Graduate Certificate in Secondary Transition Services

Empower Students with Diverse Abilities & Unlock Their Full Potential

The Graduate Certificate in Secondary Transition Services is designed for secondary transition professionals who are committed to helping students with disabilities transition into adulthood and postsecondary opportunities.

With our program uniquely focusing on social justice, you will explore the legal and ethical considerations of transition planning, along with evidence-based practices for designing and implementing successful transitions. Join us in this important work to create more inclusive and supportive communities for individuals with disabilities.



Accessible + Flexible
Complete the program fully online, wherever you are in the world. Synchronous sessions are scheduled once weekly in evenings to accommodate working professionals and internships experiences.


Scholar-Practitioner Faculty
Receive 1:1 mentorship and course delivery from leading faculty in the field that bring diverse professional experiences in the K-12 and adult service systems.




smiling counselor speaks to patient holding clipboard

Exciting News! We’re thrilled to announce that the Master's in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services and the Graduate Certificate in Secondary Transition Services at GW have received accreditation from the prestigious Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Career Development and Transition (CEC/DCDT)! This achievement places GW in an elite league, as we become only the fifth program in the entire country to offer students this National Certification.

What does this mean for you?

Graduates are now eligible for the highly coveted DCDT Transition Specialist Certificate, opening doors to incredible career opportunities in special education and transition services.

Our program stood out among the rest! Reviewers couldn’t help but praise our exceptional curriculum and syllabi. They said, “It was a pure pleasure reviewing your staff’s curriculum vita and your 10 syllabi for your most impressive secondary transition program. You did an excellent job of demonstrating how the various CEC/DCDT Transition Standards were met in each of your syllabi, as well as how clearly the assessments for each course related to those standards!”

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to advance your career and make a real difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities. Join us at GW and be part of a transformative journey in the field of secondary transition services!



The GW Advantage

Through its affiliation with the Transition Discoveries Initiative, GW’s Secondary Transition Services program is a leader in bridging the gap between research and practice through local, state and national partnerships.

With a focus on collaboration, you will learn to work with families, community partners, faculty, peers, and industry experts to create comprehensive, individualized transition plans that meet students’ unique needs and goals. You join a community of transition leaders from across the country, building a network of support that will enhance your career and impact in the field.





 Program at a Glance

Degree Awarded:

Graduate Certificate in Secondary Transition Services


Special Education and Disability Studies

Course Delivery:


Program Entry:

Spring, Summer, Fall

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower dedicated individuals with the knowledge, competencies, and skills needed to transform the lives of transitioning youth and their families. Through our applied curriculum, we are committed to fostering the next generation of professionals who will champion systems change, promote youth success, and drive impactful transitions to adulthood. Our mission is to equip our students with the tools to empower youth, engage families, and collaborate with stakeholders, all while staying at the forefront of evidence-based practices. Together, we aim to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve and inspire positive change in our communities.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 12 credits in required courses.
SPED 6230 Person-Centered Assessment Practices
SPED 6233 Culturally Responsive Curriculum in Special Education
or SPED 6235 Person-Centered Career Development Practices and Outcomes
SPED 6236 Foundations of Transition Discoveries Youth Driven Practice
SPED 6255

Collaboration with Systems and Families

Program Outcomes
Group of ISTS Graduates and faculty at GW Commencement ceremony, Washington Monument in the distance

Join our program and be the driving force behind positive change in the lives of transitioning youth, their families, and the broader community.

  • Champion Systems Change: Equip yourself with the skills to drive systems change through meaningful engagement with youth, families, and stakeholders. Be a catalyst for positive transformation in the field.
  • Empower Youth Success: Enhance your knowledge in career development, youth leadership, and self-determination to empower young individuals to achieve post-school success.
  • Drive Transition Excellence: Develop competencies in transition and career assessment practices, leading to more effective transition planning, increased employment rates, and success in post-secondary education for youth.
  • Harness Family Engagement: Discover the power of family engagement and collaboration across systems to support transitioning youth and their families as they prepare for adult life. Build the capacity needed to make a real difference.
  • Master Curriculum Design: Enrich your expertise in curriculum design using evidence-based practices, ensuring you’re equipped with the best tools for effective education.
  • Stay Ahead of Trends: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends in promoting employment for transitioning youth with disabilities. Your knowledge will be at the forefront of industry advancements.

 Apply Now

GSEHD’s Office of Admissions invites you to apply for a spot in our program. Please review the following admission and financial information.

Ready to take the next step in your career? Review our step-by-step guide to applying to GSEHD >

To learn more about the program, admission process, and upcoming events, please connect with the GSEHD Admissions Team at or 202-994-9283.

Apply Now    Schedule Consultation with Admissions Coach   

To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the online application form as well as the following required supporting documents. There is no application fee.

  • Prerequisite: Bachelor's Degree

  • Resume

  • Transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities

  • Statement of Purpose

  • Two Letters of Recommendation

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants.

View more details about requirements  

Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2024. We encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Application Timeline Spring Summer Fall
Priority Deadline Aug 1 Nov 1 Nov 1
Round 1 Deadline Sept 15 Dec 15 Dec 15
Round 2 Deadline Nov 1 Jan 16 Jan 16
Round 3 Deadline Dec 15 March 1 March 1
Round 4 Deadline N/A May 1 May 1
Round 5 Deadline N/A N/A June 15
Round 6 Deadline N/A N/A Aug 1

For more information or to inquire about the next admissions cycle, contact the GSEHD Admissions Team at or 202-994-9283.



 Tuition & Financial Aid

We know embarking upon graduate school is a big decision - due in part to the costs of attending. At GW, we understand the time and thought behind making graduate school work for you. Please take a moment to learn more about the options and opportunities available to help fund your graduate education.

Learn more about scholarships, grants & financial aid 

Graduate tuition is charged per credit hour, unless otherwise noted. Rates vary by program and location.

The tuition rate* for the Graduate Certificate in Secondary Transition Services program is $975 per credit hour. This program requires 12 credits.

Please note: Additional fees may apply for international students, late fees, etc. Current tuition rates may be updated during the year.

*Summer 2024, Fall 2024 and Spring 2025

View the current fee chart  



Michael Freeman headshot
quotation mark

The George Washington University special education transition program is relevant, rigorous, and informative with modern day solutions for professionals. It helps guide students to reach their maximum potential in life.

Michael Freeman




 Career Outlook

Prepare to move ahead in your career as a transition specialist with the qualifications to work across multiple disciplines. This certificate will help open you up to a wide variety of positions in the field. Within special education, transition services is a widely growing area. Public vocational rehabilitation professionals and Centers for Independent Living are now mandated under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 to provide extensive transition services. Earning your Graduate Certificate in Secondary Transition Services from GW prepares you to meet these legislative changes by expanding your knowledge and skills to provide youth with disabilities services that improve their post-school outcomes.

Transition Services Career Opportunities
professional female stands in front of white board presenting information to a group of colleagues
  • Career assessment specialists
  • Career counselors
  • Case managers
  • Job development specialists
  • Rehabilitation counselors
  • Secondary special educators
  • Supported employment specialists
  • Transition specialists
  • Vocational evaluators
Potential Employment Settings
Program faculty and student pose next to PowerPoint Presentation at conference; Title of Presentation is "Putting the You in Youth Empowerment"
  • Adult services agencies
  • Career one-stop centers
  • Centers for Independent Living
  • Community providers
  • High schools and technical schools
  • Local and state education agencies
  • Medicare waiver providers
  • Parent/youth advocacy organizations
  • Public and private vocational rehabilitation providers
  • University settings


Program Faculty

Dr. Elisabeth Kutscher

Assistant Professor, Special Education and Disability Studies



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