Special Education Certification
Our program introduces you to the physical, social, emotional and educational characteristics of students with disabilities in public and private educational facilities in the K-12 grade range. The curriculum is designed to teach you the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to help these students fully develop their intellectual and social capabilities.
Upon completion, program graduates undergo rigorous training in the use of evidence-based practices in meeting the needs of children/individuals with a variety of exceptionalities.
Any student who already holds a Pennsylvania teaching certificate and wants to add special education to that existing certificate will have to display competence in 8 different areas for a total of 24 graduate credits. Students will take the following:
Students who complete the 27-hour certification program must obtain a "Recommendation for Endorsement" form from Dr. Mitchem. This form must be submitted with an application and a copy of your original teaching certificate to the Dean's office in Keystone Education. There is also a fee for this process. Contact Dr. Heh for specifics. Once all papers are submitted, Special Education is added to your certificate. This process takes 4-6 weeks.
Students who complete the 27-hour program may go on to take 9 more credit hours and receive a master's degree. Certainly, this extra step is encouraged. Such students must contact the graduate office to change their status from "non-degree" to "degree."
- Certification-only Pre-K-8 special education (for those certified in Elementary Education)
- Certification-only Grade 7-12 Special Education (for those certified in Secondary Content Area)
- After November 30, 1996, Special Education Certification requires that all candidates pass the Specialty Test of the Praxis.
- In Pennsylvania, the Specialty Test is "Education of Exceptional Students --- Core Content #20353." Be sure you take the right one. You can get information on this test in the College of Education office - Keystone 202.
- After January 2007, all students must also pass Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge #30511 in order to be considered Highly Qualified to teach special education at the elementary level.