Certification in Special Education
Drexel University School of Education - Online
There is a great need for special education teachers as states all across the country are experiencing shortages. Today's special education teachers must be highly-skilled individuals who not just understand the complexities of their students’ needs, but can modify curriculum, and provide supplemental instruction.
Drexel University’s School of Education certification in special education program prepares special education teachers for these challenges.
What Can You Do with a Special Education (SPED) Certification?
Drexel’s online Special Education (SPED) certification program seeks to produce professionals who are equipped with the fundamental skills, knowledge, and competencies they require to meet the needs of students at risk for school failure and students with disabilities in multiple settings. The program is intended for those interested in gaining greater skills and expertise and a teaching certification in the area of special education.
The responsibilities of special education teachers typically include:an
- Assess the skills of a student and develop an Individual Education Program (IEP) that meets their educational needs and make updates based on student progress
- Teach students individually, or in small group and whole class settings
- Discuss IEP’s with the student’s parents, teachers, and appropriate school staff
- Mentor and train teaching assistants who work with students with special needs
- Transition students from one grade to the next
How to Get Certified in Special Education
Special Education Certification Eligibility and Admissions Requirements
This online Special Education certification program is for actively certified teachers seeking Pennsylvania's Special Education PreK-12 certification. Candidates must have an active PA Instructional I or Instructional II teaching certificate.
Out-of-state teachers are welcome to participate in the Special Education Program as non-PA certification students.
To be admitted into the Special Education certification program, students must also have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
- Completed graduate school application
- Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduate GPA will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA)
- If you do not meet this requirement, you’re still encouraged to apply and your file will be reviewed on an individual basis by the Program Director
- Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
- Two letters of recommendation—professional or academic
- An essay describing why the applicant is interested in pursuing graduate study in this field
Special Education Certification Program Curriculum
The Special Education Certification program is a part-time online program consisting of 27 graduate credits. For students that have not completed the prerequisite courses, the program will require 36 credits: 27 credits in Core Special Education Certification courses and 9.0 credits in prerequisites for certification in special education. The certification areas are Special Education PreK-8 and Special Education 7-12.
Course descriptions may be found in the Drexel University Catalog.
Most of the coursework in this program requires field hours. Students must have the necessary clearances in order to begin the program.
Learning Outcomes and Program Benefits
There are multiple learning outcomes and benefits of enrolling in the Special Education Certification Program offered at Drexel University School of Education. Through the program, students will:
- Gain the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to meet the needs of students at risk for academic failure and students with disabilities in multiple settings
- Prepare to teach special education at all grade levels from PreK-12
- Complete all the courses required under state and federal regulations, as well as the PA General Standards for Special Education and the standards outlined by the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC).
How Long Does it Take To Get Certified in Special Education?
The Special Education certification program is a part-time, accelerated program. Students, on average, complete the program in about a year and a half.
DO YOU NEED TO RENEW THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CERTIFICATION?
For certified teachers in Pennsylvania, a special education certification follows the same renewal cycle as the teacher’s original teaching certification. If a teacher converts their Instructional I teaching certification to Instructional II, their special education certification will also be converted.
Teachers in Pennsylvania must complete their Act 48 requirements every 5 years to renew their certification. This includes 6 semester hours of college credit (there is a conversion for quarter hours), or 180 hours of continuing education programming, i.e., professional development.
WHO SHOULD APPLY TO THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CERTIFICATION PROGRAM?
Special Education certification is a great program for teachers who are looking to expand their skills to understand how to teach students with special needs. It also a requirement for teachers who would like to become certified special education teachers. Teachers looking for a rewarding career as a special education teacher would also benefit from this program.
Master of Science in Special Education
Credits earned in the Special Education Certification program may be applied to the Master of Science in Special Education graduate program. The MS program offers four concentrations: Applied Behavior Analysis; Autism Spectrum Disorders; Collaborative Special Education Law & Process; and Dyslexia Specialist (Wilson® Level 1 certification). Students may also work with their academic advisor to develop a customized concentration to meet specific objectives.
How to Apply to the Special Education Certification Program
The Special Education certification program is offered 100% online. you can get started by filling out the Drexel Online Application.