Add-on Endorsement in Special Education: General Curriculum, Graduate Certificate with MEd Option
This graduate certificate is designed for licensed preK-6 elementary, or secondary education teachers to support students with disabilities who access the general curriculum. Completing this coursework will lead to an add-on endorsement in special education—general curriculum.
The 16-credit certificate provides knowledge and skills for working with students with disabilities accessing the general curriculum, and meets Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) requirements for teachers endorsed in elementary education (such as early/primary education preK-3 or elementary education preK-6) or in English, history and social sciences, mathematics, biology, chemistry, Earth science, or physics to add a grade level endorsement in special education—general curriculum.
The certificate coursework can also be applied to a Master's in Special Education, or a Master's in Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning (ASTL) with a concentration in Special Education. Due to overlapping coursework, students can earn their MEd with an additional 15 credits.
- The graduate certificate includes a mix of online and face-to-face coursework. The majority of coursework is offered in a face-to-face format at the Fairfax campus, or in cohorts with local school divisions. Courses are offered in late afternoons and evenings to accommodate daytime work schedules.
- The 1-credit internship is a required component of the graduate certificate and allows students to receive feedback from experienced faculty on teaching practices. With an appropriate classroom, students can use their employment setting for the internship site and complete the internship on-the-job.
- Students wishing to pursue one of the master's degree options should apply to the relevant master's program and consult an advisor.
Virginia Educator Discount: A 15% discount off the university’s approved tuition rate is available for qualifying in-state graduate students who are educators in Virginia.
Cohort program: The Special Education program works collaboratively with a number of Northern Virginia school divisions to offer special education certificates and degree programs to school employees using a cohort model. Benefits include tuition discounts, convenient class locations, and modified schedules.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are students with disabilities who access the general education curriculum?
Students with disabilities who access the general education curriculum are those students with disabilities who are working towards the same standards as students without disabilities. These students may have a specific learning disability, other health impairment, autism spectrum disorder, emotional disturbance, speech or language impairment, hearing impairment, and/or a traumatic brain injury. In order to access the general education curriculum, students with disabilities require specialized instruction and/or behavioral supports. Needs of the student can vary from mild to more intense.
What kind of information would I learn with the MEd in Special Education with concentration in K-12 General Curriculum Licensure?
Look under the Courses tab for the specific knowledge and skills you will learn in each of the required classes. In general, you will learn the historical factors and legal aspects of special education, the characteristics of individuals with disabilities, and the support services for individuals with mild to more intense needs. Also, you will learn to:
- Collaborate with other professionals and family members,
- Collect, interpret, and use assessment data and the individualized education program (IEP) to provide research-based literacy and math instruction,
- Collect, interpret, and use assessment data and the individualized education program (IEP) to plan for postsecondary transitions,
- Design lessons that include appropriate accommodations and/or modifications, as needed, and
- Monitor student progress.
After I complete the coursework, how does VDOE recognize my add-on endorsement?
The process can begin once final grades have been posted and the endorsement is recorded on the academic transcript. Since the 1-credit internship will likely be your final course in the graduate certificate, check with your university supervisor of the internship to be sure of the process for verifying your completion of the graduate certificate. Generally, the licensure specialist in the School of Education can help you with the final steps.
This program has been identified by George Mason University as one that may lead to a career requiring professional licensure/certification. Federal regulations require Mason to disclose information as to whether this program meets/does not meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification in your state, or whether such a determination has not been made. Please consult our Licensure Disclosure Tool for the disclosure statement specific to your desired state/program combination.
George Mason University will verify completion of the requirements of a Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) state-approved preparation program at the graduate or undergraduate level. Such verification does not guarantee the issuance of a Virginia Collegiate Professional, Postgraduate Professional, or Pupil Personnel license from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is solely the student's responsibility to comply with all requirements for licensure by the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, a social security number is required for licensure.
- EDSE 501: Introduction to Special Education (3 credits)
- EDSE 544: Adapted Instructional Methods and Transition for Secondary Learners (3 credits) OR EDSE 627: Assessment (3 credits)*
- EDSE 641: Instructional Strategies for Reading and Writing (3 credits)
- EDSE 643: Instructional Strategies for Math (3 credits)
- EDSE 662: Consultation and Collaboration (3 credits)
- EDCI 790: Internship in Education (1 credit)
*Students seeking to add an endorsement to an elementary license must take EDSE 627. All others must take EDSE 544.
Master's Degree Courses
The certificate coursework can be applied to a Master's in Special Education or a Master's in Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning (ASTL) with a concentration in Special Education. With overlapping coursework, students can earn their MEd with an additional 15 credits. Students interested in pursuing a Master’s degree with the certificate should apply to the Master’s program and consult an advisor.
(classes starting in August)
(classes starting in January)
(classes starting in May, June, or July)
Priority*: April 1
Space Available: August 1
Priority*: November 1
Space Available: January 4
Priority*: February 1
Space Available: May 1
For more information and to apply, visit the admissions website.
* Priority deadline ensures consideration for the intended semester as well as financial aid options for students. Programs will continue to review applications until at capacity. Some programs do not review applications past the priority deadline.
All application materials must be submitted through Mason’s online graduate application. In addition to meeting general university admissions requirements, applicants will need to provide the requirements below. Please review the FAQ page for more information.
To be considered for graduate studies, the following items are evaluated during the admission review process:
- Graduate application and fee
- 750- to 1,000-word written statement of your goals and interest in the program
- Current resume
- Two letters of recommendation: Applicants should follow the instructions included in the online application to submit the recommendation forms directly to their recommenders. Mason does not accept paper recommendations. Recommendations should be professional or academic in nature.
- Transcripts from all previous institutions attended in the United States. Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions information page for specific requirements regarding uploading unofficial transcripts.
- Applicants with transcripts from institutions outside of the United States could have additional requirements. Please refer to the How To Apply page for specific requirements about submitting international transcripts, evaluations, and English language proficiency.
- An earned baccalaureate and/or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or international equivalent, verified from official transcripts. Expectation of an earned baccalaureate and/or graduate degree prior to the first day of classes for the term for which the student is applying will also meet this requirement. See the admissions policy [here for information.] (https://catalog.gmu.edu/admissions/graduate-policies/)
- A minimum 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale in baccalaureate study. The GPA requirement may be higher for some graduate programs. The university, at its discretion, may, in evaluating the meeting of this requirement, additionally consider the difficulty of the baccalaureate degree, relevant work experience, any/or other evidence of ability to succeed in graduate study.
- International students should reference Admission of International Students for [additional requirements.] (https://catalog.gmu.edu/admissions/international-students/)
- Current Active VDOE issued teaching license.
|TUITION CLASSIFICATION||COST PER CREDIT|
(includes MSF*; discounted from $1,624.25)
|VA Resident and PK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program**||$603.25
|CEHD Course Fee||$25.00 - $84.00|
|Total Cost for Virginia Residents per Credit||$734.70 - $793.70|
|Total Cost for Non-Virginia Residents per Credit||$934.70 - $993.70|
|Total cost for VA Resident and PK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program*||$628.25 - $687.25|
|Graduate New Student Fee
(non-refundable, one-time fee)
Please Note: Refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees. Internship courses will incur a higher course fee to fund on-site assistance involving intensive clinical training/supervision.
*Mandatory Student Fee (MSF): $150.25
**VA state residents who are eligible must apply for the 15% PreK-16 VA Educators Discount in order to take advantage of the lower tuition. Eligible students receive 15% off the total tuition and mandatory student fee.
For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers, and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department. Also, many school districts offer tuition reimbursement options. Speak to your employer for more information.
To be successful in your program, it is important to remember that each student is responsible for knowing Mason’s rules, regulations, requirements, administrative policies and academic policies. Every student must meet with his advisor upon admission to the program to create a program of study. Even if students know which program/s they will pursue and their sequence of coursework, it is beneficial to discuss plans for internships, testing requirements, transfer options if applicable, etc. It is highly recommended that you meet with your advisor at least once per semester to review degree progress and plan for future semesters. The University Catalog, your program advisors, and the staff in the Student and Academic Affairs Office are key resources to assist you as you work toward completion of your degree requirements.
|Heather Aycock||Jancy Templeton|
M, T, W, R 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Appointments held virtually at this time.
M 8:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
T 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
W, F 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
R 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Appointments available virtually or face-to-face.
|Undergraduates and Graduate students (non-cohort) with last names A-M
PWCS & FCPS Special Education-General cohorts
|Undergraduates with last names N-Z
Undergraduates and Graduate students (non-cohort) with last names N-Z
LCPS & FCPS Adapted cohorts
Schedule an Appointment
Current students may schedule or cancel appointments no less than 24 hours in advance. Advisor calendars are open two weeks in advance. If no appointments show as available with your assigned advisor, please check back in a day or two to see if new times have opened up. You can also e-mail general questions to your advisor.
Click HERE to schedule a meeting with Heather Aycock.
Click HERE to schedule a meeting with Jancy Templeton.
Drop-in advising hours are available virtually through Blackboard or face-to-face in Finley 102. During these sessions, students receive one-on-one advising on a first-come, first-served basis. To access the virtual advising session please use the links below during the times listed:
Mondays: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tuesdays: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Sessions are cancelled when Mason is closed or if otherwise indicated.
Internships provide students with an opportunity to put into practice what they are learning in their courses and to receive feedback on that practice from an experienced professional. In the teaching and leadership fields, it is imperative that students as well as Mason faculty and administrators are confident in students' ability to put into practice the educational theory learned through their coursework. Regardless of whether or not a student has teaching experience, internship experiences are required components for any student completing the state-approved licensure programs.
Arrangement and completion of internship is a multi-step process. Students must make a plan with their advisor for internship, apply in advance, complete test and CPR/First Aid/AED requirements where applicable, register for the internship course and fulfill internship requirements. To ensure college deadlines are met and to confirm eligibility of internship options, each student should review internship options with an advisor early in the program. With an appropriate classroom students can use their employment setting for the internship site and complete the internship on-the-job.
Internship application deadlines, instructions for applying and internship manuals with details of internship responsibilities and requirements are available at Student Internship.
Submitting for Virginia Licensure
Students who have completed the university VDOE-approved program must meet all requirements for their licensure program, including internships and test requirements, prior to submitting for teacher licensure in Virginia. Once requirements for licensure have been met (e.g., grades posted for all classes, waivers submitted if applicable, tests completed, etc.), students may apply. Graduate students do not have to wait until conferral of their degree. Students seeking VDOE licensure may submit for licensure either by submitting all VDOE required documentation through Mason or by obtaining a college verification form from Mason and submitting through their school division.
Students are encouraged to check their records when they are approximately 6 weeks away from completion of their final coursework to avoid delays in processing licensure paperwork. Because your job or a job offer may depend on your ability to provide a signed college verification form for licensure, all paperwork (including internship waiver) should be submitted to the Special Education Advising Office at least six weeks prior to submission for licensure. This provides the necessary time for adjustments to be entered on your record before the licensure specialist completes your paperwork.
College Verification Form:
There are 3 options that the Mason licensure specialist can check on the college verification form:
- Option 1: Completed state approved program — This is the ideal route to licensure and the only route recommended by Mason. Program requirements are pre-approved by VDOE to cover licensure competencies. This option is available to students who complete either the undergraduate BSEd in Special Education with a licensure concentration or who complete a graduate licensure certificate. All program requirements including internships and program test requirements (e.g, VCLA) must be met.
- Option 2: "No – all but internships" — Graduate students with teaching experience in the public schools, for example in teaching general education or teaching as a provisionally licensed special education teacher, who complete all components of the licensure certificate program including program test requirements (e.g, VCLA) can receive a college verification form stating that while the program was not complete, all requirements for the licensure program other than internship were met. School divisions must verify teaching experience. Transcripts are then reviewed by VDOE to determine if the licensure requirements, including the requirement for supervised classroom experience, have been met. This option does NOT guarantee licensure and it is possible students will need coursework outside of their program to meet state licensure requirements. This route is not recommended by Mason.
- Option 3: No, has not completed a state approved program — Students who do not complete a licensure program at the university can submit transcripts to VDOE and request a review to determine which licensure competencies were met with the courses completed. This option does NOT guarantee licensure and it is likely students will need coursework outside of their program to meet state licensure requirements. Mason recommends all students pursuing licensure do so by completion of a pre-approved university program as noted in Option 1.
Licensure Outside of Virginia
Licensure requirements are state-specific. If you intend to seek licensure outside of Virginia, begin by consulting with the Department of Education of the state. You may also want to review the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement Facilitating Mobility of Educational Personnel. If a form is required by the state indicating your completion of a licensure program, or status in a licensure program, submit the form to the CEHD Licensure Specialist.
Current students should visit MyMason for important forms and documents.