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About the Graduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities

What can a student expect to learn?

Students will be presented a comprehensive theoretical overview of the field of developmental disabilities. An emphasis will also be placed on application of this knowledge of policies and services for the benefit of persons with developmental disabilities and their families. This certificate will present a comprehensive and unique perspective not available within any individual program on campus.

The interdisciplinary nature of this field of study will be emphasized. In addition to a broad, interdisciplinary perspective, students will acquire a basic foundation in a number of specific, topical areas such as specialized healthcare services and financing, inclusive education, behavioral supports, employment options, advocacy, legislation, assistive technology, community living, aging with a disability, organizational development and theory, group facilitation, and research proposal development.

  • There will be opportunities for students to learn from the expertise of persons with disabilities and their families, from practicing professionals, from an interdisciplinary faculty, and from other students.
  • Students will be exposed to research techniques and methodologies, permitting them to develop their own analytic and evaluative skills.
  • Students will have option to put these research skills into practice by completing a research project under faculty supervision.
  • Students will supplement their own disciplinary academic expertise with an interdisciplinary perspective of the field of developmental disabilities.

Who should participate in this certificate?

Graduate students from a variety of disciplines who wish to prepare themselves to play a leadership role in providing services and supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Practicing professionals from a variety of disciplines who wish to further their education and experience in this field will also benefit.

Who are the interdisciplinary faculty affiliated with the certificate?

Principal faculty for the Graduate Certificate are affiliated with:

  • College of Social Work, University of Kentucky
  • Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, University of Kentucky
  • Department of Special Education & Rehabilitation Counseling, University of Kentucky
  • Division of Communication Disorders, University of Kentucky
  • Department of Occupational Therapy, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Department of Pediatrics, University of Kentucky
  • Department of Family Studies

What are the admission requirements?

Anyone who has earned a bachelor’s degree is eligible to apply for admission to the Certificate program. If you are not currently enrolled at the University of Kentucky, you must apply to the UK Graduate School in addition to the Certificate program. However, no GRE scores are required if new applicants apply for post-baccalaureate status.

What are the course requirements?

Ten or eleven credit hours, depending on the elective chosen by the individual student, will be required for the certificate. Three courses (HDI 600, 602 and 604) and one practicum course (HDI 603) are required for the certificate. All HDI-listed courses are two credit hours. In addition to the required courses, two or three hours of elective coursework will also be required: either HDI 601, HDI 605 or one elective from outside of HDI-listed courses and courses required in the student’s degree program. A suggested list of elective courses will be provided. The elective course is subject to approval by the certificate director.

Consult the Coursework page for more information.

What are the graduation requirements?

A 3.00 GPA in the certificate courses must be earned in order for the certificate to be awarded. Successful completion of the certificate will be noted on the student’s transcript.

Is there financial support for students?

A minimum stipend of $2,500 will be offered to each student on an annual, competitive basis. Funds are sufficient to support 10 students at the $2,500 level. If fewer than 10 students are enrolled, the stipend available for each student may be increased. (Note: stipends are only available for the on-campus certificate)