Curriculum Highlights

a black female professor works with students

curriculum overview

The Special Education Certification program focuses on three key aspects of the role of a special educator.

You will learn how to:

  • Support students with common disabilities. For example, in the course, “Teaching Students with Speech and Language Impairments,” you will learn strategies for supporting students with language processing delays.
  • Implement research-based strategies for remediating common academic challenges in reading, writing, and math.
  • Advocate for students in the classroom, and in meetings with administrators and parents.  You will learn advocacy strategies in courses such as, “Building an Inclusive Classroom Culture” and “Engaging and Supporting Families.”

All teachers will complete the same scope of instruction, with opportunities for grade-specific differentiation built into the courses.

Intervention Intensive

The core job of a special educator is to drive growth for an individual student with exceptional needs. In the Special Education certification program, you will have the opportunity to fulfill that purpose through the Intervention Intensive. You will work with a student, one-on-one, one time per week for the duration of the school year.

As part of this work, you will prepare an in-depth assessment report, design data-driven specialized instruction, and track student progress toward individualized goals. This individualized intervention is a core experience of the Special Education Certification program and will be a key lever in building mastery with the curriculum.

“This program has helped me make learning more engaging and exciting for my students. it benefits all of my classes, including the suggestions that I make for my general education students in the classroom.”

— Kimberly Guillen, Relay ‘17

Scope and Sequence

The Special Education Certification program includes the following courses. Please note that this list is alphabetical and subject to change:


  • Foundations in Teaching Exceptional Learners
  • Assessing the Whole Learner
  • Disability Profiles I


  • Assessment and Instructional Planning I
  • Methods for Academic Intervention, Reading
  • Advocating for Exceptional Learners
  • Intervention Intensive Fieldwork I


  • Disability Profiles II
  • Supporting the Whole Learner
  • Methods of Academic Intervention, Writing
  • Advocating for Exceptional Learners II
  • Methods of Academic Intervention, Math
  • Special Education Capstone
  • Intervention Intensive Fieldwork II
Ashley Baffour
“I've noticed my exceptional learners have made so much progress...and I find myself ready to advocate for what is in the best interest of the child because Relay gave me the tools to do so."
— Ashley Baffour, Relay ‘16