Special Education Program Coursework & Credential Requirements


Candidates typically complete their M.S. and Education Specialist Mild Moderate Credential Program coursework and student teaching experiences within four quarters of full-time enrollment.

The study plan listed below shows one possible schedule, where full-time enrollment can lead to the completion of the credential program within four quarters.

All candidates must maintain a 3.0 overall GPA in professional Education classes throughout the program. 

Summer Quarter
EDUC 471 Issues and Trends in Special Education (3 units)
EDUC 451 Early Fieldwork Seminar in Special Education  (3 units)
Fall Quarter - Clinical Practice I
EDUC 442 Elementary/Secondary Field Experience in General and Special Education (2 units)
EDUC 546 Reading and Language Arts Instruction in Special Ed (5 units)
EDUC 586
Introduction to Inquiry in Education (4 units)
SPED 587 Educational Foundations and Current Issues (4 units)
SPED 588 Education, Culture, and Learning (4 units)
Winter Quarter - Clinical Practice II
EDUC 550
Assessment Strategies for Special Ed (5 units)
Characteristics and Instruction of Pupils with Mild/Moderate Disabilities (5 units)
SPED 547
Science and Social Studies Methods for Students with Disabilities (4 units)
EDUC 447
Elementary/Secondary Field Experience in General and Special Education (4 units)
EDUC 532
Advanced Field Experiences in Education (3 units)
Spring Quarter - Clinical Practice III
EDUC 449 Special Education Student Teaching (8 units)
EDUC 554 Behavior Disorders and Positive Behavior Support Strategies (5 units)
EDUC 552 Support and Transition Strategies in Special Education (5 units)
EDUC 532 Advanced Field Experiences in Education (3 units)
EDUC 571 Consultation and Collaboration (3 units)


Applicants must satisfy all of the following requirements for the Five-Year Education Specialist Preliminary Teaching Credential:

  1. Possession of a baccalaureate or higher degree other than in professional education from a regionally accredited institution
  2. Completion of Basic Skills Competency
  3. Completion of the Subject Matter Competency (CSET or Approved Subject Matter Program)
  4. Passage of the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)
  5. Demonstration of knowledge of the principles and provisions of the Constitution of the United States
    • POLS 112 - American & California Government, equivalent or U.S. Constitution exam offered by Cuesta College or exam offered onlineApplicants who earned their bachelor's degrees at a CSU Campus will have met this requirement by virtue of their degree
  6. Complete Special Education Teacher Education Preparation Program coursework and Clinical Practice
    • Meet the state requirements for technology competency (requirement will be met by program completion)
    • Meet the state requirements for Health Education by completing one of the following options:
    • CPR Certification - Must include all three: adult, child, and infant training, follow the American Heart Association or American Red Cross guidelines, and be valid at the time of credential recommendation.
  7. Pass the Teacher Performance Assessment (EdTPA)
  8. Complete the SOE Exit Survey
  9. Submit a Credential Request Application to the School of Education



The following M.A. requirements must be met to earn the M. A. in Education. You will complete these requirements during the program.

  1. Successful submission of a) the Formal Study Plan, b) Advancement to Candidacy Form, c) Request to Graduate Form
  2. Successful completion of coursework listed on the Formal Study Plan
  3. Successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination requirement
  4. Successful completion of the Inquiry Project



  1. Evidence of completion of the speaking and writing competencies requirement 
    • Speech Requirement: Completion of a Personal Aptitude Interview will fulfill this requirement. 

    • Writing Requirement: If you are a CSU or UC graduate, you automatically fulfill this requirement. Private or out-of-state university graduates can contact the Writing & Learning Center for evaluation. 


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School of Education
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407