Online graduate leadership in special and inclusive education certificate

A top-ranked school

Our School of Education and Human Sciences is consistently ranked among the best by U.S. News & World Report, including the No. 1 Best Online Master's in Special Education Program in the nation.1

Setting the standard

The University of Kansas has set the bar high in the practice of special education for over 50 years.

Fast & convenient

Earn your certificate in as few as six to eight months from wherever you prefer.

To create real change in special education, you have to start with the day-to-day policies and practices that affect students. Who recruits and hires their teachers? What recreational programs are available? Who sets the standard for their education and other services?

As with many things, it all starts with leadership.

Earning an online graduate certificate in leadership in special and inclusive education* from the University of Kansas will give you the perspective and tools you need to enact change in any educational setting. By gaining a deeper understanding of the laws and systems that dictate inclusive policies and practices, as well as the micro environments that shape the classroom you can improve learning outcomes and daily life for students with disabilities. Whether you want to develop a new district program, offer more support to teachers, or improve communication with parents, this special education leadership certificate will prepare you to succeed.

Female teacher talking to elementary students
With a graduate certificate in leadership in special and inclusive education, you'll be able to:
  • Fully comprehend the complexities of special education policy and law, especially the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • Utilize current best practices and methods to support and educate students with disabilities
  • Understand how schools comply and operate within with laws and regulations while also overcoming common barriers to achieve equitable educational outcomes
Through leadership courses, I have learned more about special education law [and] I'm a better educator because of this program. Not only am I better for it, but my students and their families are, as well.
Jocelyn Durrett, Autism master's (leadership track), Summer 2021

Lead your school to more inclusive education.

Special education leadership refers to the people and institutions that influence learning experiences for students with disabilities. This could range from special education district superintendents, to teacher organizations, to parent group leaders.

KU's online special education leadership certificate* is broadly applicable for many different professionals who interact with students with disabilities, including educators, administrators, principals, directors, school staff, concerned family members, advocates, and more.

The online leadership in special & inclusive education certificate

Program details

  • 4 courses, 8 weeks per course, 12 credit hours
  • Complete in as few as 6 to 8 months
  • Learn from renowned faculty in a department that has set the standard in the research and practice of special education for over 50 years
  • Complete your coursework anytime, anywhere, through our innovative online format
  • No GRE required for admission

View Admissions Requirements

*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.

Online graduate certificate in leadership in special and inclusive education course descriptions

All courses listed are worth 3 credits.

Please note: Course list and sequence are subject to change.

SPED 756 - SPECIAL EDUCATION LEADERSHIP

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.

SPED 757 - HISTORY, CONTEXT, AND CRITIQUE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION

This 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.

SPED 758 - APPROPRIATE EDUCATION AND LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT

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 special education leadership certificate 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.

SPED 759 - NON-DISCRIMINATORY EVALUATION, PARENT PARTICIPATION, AND PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS

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.

Content & resources

Admissions requirements

Review the necessary admissions requirements for the online special education leadership graduate certificate.

Tuition information

Take a look at costs per credit hour and total estimated costs for our online graduate programs.

Online experience

Discover the innovative digital tools available to students in KU’s online special education graduate programs.

Featured articles

Read on to learn about the highest paying special education careers that are available to educators who have the right experience and skills which can be learned in a top-ranked special education master’s programs from a leading university.
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IMPORTANT DATES

DEC
17
Application Deadline
December 17
Spring 2023 Term
JAN
9
Next Start
January 9
Spring 2023 Term

EVENTS

Sources
  1. Retrieved on usnews.com/education/online-education/university-of-kansas-155317