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. 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 TEACH Grant and 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



How to apply: Graduate application
Semester of entry: Fall, spring or summer
Application deadlines: Fall: Aug. 1; Spring: Nov. 1; Summer: Mar. 1


  • Graduate School Application
  • Official Transcripts
  • Verification from hiring school district of employment as a provisionally licensed teacher under the Special Education, General Curriculum K-12
  • Statement of Intent

Curriculum Requirements

SEDP 501     Characteristics of Individuals with Disabilities 3
SEDP 502     Supervision Seminar I 1
SEDP 503     Supervision Seminar II 1
SEDP 531     Educational Foundations for Collaboration and Universally Designed Learning 3
SEDP 533      Assessment of Individuals with Disabilities
SEDP 601      Instructional Methods and Programming for Individuals with Disabilities 3
SEDP 602      Methods II: Teaching Students in Special Education - General Education 2
SEDP 603      Theories, Assessment and Practices in Literacy Development for Individuals with Exceptionalities 3
SEDP 611     Secondary Education and Transition Planning 2
SEDP 631     Behavior Support of Individuals with Disabilities 3
TEDU 561     Reading Foundations: Sociological/Psychological Perspectives 3
TOTAL HOURS       27

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.