• African American adult student in class smiling

With this Preliminary Education Specialist Credential, you may choose a focus which best suits your unique student population.

Mild/Moderate Disabilities

Students with mild/moderate disabilities may be learners who have difficulties imposing structure in learning tasks. They may display delays in intellectual development, specific learning disabilities and/or emotional disturbances. This credential authorizes the teaching of individuals who experience mild-to-moderate learning disabilities, intellectual disability, other health impairments and emotional disturbances. Serves ages 5 to 22

Moderate/Severe Disabilities

Students with moderate/severe disabilities require specialized support to address unique learning needs resulting from a range of intellectual, behavioral, emotional, communication, sensory and/or motor impairments. This credential authorizes the teaching of individuals with moderate to severe autism, intellectual disability, hearing and/or vision impaired, emotional disturbances and multiple disabilities. Serves ages 5 to 22.

Special Education Early Childhood

Specialists with this credential may provide educational services to children from birth through pre-kindergarten who are eligible for early intervention, special education and/or related services under federal and state laws. Serves ages infant to 5.  

Foundational Coursework Option

Candidates may be admitted to the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Program and enroll in Foundational Coursework (SPEC 601 & SPEC 602) without the completion of the CBEST or CSET. In order to proceed into the official cohort start (Fall) candidates must meet the minimum testing requirements of successful completion of the CBEST and a minimum of one section of the Multiple Subject CSET. CSET is not required for candidates seeking only the Early Childhood Education Specialist Credential.

Highlights

  • Cohort model
  • Coursework offered in online, blended and traditional models
  • Autism authorization imbedded in each credential
  • Option to complete an education specialist credential and multiple subjects credential concurrently
  • Option to complete Master of Arts in Special Education with 12 additional units

Program director

Lisa Keith, Psy.D.
Lisa Keith, Psy.D.

Assistant Professor of Special Education, Program Director, Mild/Moderate credential, Program Director, MA in Special Education

Sarah Johnson
Sarah Johnson

Program Director of Moderate/Severe, APEAA and Early Childhood

Kelly Bentz, Ph.D.
Kelly J. Bentz, Ph.D.

Program Director Special Education Merced Campus, Assistant Professor

Faculty

Megan Chaney
Megan Chaney

Assistant Professor of Special Education, Division Chair, Special Education

Donna Martin
Donna Martin

Special Education Program Director - Visalia Center

Admission requirements

  • Application form and fee
  • Educational Plan form
  • Three graduate reference forms
  • Proctored writing sample
  • Official transcript of bachelor degree
  • Verification of negative TB test (Within last 12 months)
  • Official CBEST results
  • Official CSET results
  • One subtest passed for admission
  • All subtests passed prior to third term (Not required for early childhood special education candidates)
  • Valid California credential or Certificate of Clearance
  • Addendum to Graduate Application: Special Education

Course listing

For Candidates With California Teaching Credential

Required Courses

Choose one credential

Early Childhood Special Education Credential (minimum Of 34 Units)
CodeTitleUnits
SPEC 600Education Specialist Seminars Seminar3
SPEC 601Foundations, Health and Observations3
SPEC 602Laws and Ethics in Special Education3
SPEC 603Theology of Disability1
SPEC 605Positive Behavior Support3
SPEC 606Medical Implications2
SPEC 607Comparative Development3
SPEC 609Special Education: Roles and Responsibilities3
SPEC 611Transition: Moderate/Severe and Early Childhood3
SPEC 615Curriculum and Technology for Early Childhood Educators3
SPEC 620Early Childhood: Program Design and Development3
SPEC 682
or SPEC 692
or SPEC 693
Directed Final Practicum and Seminar
or Intern Final Practicum and Seminar
or Final Independent Practicum and Seminar
4
SPEC 689Independent Teaching Support *2
SPEC 690Intern Support **2

* Students who are employed in a teaching position on a contract other than an intern contract must enroll in SPEC 689 each term they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program.

** Students who are school district interns are required to enroll in the Intern Support course each term that they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program and are working as an intern.

Mild/Moderate Disabilities Credential (Minimum of 34 Units)

* Students who are employed in a teaching position on a contract other than an intern contract must enroll in SPEC 689 each term they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program.

** Students who are school district interns are required to enroll in the Intern Support course each term that they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program and are working as an intern, unless enrolled in SPEC-692 or SPEC-693.

Moderate/Severe Disabilities Credential (Minimum of 35 Units)
CodeTitleUnits
SPEC 600Education Specialist Seminars Seminar3
SPEC 601Foundations, Health and Observations3
SPEC 602Laws and Ethics in Special Education3
SPEC 603Theology of Disability1
SPEC 605Positive Behavior Support3
SPEC 606Medical Implications2
SPEC 607Comparative Development3
SPEC 609Special Education: Roles and Responsibilities3
SPEC 610Transition: Mild/Moderate Disabilities3
SPEC 612Curriculum and Technology for Mild Moderate3
SPEC 682
or SPEC 692
or SPEC 693
Directed Final Practicum and Seminar
or Intern Final Practicum and Seminar
or Final Independent Practicum and Seminar
4
SPEC 689Independent Teaching Support *2
SPEC 690Intern Support **2

*Students who are employed in a teaching position on a contract other than an intern contract must enroll in SPEC 689 each term they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program.

**Students who are school district interns are required to enroll in the Intern Support course each term that they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program and are working as an intern.

For Candidates Without California Teaching Credential

Required Courses

Select one credential

Early Childhood Special Education Credential (minimum Of 40 Units)
CodeTitleUnits
SPEC 600Education Specialist Seminars Seminar3
SPEC 601Foundations, Health and Observations3
SPEC 602Laws and Ethics in Special Education3
SPEC 603Theology of Disability1
SPEC 605Positive Behavior Support3
SPEC 606Medical Implications2
SPEC 607Comparative Development3
SPEC 609Special Education: Roles and Responsibilities3
SPEC 611Transition: Moderate/Severe and Early Childhood3
SPEC 613Curriculum and Technology for Moderate/ Severe Disabilities4
SPEC 682
or SPEC 692
or SPEC 693
Directed Final Practicum and Seminar
or Intern Final Practicum and Seminar
or Final Independent Practicum and Seminar
4
SPEC 689Independent Teaching Support *2
SPEC 690Intern Support **2

*Students who are employed in a teaching position on a contract other than an intern contract must enroll in SPEC 689 each term they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program.

**Students who are school district interns are required to enroll in the Intern Support course each term that they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program and are working as an intern.

Mild/Moderate Disabilities Credential (Minimum of 40 Units)
CodeTitleUnits
EDUC 642Language and Literacy: Theory and Practice I4
EDUC 646Language and Literacy: Theory and Practice II3
SPEC 600Education Specialist Seminars Seminar3
SPEC 601Foundations, Health and Observations3
SPEC 602Laws and Ethics in Special Education3
SPEC 603Theology of Disability1
SPEC 605Positive Behavior Support3
SPEC 606Medical Implications2
SPEC 607Comparative Development3
SPEC 609Special Education: Roles and Responsibilities3
SPEC 611Transition: Moderate/Severe and Early Childhood3
SPEC 615Curriculum and Technology for Early Childhood Educators3
SPEC 620Early Childhood: Program Design and Development3
SPEC 681
or SPEC 691
Directed Initial Practicum and Seminar
or Initial Intern Practicum and Seminar
2
SPEC 682
or SPEC 692
Directed Final Practicum and Seminar
or Intern Final Practicum and Seminar
4
SPEC 689Independent Teaching Support *2
SPEC 690Intern Support **2

*Students who are employed in a teaching position on a contract other than an intern contract must enroll in SPEC 689 each term they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program.

**Students who are school district interns are required to enroll in the Intern Support course each term that they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program and are working as an intern

Moderate/Severe Disabilities Credential (Minimum of 41 Units)
CodeTitleUnits
EDUC 642Language and Literacy: Theory and Practice I4
EDUC 643Teaching Elementary Mathematics3
EDUC 646Language and Literacy: Theory and Practice II3
SPEC 600Education Specialist Seminars Seminar3
SPEC 601Foundations, Health and Observations3
SPEC 602Laws and Ethics in Special Education3
SPEC 603Theology of Disability1
SPEC 605Positive Behavior Support3
SPEC 606Medical Implications2
SPEC 607Comparative Development3
SPEC 609Special Education: Roles and Responsibilities3
SPEC 610Transition: Mild/Moderate Disabilities3
SPEC 612Curriculum and Technology for Mild Moderate3
SPEC 681
or SPEC 691
Directed Initial Practicum and Seminar
or Initial Intern Practicum and Seminar
2
SPEC 682
or SPEC 692
Directed Final Practicum and Seminar
or Intern Final Practicum and Seminar
4
SPEC 689Independent Teaching Support *2
SPEC 690Intern Support **2

*Students who are employed in a teaching position on a contract other than an intern contract must enroll in SPEC 689 each term they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program.

**Students who are school district interns are required to enroll in the Intern Support course each term that they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program and are working as an intern.

CodeTitleUnits
EDUC 642Language and Literacy: Theory and Practice I4
EDUC 643Teaching Elementary Mathematics3
EDUC 646Language and Literacy: Theory and Practice II3
SPEC 600Education Specialist Seminars Seminar3
SPEC 601Foundations, Health and Observations3
SPEC 602Laws and Ethics in Special Education3
SPEC 603Theology of Disability1
SPEC 605Positive Behavior Support3
SPEC 606Medical Implications2
SPEC 607Comparative Development3
SPEC 609Special Education: Roles and Responsibilities3
SPEC 611Transition: Moderate/Severe and Early Childhood3
SPEC 613Curriculum and Technology for Moderate/ Severe Disabilities4
SPEC 681
or SPEC 691
Directed Initial Practicum and Seminar
or Initial Intern Practicum and Seminar
2
SPEC 682
or SPEC 692
Directed Final Practicum and Seminar
or Intern Final Practicum and Seminar
4
SPEC 689Independent Teaching Support *2
SPEC 690Intern Support **2