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The St. John Fisher College Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education has announced its first fully online program, an advanced certification in special education leadership—the first program of its kind in New York State.  

The certificate program is designed for certified teachers as well as current and future administrators interested in additional instruction and experience in special education leadership.  Courses are slated to begin in January 2017.

The course work emphasizes special education law and regulations—a growing need in today’s schools—curriculum design and instruction, and behavioral interventions and supports.

Several educators have stated to us that they wished they had more knowledge to fulfill their roles on Committees of Special Education, interdisciplinary and child study teams that focus on behavior and inclusion, and in positions supervising or coaching teachers in special education,” said Dr. Mike Wischnowski, dean of the School of Education. “This program provides an intensive emphasis on special education regulations and best practices with a focus on being a leader in this important and complex field.”

Dr. Sue Flood, director of student services at West Irondequoit, supports programs like this to help better prepare and position current special education teachers and administrators.

“The Advanced Certificate in Special Education Leadership at St. John Fisher College offers a companion certification to those with existing teacher or administrator certificates.  This certificate program not only certifies you for special education leadership roles in your district, but can build upon and prepare you for future degree programs and career opportunities,” said Flood.

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

For more information about St. John Fisher College, visit