Program goal

The Certificate in Disability Leadership is a 12-hour certificate program designed to prepare health professionals, special educators and other professionals in related disciplines in the field of childhood neurodevelopmental disabilities to be leaders in the health care system. The program provides a 12- to 24-month curriculum of didactic and Web-based courses, interactive seminars, clinical and community-based practica, a family mentorship experience and planned grassroots- and systems-level policy activities. To be eligible for admission, a student must be accepted into the Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program.

Va-LEND is a collaboration among the School of Education (Partnership for People with Disabilities), the VCU School of Medicine (Department of Pediatrics) and the Virginia Department of Health (Title V Program). The LEND curriculum emphasizes all aspects of neurodevelopmental and related disabilities, the social environment (including ethnic and cultural issues), the interdisciplinary approach (systems of care), leadership (advocacy and public policy as well as administration) and research. Following completion of the program, the trainees will be able to serve as leaders in the field of child health and neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the nature and range of neurodevelopmental disabilities.
  2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the team approach to serving individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families.
  3. Students will demonstrate an understanding of community services and resources available to individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families.
  4. Students will demonstrate an understanding of their role as advocates for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families.
  5. Students will be involved in a leadership role with an organization serving individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.