Teacher Certification Special Education

Discover how to better assist students with special needs as you improve your marketability as a teacher.

Next Start Date
July 10th
Est. Program Length
1.5 years
Credit Hours
Course Length
7 weeks
Credits Accepted
Cost per Credit

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Alvernia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Overview

Acquire the knowledge and skills you need to help eliminate barriers for students of varying abilities with Alvernia University’s online special education certification. In this one-year program, you can improve your marketability and add to your list of teaching qualifications. Through the program’s flexible online format, you’ll have the convenience of studying on your own time, wherever you want, while learning from experienced faculty.

2020-2021 Colleges of Distinction Education badgeAlvernia University earned the Education Field of Study badge from Colleges of Distinction for the 2020-21 academic year. Colleges of Distinction evaluates institutions based on their commitment to “Four Distinctions:” engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community and successful outcomes.


Topics of Study

Our special education certification provides you with opportunities for hands-on experience so that you can become more successful in inclusive classroom settings. As you complete your studies, you’ll explore learning disabilities, social and emotional disorders, autism and more. You will also gain insight into various topics, such as:

  • How special education services are developed and presented in modern schools, as well as how family and community members work together to ensure success for those with exceptionalities
  • Materials, content and methods used for helping those with special needs achieve academically and socially
  • Current trends and issues in special education, including inclusive classrooms, early interventions and statewide assessment programs
  • Legal and instructional issues related to students who have special needs in secondary schools
  • Developing social skills and behaviors through various approaches to meet the needs of students in a positive classroom
  • How to develop and improve language, reading and writing skills for students with special needs

Through a required practicum course, you will work in a classroom setting for at least 40 hours with students who have disabilities (and organizations that serve them) to design and produce a project within a personal learning plan structure. Special education certification also requires student teaching within a special education environment.

Our Online Special Education Certification Program Is For Those:

  • Who currently hold an Instructional I or Instructional II Teaching Certification
  • Wishing to become more marketable in the field of teaching
  • Hoping to provide students with varying abilities and disabilities the quality education they deserve

For those interested in Alvernia’s on-campus program, click here to learn more.


The online special education certification program consists of 27 credits. Special education certification courses make up 21 credits. General teaching certification courses total six credits, which include a 40-hour required practicum and student teaching.

Admission Requirements

For admission into Alvernia Online’s special education certification program, you must have a baccalaureate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a valid Pennsylvania Teaching Certification. To apply:

  • Speak to an enrollment counselor
  • Complete an application
  • Submit proof of a baccalaureate degree, plus all official college and institution transcripts
  • Provide verification of a valid Pennsylvania Instructional I or II Teaching Certification
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources
  • Submit a one-page personal statement about the value of graduate education for your professional and personal goals
  • Submit a resume outlining your professional and educational experiences
  • Complete the following background checks and clearances prior to field placement: Child Abuse History Clearance, FBI Fingerprinting Background Check, Pennsylvania Criminal Background Check and Tuberculosis Screening

Tuition & Fees

Full Program Tuition$650 per credit hour$17,550
Full Program Student Fees$50 per credit hour$1,350
Tuition with Maximum Transfer Credits (Up to 6)$650 per credit hour$13,650
Fees with Maximum Transfer Credits (Up to 6)$50 per credit hour$1,050
Total with Transfer Credits$14,700

Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Fees are charged per semester unless otherwise noted. This program takes 1.5 years to complete, depending on transfer credits. For a personalized estimate of time to completion, call an enrollment counselor at (888) 536-1251 or request more information.

* Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Financial Aid

Alvernia offers loans, grants, scholarships, payment plans and GI Bill benefits to help make your education more affordable. Our enrollment counselors can help you determine your financial aid eligibility. For more information, visit our Financial Aid page.

Yellow Ribbon

Alvernia University is a proud participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program. The Yellow Ribbon Program, a provision of the GI Bill, provides those who served the U.S. military on active duty with free tuition and fees, as well as a book allowance. For more information, visit our Veterans page.

Career Outcomes

After earning your Special Education Certification online, you can pursue a variety of careers, including:

  • Special education teacher
  • Early intervention specialist
  • Special education paraprofessional
  • Support Team Image

    Your Support Team

    We’re dedicated to your success. Our enrollment counselors will assist you through every step of your college career, from enrollment to tuition and more.

  • Benefits of Learning Online Image

    Benefits of Learning Online

    With the convenience of studying online, you can learn whenever and wherever you’d like.

Get Started

Call Us At (888) 536-1251