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New course

Advocating for Students: The Special Education Process and Beyond

3 Credits , Exceptional Students , Instructional Strategies

  • Course + Credits
  • 3 Credits/45 Hrs.
  • Course Only
  • 45 Hrs./45 Clock Hrs.

Regular price

As a special educator, general educator, school counselor or administrator, your role is to ensure that the needs of your students (or clients) are met. Working with students who are not performing to their potential can be tricky. An understanding of student strengths and needs, along with the knowledge of the special education process, are key to ensuring that you are providing those students with what they need in order to be successful. The purpose of this course is to better prepare you with the necessary skills to identify students with a disability as well as implement child-specific interventions and accommodations to support those not performing to their potential. But what do you do to ensure a student’s needs are met? How do you ensure that you are successfully advocating for your students? How do you utilize your school or community’s resources to best meet diverse learners? Students with disabilities? Gifted students? No matter what your role is in the school system or outside of the school system it’s important that you understand why special needs identification and planning works the way that it does.

This course will provide you with a strong foundation in the principles of special needs advocacy, with an emphasis on practical application of the fundamental legal requirements that drive special needs education. You will learn about the IEP process and about 504 Plans, and use your knowledge of the rights and entitlements granted by the aforementioned special education laws to create effective plans for student success. Through learning the differences between IDEA and Section 504, you will be better equipped at determining which plan is best for a particular student. Once a plan has been created, you will learn tips and be given tools to implement that plan and monitor the plan’s effectiveness and the child’s progress. This course will also focus on exploring how to maximize effectiveness by writing S.M.A.R.T. goals and choosing appropriate accommodations and adaptations. By the end of this course, you will be able to feel confident in their ability to successfully advocate for struggling students and understand the process necessary to ensure their needs are met.

To Enroll:

  • Select from two options:
  • Course + Credits (credit fees are included in the cost, and you will receive an official University transcript), or select
  • Course Only (you will receive a Certificate of Completion to use to obtain your Clock Hours).
  • Add the course to your Cart and continuing shopping, if you’d like to purchase more courses.
  • When you are ready to check out, go to your cart. You will be asked to log-in to your account or create a new account.
  • Follow the enrollment and payment prompts. If you have a coupon/discount, you will be asked to enter it during the enrollment process.
  • Upon purchase, you will receive an email receipt and be able to login to your course at You have 180 days from your purchase to complete your course.
  • If you have any questions, check out our FAQs or email

Upon Course Completion:

Graduate-Level Professional Development Credits

  • Upon successful completion of your course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion for your records.
  • CE Credits Online will forward all the required documentation to the University you selected.
  • The University partner will process your course completion and provide a transcript that includes the name of the course, course number, number of credits, and your grade.
  • You will receive directions on how to receive your transcript in email form, and you can also review the University Partners section of our website for more information.
  • You must check with your district to ensure the credits received will meet your specific requirements. We will not be held responsible if your school, district or state does not accept the credits issued.

Clock Hours

Professional development completed on or after September 1, 2017 will be tracked in the ESD 101 GoSignMeUp registration system. This account will allow you access to purchase clock hours online for any clock hours course completed on or after 1 Sept 2017 after your certificate of completion is validated and uploaded.

  • Create a GoSignMeUp account at
  • Select Create Account in the upper right corner.
  • Enter your information, and click on the green “Create Account” button in the lower right corner.
  • NOTE: If your school district is not in the drop-down list, choose “Other District”, which is in alphabetical order. Then choose “Other School” in the school drop down. Only the items with the red asterisk are required.

This account will allow you access to purchase clock hours online for any clock hours course completed on or after 1 Sept 2017 after your sign-in sheets are validated and uploaded.

You will access your account whenever you need to purchase Clock Hours.

Clock hour fees are $2.00 per clock hour with a $10.00 minimum per class, payable to ESD 101 through your GSMU account.

Requirements Necessary to Validate your completion:

  • Your Certificate of Completion
  • Once you complete your course, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you.

Forward your Certificate to:

Sherry Campbell:

ESD 101 will check your account information to ensure all pertinent steps have been completed, including payment.

CE Credits Online will provide ESD 101 with a bi-monthly report verifying all successful course completions.

If you have any questions, please direct them to: