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You can focus on Special Education, Learning and Behavior Disorders (LBD) at the graduate level in one of three ways. The first option combines certification courses with the Master of Arts in Education: Teacher as leader; you can also achieve a Rank 2 certification in Kentucky while also attaining your special education certification. Additionally, all earned credit hours over 30 may be applied to your Rank 1 certificate. The second option is a concentration is special education. If you would just like to know more about differentiating instruction, but don’t want to pursue certification; you can choose the non-certification option for special education. This will allow you (with the approval of your advisor) to select four courses from a menu of special education courses. The knowledge gained can be directly applied to teaching all the students in your classroom, expanding your teaching toolbox. The third option is to pursue special education certification as a non-degree student. Those without current teaching certification can pursue this route.

Within any of these three options, you will develop the knowledge and skills needed to work with students, families, and other professionals to ensure that students with disabilities reach their learning potential.

What You Can Teach

The special education certification program prepares students interested in teaching children with mild disabilities; including children with learning disabilities, mild intellectual disabilities, emotional-behavioral disabilities, and orthopedic impairments.  Careers in special education can involve a variety of roles, including teaching in self-contained settings, teaching resource classes, co-teaching with general education teachers, supporting general education teachers through consultation, and/or some combination of these roles.

Those who choose the non-certification option in special education will learn skills to become better classroom teachers for all of the students with diverse learning needs in the general education classroom.

Program Contact Information

Ms. Lesley Webster
Specialist, Graduate Education



Our NKU Teacher Education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.



Learning about special education and diverse learning needs will give you the opportunity to learn new teaching techniques and strategies.

This new knowledge could be used to provide tutoring and respite care for individuals with disabilities in the community.