The Certificate in Special Education K-12 Teaching will prepare provisionally licensed special education teachers to become fully licensed special education teachers who work with children with learning disabilities, emotional disturbance and mild to moderate intellectual disability. Students will be prepared to recognize a child’s educational and social problems, to formulate effective individualized instruction, and to consult with parents, teachers and administrators to incorporate accommodations and transitions into the child’s educational program. Graduates will be prepared to teach reading and language, behavior management, and social skills to students.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Learner and learning: Understand human development and learning theory appropriate to the age group they will teach and acquire an awareness of the diversity of the school-age population in cultural backgrounds and styles of learning
  2. Content: Demonstrate knowledge of the subjects they will teach
  3. Instructional practice: Demonstrate an ability to plan and implement effective teaching and measure student learning in ways that lead to sustained development and learning
  4. Professional responsibility: Develop an understanding of purposes for education and a defensible philosophical approach toward teaching and demonstrate professional dispositions

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online today.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements
Degree:Semester(s) of entry:Deadline dates:Test requirements:
CertificateFallAug 1
Spring Nov 1
Summer Mar 1

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  1. Bachelor’s degree
  2. Verification and recommendation from hiring school district of employment in a Virginia school as a provisionally licensed teacher under the Special Education, General Curriculum K-12 certification
  3. Three letters of recommendation addressing the student’s potential for graduate study in education
  4. Statement of intent
  5. Transcripts of all previous college work

Please visit the School of Education website for further information.

Degree requirements

In addition to the VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to complete all required course work.

  1. Credit hour requirements: Students are required to complete a minimum of 27 credit hours.
  2. Grade requirements: Courses that have not earned a minimum grade of C cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in order to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements and be eligible for financial aid.
  3. Student teaching requirements: Students must successfully complete an approved student teaching experience.

Curriculum requirements

SEDP 501Characteristics of Individuals with Disabilities 3
SEDP 531Educational Foundations for Collaboration and Universally Designed Learning3
SEDP 533Assessment of Individuals with Disabilities3
SEDP 601Instructional Methods and Programming for Individuals with Disabilities3
SEDP 603Theories, Assessment and Practices in Literacy Development for Individuals with Exceptionalities3
SEDP 607Math Methods and Online Education3
SEDP 611Secondary Education and Transition Planning2
SEDP 631Behavior Support of Individuals with Disabilities 3
SEDP 655Practicum A: Special Education in an Elementary Education Environment1
or SEDP 656 Practicum B: Special Education in a Secondary Education Environment
TEDU 561Reading Foundations: Sociological/Psychological Perspectives3
Total Hours27

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this certificate is 27.

Communications and Enrollment Management
(804) 827-2670

Additional contacts
LaRon Scott, Ed.D.
Associate professor and graduate program director
(804) 828-1332

Andrew J. Wojcik, Ph.D.
Assistant professor and graduate program director
(804) 828-1332

Program website: