Education Specialist Credential Program Traditional Pathway Spring 2022 & Prior

Program Overview

For candidates that were admitted to the Education Specialist Credential Program for Spring 2022 or prior, the program is comprised of 12 courses (5 pre-requisites and 7 core courses) and Final Fieldwork (student teaching) for a total of 46 units.  The program has both authorizations in mild/moderate and/or moderate/severe disabilities. Candidates choose which authorization they would like to pursue at the time of application to the program.  It is possible to pursue both authorizations with one added course and an added semester of final fieldwork (student teaching).  Preliminary courses prepare individuals to perform the duties required of entry-level special education teaching positions. Candidates in the Special Education Credential program will earn a Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential at the completion of the program.  

The Special Education Credential Program prepares candidates to teach individuals in the areas of Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe disabilities.  The program's goals are to assist candidates in becoming:

  • Effective and caring teachers;
  • Partners with parents and others in the development of high quality educational program;
  • Life long learners engaged in program development reflective of best practices in special education.

The program themes of Collaboration, Diversity, Literacy, Technology, and Transition emphasize current issues of importance to the field of special education, and are addressed across the curriculum.

Prerequisites (13 units) 

Note: At least 3 prerequisite courses, including EDSP 454, must be completed or in progress in order to apply to the credential program.  Candidates that have not yet completed all 5 courses will be admitted provisionally and will need to complete remaining pre-requisites during the first semester in the program. Candidates will not be allowed to advance to the methods course (EDSP 577/578) and Final Fieldwork until all 5 are completed.  

  • EDSP 454 - Development of Communication Skills in Bilingual Contexts (3 units) - Must be taken for program admission
  • ED P 301 or 302 - Child Development or Adolescent Development (3 units)
  • EDSP 350 - Education of Exceptional Individuals (3 units) or EDSP 410
  • ED P 405 - Positive Strategies for Classroom Management (3)
  • ETEC 110 or ETEC 444 - Introduction to Computers as Tools (1 unit) or Passage of CSET Preliminary Ed Tech Examination Subtests I and II

Core Courses (21 units) 

Students must be admitted to the Credential Program in order to take these courses:

  • EDSP 480 - Foundations of Inclusive Education in a Diverse Society (3) or UDCP 400 - Foundations of Teaching & Learning in DDiverse Inclusive Settings (2)
  • EDEL 452 - Teaching Reading, K-8 (3) or
    EDSE 457* - Reading/Writing in Secondary Schools (3)
  • EDEL 462 - Teaching Math in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Classrooms (3)
  • EDSP 534 - Collaboration and Transition in Special Education (3)
  • ED P 560 - Behavior Analysis and Interventions (3) or UDCP 401 - Positive Behavior Supports (3)
  • EDSP 564 - Assessment and Evaluation of Students with Disabilities (3)
  • EDSP 577 - Instructional Methods and Strategies for Individuals with Mild/Moderate Disabilities (3)
    - OR -
    EDSP 578 - Instructional Methods and Strategies for Individuals with Moderate/Severe Disabilities (3)

* This course does not prepare candidates for the RICA exam. Passage of RICA is a requirement for the Preliminary Credential.

Program Policy requires that students maintain a 3.0 GPA in Core Courses with no grade lower than a "C." A grade of "D" or "F" will result in the candidate being placed on probation and given two academic semesters to retake the course to receive a C or higher.  Candidates not able to complete remediation within two academic semesters will be disqualified from the program. 

Final Fieldwork (12 units) 

Candidates must meet state and program conditions for advancement to field study.  Candidates must obtain a Final Fieldwork Application from the website and apply to Final Fieldwork at the beginning of the semester prior to enrolling in the courses listed below.  

  • EDSP 587B - Advanced Field Study and Seminar for Mild/Moderate (2 sections x 6 units each for a total of 12 units)


  • EDSP 588B - Advanced Field Study and Seminar for Moderate/Severe (2 sections x 6 units each for a total of 12 units)

All candidates are required to complete a total of 12 units of Final Fieldwork (2 sections of EDSP 587B or 2 sections of EDSP 588B).

Students pursuing dual M/M/S authorization must complete an additional 6 units of Final Fieldwork and 3 units of EDSP 577 or 578.

Suggested Course Sequence

The Education Specialist Credential Program is a self-paced program that may be completed either part time or full time. Once candidates are admitted into the program they are required to attend Mandatory Advisement where they will create their individualized Advisement Plan with the faculty advisor and receive permits for EDSP and ED P core courses. Below is a suggested course sequence:

Semester 1 - Pre-Requisites (13 units)

  • EDSP 454
  • EDSP 350
  • ED P 301/302
  • ED P 405
  • ETEC 110

Semester 2 - Core Courses (9 units)

  • EDSP 480
  • EDSP 564
  • EDSP 534

Semester 3 - Core Courses (12 units)

  • ED P 560
  • EDEL 452/EDSE 457
  • EDEL 462
  • EDSP 577/578 (Candidated must be fully admitted to enroll in this course)

Semester 4 - Final Fieldwork/Student Teaching (12 units)

  • EDSP 578B - 2 sections
  • EDSP 588B - 2 sections

Candidates that think they have completed a course that meets a credential course requirement, may file a Request for Course Equivalency.  The Education Specialist Credential Program has a short list of pre-approved course equivalencies. Click here for more information on pre-approved course equivalencies and for information on how to file a Request for Course Equivalency. The Education Specialist Credential Program accepts up to 9 units of course equivalencies from other institutions. To file a Course Equivalency Request, download the form, fill it out and attach 1) a copy of your unofficial transcript from the institution that you took the course at, 2) a copy of the course catalog description and 3) a copy of the syllabi if available. Submit your Course Equivalency Request to the Teacher Preparation Advising Center in EED-67. Course Equivalency Requests are accepted in person and by mail. Course Equivalency Requests may also be submitted online through the Course Equivalency Request One Drive Upload. Be sure to upload the Course Equivalency Request form along with the required documentation. 

Candidates must meet the following admission criteria to be eligible for full admission to the Education Specialist Credential Program:

  • Submission of a complete application packet prior to the appropriate deadline 
  • G.P.A. of at least 2.75 for the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units, or 2.67 overall 
  • Completion and passage of oral interview with program faculty 
  • Verification of the Basic Skills Requirement
  • Current TB test verification 
  • Provide verification of subject-matter competence by passing the appropriate subject matter examination(s) or proof of completion of a CTC approved subject matter preparation program 
  • Successful completion of at least 3 prerequisite courses including EDSP 454
  • Complete and provide documentation of a field experience of at least 45 hours in a K-12 general education setting 

For complete Admission and Application requirements and procedures click on Post-Bac Admission in the navigation menu on the left.