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Post-Master’s Certificate
in Leadership in
Special Education

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Courses start every Monday

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Take the first step in your National University journey

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230K+ Alumni Worldwide


Students with exceptional intellectual gifts, learning disabilities, or behavioral issues can present both the greatest challenge and richest satisfaction for any educator. The post-master’s certificate is designed for professionals who work with gifted and disabled students in a variety of settings. The course offerings cover a wide spectrum of topics related to individuals with disabilities, including the development and characteristics of learners, learning differences, and instructional strategies that address the diverse needs of these students. As you progress through your studies, you’ll acquire the necessary skills to plan, deliver, and assess instruction and support to gifted students and those with mental, physical, behavioral, or learning disabilities.

Admission Requirements 

A conferred master’s level or higher degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution.


For the Post-Master’s Certificate in Leadership focused on Special Education, you must complete 6 courses (18 credit hours). The estimated time needed to complete this certificate is 13 months.

Course Details

Course Listings

As the first course in this specialization, the focus here goes beyond individual students and classrooms to a programmatic level that includes entire schools or districts. Another focus includes educational equity, social justice, inclusion, and ethical nuances within the context of special education programs. You’ll also consider teacher retention and the implications of high-and-low-incidence disabilities on special education program planning and implementation. Throughout the course, you’ll cultivate communication skills, particularly around conflict management and collaboration.

Here you’ll learn how to collect, analyze, interpret, and use individual and aggregated student data in order to monitor student progress and improve special education programs. You’ll also consider historical perspectives, different techniques, and coding systems for students who use a behavior plan. Throughout the course, you’ll prioritize considerations for equity, fairness, and bias in the collection, analysis, interpretation, and utilization of student data.

The areas of finance, law, and leadership are deep topics in special education. This course touches on each one at a higher level. You’ll explore the various funding models for special education programs and services, including legal considerations, service delivery models, and specific leadership scenarios and reporting obligations. Throughout the course, you’ll consider the role of leadership in cultivating culturally responsive relationships with all stakeholders to ensure equity and fairness.

This course focuses on implementation of special education programs at school and district levels for students with intellectual and specific learning disabilities (SLDs). You’ll investigate necessary support, service delivery models, and quality assurance approaches, and you’ll synthesize research for evidence-based practices, including strategies for promoting equity, inclusion, and social justice. While some of the concepts here will apply to other categories of disability, this course concentrates specifically on intellectual and specific learning disabilities.

This course focuses on implementation of special education programs at school and district levels for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. You’ll investigate necessary supports, service delivery models, and quality assurance approaches, and you’ll synthesize research for evidence-based practices, including strategies for promoting equity, inclusion, and social justice. While some of the concepts here apply to other categories of disability, this course uses the lens of emotional and behavioral disorders.

In this final course of the specialization, you’ll synthesize your work across all courses into a capstone project of your own design. This project will integrate theory and practice within a specific topic of your choosing related to special education programs at the school or district levels. As you prepare your project, you’ll evaluate the impacts of current trends, technologies, and issues of bias, fairness, and social justice. Your project will reflect not only your knowledge and skills in relation to the course learning outcomes, but also your overall preparedness to influence special education programs at the school or district levels.

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The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.

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Learning Outcomes

If you’ve earned your Master of Education degree, then our post-master’s certificate may move you past the head of the class. NU’s Post-Master’s Certificate in Special Education is designed to help you focus and develop your skill sets and knowledge in a particular area of education beyond the master’s level, without the need for a doctoral commitment or dissertation. You’ll not only enhance your understanding of major theories and practices in your specialty, but you’ll be challenged to think critically about the topics covered with the goal of applying what you learn to your professional objectives—all while gaining a wealth of experience from your mentoring professors.

Why Choose National University

  • Four-Week Courses
  • 190+ Degree Programs
  • Online or On-Site
  • Year-Round Enrollment
  • Military Friendly

We’re proud to be a Veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 230,000 alumni worldwide.

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“National University has impacted my career. You can immediately apply what you learn in class to your business.”

-Francisco R., Class of 2016

Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.