Enhance Lives. Make a Difference.


The fully-online Special Education Add-On Endorsement will help you to acquire the skills and expertise necessary to teach and support students with diverse learning needs.

Longwood University is known for its unsurpassed educator development, where professionals mentor other professionals. The Special Education Add-On Endorsement coursework prepares teachers to educate students with a wide variety of abilities, whether in general or special education classrooms.

Why an Endorsement?

The Special Education Add-On Endorsement opens doors by offering busy licensed teachers the opportunity to add valuable Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) endorsement credentials to their resumes. Each Special Education Add-On Endorsement consists of five courses delivered through a convenient online format that makes the experience realistic and achievable for full-time teachers. A provisional Special Education license is not required to begin courses.

Along with this coursework, to apply for the add-on endorsement with the VDOE, teachers will need to submit documentation of one year of successful teaching experience that includes 45 hours of teaching SPED students in a general education setting.


  • 15 credits
  • Three semesters
  • Under $4,500 total tuition (in-state), excluding textbooks

Upon completion of the courses you will be able to: 

  • Describe characteristics of different disability categories
  • Identify strategies appropriate for different disabilities
  • Create and deliver effective reading lessons
  • Create and deliver effective math lessons
  • Evaluate students with formal and informal assessments
  • Understand and write an IEP 



Course Sequence-15 Credits


  • PSPE 515: Survey of Exceptional Students (3)*
    *PSPE 515 Survey of Exceptional Students can be taken at the beginning or the end of the coursework


  • PSPE 522 (Weeks 1-8): Curriculum and Instruction for Students with Disabilities in the Area of Literacy (3)
  • PSPE 523 (Weeks 9-16): Curriculum and Instruction for Students with Disabilities in the Area of Mathematics (3) 


  • PSPE 577 (Weeks 1-8): Individual Educational Program (IEP) (3)
    Two options (Weeks 9-16): 
  • PSPE 544 (Elementary License Track): Formal and Informal Assessment of Students with Disabilities (3)
  • PSPE 574 (Middle and Secondary License Track): Transition Planning (3)


This endorsement is being offered at our professional studies rate of $285 per credit hour (in-state) or $355 per credit hour (out-of-state).

Convenient payment options are available, including the Graduate Student Monthly Payment Plan available in fall and spring.

$4,275 - Estimated in-state cost
$285 per credit hour

$5,325 - Estimated out-of-state cost
$355 per credit hour

Cost of Attendance

Admission Requirements

  • Official bachelor’s degree transcript from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Current Virginia K-12 Professional License in General Education


There are two track options for the Special Education Add-on Endorsement. Depending on licensure, you can enter into the Elementary Education track or the Middle & Secondary Education track.

Following VDOE regulations, candidates holding valid licensure in elementary, middle, or secondary education may add the following corresponding endorsement:

  • Elementary: Special Education – General Curriculum K-6
  • Middle grades: Special Education – General Curriculum Middle Grades 6-8
  • Secondary: Special Education – General Curriculum Secondary Grades 6-12<br

Endorsement Flyer

View, download, and print the Special Education Add-On Endorsement (pdf) flyer.


Longwood alumni honored as top teachers

Chanel Vaughan Leslie ’97 Alabama PTA Council Elementary Teacher of the Year

Chanel Vaughan Leslie made her way on hands and knees under a loft in her Huntsville, Alabama, classroom to reach an autistic child.

"He wouldn’t come out; no one could reason with him," she said. "No one could do anything. I remember crawling under the loft and talking to him. Fifteen minutes later he and I crawled out, and he wrapped his arms around my neck, told me he loved me and went to sit down."

Moments like these are career-defining and underscore the passion great teachers have for connecting with their students. For Leslie ’97, 15 minutes under a loft with a child showed her she was where she was meant to be.

Read the full story