Special Education PreK-8 Post-Bachelor's Certificate

Certificate Level: Graduate
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree
Certificate Type: Post-Baccalaureate
Number of Credits to Completion: 27.0
Instructional Delivery: Online; Campus
Calendar Type: Quarter
Expected Time to Completion: 2 years
Financial Aid Eligibility: Aid eligible

Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) Code: 13.1017
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code: 25-2052
Gainful Employment Disclosure


The special education PreK-8 certification program seeks to produce professionals who are equipped with the fundamental skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to meet the needs of students at risk for school failure and students with disabilities in multiple settings.

This certificate program focuses on students from the prekindergarten to middle school levels. The special education PreK-8 certification program is intended for those interested in gaining greater skills and expertise in the area of PreK-8 special education and a teaching certificate in the area of PreK-8 special education. Candidates seeking PA special education PreK-8 certification must have an active PA Instructional I or Instructional II teaching certificate in a required area.

This program is a part-time graduate program consisting of 27.0 credits in core special education PreK-8 certification courses. For students that have not completed the prerequisite courses, the program will require 36.0 credits: 27.0 credits in core special education PreK-8 certification courses and 9 credits in prerequisite courses.

The program is designed for currently certified teachers who wish to obtain special education PreK-8 certification in Pennsylvania. Out of state teachers may also earn their PA special education PreK-8 certification if they transfer their current teacher certification to PA.

The courses cover all required state and federal regulations related to No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Chapter 49 as well as the PA General Standards for Special Education and the standards outlined by the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC).

Admission Requirements

Students applying to this program should have the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduate GPAs will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA).
  • Completed graduate school application.
  • 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.

Program Requirements

Pre-requisites for Certification in Special Education (PreK-8)
Students must have completed the following courses in order to apply for a Pennsylvania Special Education PreK-8 certification. All students entering the post-bachelor's certificate program after 2011 should have had these core courses in their initial certification program. If a student has not completed the following three courses, they should be taken to apply for special education certification:

EDEX 542Fundamentals of Special Education3.0
EDEX 544The Inclusive Classroom3.0
EDEX 546Literacy and Content Skill Development PreK-83.0
Core Certification Courses
EDEX 537Special Education Law and Processes PreK-83.0
EDEX 543Emotional and Behavioral Support of Individuals with Disabilities 3.0
EDEX 545Teaching STEAM in an Inclusive Pre-K to 8 Environment3.0
EDEX 549Teaching Individuals with High Incident Disabilities3.0
EDEX 550Teaching Individuals with Low Incident Disabilities3.0
EDEX 552Integrating Technology for Learning & Achievement3.0
EDEX 555Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder3.0
EDEX 576Special Education Practicum PreK-83.0
Total Credits24.0

A field component is required in most courses.

Additional Information:

For more information about this program, contact the program manager:

Dr. Janet Sloand
Associate Clinical Professor
Reading and ESL Specialist Programs

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