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special education certificate

Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate/Special Education

Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate/
Special Education

Start your online special education certificate

Find your calling in special education. The program is a first step to teacher licensure if you don’t have teaching experience. The program combines academic theory and coursework with a clinical component made up of student teaching and field experiences. Credits from this certificate can apply toward a Master of Arts in Special Education.

Ignite Your Passion

Start when you're ready

Courses

Browse courses for your online special education certificate

Education should hold practical value. That’s why our courses meet rigorous academic standards and provide you with skills and knowledge immediately applicable to your career.

Skills-aligned program icon

Look for this icon to see which skills you’ll learn in a course.

Requirements: 27 credits

You’ll need 27 credits to complete the Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate/Elementary Education.

10 Core Courses

Here’s where you’ll pick up the bulk of your program-specific knowledge. By the time you finish these courses, you should have the confidence and skills needed in this field.

10 Core Courses

1 Clinical Practice/Student Teaching Course

During your clinical practice experience — one of the final steps to complete your degree — you’ll complete a student teaching experience where you will apply your instruction and classroom management skills full time. Working under the supervision of a teacher and a University of Phoenix faculty supervisor, you’ll develop lesson plans, teach, work with diverse student populations and incorporate technology into the classroom.

1 Clinical Practice/Student Teaching Course

Schedule

Attend class whenever it fits your life, day or night because our online classroom is available 24/7/365. Your academic counselor will help schedule your courses for a Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate/Special Education.

Plus, you’ll find support from our dedicated education program specialists who work with you 1:1 during your 100 required hours of clinical experience (or more if required by your state) and a minimum of 12 weeks of clinical practice (or more if required by your state). Our education program specialists also help you navigate your state licensure requirements for teacher certification, and can help with questions along the way.

COE Central

College of Education students will find many helpful resources on COE Central. Program handbooks provide a wealth of information on topics such as professional expectations, clinical experiences, clinical practice, internships, edTPA and much more. Milestone roadmaps, technology and multimedia resources, and various toolkits are also available.

Licensure Requirements

The Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate – Special Education prepares candidates for initial teacher licensure as a special education teacher. Program requirements may change based upon state agency licensure requirements and they can be found on our teacher licensure page. Please check this list regularly prior to contacting your state agency for state-specific requirements.

Program Purpose Statement

The Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate-Special Education Certificate is a graduate level certificate program intended to prepare students with no prior teaching experience for initial teacher licensure. The certificate program is designed for students who want to become special education teachers. Candidates for this certificate program have already earned a bachelor's degree. The certificate program includes a clinical component requiring field experiences and student teaching above and beyond program coursework.

Skills-aligned program icon

Earn career-relevant skills in weeks – not years.

Learning shouldn’t take years to put into practice. That’s why we’re empowering you to build career-relevant skills with every five- to six-week course.

We’ve worked with the labor market researcher Lightcast to identify in-demand skills for occupations and mapped those to our related associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.

Tuition

Fixed, affordable tuition

Lock in the peace of mind that comes with fixed, affordable tuition. You’ll enjoy one flat rate from the moment you enroll until the day you graduate from your program. That’s your Tuition Guarantee.

Tuition Guarantee

Affordable, Fixed Tuition

$540

Cost per credit

$540

Financial aid

You may have options when it comes to paying for college tuition and expenses, such as federal grants and loans. Our finance advisors can answer your questions about financial aid and can help guide you through the process.

Federal Student Loan Basics

Careers & Outcomes

What can you do with a Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate-Special Education Certificate?

Discover where your degree might take you and make informed choices about your future.

A Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate-Special Education Certificate prepares you for:

  • Elementary Special Education Teacher
  • Resource Classroom Teacher
  • Middle School Special Education Teacher
  • Intervention Specialist

Top skills learned in this program:

  • Lesson Planning
  • Educational Policies

  • Learning Strategies

  • Differentiated Instruction

  • Teaching

  • Professionalism

  • Innovation

Ready to get started?

Start your application for free or request additional information.

What you’ll learn

When you earn your online Graduate Initial Teacher Certificate/Special Education you’ll be equipped with a concrete set of skills you can apply on the job. You’ll learn how to:

  • Design and implement effective instruction and behavioral plans in the P-12 classroom to positively impact student learning
  • Demonstrate professional dispositions and ethical conduct in special education
  • Create innovative strategies and incorporate technology in a P-12 classroom setting

0% Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is no projected job growth for special education teachers between 2022 and 2032.

The BLS Projected Growth for 2022-2032 is published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This data reflects the BLS’ projections of national (not local) conditions. These data points are not specific to University of Phoenix students or graduates.

Admissions

Apply for free – no application fee, no obligation.

Starting your degree is a big decision — and we want you to feel great about it. That’s why we remove obstacles from your application.

  • No SAT/ACT required 
  • No essay required 
  • No cost, risk-free trial for eligible students
  • We’ll request transcripts at no cost to you, when possible, and we accept eligible credits from over 5,000 accredited institutions.

Receive 1-on-1 support

You have a support team of real people you can lean on. And our academic counselors, who are with you every step of the way, have earned a 5-star rating from 90% of our surveyed students.[1] Start a conversation with an enrollment representative today.

[1] Transactional Survey, August 2021-22 (18,645 respondents)

Gabriel G., Enrollment Representative

Call or chat with us 7 days a week.

G. Galindo - Enrollment Representative

Gabriel G., Enrollment Rep

Receive 1-on-1 support

You have a support team of real people you can lean on. And our academic counselors, who are with you every step of the way, have earned a 5-star rating from 85% of our surveyed students.[1]

[1] Transactional Survey, September 2022-August 2023 (23,739 respondents)

Start a conversation with an enrollment representative today.

Call us at 844-937-8679 or chat with us 7 days a week.

Student Experience

An education that fits your busy life

Balancing family, work and school

Work toward your degree without giving up what matters most. Start your degree year-round and take one class at a time.

Online learning

Enroll in online classes and attend class whenever it fits your life, day or night.

Around-the-clock support and resources

You have a support team available up to 14 hours a day, 5 days a week. 

Computer requirements for courses

Many course assignments will require you to use a computer to complete and submit your assignment. 

Phoenix provides support and resources for busy students

Faculty Spotlight

Professionals dedicated to you

Your success is a top priority for our deans and faculty members. They bring an average of 26 years of experience and hands-on perspective to the classroom, and help bridge the gap between academics and industry knowledge.

Doris Savron

As a faculty member, I'm on your team. I'm your coach and your cheerleader.

Doris Savron
Vice Provost of Colleges, University of Phoenix

As a faculty member, I'm on your team. I'm your coach and your cheerleader.

Accreditation

Count on the quality of your education

University of Phoenix has been continually accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), hlcommission.org, since 1978.

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The following program educationally prepares students to apply for initial teacher certification in select states:

        Graduate Certificate/Special Education (CERT/G-SPE)

Educator/Principal licensure requirements vary by state. Candidates located in a state that does not provide a direct path to licensure will be required to obtain Arizona certification first, prior to seeking licensure in their home state as an out-of-state prepared teacher/principal candidate. Arizona certification requires candidates to pass all Arizona-specific licensure requirements, including any Arizona-specific exams (or home state equivalents if recognized by Arizona Department of Education.) After obtaining an Arizona teacher/principal certificate, candidates can then apply for licensure in their home state and may be required to complete additional testing and/or requirements at additional cost. Program requirements may change based upon your home state’s agency licensure requirements. Please visit the teacher licensure page or the principal licensure page for state specific requirements prior to reaching out to your state agency.

While widely available, not all programs are available to residents of all states. Please check with a University Enrollment Representative.