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Traditional Pathway

Program Overview

The Special Education Credential 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.

ESCP Courses

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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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 587A - Advanced Field Study and Seminar for Mild/Moderate (6 units)
  • EDSP 587B - Advanced Field Study and Seminar for Mild/Moderate (6 units)


  • EDSP 588A - Advanced Field Study and Seminar for Moderate/Severe (6 units)
  • EDSP 588B - Advanced Field Study and Seminar for Moderate/Severe (6 units)

All candidates are required to complete a total of 12 units of Final Fieldwork (EDSP 587A&B or EDSP 588A&B). Candidates may either take A & B in consecutive semesters or they may be taken concurrently under certain conditions with faculty advisor approval.

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

When admitted to the program, all candidates will be required to attend a mandatory Advisement and Orientation Session where each candidate will create an Advisement Plan under the guidance of the Program Coordinator.

Course Equivalencies

Candidates that think they have completed a course that meets a credential course requirement, may file a Request for Course Equivalency.  The Special Education 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 Special Education 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. 

ESCP Admissions

Candidates must meet the following admission criteria to be eligible for full admission to the Special Education 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 CBEST attempt; verification of passage is preferred
  • 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.