Leadership in Special & Inclusive Education (Graduate Certificate)

The Leadership in Special & Inclusive Education Graduate Certificate helps prepare graduates to apply current special education laws and policies in the design and delivery of inclusive special education and supports for students. Graduates will be prepared to lead and influence special education services in a variety of district or individual school settings.

This certificate program prepares students with an understanding of and the skills to address the complex issues surrounding educating students with learning, social, and emotional needs, including those identified with disabilities.  The certificate requires completion of 4 specific courses.

In order to enroll in the online graduate certificate, a Bachelor’s degree is required.

Note the Leadership in Special & Inclusive Education Graduate Certificate program does not lead to a teacher license or endorsement in the state of Kansas. Students seeking initial licensure or an endorsement to an existing license must review their individual state licensure requirements with the appropriate licensing or regulatory authorities prior to enrolling.

Please find additional information on the webpage for the program.

To be considered for admission, prospective students must have completed a Bachelor’s degree with a GPA greater than 3.0. Applicants with an Undergraduate GPA below 3.0 should contact an admission advisor for information about provisional admissions.

International applicants must meet English language proficiency requirements. These requirements are located here.

For more information about our admission requirements, visit the Department of Special Education website.

12 credit hours.  Online.

There are four courses that cover the following content:

Course 1 (3 credit hours).  SPED 756 introduces students to special education law and policy implementation. It is designed to provide school and district administrators, and other special education stakeholders, with a basic understanding of key points in the history of special education law and policy. It focuses primarily on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its core concepts, with particular attention to Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). This course is designed to provide a working knowledge of IDEA’s procedural requirements, the preferred practices associated with implementing the procedures in schools, criticism of these practices and their implementation, and ideas for addressing these criticisms in ways that promote more equitable and inclusive special education practices.

 *Although this is a stand-alone course, it also is the introductory course in a four course online certificate program in Leadership in Special and Inclusive Education that addresses all of these matters more comprehensively.

Course Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, learners are able to:

• Understand the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and six principles

• Understand the criticisms of special education law and apply remedies to overcome barriers presented in schools

• Apply understanding of the law, criticisms, and remedies to administration in a school building

• Evaluate current practices in the field and develop a plan to be a strong, democratic leader

Course 2 (3 hours) SPED 757 is designed to provide school and district administrators, and other special education stakeholders, with a general understanding of the history of the treatment of individuals with disabilities and the development of special education law and policy over time. It foregrounds current issues in the post-IDEA organization of the field, highlighting the goals and challenges of democratic leadership and civic professionalism in relation to special education. The course concludes with a final paper and online presentation examining how history, disability, difference and justice inform special education leadership, both in theory and in practice.

Course Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, learners are able to:

• Understand the historical context for the creation of special education

• Explain the criticisms of special education and it’s place in the organization of schools

• Critique current practices and confront biases about special education

• Explain changes that need to be made to advance the rights of all students

Course 3 (3 hours) SPED 758.   Learners will explore two core principles of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): (1) appropriate education; and (2) least restrictive environment. The course continues the same pattern established in the previous courses for this four-course program. It introduces these core IDEA concepts, features a week of criticisms of those concepts, and follows with a week on remedies to address key issues identified. The last two modules of the course focus on the Individualized Educational Plan and inclusive practices.  The course concludes with a final project.

Upon completion of the course, learners are able to:

• Explain the principles of appropriate education and least restrictive environment

• Critique the field’s use and understanding of the two principles

• Develop remedies to overcome the challenges from the implementation of the principles

• Combine the knowledge from the previous courses to evaluate current practices in the field and develop a plan to be a strong, democratic leader

Course 4 (3 hours) SPED 759.  This course is designed to give school and district administrators, and other special education stakeholders interested in special education leadership, a deep understanding of three of the core principles of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  These are: (1) non-discriminatory evaluation; (2) parent participation; and (3) procedural due process. The course continues the same pattern established in the previous courses for this four-course program. It introduces these three core IDEA concepts, features a week of criticisms of those concepts, and follows with a week on remedies to address key issues identified. The last two modules of the course focus on the Individualized Educational Plan and inclusive practices. The course concludes with a final project.

Upon completion of the course, learners should be able to:

• Explain the principles of non-discriminatory evaluation, parent participation, and procedural due process

• Critique the field’s use and understanding of the three principles

• Develop remedies to overcome the challenges from the implementation of the principles

• Combine the knowledge from the four courses to evaluate current practices in the field and develop a plan to be a strong, democratic leader in the field

ALL courses are completed online.