Teacher with students

Special Education C.A.G.S.

Positive Behavior Supports

TestNanho S. Vander Hart, Ph.D Director

At Assumption, we prepare compassionate special educators and related school professionals. Our rigorous, comprehensive program has been “approved with distinction” by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)!

Our goal is to help beginning special educators to achieve success, and to provide experienced teachers with an opportunity to extend and refine their knowledge and skills. Therefore, our program offers lasting, powerful tools that will help you become an expert and leader in the field. You will learn practical, evidence-based practices, and establish your foundation for success. Enjoy small classes, personal attention, and accessible faculty. You will receive close mentoring throughout the program with systematic monitoring of your progress by faculty, practicum supervisors, and the program director. Follow in the footsteps of successful graduates who are teachers and administrators in urban and suburban communities, as well as in public and private schools. Come study at Assumption University where you bridge the gap between theory and practice. You will learn from professors who are experts in the field. Your field experiences during the program will fully prepare you to become a competent special educator and a leader in helping students with special needs maximize their potential in school and in life. The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.) in Special Education is a highly regarded program providing specialized knowledge and skills in Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) . This program provides you with specialized skills that afford more time teaching and less time discipling – something valuable to all school professionals. Become an expert and role model in behavior management and gain leadership in the classroom. This program is beneficial for any professional teacher, administrator, or school professional who wishes to develop competency in understanding and implementing behavioral support techniques.
An Exceptional Program at an Affordable Tuition- $680 per credit

Graduate Virtual Information Sessions

Special Education C.A.G.S. Program Contact

Nanho S. Vander Hart, Ph.D

Associate Professor, Education, Director of Special Education, Director of Transition Specialist Program
508-767-7380 Kennedy Memorial Hall - Room 157

Stephanie E. Plotkin Murin, M.Ed.

Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions
508-767-7105 Admissions House - Room 203

Sabine Prizio

Administrative Assistant to Graduate Programs
508-767-7297 Kennedy Hall - Room 169

An Ideal Place to Learn

Comprehensive program modeled on MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidelines
GRE not required
Receive mentoring throughout the program
Learn practical, evidence- based strategies

Program Curriculum


Nanho S. Vander Hart, Ph.D
Program Director Associate Professor, Education Director of Special Education Director of Transition Specialist Program
Samantha Goldman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Special Education Department Chair, Education
Lisa Hughes, Ed.D.
Lecturer, Special Education Graduate Program
Paula Lea
Lecturer, Special Education Graduate Program
Jean Lindquist-Grady
Lecturer, School Counseling and Special Education Graduate Programs
Cinzia Pica, Ed.D.
Chair, Department of Health and Human Services Director of the Women’s Studies Program Professor, Human Services

Admission Requirements

General Graduate Studies Admissions Requirements

  • Graduate Application
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript(s)
  • Personal Statement
  • Current Resume
  • TOEFL or IELTS for applicants whose native language is not English

Apply today

Prerequisites: To be accepted into the C.A.G.S. program, you must have: A master’s degree in Special Education or a related field of study from an accredited college or university Application Requirements:

  • Completed Application Dated & Signed
  • Three letters of recommendation are required* – one professional and at least one academic.
  • Official Transcript(s)
  • Personal Statement
  • Current Resume
  • TOEFL or IELTS (for applicants whose native language is not English)
*We strongly recommend at least one academic letter of recommendation; the remaining letters may be professional. All recommendations may be professional if an academic letter is not feasible. However, all letters should address the student’s ability to complete graduate-level academic work.

Graduate Research Symposium

Assumption University Graduate School Annual Symposium showcases research, innovative projects, successful case study, and creative work of graduate students and recent alums from every graduate program. We offer all graduate students in every program an opportunity to present their excellent work on diverse topics.

Veterans at Assumption

Assumption University recognizes that servicemen and women have demonstrated great courage and made tremendous sacrifices in service to our nation and its people. The University has introduced a number of programs and services to assist veterans during the application process and while veterans are attending Assumption. We also have a lounge designated only for our veteran students. Assumption University is committed to maintaining recognition as a Military Friendly institution.  We strive to eliminate barriers to success for our Service Members, Veterans, and their qualified dependents.

Program Approved with Distinction

Our program has been “approved with distinction” by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)! The competency-based program is founded upon the principles of effective instruction and the philosophy of inclusive education. Accordingly, students in the program develop a repertoire of instructional, diagnostic, consultative, and collaborative skills, and strategies critical to the role. They also develop an understanding of the full continuum of services available to individuals with exceptionalities.

Programs Related to Special Education C.A.G.S.