Foundations of Special Education Certificate

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
https://www.towson.edu/coe/departments/specialed/grad/special-education-certificate/

Program Director: Dr. Andrea Parrish
Phone: 410-704-3835
Email: aparrish@towson.edu

This post-baccalaureate certificate is designed to provide individuals with the skill development and knowledge base established by the Council for Exceptional Children’s (CEC) Standards. Courses emphasize inclusive practices, collaboration and consultation among professionals, and the translation of evidence-based instructional practices to instruction, using a cross-categorical disability approach. This series of coursework is designed to support professionals who have not previously completed (or have had limited exposure to) formal coursework in special education. Therefore, courses will emphasize fundamental concepts and contemporary issues in the field of special education today.

These themes include the history, laws, and practices governing special education; strategies for supporting students with disabilities in their Least Restrictive Environment; incorporating Universal Design for Learning to support all learners; effective communication and support to families; disproportionality in special education and its impact on learners; educational and assessment trends which affect students with special needs; appropriate instructional strategies to support students with disabilities and English Language Learners; and interventions and management strategies to support the positive behaviors of students in the classroom. 

This program is designed to teach professionals effective instructional supports for students who are at risk for or identified with disabilities, as well as those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Admissions Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree in general education (not Special Education) from a regionally accredited college or university**
  • 3.0 GPA (2.75-2.99 conditional admission)
  • Current teaching certificate (not in Special Education)
    • Note: Teachers certified in Special Education may be considered, if they only earned certification from Praxis II
  • Letter of recommendation
  • International students must also submit passing Praxis I scores

Non-immigrant international students: See additional admission information in Graduate Admissions

**See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions

Certificate Requirements

The certificate consists of 18 units of coursework as listed below:

SPED 605WORKING WITH FAMILIES OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES3
SPED 607CURRICULUM/METHODS OF CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES3
SPED 631CLASSROOM STRATEGIES AND INTERVENTIONS FOR DIVERSE STUDENT POPULATIONS3
SPED 637INCLUSION FOR THE CLASSROOM TEACHER3
SPED 641ED STD W/DIS:CM&I3
SPED 644UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING AND DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION3
Total Units18

The coursework from this program can be applied towards the M.Ed. in Special Education.

1. Learner Development and Individual Learning Differences - Beginning special education professionals understand how exceptionalities may interact with development and learning and use this knowledge to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities.

2.  Learning Environments - Beginning special education professionals create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments so that individuals with exceptionalities become active and effective learners and develop emotional well-being, positive social interactions, and self-determination.

3. Curricular Content Knowledge - Beginning special education professionals use knowledge of general and specialized curricula to individualize learning for individuals with exceptionalities.

4. Assessment - Beginning special education professionals use multiple methods of assessment and data-sources in making educational decisions.

5. Instructional Planning and Strategies - Beginning special education professionals select, adapt, and use a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies6 to advance learning of individuals with exceptionalities.

6.  Professional Learning and Ethical Practice - Beginning special education professionals use foundational knowledge of the field and the their professional Ethical Principles and Practice Standards to inform special education practice,  to engage in lifelong learning, and to advance the profession.

7.  Collaboration - Beginning special education professionals collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, individuals with exceptionalities, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of individuals with exceptionalities across a range of learning experiences.