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Advanced Certificate: Inclusive and Special Education

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Make a Meaningful Impact

This program prepares you to thrive in the fastest growing sector of the teaching profession, special education, and make a meaningful impact in the lives of children who need it most.

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Our Commitment

Our faculty and program are dedicated to preparing knowledgeable and passionate special education teachers with strong commitments to equity and diversity, excellence in their practice, social responsibility and critical reflection.

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Role in Education

Special education teachers work with students who have an array of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities.They wear many hats, serving as both an educator and an advocate for students with special needs.

Make a Meaningful Impact

This program prepares you to thrive in the fastest growing sector of the teaching profession, special education, and make a meaningful impact in the lives of children who need it most.

The Advanced Certificate in Inclusive and Special Education is designed to provide a sequenced program of study that complements the knowledge, competencies, and dispositions of certified and experienced teachers in effectively addressing the needs of students with mild to moderate disabilities in primarily inclusive settings. Coursework will provide the classroom teacher with more knowledge and clinical experience with which to create an inclusive classroom that incorporates the essential principles of Universal Design for Learning.

Upon completing the program, students may be able to apply for an additional classroom-teaching certificate in Students with Disabilities at the grade level consistent with their initial classroom-teaching certificate. Note that obtaining certification takes place after the completion of this program, and is something the student must complete individually. SUNY Potsdam does not recommend for certification as typical with other graduate degree programs.

What You Will Learn

  • Expertise in creating an inclusionary classroom environment, and implementing differentiated instruction to help students with special learning needs and styles perform at the highest level possible.
  • The ability to assess and diagnose students with mild to moderate disabilities, and design interventions and curriculum to meet their needs.
  • Creative approaches for integrating technology into your classroom to enhance learning.
  • Collaboration and communication skills central for working as part of a school team addressing the unique needs of B-12 learners.
  • Knowledge of behavior management strategies to help your classroom run smoothly.
  • Foundational knowledge about current issues, policy, and educational research in the field of special education.

Unique Program Features

  • Classes are scheduled in late afternoons and evenings to accommodate working teachers, enabling them to complete the program part-time in only 12 months.
  • Flexible course scheduling with two enrollment locations in Potsdam and Watertown.
  • Opportunities to attend professional development workshops and/or conferences to help further your understanding of educational content and pedagogy.
  • Small class sizes promote close relationships with professors and fellow classmates. Students graduate with a cohort who provides support throughout the length of their future careers.

"SUNY Potsdam helped prepare me for a position in Special Education with real world experience developing individual education plans as well as teaching strategies to utilize immediately with my students. "

~ Kelly Milkowich, Special Education Teacher, Indian River School District


Admissions FAQs


Minimum Credits


Approximate minimum time to complete (assumes full time attendance)


Deadline to submit application materials


Start date: Summer
Program Contacts

Admissions / General Information
Center for Graduate Studies
1-800-458-1142 / 315-267-2165
Raymond Hall 206

Program-Related Information
Lisa Lamondie-Grenville
Program Coordinator
Satterlee 212 (315) 267-2530