Advanced Certificate in Special Education

The Advanced Certificate in Special Education from Relay will empower you to teach all children and open new and exciting career paths.

Student in classroom watching her teacher.

Program Overview

The Advanced Certificate in Special Education program is a one-year intensive for experienced general educators who already hold a certification in general education and want to advance their skills to support all children. The program will equip you with the strategies and mindsets to support a wide range of learners and advance your career.

The special education curriculum provides a foundation in all disabilities, but you will develop specific expertise in learning disabilities and high-incidence behavioral needs. You’ll also learn how to advocate on behalf of your students to ensure that they receive the services and support they deserve, and you’ll work one-on-one with a student in a unique practicum experience called the Intervention Intensive.

Upon completion of the program, you will gain a new perspective on your role as an educator, and you will be qualified to either expand your impact in the general education classroom or pursue the range of roles available to certified special educators.


The Advanced Certificate in Special Education program focuses on three key aspects of the role of a special educator.

You will learn how to:

  • Support students with common disabilities. For example, in the course, “Teaching Students with Speech and Language Impairments,” you will learn strategies for supporting students with language processing delays.
  • Implement research-based strategies for remediating common academic challenges in reading, writing, and math.
  • Advocate for students in the classroom, and in meetings with administrators and parents.  You will learn advocacy strategies in courses such as, “Building an Inclusive Classroom Culture” and “Engaging and Supporting Families.”

All teachers will complete the same scope of instruction, with opportunities for grade-specific differentiation built into the courses.

Intervention Intensive

The core job of a special educator is to drive growth for an individual student with exceptional needs. In t he Advanced Certificate in Special Education program, you will have the opportunity to fulfill that purpose through the Intervention Intensive. You will work with a student, one-on-one, one time per week for the duration of the school year.

As part of this work, you will prepare an in-depth assessment report, design data-driven specialized instruction, and track student progress toward individualized goals. This individualized intervention is a core experience of the Advanced Certificate in Special Education program and will be a key lever in building mastery with the curriculum.

Scope & Sequence

The Advanced Certificate in Special Education program includes the following courses. Please note that this list is subject to change:


  • Foundations in Teaching Exceptional Learners
  • Assessing the Whole Learner
  • Disability Profiles I


  • Assessment and Instructional Planning I
  • Methods for Academic Intervention, Reading
  • Advocating for Exceptional Learners
  • Intervention Intensive Fieldwork I


  • Disability Profiles II
  • Supporting the Whole Learner
  • Methods of Academic Intervention, Writing
  • Advocating for Exceptional Learners II
  • Methods of Academic Intervention, Math
  • Special Education Capstone
  • Intervention Intensive Fieldwork II


Explore the locations throughout the US where we offer our programs.

Get Started!

Explore the Relay application process or complete our interest form for more information.