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University of Maryland College Park Advanced Graduate Specialist Certificate in Special Education

University & College Info June 21, 2013

Special education is one of the most remarkable professions and heart-warming. Not only do you earn the respect of your classroom, and your fellow teachers, but you also receive heartfelt thanks from parents of children and teens who are disabled. If you like working in this field, then University of Maryland at College Park has a degree program you might find useful. The Advanced Graduate Specialist Certificate in Special Education degree program is a certificate based program that teaches teachers the basics about excelling in the field of education. While certification can go onward, such as a master’s degree or a Ph.D., there is also certificate specialist training programs that count for 30 credits beyond the master’s degree.

Admissions Information at UMD

Students will be asked to submit scores on the PRAXIS I test, which ensures that their level of competency will meet or exceed the standard results for the state of Maryland. In addition, students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) undergraduate score before admission. Other requirements include taking the Miller Analogies Test and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test. For higher degrees, such as a master’s, grades might be as high as a 3.5 on average. The intent is to become certified in the state of Maryland, which will allow you to procure employment with any legitimate agency, school or institution.

In addition to these forms, students must also provide three letters of recommendation, a statement reviewing their goals and motivations, transcripts of their educational achievements and an interview for the higher programs, such as a Ph.D. and M.Ed. Most of these programs are beyond the master’s degree level, and will require 60 hours of graduate experience. Special education courses will be covered in the program, as well as coursework and research assignments. The College of Education at UMD is the channel handling this process. There are additional opportunities in pursuing master of education degrees or doctorate degrees, after certification.

Resources for UMD College of Education Students

The advanced graduate specialist certificate in special education is complemented by an excellent facility. The Maryland location puts students nearby Washington D.C., which gives them the chance to work as an intern with major institutions in the area. Students can gain experience not only with the profession, but also with cultural and linguistic diversity among students. This exposure will help teachers become more effective communicators and educators. Some students pursuing doctorates after certification have had the opportunity to work with professional organizations, corporations, government agencies, and various other honors. There are financial programs in place when you attend UMD, including fellowships and grants, such as the Hebeler Endowment Fund.

If you want to make a difference in the life of an impressionable young mind, but want to do more than volunteer work or assisting work, then it is time to train for leadership—for education. You can pursue work as a certified teacher and reach out to the community. Working in special education will leave you with a warm feeling, as you will truly understand the rewards of being not merely an educator, but a mentor to others.

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