Graduate Certificate Summary

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Nationally, there is an under-addressed need for skilled practitioners with an understanding of the complex educational needs of children and youth with concomitant and challenging intellectual, sensory and developmental disabilities. Practitioners in special education, early childhood education, speech-language pathology, and educational psychology, school administration, or other related majors may apply for this non-degree, graduate certificate in intellectual, sensory, and developmental disabilities (ISSD). This 15-credit graduate certificate program is offered via distance education and is designed to offer an efficient program of study which could be completed in 12-24 months. This is NOT a teaching endorsement or teaching certificate. Through focused coursework focused on visual impairments and blindness, deafness and hearing loss, autism, severe disabilities, and families of students with disabilities, participants will gain a deeper understanding of how to effectively work with these students who have a variety of unique needs.

Distance Education Opportunities

This certificate is offered online.

Intellectual, Sensory, and Developmental Disabilities

  • This graduate certificate is offered by the Department of Special Education & Communication Disorders.
  • On the Web
    Department Website
  • Graduate Chair
    Professor Karen Hux
  • Certificate Advisors
    Dr. Malinda Eccarius
    Dr. Chris Marvin
    Dr. Ellin Siegel
    Dr. Tessa Wright
  • Graduate Secretary
    Ms. Jill England

Application Checklist and Deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by the Department for this Certificate

Application Deadline

Fall semester: July 1; Spring semester: October 1


The Intellectual and Sensory Developmental Disabilities graduate certificate is a 15-credit hour program. To earn the Certificate, participants must complete the requisite coursework with grades of B- or higher in all classes.

SPED 880: Intellectual Disabilities; Fall (on campus only) or Spring (online) Term
SPED 846: Foundations of Visual Impairment; Spring Term
SPED 872: Psych and Soc of Deafness; Fall Term
SPED 960: Family-School Collaboration; Spring or Fall Term

One elective from the following
SPED 863: Medically Fragile Infants; Summer Term
SPED 882: Specialized Instruction for Students with Severe & Multiple Disabilities; Fall Term
SPED 809: Autistic Spectrum Disorders; Fall Term
SPED 836J: Career Education for Special Vocational Needs; Fall Term

More Course Information

The Graduate Bulletin provides course descriptions, prerequisites, degree program requirements, and more.

The Schedule of Classes specifies dates, times, locations, and instructors when this course is offered.

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