Online Certificate Programs in Special Education

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: A bachelor’s degree.
  • Professional Prerequisites: Most certificate programs require or recommend students to have work experience and possess teaching certification.
  • Average Program Length: 1-1.5 years (full time); 1.5-2.5 years (part time).

Online special education certificate programs are post-baccalaureate programs designed for two types of people. The first type includes those with a bachelor’s degree in special education who want advanced academic experience in the subject without entering into a master’s program; the second type includes those who have a bachelor’s degree in a non-special education discipline who would like to become special education teachers. Generally considered master’s-level certificates, online graduate certificate programs in special education teach students advanced knowledge and skills necessary for teaching students with minor to severe disabilities. Certification programs also prepare students for special education exams and allow them to gain the required professional criteria for professional associate and state certification.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Special Education

Online certificate programs in special education require students to complete assignments inherent in most degree and certificate programs, namely reading assignments, written assignments and papers, and exams. However, courses are certainly more challenging in content as compared to the bachelor’s special education courses some students will have completed. Typical courses in certificate programs online include Classroom Management, Introduction to Special Education, and Transition Planning. Internships in which students apply their new knowledge and skills in a real-world setting are required by many accredited online certificate programs.

Online certification programs are essentially the same as on-campus programs. Both learning options have the same curriculum and typically require students to complete the same assignments and exams. The main difference between the two is simply the delivery of education. Online students certainly work more independently overall, but they still have a means of communicating and engaging in classroom discussions with their peers and instructors through video tools, like Skype, email, forums, and chat.

What Your Online Certificate in Special Education Can Do for You

Many choose an accredited online special education certificate program over a master’s degree for several reasons. First, a certificate program is generally a less expensive route as it requires between nine and 15 hours less than a master’s program. As such it also takes less time. Second, people choose certificate programs because the state in which they wish to teach does not require special education teachers to have a master’s degree; a special education certificate will set earners apart from their competition when they enter the job market. Third, teachers who do not have bachelor’s-level academic training in special education but want to become special education teachers enter into an online special education certification program to gain the knowledge, skills, and professional credentials necessary to become a certified special education teacher.

Not surprisingly, those who complete their special education certificate program online are prepared to enter into special education teaching positions. Aside from at least holding a bachelor’s degree, one must obtain state certification. Many states also require prospective special education teachers to undergo a background check. Entering into special education teaching is a good career path as job and salary prospects are positive; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the median income for special education teachers is $53,220, and that employment in the field is projected to increase 17% through 2020.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

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Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.