The Upper Division Certificate (UDC) in Special Education is an 18-credit, standards-based professional certificate that is strongly oriented towards preparing individuals to serve students enrolled in elementary middle and/or high grades (K-12) who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate exceptionalities and their families through understanding direct experiences in schools with diverse populations. It emphasizes critical thinking as well as breadth and depth of theoretical methods of inquiry in education. The curriculum meets the standards for special education dictated by the Council for Exceptional Children and Maryland State Department of Education for certification.
Coursework in the UDC is designed to prepare individuals to effectively assess, teach and manage learners with mild to moderate disabilities in the elementary, middle or high grades. Additionally, this certificate is meant to provide regular classroom teachers with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to work effectively with learners with special learning needs in all classrooms while enriching their overall instructional, management, and diagnostic competencies. Moreover, this certificate places a strong emphasis on viewing the family as a partner in education. Finally, the UDC is generic and prepares teachers to work with learners who are learning disabled, emotionally disturbed, intellectually impaired, or physically challenged.
The UDC is ideal for persons pursing an undergraduate degree in any discipline of education, health profession or related service who wish to obtain a certificate in special education while earning a bachelor’s degree.
Students who complete the UDC in Special Education and are accepted into the B.S. in Special Education program can apply the credits earned from the UDC toward the bachelor’s program.
Requirements for Admission:
- Current pursuit of first bachelor’s degree in a field of Education, Health Profession or Related service, or completion of an Associate of Arts in Teaching (A.A.T.) degree
- Official transcript from the 4-year college or university where bachelor’s degree is being pursued and 2-year college where A.A.T. was earned, if applicable
- Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
- Completion of the Undergraduate Admissions Application
- Payment of associated Undergraduate Admissions application fee
- Pass a criminal background check. This is required in order to complete clinical experiences in the public school. Criminal background checks are required for all students admitted to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore programs that require field placements (e.g., practicum, student teaching, or clinical field experience). Applicants are responsible for the cost of the background check.