Graduate Certificate

Special Education
Comprehensive K-12

College of Education, Health, & Human Sciences

Program Overview

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers an online Special Education Comprehensive K-12 Graduate Certificate program for teachers licensed in areas outside of exceptional education in the state of Tennessee who desire to gain the credentials to work with exceptional students in K-12.

Credit Hours


Cost Per Credit Hour*

In-State $700

Out-of-State $775


Asynchronous & Synchronous

Admission Terms

Fall, Summer

*Cost per credit hour is an estimate based on maintenance and university fees. Some programs may have additional course fees. Please contact your department for additional information on any related fees, and visit Tuition and Fees in Detail at One Stop.

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Increase Your Skill & Knowledge Teaching K-12 Exceptional Students

 The Special Education Comprehensive K-12 graduate certificate can be tailored to serve a variety of career goals. For PreK-12 teachers licensed in areas outside of exceptional education, this graduate certificate can be used towards earning an additional endorsement in Special Education Comprehensive K-12. For K-12 teachers licensed in an area of exceptional education at the undergraduate level, non-licensed professionals who work in informal education settings, and others who engage in K-12 leadership positions that support special populations, this graduate certificate provides advanced coursework specifically designed to enhance capacities for designing equity-focused instruction to students with a range of exceptionalities.


Featured Courses

Student recipients of the Special Education Comprehensive K-12 Graduate Certificate are required to successfully complete the following courses:

SPED 513: Foundations in Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

Provides foundational knowledge of learning needs, service delivery models, and critical issues in the education of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Introduction to research-based, evidence-based, and high leverage practices for assessment and instruction of students with moderate to severe intellectual disability, developmental disabilities, and multiple disabilities.

SPED 514: Effective Instruction for Students with Moderate to Severe Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

Identifying and implementing best practices in assessment and instruction for students with moderate to severe intellectual disability and developmental disabilities that significantly impact learning. Understanding and applying high-leverage research-based and evidence-based practices.

SPED 559: Physical & Health Impairments: Educational Implications

Characteristics of students with neuromotor, orthopedic, and musculoskeletal impairments, degenerative and life limiting conditions, health impairments including infectious diseases, and sensory losses and the impact of these disabilities on student learning. Adaptations and teaching strategies for meeting the needs of students with impairments.

SSCE 590: Application of Assistive Technology

Application of assistive and instructional technology for students in all disability categories and across all chronological and functioning age ranges. Adaptive software, hardware for access, and strategies for technology usage, assessment, and instruction.

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Are You Ready to Light the Way in Education for Exceptional K-12 Students?