Sep 28, 2023  
Graduate Record 2020-2021 
Graduate Record 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Special Education - General Curriculum Certificate

Return to: Curry School of Education and Human Development: Department/Programs  

The Special Education – General Curriculum graduate certificate is designed to equip K-12 teachers with the knowledge and skills to address the needs of students with learning disabilities (e.g., autism, traumatic brain injury, dyslexia, specific learning disabilities, and emotional disabilities) in the general curriculum classroom. Students will be educated in the historical, ethical, and legal aspects of educating students with disabilities. Students will study how to identify, educate, and evaluate students with disabilities. Students will learn to develop and implement individualized education plans (IEPs). Students will gain knowledge in implementing instructional strategies in reading, writing, and mathematics. Graduates will be prepared to teach students with learning disabilities in general curriculum settings.

This certificate program provides only the didactic coursework necessary to satisfy the pedagogical content coursework component of the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Special Education – General Curriculum endorsement. The program does not provide the experiential requirement for an endorsement. To obtain the VDOE Special Education – General Curriculum endorsement, graduates of the certificate program would still need to complete a 45-hour practicum or one year of teaching under the guidance of a special education-general curriculum-endorsed mentor teacher not offered through this certificate program.


The following admission criteria apply to all applicants. All applicants must submit or satisfy the following requirements:

  • Online application form and application fee of $85
  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution (or international equivalent), and either an overall GPA of 3.0 or a strong record of professional experience in the field of education.
  • Official transcripts from prior post-secondary degree(s)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A statement of professional goals (1-2 pages)
  • A resume.

In accordance with general University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development admissions requirements, non-native English speakers will be required to submit TOEFL scores with a minimum score of 90 (22 writing; 22 speaking; 23 reading; 23 listening) or and IELTS score of 7 or higher.

Students may transfer in up to three (3) credits of equivalent graduate coursework, provided they attained a minimum of a B- in the course; and the coursework is no older than five (5) years at the completion of the certificate coursework and has been approved by the academic advisor, the Academic Program Officer, and the Director of Teacher Education.

Curriculum Requirements

The curriculum will provide the knowledge and skills to design instruction that meets specific learning goals for students with learning disabilities. The core courses focus on training students in instructional strategies and applying best practices in instruction for students with learning disabilities. Coursework will provide students with knowledge in the assessment and diagnosis of reading and writing abilities. Students will be taught specific content strands of the Virginia Mathematics Standards of Learning. Students will understand the legal requirements to develop an individualized education plan (IEP) for students with learning disabilities.

For the grade-level coursework, students will gain additional knowledge and skills in assessment and evaluation, or transition planning, for their grade-level of interest.

Program Requirements

Total Number of Credit Hours: 15 graduate credits


Core Courses: 12 credit hours

EDIS 5000: The Exceptional Learner (3 credits)

EDIS 5060: Math Instruction for Special Education (3 credits) EDIS 5142: IEP Development and Implementation (3 credits)

EDIS 5142: IEP Development and Implementation (3 credits)

EDIS 5230: Reading and Writing Instruction for Special Education (3 credits)


Grade-Level Course: 3 credit hours

Students will select one of the following courses in consultation with the program director.

EDIS 5040: Assessment and Evaluation in Special Education (elementary add-on) (3 credits) Or

EDIS 5143: Transition Planning for Special Education (middle or secondary add-on) (3 credits)