Students with Significant Disabilities

This certificate program enables you to complete professional development training with coursework that is particularly relevant to teaching students with more significant disabilities. The courses correspond to certain specific requirements that are components of the Lynchburg College program leading to VDOE endorsement in special education - adapted curriculum.

The program is designed to meet the needs of:

  • Special education teachers seeking to broaden their understanding of students with more significant disabilities and their repertoire of effective, evidence-based teaching strategies
  • Individuals working with persons with more significant disabilities in residential and day programs

Faculty advisor

Dr. Gena Barnhill

Program Specifics


  • To enable teachers to complete the necessary coursework to add the special education-adapted curriculum endorsement to their license
  • To understand the unique learning characteristics of students with significant disabilities and students with autism spectrum disorder as a basis for designing educational programs
  • To effectively address the learning needs of students in terms of daily living skills and related vocational skills
  • To effectively address the learning needs of students in terms of functional academics and appropriate social and behavioral skills

Pre-requisites: SPED 600: Survey of Special Education and SPED 605: Characteristics of Individuals with Intellectual and Development Disabilities (or the equivalents)

Course requirements (12 credits):

  • SPED 665: Daily Living Skills for Students with Significant Disabilities
  • SPED 666: Designing and Implementing Adapted Curriculum for Students with Significant Disabilities
  • SPED 670: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • SPED 671: Instructional and Behavioral Assessment and Programming for Students with ASD

Further degree opportunities

This certificate program provides an initial sequence of courses that constitute a key component of the special education - adapted curriculum emphasis within the MEd in special education.

MEd in Special Education