K-12 Cross-Categorical Special Education (Graduate Certificate)

Dr. Elizabeth Potts, Program Director
(816) 271-4300

The K-12 Cross-Categorical Special Education certificate option is designed to meet the needs of the following professionals:

  • Current and future educators, from both general education and special education, who want to learn techniques to more effectively support learners who experience mild/moderate disability in diverse, inclusive, PreK-12 classrooms
  • Speech/language pathologists and other related service providers, who desire additional information to assist them to more effectively serve learners who experience mild/moderate disability
  • School administrators, who are interested in improving special education services in their school or district
  • Current or future educational policy makers, who wish to enhance their understanding of the unique needs of learners who experience mild/moderate disability and the most up-to-date research in the field of special education.
  • Paraprofessionals who hold a bachelor’s degree in any area, and want to become more effective in their work with learners with disabilities, but not pursue certification.

The need for effective educators to be knowledgeable of strategies for teaching learners who experience mild/moderate disability becomes more critical every year. In addition to learning how to advocate for effective and responsive education for learners who experience mild/moderate disability, graduate students should gain the following from coursework in the K-12 Cross-Categorical Special Education program:

  • A deep understanding of fundamental issues associated with teaching learners who experience a broad range of mild/moderate disabilities
  • Specific skills associated with assessment and eligibility determination for learners who experience mild/moderate disabilities
  • Knowledge of differentiated instructional methods needed to successfully teach learners who experience mild/moderate disabilities
  • Opportunities to learn the effective implementation of behavioral interventions with learners who experience mild/moderate disabilities
  • Knowledge of considerations for the selection and effective implementation of assistive technologies and augmentative communication strategies
  • Focused methods for preparing learners and their families for transition from secondary education to a successful career
  • Opportunities to learn a variety of strategies for effectively collaborating with families and members of inter-professional teams in education
  • Enhanced general knowledge of diverse, inclusive classroom settings
  • Training in analytical and critical thinking methods

What are the unique benefits of the K-12 Cross-Categorical Special Education program option at Missouri Western State University?

  • All required courses are available online; this flexibility allows courses to be completed from anywhere in the world.
  • Strong foundation in current research in the field of K-12 Cross-Categorical Special Education.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the graduate program in K-12 Cross-Categorical Special Education requires meeting all qualifications for acceptance to the Missouri Western State University Graduate School.

  • Submission of application for admission to the MWSU Graduate School.
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75.
  • Statement of Purpose: A one-page narrative, which describes his/her purpose for seeking admission to a graduate program, as well as what he/she hopes to gain from the experience.
Certificate Requirements 1
EDU 574Collaborating with Families and School Personnel for Inclusion3
EDU 675Assessment and the Identification Process3
EDU 676Behavioral Management & Interventions3
EDU 677Advanced Methods, Differentiation, and Instruction3
Select two courses from the following:6
Fundamentals of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Assistive Technology and Augmentative Communication in Inclusive Settings
Preparing Students and Families for Transitions and Careers
Total Credit Hours18

In addition to the courses listed below, students will be required to take an Orientation Workshop (EDU 500).

Graduation Requirements

  1. Filing an approved Application for Graduation.
  2. Satisfactory completion of all required coursework as listed on the approved Program of Study.
  3. Earn a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, with no more than one grade of C in all required coursework.