Advanced Certificate in Disability Services in Higher Education

Format: Online
Application Deadlines
  • Fall 2024 Regular Deadline: May 16, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Regular Deadline Extension: June 6, 2024

In order to help close the graduation gap between students with disabilities and the national average, it is crucial to professionalize the field of disability services so that college staff can provide all students with the support and accommodations needed to thrive within higher education. According to federal data, fewer than 35% of students with disabilities graduate from four-year institutions within eight years, with outcomes at two-year institutions meeting a similar rate.

The Advanced Certificate in Disability Services in Higher Education, a fully online program, equips disability service office workers with the skills and knowledge to effectively champion college students with disabilities. This 12-credit program targets two groups: those who already have a master’s degree but want more information about specific topics in disability services, and those with a bachelor’s degree who are not ready to engage in a master’s program.

All credits earned while enrolled in the advanced certificate can be applied to the MS in Disability Services in Higher Education online degree program. (With a grade of B or better from these classes.)

Students of this program are taught by disability advocates and nationally recognized practitioners who have expertise in the following areas:

  • The major theories and models used to frame disability
  • Best practices in providing disability services in a college or other public setting
  • Assisting college administration and relevant departments in developing policies and guidelines regarding provision of services to students with disabilities
  • Arranging support and access in the classroom and non-classroom activities and college settings, including public college events

Course Curriculum

For information regarding the course curriculum, please email Disability Studies.

Career Prospects

The Advanced Certificate in Disability Services in Higher Education is ideal for disability services office staff in colleges and universities, student services staff members, human resources professionals, or higher education administrators. Accommodations specialists working in institutions that serve the public, such as sports arenas, libraries, parks, churches, or social service offices, will also find the coursework very valuable.

Meet Our Faculty

Admissions Criteria

Candidates for admission to advanced certificate programs must possess a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution. Applicants are also required to write a personal statement, upload a resume, and provide one letter of recommendation. The letter of recommendation may be submitted before or after submitting an application.  Applicants who meet the basic eligibility criteria may be asked to take part in an individual interview before final acceptance is determined.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall 2024 Regular Deadline: May 16, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Regular Deadline Extension: June 6, 2024
Apply Now

Student/Alumni Profiles

Nikki Wilkes

MA in Disability Studies / Advanced Certificate in Disability Services in Higher Education 2002 and 2023

"I returned to CUNY SPS to complete the Advance Certificate in Disability Services in Higher Education, and I have not regretted it. I am now working in my desired field as a disability access coordinator."

Recent News About Advanced Certificate in Disability Services in Higher Education

CUNY SPS' Disability Studies MS program is a first of its kind.

CUNY SPS Faculty Member Reflects Upon Two Decades of Serving Students with Disabilities

April 17, 2024

Dr. Raymond Perez, a professor in the Disability Services MS program, empowers students as CUNY’s Interim University Director of Disability Programs and Inclusion Initiatives.

Photo of CUNY LaGuardia Community College Professor Dr. Reem Jaafar

CUNY SPS Celebrates Disability Awareness Month—and the People that Make Higher Education Accessible to All

April 10, 2024

Dr. Reem Jaafar, a professor at LaGuardia Community College, is also earning an Advanced Certificate in Disability Services in Higher Education at CUNY SPS.

NDEAM 2023 official poster featuring field of red, gray, teal, blue and yellow and words “Advancing Access & Equity,"

Honoring National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2023

October 16, 2023

This October, students and faculty from the CUNY SPS disability studies programs will host events exploring disability employment issues.

Disability Rights Activist Judy Heumann

CUNY SPS Honors Legendary Disability Rights Activist

April 21, 2023

Judy Heumann, known as the mother as the disability rights movement, was an inspiration for the CUNY SPS disability studies programs.