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Curry College Launches New Graduate Certificate for Special Education Teachers and Counselors

Curry College LauncNew Graduate Certificate for Special Education Teachers and Counselors
October 28, 2020

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Academics

Curry College’s Division of Continuing and Graduate Studies recently launched a new graduate certificate program that provides advanced training for those that serve the growing and critical role of supporting high school students with disabilities in their transition from the K-12 education system into adult life. The new Transition Specialist Certificate is one of the first graduate credentials available to educators and counselors in the state that leads to an endorsement by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

In the field of special education, the Transition Specialist provides unique disability support services to address the academic, communication, social, or behavioral needs of students and their families as they transition to postsecondary opportunities, including work, college, or independent living. The role is in high demand with new job creation each year in public and private schools, state adult services and education agencies, vocational rehabilitation providers, independent living centers, and youth advocacy organizations.

Students with disabilities often face lower employment and degree completion rates or may experience difficulties adjusting to higher education environments. “Now more than ever, there is a need to support students with a variety of complex needs,” says Dr. Giordana Basta, assistant professor and director of graduate programs in education at Curry College. “Curry has recently launched both the Transition Specialist and Autism Specialist certificates to fill a need in the special education field. With this advanced credential, professionals in education or human services can either expand their career path options or advance as a transition leader.”

The online program, which allows the cohort to take one course at a time, can be completed in one year across three semesters and allows licensed special educators, guidance counselors, school social workers, or rehabilitation counselors to gain best practice knowledge and training from leaders in the field in career development and transition planning. The cohort, which will start in January 2021, will design and implement transition and career assessment strategies that empower youth to achieve successful post-school outcomes, including coordinating care between family and community agencies.