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Earning an online graduate certificate in leadership in special and inclusive education* from the KU school of Education will give you the necessary perspective and tools you need to enact change in any educational setting, as well as a thorough understanding of the laws and systems that inform the implementation of inclusive policies and practices.
Educators and administrators must have a firm grounding in special education policy and law, especially the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as well as current best practices and methods to support and educate students with disabilities. But properly administering special education is more complex than simply following these regulations: Special education intersects with issues of social justice, as evidenced by the observed trend of students from historically marginalized groups being disproportionately more likely to receive special education services and to be placed in more restrictive environments than their peers.1 To truly support all students in their communities, educators need a strong understanding of the complex and nuanced systems involved in educating students with learning, social and emotional support needs, including students with disabilities. Disclosure information about the U.S. Department of Education Gainful Employment can be seen here.
KU's online graduate certificate in leadership in special and inclusive education is broadly applicable for many different professionals who interact with students with disabilities: educators, administrators, principals, directors, school staff, concerned family members, advocates and more. As a student in the Department of Special Education at KU, you'll learn from the best—our faculty have set the standard for special education instruction for over 50 years, and U.S. News & World Report ranks us the #1 graduate special education program in the nation (among public universities).2
You'll begin this program by engaging deeply with pertinent special education law and case history, while considering its varied (and sometimes problematic) implementation across the United States. Next, you will delve into the history of special education in America, which provides essential context for efforts to improve current practices of educating and supporting students with disabilities. You'll discuss criticism of the contemporary special education world and use these critiques to devise new techniques and improve upon the status quo, and you'll speak with leading professionals in the field to examine issues in depth, preparing you to assess the effectiveness of existing strategies and their implementation in your own professional career.
Through hands-on study, you'll come to understand how schools comply with laws and regulations and how to operate within the law while also overcoming common barriers to equitable educational experiences.
All courses listed are worth 3 credits.
Please note: Course list and sequence are subject to change.
This is an introductory course in special education law and policy implementation. It is designed to provide school and district administrators, and other special education stakeholders, with a basic understanding of key points in the history of special education law and policy. It focuses primarily on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its core concepts, with particular attention to Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). This course is designed to provide a working knowledge of IDEA’s procedural requirements, the preferred practices associated with implementing the procedures in schools, criticism of these practices and their implementation, and ideas for addressing these criticisms in ways that promote more equitable and inclusive special education practices.
This is course is designed to provide school and district administrators, and other special education stakeholders, with a general understanding of the history of the treatment of individuals with disabilities and the development of special education law and policy over time. It foregrounds current issues in the post-IDEA organization of the field, highlighting the goals and challenges of democratic leadership and civic professionalism in relation to special education. The course concludes with a final paper and online presentation examining how history, disability, difference and justice inform special education leadership, both in theory and in practice.
This course is designed to give school and district administrators, and other special education stakeholders interested in special education leadership, a deep understanding of two core principles of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These are: (1) appropriate education, and (2) least restrictive environment. The course continues the same pattern established in the previous courses for this four-course program. It introduces these core IDEA concepts, features a week of criticisms of those concepts, and follows with a week on remedies to address key issues identified. The last two modules of the course focus on the Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) and inclusive practices. The course concludes with a final project.
This course is designed to give school and district administrators, and other special education stakeholders interested in special education leadership, a deep understanding of three of the core principles of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These are: (1) non-discriminatory evaluation, (2) parent participation, and (3) procedural due process. The course continues the same pattern established in the previous courses for this four-course program. It introduces these three core IDEA concepts, features a week of criticisms of those concepts, and follows with a week on remedies to address key issues identified. The last two modules of the course focus on the Individualized Educational Plan and inclusive practices. The course concludes with a final project.
*This online graduate certificate does not lead to initial nor advanced licensure in special education in the state of Kansas.
Note: In order to enroll in this program, a bachelor's degree is required. No program can guarantee licensure. It is each student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements in his or her state and to apply for the licenses or endorsements necessary to his or her career goals. Our department staff and licensure officer can provide individual support during the application process to help you understand your state’s requirements.