Online Graduate Certificate in Transition Leadership

Online Graduate Certificate in Transition Leadership

A collaborative program between the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine.

The online Graduate Certificate in Transition Leadership focuses on transitioning from high school to adult life for young people with various disabilities. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to focus on employment, college preparation, independent living skills for students with disabilities, ages 14-22, and the leadership skills needed to help influence state and national policy around transition and disability.

This certificate can also be a stepping stone into the M.Ed. in Special Education program.


The curriculum results from a collaborative effort between the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine faculty. It contains several courses from Vocational Rehabilitation, Special Education, and School Psychology programs.

Required Courses

The following courses are required (12 credits):

  • HCE 510: Introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling  and Services (3 credits) Fall (USM)
  • SED 587: Collaborations and Transitions for Special Educators (3 credits) Spring (UMaine)
  • HCE 615: Vocational Counseling and Placement in Rehabilitation (3 credits) 7-week Summer course (USM)
  • SED 520: Law and Policy Affecting Individuals with Disabilities (3 credits) Fall, Spring, and Summer (UMaine)

Elective Courses

Choose one of the following courses (3 credits):

  • HCE 611: Medical and Psychological Aspects of Disability and Rehabilitation (3 credits) Fall (USM)
  • SED 585: Autism and Social Communication (3 credits) Fall (UMaine)
  • SED 693: Transitions Among Agency, School, and Community (3 credits) Spring (USM)
  • SPY 670: Cognitive Affective Bases of Behavior Spring (3 credits) Spring (USM)
  • SED 598: Self Determination Summer (3 credits) Beginning Summer 2025 (UMaine)



  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in a related field
  • Experience currently working and/or volunteering with teens or adults with disabilities.

Application Materials

We have rolling admissions, so you can apply and be accepted into the program anytime. When you are ready to apply, please first review the application instructions. Then submit the following:

  • Online application
  • Official academic transcripts from all institutions attended
  • 300-500 word essay based on the following prompt
  • Current resume or CV

Contact Us

Have questions about earning your Graduate Certificate in Transition Leadership online with UMaine? Contact Amanda Cupps, UMaineOnline Senior Advisor, at 207.581.3452 or

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Graduates will be prepared to work in a new and growing role, that of a transition specialist. You’ll be ready to assume positions in various settings, such as school transition programs, college-based transition programs, vocational rehabilitation offices, and youth workforce centers.


Our collaborative model expands access to the best faculty from the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine. You’ll learn from faculty who actively conduct research in effective special education practices, giving them a depth of knowledge about the unique challenges experienced by those who work with students with disabilities. Their passion and expertise will help you develop practical skills and grow as a professional educator.

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scholarships available - click here to learn about scholarship opportunities