Special Education (PreK-8) Graduate Certification Program
To be considered highly qualified a special education teacher in Pennsylvania, an individual must hold a Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education, Art Education, Music Education, or Physical Education certification collaterally with a Special Education Certification. Temple University's College of Education offers those who already hold a teacher certification the opportunity to pursue this add-on certification in Special Education.
This is a certification-only program. Applicants are initially admitted to our Special Education Master’s Program (Ed.M.). After successfully completing the minimum requirements for Certification, students may choose to earn certification-only or may elect to continue in the program and complete the additional credit hours and requirements to receive Special Education (PreK-8) Certification and a Master’s degree. Students interested in pursuing both a Master's degree as well as Special Education (PreK-8) Certification should explore the Master's degree in Special Education program.
Program Description - Special Education Graduate Certification Program
Special Education Certification can be completed at the Temple University Main Campus located in Philadelphia, PA or at the Temple University Harrisburg located in Harrisburg, PA. Some courses may be offered online or via videoconference. Classes are scheduled during early evening hours to accomodate working professionals.
The following principles serve as the foundation for the program:
- Commitment to evidence-based, instructional practices and their implementation in the classroom.
- Commitment to recognizing and ameliorating the impact of socio-cultural factors on the education of children with disabilities.
- Emphasis on preventative approaches that de-emphasize labels and traditional diagnostic categories to support improved teaching and learning.
- Commitment to inclusive practices both within schools and within society as a whole.
The Special Education Certification requires the completion of 18 credit hours of graduate course work. Candidates must pass the neccessary Praxis exams to be eligible for Special Education Certification.
Special Education Certification (18 credit hours)
- Spec Ed 5106 Literacy Instruction for Individuals with Disabilities (3 credits)
- Spec Ed 5109 Classroom Management and Positive Behavior Support (3 credits)
- Spec Ed 5187 Graduate Assessment Practicum in Special Education (3 credits)
- Spec Ed 5211 Effective Instructional Strategies for Children with Disabilities (3 credits)
- Spec Ed 5666 Introduction to Inclusive Education (3 credits)
- Spec Ed 5587 Special Education Practicum (3 credits)
Candidates must meet the general Graduate admission standards of the College of Education and the Graduate School.
Admission to the program is based on a variety of factors including professional letters of recommendation, a professional goals statement, undergraduate and/or graduate grade point average, and scores on required exams (see below).
Students must also present a valid Pennsylvania teaching certificate for Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education, Art Education, Music Education, or Physical Education.
Applicants are expected to have a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4 point scale.
- GRE or MAT are not required. Applicants must present a valid Pennsylvania teaching certificate for Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education, Art Education, Music Education, or Physical Education.
- Non-native speakers of English must take the TOEFL examinations. Scores of at least 575 are necessary for admission to the program (230 on the computer based version). Students who score between 575 and 600 (230-250 on the computer- version) must take an English refresher course.
Credit for Graduate Study Prior to Admission
Students may take up to, but not more than, nine semester hours of graduate study in the program before being admitted to the program. The credits will transfer into the program, if the student is admitted. Students enrolling in certification courses before being admitted to the program are NOT guaranteed admission.
How to Apply
Applicants are required to submit:
- A completed Graduate School Online Application. – NOTE: select application type “Special Education EdM”
- Submit official transcripts from all colleges and graduate schools attended. Applicants are expected to have a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0.
- TOEFL examinations scores for non-native speakers of English. Non-native speakers of English must take the TOEFL examinations. TOFEL scores of at least 575 are necessary for admission to the program (230 on the computer based version). Students who score between 575 and 600 (230-250 on the computer-version) must take an English refresher course.
- Two (2) professional letters of recommendation [pdf] are required. Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members and others who can provide insight into the applicant's academic competence.
- A Statement of Professional Plans and Goals. In the Statement of Goals, applicants should indicate their goals and objectives for obtaining a master's degree and certification in Special Education. The statement should be approximately 500-1,000 words in length and should include the following elements: your specific interest in Temple’s program; your future career goals; any job-related experiences that are relevant to the program; and your academic and research achievements and interests.
- A current professional resume.
- A copy of a valid teaching certificate for Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Grades, Art, Music, or Physical Education
Submitting Your Materials
See the Application Checklist for complete details on how to submit your application materials. Required supplemental materials should be sent attention to:
Graduate Programs Office
Attn. Application Processing
Temple University - College of Education
150 Ritter Annex
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091
Please allow delivery and processing time before your application will be reviewed. For faster service, the College of Education at Temple University also receives supporting application materials for graduate admissions electronically via the Interfolio service.
It is the student's responsibility to see that everything is completed by the deadline date.
To be considered for admission, your complete application, including all required supplemental materials must be post-marked no later than:
- For Fall admission: April 1
- For Spring admission: October 1
Completed applications received by the deadline are guaranteed a decision for the upcoming term. Applications received after the stated deadlines will be reviewed on a space available basis. Once an application is complete and all required materials have been received, students can expect to receive a decision within 30 days (excluding summer).
We strongly encourage applicants to apply early and to periodically check TUPortal (http://tuportal.temple.edu) as to the status of their materials.
If you have additional questions about this program, please contact:
Dr. S. Kenneth Thurman, Professor
phone: (215) 204-6018
department phone: (215) 204-2117
Special Note: Changes in Special Education Certification from PDE
After August 2013, the comprehensive kindergarten through 12th grade special education certification will no longer be issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), and will be replaced by separate pre-kindergarten through 8th grade and 7th through 12th grade certifications. Temple's preparation program serves students seeking the pK-8 certification. For more information on certification options, visit PDE at www.education.state.pa.us.