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This Graduate Certificate in Supporting Individuals with Exceptionalities will prepare current and future teachers or related service providers to meet the diverse needs of individuals with exceptionalities, including individuals with autism spectrum disorder, emotional disturbance, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, and speech-language impairments. This expertise is highly sought after as general education teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, counselors, nurses, and other direct-care providers must serve individuals with diverse needs, including disabilities.

This certificate consists of 12 credit hours. Depending on their focus (e.g., early childhood, elementary, secondary, related-service provider), students will be guided by their respective faculty advisors in selecting four 3 hour courses. The course list can be found in the UAB Graduate Catalog.

The Graduate Certificate in Supporting Individuals with Exceptionalities is designed to ensure that students achieve competency in areas such as the following:

  • Characteristics of individuals with disabilities
  • Behavior management techniques to support successful participation in inclusive activities
  • Planning and applying effective instruction for learners with exceptionalities, and
  • Family engagement for diverse families

This program is designed for professionals who wish to gain a deeper understanding of best practices in supporting learners with exceptionalities but who do not wish to pursue a master’s degree at this point in their career. This expertise is highly sought across educational fields to the needs of individuals with disabilities, many of whom are served in general education settings.

This certificate DOES NOT lead to Alabama certification in Special Education.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with an institutional GPA of at least 2.75, or they must be UAB undergraduate students in good standing with 60+ credit hours completed and an overall GPA of 3.0. All certificate-seekers, including those currently enrolled as degree-seeking students in other UAB programs, must schedule an advising appointment with the program coordinator (listed below). If prospective students are not currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program at UAB, they must also submit a certificate-seeking application for admission to the UAB Graduate School and pay the corresponding application fee.

If undergraduate students meet the certificate admission criteria stated above, they can start the Graduate Certificate in Supporting Individuals with Exceptionalities while still pursuing their bachelor’s degree. However, because of their admission to a Graduate Certificate program, undergraduate students cannot use the graduate credit hours from this certificate program towards their undergraduate degree. After earning their undergraduate degree and graduate certificate, alumni will be able to use up to 12 credit hours towards a master’s degree completed within five years.

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