Education Specialist (Special Education)

Education Specialist (Special Education)


Spring Term 2024 Priority Deadline: October 1st

Summer Term 2024 Priority Deadline: March 1st


The Spring final deadline for the Education Specialist (Special Education) program is November 1st, 2023.

The Summer final deadline for the Education Specialist (Special Education) program is April 1st, 2024.


*For HNU Students: Contact our admissions team at to learn more about transfer assistance*





    Master of Arts in Teaching or a Master of Education in Special Education

    Getting your Mild-to-Moderate Education Specialist preliminary credential is a great first step toward a rewarding teaching career. Building upon your success in this program, you can go on to earn a Master’s of Education (MEd) in Special Education or a Master of Arts in Teaching. Both degrees require taking 12 additional units and completing a thesis or capstone project. 

    The automatic bump in salary that you’ll receive with this advanced degree is worth the small additional investment of your time.

      Learn More

      We're here to help you navigate the application process every step of the way. Here are some resources to give you more information about what you'll need as you get started.

      Program Duration

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      12 months (full-time), part-time available. Classes begin in Summer Term. This is a program designed to help you grow and succeed.

      Learning Environment

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      This program meets in-person*, 2–3 times a week, late afternoon/evening classes

      Average Class Size

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      12–20 learners per cohort. Cohort members in the program form a learning community. Your success starts with connections.



      Use this Self Assessment tool provided by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to see if you've satisfied BSR.

      BSR Calculator
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      Meet With Us

      Going back to school is a big step - our team is here to help you through it. To find out if our program meets your needs, fill out a quick form to schedule a meeting with an Admissions Counselor!

      Why Earn an Education Specialist Teaching Credential?

      Our special education teaching credential programs are the most well-respected in the educational community, and our students emerge as highly-qualified educators with the ability to teach in public/private schools throughout California from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Our programs combine current research and theory with real-life classroom experience to round out your education. Coupled with Saint Mary’s Lasallian pedagogy and a commitment to social justice, students are prepared to be reflective teachers and leaders in their school and community.

      Our Education Specialist Mild-to-Moderate Credential program is a 32-unit curriculum that provides candidates with learning opportunities in a wide range of settings and service options for students with disabilities. This credential will prepare you with the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful and rewarding career teaching and providing services to students in grades K–12 in California with:

      • Autism spectrum disorder
      • Specific learning disabilities
      • Emotional disturbances
      • Mild-to-moderate intellectual disabilities
      • Other health impairments (including ADD and ADHD) 


      Program Highlights

      • Internship option – earn a full first year teacher’s salary while in the program.
      • 12 month full-time program; part-time option available
      • Admission twice a year, Summer and January term
      • Balance of theory and practice
      • Courses held in the late afternoon and evening to accommodate student teaching and working education professionals
      • You learn with a cohort of fellow students throughout the entire program
      • Candidates work in collaborative teams interacting with a variety of professionals and families 
      • Traditional student teacher placements in two grades: primary and secondary
      • Personal attention from accessible professors 
      • Commitment to inclusive education
      • Faculty members are highly qualified professors and educational leaders

      Other Education Specialist (Special Education) Pathways

      Undergraduate Education Specialist Credential Program

      The Justice, Community and Leadership (JCL) undergraduate major has a Teachers for Tomorrow (TFT) concentration. In four years, students earn their BA in Justice, Community and Leadership and a Mild-to-Moderate Education Specialist preliminary credential to work in California K–12 classrooms teaching and providing services to students with special needs.


      Golden State Teacher Grant

      Once admitted and enrolled in our Education Specialist (Special Education) Credential program, consider applying for the Golden State Teacher Grant. Awards of up to $20,000 are available. Learn more and apply today.