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Extensive Support Needs

School of Education

Students with extensive support needs require specialized assistance to address unique learning conditions resulting from a range of intellectual, behavioral, emotional, communication, sensory and/or motor impairments. This credential authorizes the teaching of individuals with autism, intellectual disability, emotional disturbances, multiple disabilities, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and orthopedic impairments (OI). Serves ages 5 to 22.

View our State Professional Licensing and Certificate Disclosure

Program Highlights

  • Guaranteed course enrollment within cohort sequence means no wait listing.
  • Courses are held in the evenings with coursework taught in online, blended and traditional models.
  • Personalized advising with support by program director.
  • Mentoring provides candidates with customized individualized support during field placements, practicums, and independent teaching experiences.
  • Integration of faith/teaching/learning.
  • Classes are small, allowing for a personalized learning experience.
  • Professors are current in the field of education, help problem-solve, and promote a dialogue of issues of practice within your setting.
  • Innovative and research based.
  • Option to complete multiple subjects credential.
  • Option to complete Master of Arts in Special Education.



This authorizes the holder to conduct Educational Assessments related to students' access to the academic core curriculum and progress towards meeting instructional academic goals, provide instruction, and Special Education Support to individuals with significant support needs in kindergarten, grades 1–12, through age 22, and classes organized primarily for adults in services across the continuum of program options available. 

(ELAE) The following instructional services may be provided to English learners within the specialty area(s) and grade/age level authorization of this document: (1) English language development defined as instruction designed specifically for limited-English¬ proficient students to develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English; and (2) specially designed content instruction delivered in English defined as instruction in a subject area, delivered in English, that is specially designed to meet the needs of limited-English-proficient students. This English learner authorization also covers classes taught on the basis of other valid, nonemergency credentials or permits held within the settings or content/specialty area(s) listed at the grade or age levels authorized. 

This document authorizes the holder to teach reading to students in kindergarten, grades 1-12 through age 22, and classes organized primarily for adults in general education settings (ECP 4-B February 2018).

Admissions Requirements

  • Apply online:
  • Addendum to Graduate Application: Special Education
  • Two graduate reference forms
  • Official transcripts (all colleges/universities attended)
  • Verification of negative TB test (within last 12 months)
  • Certificate of Clearance or valid CA credential
  • Education plan form
  • Basic Skills Requirement/Official CBEST results
  • Subject Matter Competency/Official CSET results - one CSET passed for admission - all subtests passed prior to third term

Candidates may be admitted to the education specialist credential program in the spring, summer, or fall. Cohort begins in summer.

Locations Offered

Main Campus Fresno, Visalia

Credential Pathway

Extensive Support Needs Preliminary Credential Pathway  

Required Courses (31 minimum units)

  • EDUC 642 - Language and Literacy: Theory and Practice I Credits 4 **
  • EDUC 643 - Teaching Elementary Mathematics Credits 3 **
  • EDUC 646 - Language and Literacy: Theory and Practice II Credits 3 **
  • SPEC 601 - Foundations of Special Education and Health Credits 3
  • SPEC 602 - Special Education Laws, Ethics and Inclusion Credits 3
  • SPEC 616 - Curriculum & Technology: Extensive Support Needs (ESN) Credits: 4
  • SPEC 659 - Assessments & the IEP Credits 3
  • SPEC 684 - Special Education and General Education Fieldwork Credits 4
  • SPEC 682 - Directed Final Practicum and Seminar Credits 4 or
  • SPEC 692 - Intern Final Practicum and Seminar Credits 4
  • SPEC 690A - Independent Teaching Support Credits 2 * or
  • SPEC 690B - Intern Teaching Support Credits 2 * or
  • SPEC 690C - Continuing Intern Teaching Support Credits 3 * or
  • *SPEC-690A, B, or C is required each term for candidates employed as an intern or independent teacher (PIP/STSP). Independent teachers take SPEC-690A (2 units), interns take SPEC-690B (2 units), and continuing interns take SPEC-690C (3 units).

  •     **Candidates entering the ESN program with a Clear Multiple or Single Subject Credential and an English Learner authorization are not required to enroll in EDUC 642, EDUC 643, EDUC 646

  • Note:

    • ESN credential program completers who seek to add a Mild to Moderate Support Needs (MMSN) credential will enroll in SPEC 612 Curriculum & Technology: High Incidence Disabilities (4 units), and SPEC 693 Final Independent Practicum (4 units) after the completion of the ESN credential program.
    • ESN credential program completers who seek to add an ECSE credential will enroll in SPEC 618 Assessment & Transitions (3 units), SPEC 607 Comparative Development (3 units), SPEC 620 Program Design, Development, and Collaboration (3 units), SPEC 615 Curriculum & Technology for ECSE (4 units), and SPEC 693 Final Independent Practicum (4 units) following the completion of the ESN credential program.
    • ESN credential program completers who seek to add a Multiple Subject credential will enroll in EDUC 637 Curriculum Perspectives and Design: Multiple Subjects (3 units), EDUC 645 Curriculum Perspectives and Design: Multiple Subjects (3 units), EDUC 609 Final Student Teaching (1 unit), and EDUC 647 Teaching Elementary Science (2 units) during the summer term following the ESN credential program. 

Possibilities Await
With an FPU Education

The decision to embark on graduate studies is a big one. Our 40+ graduate programs will equip you to succeed in your career and in your life. You’ll become part of a small community of learners, thrive in a flexible learning environment  and be challenged by a rigorous curriculum. Learn how much further you can go at FPU!  

For more information, contact the campus nearest you, attend an information meeting or ask about a program.

First Steps to Admission

  • Apply online
  • Submit 2 reference forms (Varies based on program of interest)
    These can be filled out by academic or professional acquaintances familiar with your ability to complete graduate-level work. Print the reference form.
  • Include statement of intent.
    You can also provide an addendum explaining your interest in the program, any long-term goals and your experience in the field.
  • Request official transcripts.
    Transcripts must be from accredited institutions to verify your bachelor’s degree. Send transcripts electronically to or mail sealed transcripts to the Registrar’s Office at 1717 S. Chestnut Ave. Fresno, CA 93702.
  • Complete program requirements.
    These requirements are specific to your program of choice. You will be contacted for an interview and additional requirements if applicable.
  • Apply for financial aid.
    You can apply for FAFSA.  Use FPU school code: 001253
  • Schedule an appointment.
    Meet with your Student Financial Services Advisor. You can contact them at 559-453-2041 |

Program Requirements

Cost & Financial Aid

The below listed prices reflect the current and upcoming Fall and Spring semesters and do not include any financial aid. Paying for college can be an overwhelming step in your education journey. We can help you find all the opportunities to reduce your out of pocket costs.

Tuition & Fees


Tuition per UnitAmount
700 Level$750
Teacher Education$750
MSN and LEAD$775
Other CostsAmount
Student services fee (per semester)$70
* MBA Field Placement Fee (charged for both the international and regional trip semesters)$1,500


Tuition per Unit Amount
700 Level $730
Teacher Education $730
MBA $785
MSN and LEAD $750
KIN $590
Other Costs Amount
Student services fee (per semester) $60
* Field Placement Fee (charged for both the international and regional trip semesters) $1,500

* This is an estimate. Costs subject to change. Please refer to the Catalog for additional fees. Cost of attendance figures are used for budgeting purposes only and represent an estimate of projected tuition and fees for the coming academic year. Actual tuition rates are approved by the Board of Trustees and may vary.

Types of aid

Financial aid can refer to scholarships, grants and loans, which are available to you from the government, the university or outside sources. Aid types vary depending on the type of student you are.

View Graduate Private Scholarships

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  • Resume writing classes
  • Career assessments, exploration & planning
  • Job search and networking opportunities
  • and much more

Visit the Career Development Center