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Exceptional Children Certificate

Learn New Concepts and strategies to Work with Children with Disabilities – 100% Online

Exceptional children are those with disabilities who range in age from 0-21. They may have learning disabilities, communication disorders, emotional disorders, behavioral disorders, autism or other disabilities that require special methods, facilities, or equipment to meet their educational needs. An Exceptional Children Certificate from Fresno Pacific University will provide you with a range of basic to advanced knowledge and skills to help effectively meet those needs. Please note that this certificate is not equivalent to a credential.

If you have a passion for teaching children with exceptional needs and abilities and want to be able to better meet their needs, this graduate-level program is for you. Any instructor who is interested in learning more about teaching exceptional children and understanding current best practices will benefit.

"This class was not difficult to complete and provided some excellent resources and information regarding all categories of disabilities. The professor was quick to grade the assignments and provided good feedback. I feel this is a course worth taking."
-Teacher, New Jersey

“I thoroughly enjoyed this course. I find the information was extremely useful and relatable to the current climate of the US and my district. I feel as though I have added more tools to my toolbox.”
-Teacher, Massachusetts

What Will I Learn in this Certificate Program?

Students who complete the Basic Certificate for Exceptional Children earn 15 units or the Advanced Certificate for Exceptional Children earn 24 units. In both cases you will gain a basic understanding of high incidence disabilities along with appropriate intervention and systems of support. The basic certificate includes 9 units of elective course offerings, and the advanced certificate includes an additional 9 units of electives beyond the basic certificate.

Electives include topics like special education assessment, English language learners, low incidence disabilities, special education in private schools and many more topics that will increase your effectiveness with a variety of students.

Due to special education research and best practices, all certificate courses must be taken within a five-year period beginning from the first course.

Benefits of Earning an Online Exceptional Children Certificate

Continuing education is made possible for elementary, middle and high school educators working with children with disabilities through Fresno Pacific University Continuing Education. The working teacher can seamlessly complete their certificate due to the benefits below.


Learn 100% online at your own pace and advance your skills while teaching full-time.


Start any of the individual courses anytime and take up to an entire year to complete each course online. There is no time limit on when you need to complete all the required/elective courses to earn your certificate.


Whether you are a current or previous student, course instructors are available to give you individualized support.


FPU’s certificate courses take a deeper dive into literature-specific topics and emphasize time for teacher practice, engagement, and reflection.


Course instructors at FPU are veteran teachers with classroom experience and advanced degrees who are instrumental in the development of engaging courses.


Professional development courses can help you earn certifications and salary increases. Depending on the school district, some even offer thousands of dollars per year for taking courses.


Basic Certificate for Exceptional Children—Enroll in both required courses plus at least three elective courses. Complete at least 15 units for the basic certificate.

Advanced Certificate for Exceptional Children—Complete the Basic Certificate and at least three additional elective courses. Complete at least 24 units for the advanced certificate.

Required Courses:

Elective Courses:

How do I obtain the certificate?

  1. Complete the 2 required courses and at least 3 elective courses for the basic certificate (or 8 total courses for the advanced certificate).
  2. Click to download the application form.
  3. Return completed application form to CE office, as stated on the form.
  4. Upon receipt of the completed application form, and verification of successful completion of the 15 units for the basic certificate (or 24 units for the advanced certificate), the certificate is awarded and posted to the participant's transcript.