regarding students with disabilities and the resulting impact on the delivery of services and educational programs. Skills in development and delivery of the Individualized Education Plan, from age 3-21, including effective communication and collaboration, will be addressed. Discussion of professional dispositions and ethical behaviors of effective special educators will be reviewed. Pre-requisite: MED 505.
MED 542 Assessment & Instruction of Students with Developmental Disabilities
This course deals with what autism and other developmental disabilities are, and best practices teachers use with students who have these conditions. Functional curriculum and assessment in domains of basic communication, self-help, social skills, life skills, fine and gross motor for such students will be addressed. Assistive technology for these populations will be explored. This course should be taken before or during MED 522: Practicum I.
MED 544 Transition & Instruction for Adolescents with Special Needs
This course deals with what autism and other developmental disabilities are, and best practices teachers use with students who have these conditions. Functional curriculum and assessment in domains of basic communication, self-help, social skills, life skills, fine and gross motor for such students will be addressed. Assistive technology for these populations will be explored. This course should be taken before or during MED 522: Practicum I.
MED 545 Social Development & Behavior Support
This course focuses on creating social skills and behaviors using pro-active approaches to meet the needs of all learners within a positive classroom climate. The routines of management as well as the individualized planning for special behavioral needs of included children with disabilities will be presented.
MED 605 Enhancing Literacy for Students with Special Needs
The course, designed for prospective special education classroom teachers, develops skills for the development, teaching, and enhancing of literacy skills: language, reading, and writing. Students review current and developing research and classroom practices that encourage the acquisition and improvement of those skills through learning strategies that can be used in classroom experiences.

Admissions

For entrance into the Online Special Education Certification program, you’ll need to:

  • Complete an online application.
  • Provide verification of valid Pennsylvania Instructional I or II Teaching Certification.
  • Provide proof of a baccalaureate degree and official transcripts from all institutions attended.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation.
  • Write a one-page personal statement about the value of graduate education for your personal and professional goals.
  • Provide a resume outlining your professional and educational experiences.

You must also have the following background checks and clearances, which are required prior to all field experience placements:

  • Act 34 — Child Abuse
  • Act 114 — FBI Fingerprinting Background Check
  • Act 151 — PA Criminal Background Check
  • Tuberculosis Screening

Interested in Alvernia’s On-Campus Special Education Certification program, click here to learn more

Tuition

Online Special Education Certification tuition is $550 per credit hour. Visit our financial aid page to learn what options are available to you.

Alumni Success

“Alvernia University strives to integrate a variety of different teaching methods to ensure success.”

Michelle Salloum
Special Education Certification ‘08