Education Specialist (Special Education)

A special program for a special kind of teacher.

Whether you are already a teacher who wants to focus on special education, or you simply have a calling for teaching children with disabilities, this program will prepare you with the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful and rewarding career teaching students with:

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

Credential offered: Mild-to-Moderate Education Specialist Preliminary Credential from the State of California

Benefits of our preliminary credential program:

Our program combines practical, current research, and theory with real-life classroom experiences to round out your education. 

  • You learn with a cohort of fellow students through the entire program
  • Strong balance of theory to practice
  • Rigorous, student-centered 32 units curriculum 
  • Field experience/student teaching that goes beyond state requirements
  • Personal attention from responsive, supportive cooperating teachers and college supervisors 
  • Faculty members are highly qualified professors and educational leaders
  • Supervised teaching placements in diverse settings 
  • An emphasis on the importance of working as partners with communities and schools to investigate, analyze, and reflect on best practices
  • Intentionally small class sizes
  • Every student assigned an academic advisor
  • Flexible courses of study options for busy students
  • One-year, full-time program; part-time option available; 
  • Candidates are intern-ready after completing their first full-time semester of study
  • Admission twice a year, Summer and January

Continue onto a Master's Degree

Getting your Mild-to-Moderate Education Specialist credential is a great first step toward a rewarding teaching career. By taking another four additional research-focused courses, as well as a thesis or synthesis project, you can earn a Master’s of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education or a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).

Special pathway for undergraduates

The Justice, Community and Leadership (JCL) undergraduate major has a Teachers for Tomorrow (TFT) concentration. In four years, students earn their JCL Bachelor of Arts and a preliminary Mild-to-Moderate Education Specialist Teaching Credential to work in K-12 classrooms teaching children with special needs.

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