Students with Disabilities who Access the General Curriculum Graduate Certificate (SDGC)
This 33 credit hour certificate is designed to provide the coursework necessary to obtain Virginia teacher licensure for teachers who wish to work with students with disabilities who access general academic curriculum in a public or private school setting. The program prepares individuals to work with students with disabilities who take Standards of Learning tests (SOLs) or Virginia Grade Level Assessments (VGLA).
Coursework (15-33 credits)
Students who have completed graduate or undergraduate coursework in a university program prior to admission to the certificate, may request that courses in the certificate program be waived based on completion of the content in prior coursework. Students waiving coursework must complete a minimum of 15 credits to be eligible for the certificate.
There are no pre-requisites in the coursework, but students are strongly encouraged to complete 1st tier courses before, or in conjunction with, 2nd tier courses and 2nd tier courses before, or in conjunction with, 3rd tier courses. All courses are offered every semester (fall, spring, summer) unless otherwise indicated.
- EDSE 501: Introduction to Special Education (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 540: Characteristics of Students with Disabilities who Access the General Curriculum (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 502: Classroom Management and Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 503: Language Development and Reading (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 544: Adapted Instructional Methods and Transition for Secondary Learners (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 627: Assessment (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 628: Elementary Reading, Curriculum, and Strategies for Students who Access the General Education Curriculum (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 629: Secondary Curriculum and Strategies for Students with Disabilities who Access the General Curriculum (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 662: Consultation and Collaboration (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 790: Internship in Special Education (6 credit hours) (Students meet the internship requirement by completing two 3-credit internships, one at the elementary level and one at the secondary level. Students who meet internship waiver eligibility requirements may be able to waive of one of the two internship experiences.)
It is recommended that internship be taken concurrently with EDSE 628 and/or EDSE 629.
- Official, passing Praxis I (reading, writing and mathematics) scores or qualifying SAT/ACT scores are required prior to internship and for application to Mason's state-approved licensure certificate programs.
- Official, passing Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA)* scores are required prior to internship. A total test score of at least 470 is passing.
- Official, passing Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE)* scores are required prior to internship. A total test score of at least 157 is passing.
*Students completing Virginia licensure programs are eligible for an exemption from RVE and VCLA if the Special Education licensure area they are pursuing will not be their initial licensure in Virginia. Students exempt from taking one or more tests for this reason must provide documentation of this exemption. (Holding a VA License is not an approved exemption for meeting the Praxis I requirement.)
Students who are completing the Master's in Special Education in conjunction with their licensure program will need to complete the following courses to meet the MEd course requirements. Click here for a chart showing overlap in coursework of the licensure certificate and MEd. The MEd courses can be taken at any point in a student's program.
- EDSE 517: Computer Applications for Special Populations (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 590: Special Education Research (3 credit hours)
Tuition Assistance and Grant Funding
Cohort program: The Special Education program works collaboratively with a number of Northern Virginia school divisions to offer special education certificates and degree programs to school employees using a cohort model. This model provides convenience to the students and forms a better link between academia and school realities. Additional benefits of the cohort model include tuition discounts, classes located in the students' school divisions and course scheduling in alignment with school division calendars.
LIFE Graduate Assistantships: The Learning Into Future Environments (LIFE) Program is an innovative post-secondary program at Mason for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who desire a university experience in a supportive academic environment. Graduate students with a major in special education have an opportunity to work as instructors in the LIFE program which provides them with field experience in a supportive, supervised setting.
Graduate Research Assistantships: Part time positions are available for students interested in providing research support to faculty.