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The George Washington University
George Washington University

Empowering Youth. Collaborating for Change.

The online Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services prepares you to be a change agent in teaching, leadership and support roles. The master’s program will also assist youth with disabilities and at-risk youth to make successful transitions through high school to post-secondary education, employment and independent adulthood.

The program meets the Transition Guideposts of the U.S. Department of Labor National Collaborative on Workforce & Disability for Youth (NCWD-Youth) and the CEC Advanced Knowledge and Skills Base for Transition Specialists (2008).

This nationally-recognized program provides critical knowledge and experience in the ever-emerging field of secondary transition based upon legislative requirements, research, and evidence-based practices. With a strong social justice focus, you are prepared to effectively lead quality transition programs and services for all youth with disabilities in various settings.

Program Highlights

The online program requires 36 credit hours of graduate course work and school and community-based internship to apply learning to field-based professional practice and research.

Why GW’s online Master’s in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services?

  • Interdisciplinary Interaction: Through interactions in the discussion forums and small group projects, you gain exposure to different viewpoints and refine critical analysis and communication skills.
  • Leadership Component: The program imbeds a "train-the-trainers" leadership component enabling you to be recognized by your organization as a "transition leader" or the resource person for best practice information on the range of transition issues.
  • Applied Research: The program offers a relevant curriculum that is driven by the most up-to-date, applied research by experts in the field and is responsive to a variety of transition outcomes.
  • Scholar-Practitioner Faculty: Learn from faculty members who are current in the field, share their real world experiences and provide a diversity of perspective on the field.
  • Networking Opportunities: The internship enables you to develop close working relationships with faculty experts and peers as you gain the skills that will not only advance your career, but the education of your students.


36 credits, including 30 credits in required courses and 6 credits in a field of specialization.

Core Courses (30 Credit Hours)

  • EDUC 6114 Introduction to Quantitative Research
  • SPED 6210 Universal Design for Learning and Assessment
  • SPED 6222 Legal Issues and Public Policy for Individuals With Disabilities
  • SPED 6230 Vocational Assessment of Individuals with Disabilities (taken for 3 credits)
  • SPED 6231 Curriculum and Instructional Methods in Special Education and Transition
  • SPED 6233 Curriculum in Special Education
  • SPED 6235 Employment Models for Individuals with Disabilities
  • SPED 6236 Introduction to Career and Career–Technical Education and Transition Services
  • SPED 6255 Collaboration with Systems and Families
  • SPED 6995 School- and Community-Based Internship in Special Education and Transition

Specialization: Students have the opportunity to choose a total of 6 credits from two unique specializations.


Acquired Brain Injury Specialization

  • SPED 6223 Introduction to Brain Injury: Programs, Policies, and Resources
  • SPED 6224 Brain Function and Impact of Brain Injury on Learning and Education

Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialization

  • SPED 6253 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • SPED 6254 Autism Spectrum Disorders and Transition to Employment and Post-Secondary Life

Career Outlook 

The online Master’s in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services is designed for passionate educators like you who are ready to take a step forward in their careers with a challenging, practice-based online Master’s program.


After completing this master’s program you will be prepared to work as a transition specialist across multiple disciplines:

  • Secondary educators (general/special education, career/tech education, guidance/career counselors)
  • Secondary transition educators (State Education Agencies, Local Education Agencies, transition consultants)
  • Agency transition professionals (public and private vocational rehabilitation, community providers, career one-stop centers, Medicaid waiver providers, Centers for Independent Living, parent advocates, youth advocates
  • University positions (disability services offices, adjunct instructors)
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, on the Internet at

Other Programs

Graduate Certificate in Transition Special Education

GW also offers a Graduate Certificate in Transition Special Education. Should you wish to pursue the Graduate Certificate, you have the option to transfer all 12 credit hours into the Master's program.

In the Certificate program, you will build your knowledge, competencies, and skills to:

  • Empower youth to achieve successful post-school outcomes through building your knowledge of career development, youth development, youth leadership, and self-determination.
  • Drive effective transition planning to increase employment and post-secondary education success of youth, as a result of building your competencies in transition and career assessment practices.
  • Capitalize on the power of family engagement and collaboration across systems to build capacity to support transitioning youth and their families as they prepare for adult life.

Other Programs

  • Education Programs: GW offers online Graduate Education Master’s programs in the fields of teaching, leadership and administration and education technology.

About GW 

As one of the nation’s first major universities to launch online programs, the George Washington University (GW) provides students from all backgrounds — and all locations around the world — with the highest quality online educational opportunities.

Why You Should Earn Your Degree at GW

GW prepares you to lead in research and policy, as well as practice in the fields of teaching, counseling, administration, human and organizational learning, and education policy. The school also offers opportunities for experienced professionals to enrich their education and advance their career.

  • The Graduate School of Education and Human Development is ranked among the Best Online Education Schools for 2017 U.S. News & World Report.
  • Strong legacy of transforming students into change agents
  • Unparalleled educational approach that integrates intellectual discovery and interactive learning

Transformation Begins Here

Contact an Admissions Advisor for more information at (844) 386-7323 or complete the form to the right.


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