Preliminary Education Specialist Credential

The special education program offers coursework for the preliminary level I specialist credential.

Unique Features

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

Degree Program

Special Education Program

Our Graduates

Career options for graduates range from special education teacher or regular classroom teacher to early childhood teacher.

Admissions Requirements

  • Application form and fee
  • Orientation interview
  • Three graduate reference forms
  • Academic writing sample
  • Proctored writing sample
  • Official transcripts verifying BA/BS degree
  • Verification of negative TB test (within last 12 months)
  • CBEST results
  • CSET/multiple subject exam results
    • One subset passed for admission
    • All subtests passed by second term of program
    • Not required for early childhood special education candidates
  • Valid California credential or Certificate of Clearance
  • Special education addendum
  • Technology recommendation: In order to prepare future teachers to effectively use technology, students are highly encouraged to have access to a laptop for all coursework and class meetings.
Your admissions counselor may require you review the following documents during your application.

Further Info

We offer four program options:

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 serious emotional disturbances. This credential authorizes the teaching of individuals who experience mild-to-moderate learning disabilities, intellectual disability, other health impairments and serious 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, serious emotional disturbances and multiple disabilities. Serves ages 5 to 22

Physical and health impairments: Physical and health impairments include students with orthopedic, neurological and physical health impairments that limit mobility and vitality in ways that adversely affect educational performance. This credential authorized the teaching of individuals who have orthopedic impairments, health impairments, traumatic brain injuries, multiple disabilities or who are medically fragile. Serves ages infant 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

Number of Units:

  • For candidates without a credential: 45 units for M/M, M/S, PHI, EC
  • For candidates with a credential: 35 units for M/M, M/S, PHI
  • For candidates with a credential: 38 units for EC
  • Additional units to complete education specialist/multiple subject: 9 units
  • Additional support for interns: 2 units*

*Students who are school district interns are required to enrol in the intern support course each term they are enrolled in the FPU preliminary credential program and work as an intern.

Up to 9 units may be transferred into the program.

Program information and tuition subject to change.

Internship Opportunities:

Our internship program may be an option for those candidates who demonstrate the innate qualities of a distinguished teacher and educational leader and who are considered to be promising educators. View details on our internship program.

National Report on Teacher Quality