Online Special Education Certification Program (PreK-12)

online special education certificationEarn Your Special Education Certification in PA

Prepare to offer specialized support to students who need it the most with Gwynedd Mercy University’s post-master’s online Special Education Certification program.
This Pennsylvania Department of Education-approved program builds on your experience as an educator with theoretical knowledge and practical instructional skills for special education classrooms.

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The GMercyU Difference

 At GMercyU, our professors bring direct special education experience, advanced research backgrounds, and a passion for teaching to your classroom. Their insights and mentorship will help you effectively create a safe, productive learning environment for all of your students. 

Upon graduation, you and your classmates will join our extensive network of alumni. The colleagues, contacts, and friends you'll find in this leadership community will inspire you.

*Certification: This program was designed to meet the certification requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you reside in a different state, you should carefully review your home state’s certification requirements prior to enrolling in this program.

As a GMercyU graduate, you will be able to:

  • Identify and use instructional methods and curricula that are appropriate and effective in meeting the individual needs of persons with exceptionalities
  • Select and use appropriate instructional materials, equipment, and supplies in meeting the individual needs of persons with exceptionalities
  • Create safe and effective learning environments
  • Maintain confidentiality of information except when information is released under specific conditions of written consent and statutory confidentiality requirements
  • Apply disciplinary methods and behavioral procedures which will not undermine the dignity of the individual or the basic human rights of persons with exceptionalities
  • Utilize assessment instruments and procedures that do not discriminate against persons with exceptionalities on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age, political practices, family or social background, sexual orientation or exceptionality
  • Specify goals and objectives for behavior management practices
  • Apply policies, statutes, and rules established by state and local agencies relating to the judicious application of disciplinary methods and behavioral procedures
  • Develop communication with parents, avoiding technical terminology, using the primary language of the home, and other modes of communication when appropriate
  • Seek and use parents’ knowledge and expertise in planning, conducting, and evaluating special education and related services for persons with exceptionalities
  • Inform parents of the educational rights of their children and of any proposed or actual practices, which may violate those rights
  • Recognize and acknowledge the competencies and expertise of members representing other disciplines who serve persons with exceptionalities
  • Cooperate with other agencies involved in serving persons with exceptional abilities through such activities as the planning and coordination of information exchanges
  • Provide consultation and assistance to both general and special educators as well as other school personnel serving persons with exceptionalities


The online Special Education Certification program consists of 25 credits. After successfully passing your courses, you may apply to take any required certification exams to obtain your certificate. 

EDU 502 The Learning and Teaching Process
SPE 520 Methods, Materials, and Curriculum
SPE 560 Diagnostic, Assessment, Prescriptive & Intervention Techniques for Special Education
SPE 561 Researched Based Learning Methods and Materials for the Special Learner
SPE 562 Special Education Law and Ethics
SPE 563 Current Issues in Special Education
SPE 564 Behavior Management Skills for the Special Learner
SPE 566 Student Teaching Practicum
EDU 581 Foundations of Special Education in an Inclusionary Setting

To review course descriptions, please refer to the graduate catalog.

Applicants to the PreK-12 Special Education Certification program should hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their studies.

Applicants who fall just below the minimum GPA requirement (2.7-2.9 GPA) may request a review of their application by the program director. However, acceptance of an application for review does not guarantee admission to the program.  

To qualify for admission to our online Special Education certification program, you must provide:

  • Two completed supervisory reference forms
  • A completed application form with fee
  • A current professional resume
  • Proof you have obtained a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. You must submit official transcripts from every college or university attended
  • Proof of any Level 1 Certificate

The online post-masters Special Education certificate prepares you to provide support to children and teenagers in Pre-K–12 settings. You will improve your professional presentation and communication skills and become fluent in the research evaluation methods you need to pursue self-directed professional development after graduation.

Job prospects for special education teachers are growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 8% growth in the number of special education teachers needed through 2030.

Learn more about how you can become a special education teacher with our innovative online master’s degree program.

Call 844-707-9064 or email to contact an admissions counselor. You also can also request more information today!