Mentally/Physically Handicapped Certification: Curriculum
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.
Get a description of each of Cal U's mentally/physically handicapped education courses from our Course Catalog.
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. Mitchem for specifics. Once all papers are submitted, Mentally/Physically Handicapped 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.