Alternative Certification in Special Education – Moderate & Severe Disabilities Online

This online alternative certification program offers you the preparation you need to rise as a certified special education teacher in Kentucky. Gain the specialized resources and differentiated instructional strategies you need to support the growth of students with disabilities that range in the moderate and severe side of the spectrum.

Apply by 2/29/24
Start class 3/11/24 Apply Now

Program Overview

A glimpse of our online alternative certification – moderate & severe disabilities program

The Alternative Certification in Special Education – Moderate & Severe Disabilities online program from NKU prepares you to hone the unique intellectual, physical, and social abilities of each student. Learn to adjust your teaching practice to support all students and help them receive the more equitable and inclusive educational experience they deserve.

This CAEP-accredited online alternative certification program is suited for teachers (with or without learning behavior & disorder certification) seeking additional credentials and who aspire to effectively teach students with the highest need—a population that is rapidly growing. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 15% of students in Kentucky have been assigned an Individualized Education Program (13% above the national average), meaning more school districts are looking to hire qualified special education teachers.

NKU's Alternative Certification in Special Education – MSD online program equips you with a broader special education perspective and advanced pedagogical instructional strategies that span a wide variety of disabilities, such as: intellectual disabilities, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments (speech/visual/hearing), and behavioral disorders. As part of the curriculum, you will be able to apply your knowledge to real-world settings in the field experience courses. This specialized online program prepares you to stand out as a certified teacher in the field of special education.

To fill the need for qualified special education teachers in Kentucky, students in the Alternative Certification in Special Education – MSD online program may apply for tuition assistance through Kentucky's Traineeship Program for special education.*

Plus, upon completion of this alternative certification online program, you will be eligible to apply a portion of your earned credit hours toward any of the five Master of Arts in Education – Teacher as Leader online graduate programs at NKU.

In this online alternative certification program, you will:

  • Become fully certified to teach special education in the state of Kentucky
  • Learn to adjust your instructional practices to accommodate the needs of students with intellectual disabilities, orthopedic disabilities, and/or health impairments
  • Gain an understanding of students' use of assistive technology for communication, mobility, sensory impairments, distance learning; and to transition into the community and post-school careers
  • Learn to promote functional skills among students, such as language skills, motor skills, social skills, and career skills
  • Examine legislation and instructional practices relating to the education of students with exceptionalities
  • Review effective communication and collaboration techniques to use when working with parents and families of students with disabilities
  • Explore the role and functionality of coordinating agencies and community services that offer opportunities for students with disabilities outside of the school
  • Become fully certified to teach special education in the state of Kentucky
  • Learn to adjust your instructional practices to accommodate the needs of students with intellectual disabilities, orthopedic disabilities, and/or health impairments
  • Gain an understanding of students' use of assistive technology for communication, mobility, sensory impairments, distance learning; and to transition into the community and post-school careers
  • Learn to promote functional skills among students, such as language skills, motor skills, social skills, and career skills
  • Examine legislation and instructional practices relating to the education of students with exceptionalities
  • Review effective communication and collaboration techniques to use when working with parents and families of students with disabilities
  • Explore the role and functionality of coordinating agencies and community services that offer opportunities for students with disabilities outside of the school

Also available:

Northern Kentucky University offers a variety of education programs online. Check out our other quality online education programs.

Total Tuition Starts at $8,132
Program Duration As few as 22 months
Credit Hours As few as 19-37

Accreditation

CAEP Accredited

The Northern Kentucky University College of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

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Need More Information?

Call 800-985-7215

Call 800-985-7215

Tuition

Learn more about the affordable tuition at NKU

The Alternative Certification in Special Education – Moderate & Severe Disabilities online program offers the same affordable, pay-by-the-course tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Tuition Breakdown:

Total Tuition Starts at $8,132
Per Credit Hour $412
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Ranked among the “Top Public Colleges” by Forbes, 2022

Calendar

Find out when to apply, when classes start, when tuition is due

With six start dates per year, the Alternative Certification in Special Education – Moderate & Severe Disabilities online program is flexible and convenient. View the calendar to find the best start date for you, along with corresponding deadlines.

SessionProgram Start DateApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlineRegistration DeadlinePayment Due
Spring 11/8/241/2/241/4/241/5/241/8/24
Spring 23/11/242/29/243/4/243/8/243/11/24
Summer 15/6/244/24/244/30/245/3/245/6/24
Summer 26/24/246/12/246/18/246/21/246/24/24
Fall 18/19/248/7/248/12/248/16/248/19/24
Fall 210/16/2410/3/2410/8/2410/11/2410/16/24

Now enrolling:

Apply Date 2/29/24
Class Starts 3/11/24
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Admissions

Uncover what you need to know before applying

The admission process is the first step toward earning your Alternative Certification in Special Education – Moderate & Severe Disabilities certification online.

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA or 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the last 30 credit hours

Alternative Certification in Special Education – Moderate & Severe Disabilities Admission Requirements

  • Complete online application for admission
  • Pay $40 non-refundable application fee
    • If you are an NKU alum or active/veteran military member, your application fee will be waived
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) coursework from accredited institution(s). Transcripts must include completion of a college-level mathematics course (cannot be at the remedial level) with a grade of C or higher.
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA or 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the last 30 credit hours, including undergraduate and graduate coursework
  • Submit a Federal Criminal Background Check; a teaching certificate may be submitted in lieu of the background check (submit copy of current teaching certificate or out-of-state equivalent—new teachers in Kentucky may submit a Kentucky Statement of Eligibility)
  • Supplemental application

Upon being admitted, new students will be expected to provide: an offer of employment from a Kentucky school district in an LBD or MSD position; a signed Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky Certified Personnel, the College of Education, and the Council for Exceptional Children; a curriculum contract, and a mentorship agreement.

Official documents may be mailed or emailed to:

NKU Office of Graduate Education
302 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099

[email protected]

Have a question? Call us at 800-985-7215.

Courses

The topics you’ll study in online moderate and severe disabilities program classes

In order to earn the Alternative Certification in Special Education – Moderate & Severe Disabilities online, you must complete five or six courses for a total of 15-22 credit hours (courses and credit hours dependent upon whether you are/are not LBD certified).

If students are not already LBD certified, they must take the following 6 courses (15 credit hours) along with the Moderate and Severe Disabilities core courses. If students need to take both sets of courses, the Moderate and Severe Disabilities Cert. would be 34-37 credit hours.

Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course delves into critical issues of access and equity for contemporary US college students, examining the evolving demographics and characteristics of this population. Participants analyze challenges and opportunities, exploring strategies to enhance inclusivity and address disparities in higher education, fostering a deeper understanding of student experiences. 
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Information, skills, and resources for effective interaction with parents and families of children with disabilities.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Principles, instruments, and procedures to place and plan instruction for students with learning or behavior disorders.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Principles of behavior analysis applied to curriculum, methodology, and management of students with disabilities; behavioral teaching methods contrasted with alternative management techniques.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Nature and needs of students with exceptionalities; overview of legal requirements and educational approaches.

Students pursuing Moderate and Severe Disability Alt. Cert., must complete the following courses (19-22 credit hours).

Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Evaluating for assistive technology; approaches and devices for communication, mobility, and sensory impairments; distances learning technology for transition to the community and post school careers.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Classroom field experience in added area of certification; individual project.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Theories of language development; teaching functional communication skills; skills necessary for pre interactions; assistive technology and communication; teaching conversational skills.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Knowledge of and skills in coordinating agencies and community services that provide opportunities for students with multiple disabilities.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Theoretical perspectives, measurement systems, ecological inventories, functional behavior assessment, and positive and proactive behavior intervention plans.
Duration: 7 Weeks weeks
Credit Hours: 4
Assessing functional skills; formal and informal assessment; portfolio assessment; adaptive approaches; teaching self-care and independent living skills, language skills, motor skills, social skills, and career skills; community-based instruction, transportation and mobility; encouraging student self-determination; and teaching for skill generalization.

*Tuition assistance is not guaranteed. To be eligible, students must be employed in a Kentucky public school district. For more information, visit kytraineeship.org.

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