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Graduate Certificate in Leadership in Special and Inclusive Education

The Graduate Certificate in Leadership in Special and Inclusive Education is designed for educators, school leaders, advocates and related services professionals who want to provide leadership for the educational success of students who have learning, social and emotional needs. This special education certificate prepares you to apply current special education laws and policies to design and deliver inclusive special education and support for students. By focusing on those falling under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), you'll be prepared to lead and influence special education services in a variety of district or individual school settings.

Whether you are an educator, administrator, principal, director, school staff, concerned family member, or an advocate, this certificate program prepares you with an understanding of and the skills to address the complex issues surrounding educating students with learning, social, and emotional needs, including those identified with disabilities.

Disclosure information about the U.S. Department of Education Gainful Employment Program can be seen here.

Note: In order to enroll in the online graduate certificate, a bachelor's degree is required. The Graduate Certificate Leadership in Special and Inclusive Education program does not lead to a teacher license or endorsement in the state of Kansas. Students seeking initial licensure or an endorsement to an existing license must review their individual state licensure requirements with the appropriate licensing or regulatory authorities prior to enrolling.

Program Benefits
  • Earn a graduate certificate from the No. 1 Special Education Department in the nation (among public universities)1 and a Top 30 Best Online Education Graduate Program2
  • Learn from world-renowned faculty who have set the standard in the practice of special education for over 50 years
  • Complete in as few as 6 to 8 months
  • Conduct your course work anytime, anywhere through our innovative online platform, KU Connect
  • Submit your application with no GRE requirement for admission into the program
Program Structure

4 courses, 8 weeks per course, 12 credits

Time to completion: as few as 6-8 months

Admissions Requirements

Our Admissions Advisors are here to help answer your questions regarding admission requirements and licensure. If you have questions, please email us at onlineinfo@ku.edu or call us at 855-639-7799.

To be considered for admission, prospective students must have completed a bachelor’s degree with a GPA greater than 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 should contact an admission advisor for information about provisional admissions.

To apply to the Graduate Certificate in Special and Inclusive Education, your first step is completing the online application form. Prior to starting the form we recommend that you review our admissions guide. You will also need to include a Letter of Introduction, and the requirements are located here.

International applicants must meet English language proficiency requirements. These requirements are located here.

For more information about our admission requirements, visit the Department of Special Education website.

What You Will Learn

At the University of Kansas School of Education, we recognize that special education is an evolving field with a complex history. This graduate certificate offers a big-picture view of special education policy and law, while giving you current practices and methodologies for service implementation. You will be prepared to advance the rights of all students, confront biases in and about special education and the students who are supported through special education, as well as overcome the implementation challenges of special education policies.

As a part of this program, you will learn about:

  • Special education law and policy implementation and challenges
  • History of the treatment of individuals with disabilities
  • Procedural requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • Core principles of IDEA, including Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
  • Equitable and inclusive special education practices
  • Critical views of current special education policies and practices

View Course Descriptions

Faculty

The University of Kansas brings a rich academic tradition into the online environment. The KU School of Education is equally committed to KU’s mission of educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world. Our special education faculty is at the leading edge of research and practice to improve the lives of children with special needs. They have:

  • Served as leaders of and received recognition from key organizations such as the The Arc, the American Education Research Association (AERA), the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), TASH and the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
  • Authored dozens of books and over 1,000 academic articles that guide research and practice worldwide
  • Directed tens of millions in federal grant dollars dedicated to the field of special education
After Graduation

Most, if not all, of the public school administrative units in the U.S. have directors of special education.3 This certificate program is designed to prepare graduates to meet the challenges of being a special and inclusive education leader in a school setting, advocacy group or technical assistance center.

This certificate program is intended to prepare you to support and develop successful services and supports for students with disabilities attending local schools. This program is designed to develop and deepen your understanding of how to manage the complex issues that impact the education of students with learning, social and emotional needs, including those identified with disabilities. Further, the program emphasizes skills and knowledge needed to enact special education policies with integrity and effectiveness.

The Leadership in Special and Inclusive Education Graduate Certificate program does not lead to a teacher license or endorsement in the state of Kansas. Students seeking initial licensure or an endorsement to an existing license must review their individual state licensure requirements with the appropriate licensing or regulatory authorities prior to enrolling.

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.

Important Dates

Dec
28
Application Deadline

December 28
Spring 2019 Term

Jan
14
Next Start

January 14
Spring 2019 Term

Apr
26
Application Deadline

April 26
Summer 2019 Term

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Sources:
  1. Retrieved on October 17, 2017, from usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/special-needs-education-rankings
  2. Retrieved on January 9, 2018, from usnews.com/education/online-education/university-of-kansas-155317
  3. Retrieved on October 19, 2017, from Boscardin, M. L., Weir, K., & Kusek, M. A. (2010). A national study of state credentialing requirements for administrators of special education. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 23, 61 – 75.