UMass Boston

Transition Leadership Certificate

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Learn to assist young adults living with disabilities to lead more independent lives, and develop advocacy skills to influence state and national disability policies.

UMass Boston’s Transition Leadership Certificate focuses on the transition from high school to adult life for young people with a wide range of disabilities. It’s designed for teachers and those with a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, School Guidance, School Adjustment Counseling related services staff, or School Social Work seeking a secondary license, as well as those seeking seeking initial licensure to work with special populations. Gain the skills necessary to focus on employment, college preparation, and independent living skills for students with disabilities, ages 14-22, as well as the leadership skills needed to help influence state and national policy around transition and disability. Upon completion of the program, you’ll be prepared to excel in a new role, that of a transition specialist, and find employment in secondary schools, transition programs, and college programs that support transition-aged students with disabilities.

The University of Massachusetts Boston Transition Leadership Program is an accredited transition specialist training program approved by the Division of Career Development and Transition of the Council for Exceptional Children and an approved program of study for the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Transition Specialist Endorsement. Individuals who have successfully completed this accredited DCDT transition preparation program are eligible to apply for a national DCDT transition specialist certification. Individuals in Massachusetts are also eligible to apply for the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Transition Specialist Endorsement.

The School for Global Inclusion and Social Development (SGISD) certificate in transition leadership meets the needs of professionals working in fields that require transition leadership skills, such as at a state agency or in an Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment program. The certificate program is an excellent way for educators and non-educators to broaden their abilities and to place their work in a wider context.

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How to Apply

In addition to the criteria listed below, applicants must also meet general graduate admission requirements.

  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended; a minimum, cumulative GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale (or international equivalent) in all undergraduate work
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • If submitting a license, upload it to the Documents section of the GradCAS application

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: July 1 for fall

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website


Required Courses (18 Credits)

  • SPE G 654 - Youth Development and Self Determination 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 655 - Career Development and Competitive Employment 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 656 - Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 657 - Transition Topics 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 658 - Transition Leadership 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 693 - Practicum: Transition Leadership I 3 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete 18 credits from six required courses.

Statute of limitations: Three years.


Graduate Program Director Maria Paiewonsky
maria.paiewonsky [at]

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