Jul 21, 2024  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
2023/2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education, Education Specialist Credentials

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San Diego State University offers programs leading to the following Education Specialist Credentials in Special Education authorized by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing: Mild to Moderate Support Needs, Extensive Support Needs, and Early Childhood Special Education. These credentials authorize the holders to teach students with designated disabilities in a variety of settings. These credentials require completion of Preliminary Education Specialist requirements followed by completion of the Clear Professional Induction Specialist requirements within five years of employment in an authorized setting. The department also offers the Early Childhood Special Education Added Authorization which authorizes holders of other specialist credentials to work with children and their families from birth through pre-kindergarten. There are some common requirements between the Education Specialist credential programs and the Master of Arts degree. Once admitted, students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 and must successfully complete all practicum experiences. Only grades of C or better will count toward a degree, a credential, or a certificate.

Standards for Admission to Preliminary Credentials

Candidates for any of the Education Specialist Credentials in Special Education must satisfy the standards and qualifications listed below and submit complete application packets online within designated application periods. Information about applications for Program Admission is available from the Office for Student Success.

Completed application will include items verifying satisfaction of the following:

CBEST Examination

Students must pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) prior to admission to any of the programs that lead to an Education Specialist Credential in Special Education. Information may be obtained from http://www.ctcexams.nesinc.com. Candidates are urged to take this examination as early as possible. Candidates are required to submit a scanned copy of the individual score reports.

Subject Matter Competence

Students must verify completion of subject matter competence with a passing score on the CSET: Multiple Subjects. Credential holders should see an adviser for clarification.

For students applying for the Specialist Credential in Early Childhood Special Education, an appropriate major such as Child Development, Developmental Psychology, or Liberal Studies is required.

Health Education

Knowledge of health education in California, including substance and nutrition:

Computer Knowledge

Demonstrated knowledge of computer hardware, software, and applications to educational/classroom use (computer literacy). Students who complete their preliminary credential at SDSU will meet this requirement with

United States Constitution

Demonstrated knowledge of the principles and provisions of the United States Constitution through successful completion of a three-unit collegiate- level course or examination. Courses are listed in General Catalog section on “Graduation Requirements,” IV. American Institutions Requirement.

Prerequisite Courses

Grade Point Average

Candidates must have a minimum 2.67 overall or 2.75 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted. Candidates are required to submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended and unofficial SDSU transcripts for GPA calculation.

Tuberculin Clearance

Evidence of a negative tuberculosis test (these tests are valid for four years and must be in effect during the time that candidates are enrolled in the credential program). Clearance statements may be secured from Health Services, private physicians or HMOs, or public health agencies.

California Certificate of Clearance

This certificate represents a background clearance and check conducted by the State Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Turnaround time for the clearance can take as long as eight months. Possessors of K-12 California credentials may satisfy this requirement by submitting copies of those certificates. Candidates must submit live scan and personal information directly to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC), http://www.ctc.ca.gov. This clearance must show as granted on the CCTC website.

Program Application

Applicants must complete the program application online at https://education.sdsu.edu/ academics/how-to-apply/apply-credential-program/ prelim-credential-application.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation from people who know you well (not relatives), especially those who have knowledge of your work with children in school or related settings. These letters must attest to your aptitude and suitability for the teaching profession.

Candidate Statement

A candidate statement (500 word maximum) that addresses your background of experiences that have contributed to your desire to be a special education teacher as well as the personal and professional factors that you consider to be most important if one is to become an effective and caring special educator.

Preliminary Education Specialist Credential

Core Courses

Candidates are required to pass the Reading Instruction (RICA) Test. An international or global/cultural experience is required, as defined by the Department of Special Education, prior to graduation for all preliminary credential candidates. Students must obtain approval of graduate adviser.

Specialization Courses


# Not applicable for Early Childhood Special Education credential.

Clear Professional Induction Specialist Credential Requirements for Admission

Candidates for any of the Clear Professional Induction Specialist Credentials in Special Education must meet the following requirements:

  1. University Standards. Students must satisfy university standards and qualifications for admission to postbaccalaureate standing.
  2. Partnership with Employers. Students must have a support provider who contributes to elective strand decisions and provides non-university experiences related to Clear Induction Credential.
  3. Preliminary Education Specialist Credential. Students must hold or be eligible for a Preliminary Education Specialist Credential or hold a valid out-of-state credential in a special education category comparable to a California Commission-approved Preliminary Education Specialist program authorizing special education service. Preliminary Education Specialist or out-of-state credentials must be in the area of study for which students are seeking a Clear Professional Induction Specialist credential.


Specialization Elective Strand

In consultation with university and school district advisers, students will take six units of 500- level or higher electives in one area or preliminary credential.

Knowledge of Health Education in California, Including Substance Abuse and Nutrition

Demonstrated Knowledge of Computer Hardware, Software, and Applications to Educational/Classroom Use (Computer Literacy)

Students who complete their preliminary credential at SDSU will meet this requirement with

Reading Recovery Teacher Leader

The Reading Recovery Teacher Leader training program is to prepare qualified individuals to implement reading recovery in their own districts or regions. Teacher leader candidates are selected by their districts to participate in the year-long coursework that prepares them to provide reading recovery training to teachers in their districts, based on their potential as leaders and their educational backgrounds. Each teacher leader candidate must hold a master’s degree which qualifies them to teach reading recovery courses in their districts for university credit. A faculty member in the College of Education is responsible for providing coursework and supervision of teacher leader candidates.

Courses required in the program include two semesters each of clinical work, theoretical foundations, and leadership courses. Teacher leaders learn how to assess young children’s literacy progress and to use reading recovery teaching procedures to help the at-risk children learn to read and write. Teacher leaders examine the theoretical foundations of early literacy acquisition, reading recovery and early intervention, including theories specifically relevant to working with diverse children with reading difficulties. They study various aspects of the teacher leader role in the classroom and in established sites through apprenticeships with experienced teacher leaders in the field; explore issues of program implementation and systemic changes stemming from the implementation of reading recovery in districts and; consider implications of all of their knowledge and expertise as it directly relates to the effective training of reading recovery teachers.

Partnerships between San Diego State University and the districts that teacher leaders represent are established through the Reading Recovery Teacher Leader training program. Subsequent to the training year, the program provides on-going support and professional development to teacher leaders they have trained.

The Reading Recovery Teacher Leader training program at San Diego State University mirrors training at the other 25 university training centers in the United States. Reading recovery was first introduced at Ohio State University 15 years ago. Other universities that participate in the program include Purdue University, New York University, University of Connecticut, and Georgia State University. University trainers have a close network through which they meet on a regular basis to shape and update coursework based on current research.

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