Jun 22, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog Archived Catalog

Special Education Teacher Certification

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General Description

For the certified teacher who desires to add a special education (PK-8) teaching certificate. A three-credit internship is required to earn the master’s degree.  Successful completion of state tests is required for certification. (24 credits)

Overview and Mission

Neumann University’s graduate program leading to the Special Education (PK-8) Certification is consistent with, and driven by, the University’s Mission Statement.  This program prepares candidates to teach in a variety of special education settings supporting learners with intellectual, physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral exceptionalities. Students completing the program are eligible to add the state-approved Autism endorsement to their teaching certificate. 

Program Design and Outcomes

The Special Education (PK-8) Certification Program adheres to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) program design. As per the PDE guidelines, successful graduates of Neumann University’s Special Education (PK-8) Certification Program will be able to :

  • Demonstrate knowledge and competence in the areas of academic, social, and emotional growth, and methods to use that knowledge to maximize a student’s capabilities.

  • Utilize research-based effective instructional strategies and diagnostic tools

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of child development and appropriate diagnostic and instructionally adaptive strategies for all learners

  • Competently apply appropriate instructional practices to meet the diverse needs of all PK-8 students.

Admission Requirements

Applicants with a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited, degree-granting institution who have successfully completed all prerequisite courses are eligible for entrance to the Special Education (PK-8) Certification Program, subject to the approval of the Program Director.  Acceptance is on a competitive basis after submission of all credentials and an interview with the Program Director.  All applicants must submit the following:

  • A completed Graduate Student Application, in print or online through www.neumann.edu.

  • Official transcripts from each regionally accredited, degree-granting institution attended.

  • Letter of intent which outlines why you wish to pursue the degree and certification.

  • Three names and telephone numbers of professional references.

    Nine credits may be transferred into the program with the approval of the Division Dean.

    Once all admission materials have been received and processed through the Office of Admissions, the graduate Program Director will arrange for an interview, if appropriate, following a review of all candidate credentials.

Progression/Retention/Graduation Requirements

For the Master of Science in Education with Special Education (PK-8) Certification and Autism Endorsement, continued progress requires that the student maintain an overall “B” average (cumulative 3.00 GPA) in the required courses and satisfactory participation in the program. Completion of all degree requirements for the program is not to exceed five years. Exemption to this time limitation must be applied for in a written request to the Division Dean. Graduation from the program is contingent upon (1) submitting a signed Application for Graduation form to the Registrar on or before the date specified in the Academic Calendar; and (2) successful completion of all course work, including field experience, report(s) of action research, an effective, formal presentation of learning to a faculty committee, and an individual portfolio of developed resources and materials. The student must maintain an overall “B” average (cumulative 3.00 GPA) in all required courses, with no more than two grades of “C” level work.  A student teaching component is required to earn the master’s degree.  Successful completion of state tests is required for certification.


In addition to successfully completing these courses, students are also required to pass the related PDE required examination. Students pursuing the Special Education Certification option are also required to obtain and present proof of a current Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance and a Pennsylvania Criminal Background Clearance. Candidates are to provide admissions a copy of the current teaching certificate.   

Candidates for this certification option must also satisfy all admission criteria to the Graduate Education Program. For additional information about this certification option, please contact the Division of Education and Human Services at 610-558-5640.

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