Certificate in Special Education K-12 Teaching

A teacher works with a student in one of the classrooms at Barack Obama Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia.

This fully online certificate is suited for
conditional and provisionally licensed special educators in Virginia schools. Read our Application Checklist for a complete list of the admissions items required as you process your online application. If you do not currently hold a provisional license, you can complete the SEDP 630: Trends in Special Education for eligibility to be employed by a Virginia school district. To find a good fit, contact local school districts with your special education employment interests.

SEDP 630 is offered every semester at the VCU School of Education and alternates being offered online or face-to-face. Students can complete the VCU non-degree application to enroll in future courses, as seats are available. The schedule of classes is your resource as you review class offerings and availability.

Certification students are able to apply for financial assistance if they meet certain eligibility requirements. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website to learn about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.

Students will be prepared to become fully licensed special education teachers who work with children with high-incidence disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, and mild to moderate intellectual disability). This certificate is designed so that participants can complete requirements within 18 months or five semesters. Courses are held in the Spring, Summer and Fall semesters.

Eligibility requirements

  • Current employment as a teacher under the Special Education, General Curriculum endorsement
  • Provisional teaching license with endorsement in Special Education, General Curriculum K-12
  • At least 18 months to 2 years left before provisional license expires
  • Verification from hiring school district, from Human Resources or Principal, of employment as a provisionally licensed teacher under the Special Education, General Curriculum K-12, submitted as a letter of reference
  • Note: No entrance exam (i.e., GRE or MAT) required

Current and future provisional special education, general education teachers, please see the NEW Course Finder tool to plug in your VDOE requirements to identify courses at VCU School of Education that fulfill these requirements.



How to apply: Graduate application
Semester of entry: Fall, spring or summer
Application deadlines: Fall: Aug. 1; Spring: Dec. 31; Summer: Mar. 1
Application checklist [PDF]



Curriculum Requirements

The VCU Bulletin has a list of curriculum requirements for this program.

The School of Education (SOE) degree programs that lead to professional licensure are designed to prepare students to meet the requirements for professional licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia as outlined by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The SOE has determined that the curriculum includes applicable educational prerequisites for the following professional licensure(s) and/or certification(s) as outlined on this page of our website.

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Jenna Lenhardt, Ph.D.