Demand Is on the Rise for Supervisors of Special Education Programs
Supervisors of special education programs are certified professionals who function as liaisons between school administration and the special education staff in K-12 public schools. Supervisors have direct influence over program budgets while working to maintain the professional development requirements of their staff. Additional responsibilities include program design and development, along with staff recruitment, hiring, and evaluation.
Penn State World Campus has partnered with the College of Education to offer a Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)-approved online graduate course of study leading toward PDE Certification as a supervisor of special education.
Penn State Graduate Study Leading toward PDE Certification as a Supervisor of Special Education
Penn State offers a PDE-approved online program that helps you meet the Pennsylvania requirements for certification as a supervisor of special education, and may also be subject to reciprocity in other states. Our program can enable you to fulfill the responsibilities delineated by PDE standards associated with:
- enhancing your school district's ability to meet its goals to best serve students with special needs
- directing other special education professionals
- providing direct input to administrators regarding the personnel management of special education professionals
Upon your successful completion of both Penn State and PDE certification requirements, you will be recommended to the PDE for certification as a supervisor of special education. Certification is awarded by the PDE, not Penn State.
Penn State’s College of Education is regularly ranked among the nation’s best graduate schools, according to U.S. News & World Report, and this online graduate program is taught by the same nationally recognized faculty.
World Campus Special Education Video
Learn more about the World Campus special education certificate programs in this video:
Act 48 Approved
Penn State is an Act 48-approved provider for Pennsylvania educators, so the courses for the Special Education Supervisory Program for PDE Certification may count toward professional development hours.
Who Should Apply?
Pennsylvania residents: This program is intended for Pennsylvania special education professionals committed to their field, who wish to advance their career and work closely with school administration to achieve district goals. To apply, you must have a valid Pennsylvania teaching certificate in one or more areas of special education (speech pathology, mentally and physically handicapped, visual impairment, or hearing impairment).
Students completing this program may then apply to the PDE for a Supervisor of Special Education certificate.
Non-residents: PDE does recognize out-of-state special education teaching certificates and special education teaching experience to meet the admission requirements for the PDE supervisory certificate program. Thus, if you have three years of special education teaching experience and special education teaching experience outside of Pennsylvania, you may be eligible for admission. Additionally, some states other than Pennsylvania may recognize the PDE certificate and grant reciprocity. Check with your state's Department of Education to determine their specific policy before applying for admission if you are planning to transfer. All out-of-state applicants must contact the academic coordinator Dr. James McAfee prior to applying.
Please note that this program does not lead to initial special education teacher certification.
Career Prospects for Graduates
As a graduate of this program, you can gain the knowledge and background to move into supervisory and director-level roles in special education. Special education supervisors mentor teachers, arrange staff development, develop instructional programs, and manage the special education process. Demand for certified special education supervisors is high in Pennsylvania and most other states.
Online Education at Penn State
Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than a decade of experience in online learning. We strive to create an online learning environment that brings you as close to the face-to-face experience as possible. Learn more about Penn State World Campus.