Sports Certification & Continuing Edu.

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Online Courses

Through new online course offerings, Special Olympics Pennsylvania coaches may now take online courses to either earn (Track 2 only) or maintain their certifications. New online courses introduced by Special Olympics North American in conjunction with American Sports Education Program (ASEP) and the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) include Coaching Special Olympics Athletes and Coaching Unified Sports.  Completion of the Coaching Special Olympics Athletes and Coaching Unified Sports courses fulfill the continuing education requirement for all sports in which an individual is currently certified.  Individuals who qualify to earn their initial sports certification following Track 2 of the SOPA Coach Education Program may take the online Coaching Special Olympics Athletes course in place of attending the in-person training course.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania makes these courses available to coaches, but does not prepare the content, nor do we set the fees for those courses with a cost.  It does not receive any portion of those amounts charged per course. 

Sports Certification

Track Two - Experienced Coaching Certification – Coaching Special Olympics Athletes Online Course:

Individuals with extensive prior coaching or playing background in a sport in which they want to become certified may earn their certification by completing the new Coaching Special Olympics Athletes online course offered by the American Sport Education Program.  (Please note this course costs $16.95 per person and individuals have one year to complete the course from the time they register for it.)

To earn a Track Two - Experienced Coaching Certification using the Coaching Special Olympics Athletes online course a coach must:

  • Complete the Special Olympics General Orientation.  After review the material click on the Online Training Test, click finish after providing us with your information and answering all the questions on the General Orientation Quiz.
  • Complete the Special Olympics Protective Behaviors Training.
  • Complete the Special Olympics Concussion Training.
  • Submit for review and approval a Special Olympics Pennsylvania Track 2 - Experienced Coach outlining their experience in the sport.  (If approved, the coach would complete the below steps.  If denied, the coach must earn their certification by completing the Track One certification steps outlined on the SOPA Coach Overview page of the Website.
  • Register for and complete the Coaching Special Olympics Athletes online course or other online course depending on past experience.
  • Complete a 10 hour practicum coaching athletes in the sport in which they want to become certified.
  • Complete and submit the Special Olympics Sports Training Application provided by the SOPA Training Director upon approval of Track 2 Experience.

Continuing Education (Recertification) Course Options

Every three years a certified coach must take Continuing Education to update their sport certification.

By completing one of the Continuing Education Course Options and submitting a  Sports Training Application along with proof of completion (certificate from course or congratulations email) to Sportstraining@specialolympicspa.org each current certification will be renewed for three additional years. (Ex. Coaching Unified Sports)

Completion of those courses that are sport specific will renew current certifications in that sport only for three additional years. (Ex. Coaching Softball)

Coaches applying for continuing education credit are no longer required to complete 10 hours of practicum time working with athletes.

Sport Specific Clinics will be offered at State Competitions. Please check the Coaches Handbooks for date and time of these clinics. Sport Training Applications are not required after taking a clinic. The coach simply signs-in for the clinic to receive credit.