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Program Contact

Edward J. Sabornie, Ph.D.
NC State Coordinator, Graduate Program in Special Education
Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences, College of Education
edward_sabornie@ncsu.edu

Fall 2017 New Online Graduate Certificate in

Special Education: Multi-Tiered System of Supports (GCSE:MTSS)


This program provides post-baccalaureate students with knowledge related to 21st century special education service delivery in schools. The program courses focus on the contemporary, evidence-based intervention concepts of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), as well as Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) and, to a lesser degree, Response to Intervention (RtI).

Important Dates
Students can formally be admitted only in Summer Session I or II, or Fall semester.


April 1, 2018
Deadline for completed applications from individuals who seek admission for the summer/fall semester.


Program Description

The Graduate Certificate in Special Education: Multi-Tiered System of Supports (GCSE:MTSS) is a fully online graduate certificate program in Special Education that starts Fall 2017.

School districts across North Carolina and the country are preparing to implement MTSS to include School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (SWPBIS) and Response to Intervention (RTI). These districts need systems and personnel to support implementation of the MTSS approach within their schools.

The MTSS Certificate is a series of four (4) online courses designed to prepare individuals with necessary knowledge and skills related to policies and practices to support the implementation of MTSS. These four online graduate level courses are specifically designed for teachers, administrators, and consultants/allied professionals who work with K-12 schools to implement MTSS to facilitate evidence-based behavior and academic learning in the classroom setting.

Course content provides enrollees with evidence-based practices and knowledge of tiered intervention services in the context of preparing effective teachers, administrators, and allied professionals who work at the local education agency or state education agency levels. Interested persons from private education settings who desire to know more about education policies and practices with MTSS are also invited to enroll in the program.

The NC State GCSE:MTSS program directly addresses the mandated statewide initiative for public schools in North Carolina to create positive environments that nurture and enable all students to be successful, reduce the number of inappropriate referrals to special education, decrease the number of school dropouts, and close the well documented academic and behavioral discrepancy gaps between and across racial, ethnic, and cultural subgroups. Full implementation of the MTSS initiative is scheduled to occur in every school district in North Carolina by 2020.

The GCSE:MTSS program is a portal through which participants may ultimately pursue a Master of Education (M.Ed.) or Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), and/or licensure in special education.

The four online courses in the GCSE:MTSS represent 12 credit hours of graduate-level coursework. No transfer credits from other institutions are allowed to substitute for any of the four courses in this program. All courses must be completed at NC State.

Admissions Requirements

Complete the online application and submit directly to the NC State Graduate School and Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Special Education in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences.
The GCSE:MTSS program application requires:

  1. a resume that identifies educational preparation and professional employment and experiences
  2. a statement of professional goals indicating how the GCSE:MTSS will enhance job performance or career development
  3. a projected semester timeline for completing Certificate requirements
  4. an official academic transcript from each undergraduate institution that is listed on the application. The official transcript from an institution where an undergraduate degree was earned must include the name of the degree, the area of study, and the year of award. International transcripts must meet the requirements of the Graduate School for translation equivalency.

Faculty have the option to request interviews with applicants (conducted in person, via telephone conferencing, online via teleconferencing, etc.) prior to making an admission decision.

Course of Study

GCSE:MTSS Online Courses

Core Courses

  • ECI 585 Education of Exceptional Children (3 credits)
  • ECI  571 Instructional  Strategies for Exceptional  Learners (3 credits)
  • ECI 573 Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers (3 credits)

Elective Courses (select one)

  • ECI 584 Intervention for Behavior Problems of Students with Disabilities (3 credits)
  • ECI 576 Teaching Functional and Life Skills to Students with Disabilities (3 credits)

Program Faculty

  • Dr. Edward J. Sabornie, Professor and Coordinator, NC State Graduate Program in Special Education
  • Dr. Cathy L. Crossland, Professor, NC State Graduate Program in Special Education
  • Dr. Jessica Hunt, Associate Professor, NC State Graduate Program in Special Education