Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Preliminary Credential


The Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential program prepares you to teach students with exceptional needs:

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

Who are the instructors?

The instructors are full-time professors and part-time practitioners who are working in the schools. Our faculty members are of the highest quality in their knowledge base and experience; they are one of the strengths of our program.

How long is the credential program?

The program is one calendar year in length if you attend on a full-time basis.  If you prefer to attend on a part-time basis, the program can be modified to be 1 ½ or 2 years in length.

When can I start the program?

There are two starts each year, Summer and January

How many semester units comprise the entire Education Specialist Program?

There are a total of 32 units in the program.

How much does each semester unit cost?

Current tuition per semester unit is found on the KSOE Tuition and Fees website.

Is financial aid available?

Financial aid information is available on the KSOE Financial Aid Information website and at the Saint Mary’ College Financial Aid Office, 925-631-4370 or

When are the classes held?

The classes are held from 4:15-7:00 PM, Mondays – Thursdays.

Where are classes held?

Class sessions are held on the Saint Mary’s College campus in Moraga.

Is it feasible to work while I am in school?

Many of our students do work part-time. In addition, there is the possibility to substitute at your student teaching site. Some of our candidates also are, or become, employed as teachers or interns while completing the program. If necessary, we will help you design a Plan of Study that takes into consideration your work schedule as well as your family and personal responsibilities.

When do I need to pass the Basic Skills Requirement and CSET (Subject Matter Competency)?

We recommend you complete these prior to starting the program.  However, you can apply and be accepted as long as you can verify registration for the appropriate exams.  You must verify successful completion of these requirements before the end of your first semester with us.  Failure to do so will delay your progress through the program.

Why is a Certificate of Clearance required for admissions?

It is required by law that every participant in a basic credential preparation program undergoes a moral fitness or clearance check by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).  In order to complete this fitness process you must apply for an appropriate document issued by CTC and have that document issued in your name by the Commission. Before being officially admitted to the KSOE you must have applied and PAID for a document issued by the CTC.  The document must be ISSUED prior to the start of any student teaching or practicum assignment.

I have been invited to an admissions interview with the Admissions Coordinator.  What can I expect?

Your interview is an opportunity for program faculty to learn more about you, your past experiences in work and school, what made you choose Saint Mary’s College of California and your goals for becoming an Education Specialist.

How can I obtain more information about the program?