Special Education (Graduate Certificate)

Other Information

Graduate Catalog: Special Education

  • Admission requirements
  • Program details
  • Course descriptions

Application Deadlines

Department: Special Education

Graduate Director:
Dr. Michael Pickle

Program Overviews

Graduate Certificate

  •  Autism

Graduate Certificate Programs Leading to Licensure

  • Academic and Behavioral Strategist
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities

Should I be a graduate certificate student?

  • By seeking admission to a graduate certificate program a student can apply for financial aid by filing the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) form, enjoy priority registration dates and earn a graduate certificate that is transcribed on the SCSU transcript.
  • SCSU highly encourages all students to seek admission for the graduate certificate program.
  • For candidates who have earned a special education teaching license in another state, admission to a certificate program may not be required if only one or two classes are required to meet the licensure requirements. This applicant should apply as a student guest to the graduate certificate track in which the majority of coursework will be completed. Applicants are encouraged to meet with an advisor to make this determination. 
  • Student guests are not admitted to a certificate program and are NOT eligible for financial aid and do NOT earn a graduate certificate to indicate coursework completion.  However, student guests would still be eligible for Minnesota licensure upon completion of designated courses.

Accreditations Specific to Program

  • Council for Exceptional Children
  • NCATE  

Admission Information

  • Undergraduate GPA is closely reviewed.
  • The department requires a pre-admission advising meeting once all application materials are received in the School of Graduate Studies. The meeting may take place in person, by phone or Skype. This is a crucial part of the admission process. A faculty advisor will meet with applicants individually to review teaching and professional backgrounds to make recommendations on program fit and where a student may need to start in the certificate program.
  • An admission decision will not be made until a Special Education faculty member can have pre-admission advising contact with an applicant.
  • Applicants to the certificate programs should note that rolling admission is available.
  • The program admits students for fall, spring and summer terms.
  • For priority consideration, applicants are encouraged to apply by the deadlines posted. If space remains in the program, applications will continue to be reviewed after the posted priority deadlines.

Practicum Experience

  • All students seeking licensure must complete a practicum in their chosen area(s).
  • Students who do not have a current teaching license must complete a full-semester student teaching experience in two settings during the academic year.
  • Students have an option of completing either a summer practicum or an on-the job practicum across two academic semesters, depending upon eligibility requirements. These options and eligibility requirements are discussed during the pre-admission interview.
    • Students who have a current teaching license and a minimum of one year of general education teaching experience are eligible to complete an LD summer practicum. 
    • Students with two years of special education contractual teaching experience in a specific area are eligible to complete either a summer practicum in ASD, DD, E/BD, or LD or an on-the-job practicum during the academic year.
  • Prior to the summer practicum, students are expected to complete all other program requirements. 

Gainful Employment

Certain graduate certificates at St. Cloud State University prepare students for employment in specific fields and do not result in a degree. Federal law requires publication of data associated with those programs of study, including approximate program costs, program length, and employment statistics. The Minnesota State Colleges and University's (MnSCU) Chancellor's office has provided these reports containing the aforementioned information for all required programs.