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If you plan to work with young children or youth in the future, the mild disabilities minor may be especially helpful. Learn about students with disabilities and the inclusive, teaching strategies that ensure that students with disabilities are actively involved and successful.

Mason’s minor in mild disabilities equips students with the skills and content knowledge necessary to support the needs of individuals with disabilities who access the general education curriculum. Completing the minor partially fulfills the requirements for Virginia's initial teaching license in special education—general curriculum K–12.

A total of five classes (15 credits) is required to complete the Mild Disabilities Minor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are students with mild disabilities?

Students with mild disabilities are those who access the general education curriculum or 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. Individuals with mild 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 mild disabilities minor?

Look under the Courses tab for the specific knowledge and skills you will learn in each of the classes in the mild disabilities minor. 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:

  • Collect, interpret, and use assessment data and the individualized education program (IEP) to provide research-based literacy instruction,
  • Collect, interpret, and use assessment data and the individualized education program (IEP) to plan for postsecondary transitions,
  • Collect, interpret, and use reading and writing assessment data to provide research-based instruction,
  • Design literacy lessons that include appropriate instructional accommodations and/or modifications, as needed,
  • Design and implement classroom and behavior management systems, and
  • Monitor student progress.

Licensure Disclosure

George Mason University will verify completion of the 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.

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.