Online Special Education, Graduate Certificate | University of Nebraska

Special Education, Graduate Certificate (Sensory Disabilities)

Graduate Certificate

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

  • Course Delivery
    Fully Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

Earn your degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Get the same diploma as on campus students

The online Graduate Certificate program in Sensory Disabilities provides additional education for professionals interested in students with sensory disabilities (students who are deaf/hard of hearing and blind/visually impaired).

Students choose the Graduate Certificate program in Sensory Disabilities because they want to:

  • Gain insight into unique programs and services available to students with sensory disabilities.
  • Collaborate with families of students with sensory disabilities through specialized instructional methods.
  • Acquire a deeper understanding of how to work with and support students with unique sensory learning needs.

Note: The Graduate Certificate in Sensory Disabilities does not qualify the holder to apply for a Nebraska teaching endorsement in Deaf Education or Visual Impairment. Students interested in pursuing an endorsement in either Deaf Education or Visual Impairment will need to complete additional coursework.

Career Outlook: Special education teachers engage with children and youth that have a wide variety of disabilities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the need for Special Education Teachers will grow by about 8% from 2016-2026. Although most special education teachers work in public schools, some find jobs in the private sector taking care of special needs children in childcare services and other institutions.

More about the University of Nebraska—Lincoln (UNL) Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders:

The Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders (SECD) is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with special needs, their families, schools, and communities.

The vision is that every individual with special needs will:

  • Achieve maximum potential for learning.
  • Communicate autonomously.
  • Enjoy optimum health and well-being throughout the lifespan.

Students have the ability to choose to:

  • Take one or a few classes of interest.
  • Pursue the teaching endorsement or graduate certificate.
  • Complete a graduate degree.

Malinda Eccarius, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Practice and Director of Deaf Education Programs

Dr. Eccarius teaches academic courses and supervises field experience, research and student teaching. Her primary research interest is in visual literacy. Dr. Eccarius has taught students who are deaf or hard of hearing for more than 40 years and has also spent 12 years as an academic diagnostician on the multidisciplinary evaluation team at the Boys Town National Research Hospital.

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

    Must be from an accredited institution

  2. 2.50 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  4. A written personal statement

    Explain why you want to earn this graduate certificate, how it would enhance your professional goals and future work, and how the graduate certificate coursework complements your current or most recent college degree program.

  5. 3 letters of recommendation

  6. Official transcripts from all previous schools

NOTE: If you reside in state(s) KY, please contact a program adviser before applying.

To apply to this program:

  • Apply and be admitted to Graduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Pay the non-refundable $50 application processing fee
  • Submit one set of official transcripts from each college or university you have attended to the Office of Graduate Studies
  • Apply and be admitted to the department
Apply Now

Application Deadlines

Rolling admissions. Application review will begin upon receipt of all required application materials.

Students may choose to take SPED 852 or SPED 873.

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
SPED 846Foundations of Visual Impairment: Programs and Services for Individuals with Visual Impairments3

Course Number: SPED 846

Current educational programs and services for children with visual impairments, as well as children with multiple disabilities. History of educational services, developmental characteristics, psycho-social aspects, history of legislation, and grade I Braille.

SPED 852Instructional Methods for Teaching Students with Visual Impairments3

Course Number: SPED 852

Methods and materials for educating children who are totally blind or have low vision, including students with multiple impairments. Practical skills in selecting, designing, and/or modifying materials for content area subjects: mathematics, science, social studies, creative arts, foreign language, and other subjects.

SPED 872Psychology and Sociology of Deafness3

Course Number: SPED 872

Education of the hearing impaired including history of, professional roles in, and educational programming within this field. Social/psychological theories as related to the hearing impaired. Patterns of social/emotional development, psychological characteristics, issues of family stress and social adaptation and discussion of counseling techniques.

SPED 873Teaching Content Areas to the Hearing Impaired3

Course Number: SPED 873

Methods for teaching content areas (science, math, and social studies) to hearing impaired students from preschool through grade 12. Adapting curricula and materials from these areas for the hearing impaired students.

SPED 960Family and School Collaboration in Special Education3

Course Number: SPED 960

Functions and interactions of both family and education systems. Impact of having a child with a disability on the normal and stressed family system. Promote family-professional partnerships in assessment and intervention for the child and/or student with an IFSP/IEP. Communication skills are reviewed and practiced for effective teaming among educators and for interviewing, consulting, collaborating and coaching with family members and other community team members.

Cost for Nebraska Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $356.50
  • Fees: $52.25
  • Total: $408.75
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1069.50
  • Fees: $156.75
  • Total: $1226.25

Cost for Out of State Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $652.00
  • Fees: $52.25
  • Total: $704.25
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1956.00
  • Fees: $156.75
  • Total: $2112.75

Questions about tuition? We can help.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Quality learning experience

    The University of Nebraska has offered distance education courses for more than 100 years so you can expect a quality, rigorous experience. Online courses are often highly interactive with faculty and students communicating through e-mail, discussion forums and chat groups. You’ll have direct access to world-class faculty – researchers who are experts in their fields or practitioners with real-world experience. Also, you’ll be part of a community of learners and can benefit from the perspectives of students from across the globe.

  • Flexibility

    Online learning gives you the flexibility and freedom to attend your classes wherever is convenient to you. You can save time and money by being able to continue to work and by avoiding relocation or travel costs. You will be required to complete assignments in a certain timeframe, but in most instances, you can log in and complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you. You aren’t tied to a specific class time.

  • Service you expect from a leading University

    Online learners at the University of Nebraska have access to the same student services available to on-campus students. An academic adviser will guide you along your journey, library services are available to help you excel in your program and career services are available when you are ready to take your next step. These are just a few of the services in place to help you succeed.

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