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Special Education Credential Programs

See Program Coordinator for details.

An internship performed under the supervision and with permission of the School Psychology faculty and the school district which hires the intern is required. In order to be recommended to a district as a possible intern, the student must have all program entry requirements and be approved by the School Psychology credential coordinator.

Special Education Credentials

The Education Specialist Credential Program prepares and recommends for certification special education teaching candidates in the CTC Education Specialist Credential categories of Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe. An Intern Option is also available in collaboration with certain school districts. Please consult with the Teacher Preparation Advising Center for further information.

Preliminary – Education Specialist Credential and Intern Option: Mild/Moderate Disabilities (code 468), Moderate/Severe Disabilities (code 469)

Clear Education Specialist Credential: Mild/Moderate Disabilities (code 468), Moderate/Severe Disabilities (code 469)

Preliminary - Education Specialist Credential Program: Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe

The Education Specialist Credential Program (ESCP) prepares candidates in the areas of Mild/Moderate and Moderate/ Severe disabilities in a program approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The program is designed so that candidates may be certified in both areas of authorization if they complete the corresponding methods course and two separate field experiences, i.e., one with students with mild and moderate disabilities and one with students with moderate and severe disabilities. Upon admission to the university, candidates must identify an area of authorization and indicate whether their goal is to become certified in one or both areas. An Intern Option is also available in partnership with selected school districts. An Education Specialist Credential can also be earned in conjunction with the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP). Candidates should consult an advisor in the Liberal Studies Department for further information.

For program information and advisement, contact the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (EED-67; 562/985- 1105) or visit the website:

Preliminary Credential

Successful completion of the Education Specialist Credential Program leads to the Preliminary Credential, which is valid for five years. Requirements for the Preliminary Credential are:

1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution within the U.S. or equivalent.

2. Satisfy the U. S. Constitution requirement (POSC 100 or POSC 391 or equivalent course from another institution or exam).

3. Complete the Basic Skills Requirement

4. Hold a valid Certificate of Clearance (CTC fingerprint clearance).

5. Demonstrate Level I computer technology competence.

6. Demonstrate subject matter competence.

7. Complete professional preparation courses (in the ESCP) with a grade point average of 3.0 in all subject specific pedagogy (methods) courses with no grade lower than "C."

8. Successfully complete student teaching (final fieldwork).

9. Pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) exam.

Admission to the University

Admission to the university and the Education Specialist Credential Program (ESCP) are two separate processes. Applications to the university are made online through CSU Apply ( Graduating seniors, transfer students, and returning students should apply for post-baccalaureate admission to the university with the objective of entering the credential program. Tips on how to apply to the university as a post-baccalaureate student to pursue the credential program can be found on the website aw Admission to the university does not constitute admission to the program.

Application to the Program

Matriculated students may be admitted to the program based on their current undergraduate or graduate status. Pre-program advisement is available in the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (EED-67). Prospective candidates are encouraged to attend a program information meeting (see schedule at The program application can be obtained from the website at Application for admission to the Education Specialist Credential Program (ESCP) should be made the semester before beginning the program core courses. Students may apply to the program while taking prerequisite courses. Applications should be submitted to the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (EED-67).

Program Admission Requirements

1. Successful completion of three of the five pre-requisite courses (one of which must be EDSP 454) with a C or better.

2. Attain a grade point average of at least 2.67 in all baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate course work or a grade point average of at least 2.75 in the last 60-semester or 90-quarter units.

3. Complete a pass a group interview with program faculty.

4. Submit two letters of recommendation from individuals who are well acquainted with your educational training, relevant teaching, and other related experiences written within the last 2 years.

5. Provide documentation of a structured field experience of at least 45 hours in a K-12 general education classroom setting.

6. Submit a typed personal essay describing how your interest in special education began; your short term and long term career goals; and how the programs goals fit your personal goals.

7. Submit a negative tuberculosis skin test taken within the last four (4) years or chest x-ray taken within the last eight (8) years. Tuberculosis clearance must be valid through student teaching.

8. Submit one copy of unofficial transcripts from all colleges and/or universities attended.

9. Submit proof of meeting the Basic Skills Requirement.

10. Submit proof of having demonstrated subject matter competence by passing all three subtests of the California Subject Examinations for Teachers Multiple Subjects (CSET: Multiple Subject) or the appropriate single subject CSET exam in Math, Science, Social Science or English.

11. Submit proof of a valid Certificate of Clearance or a valid 30-Day Substitute permit issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

12. Demonstrate the ability to communicate orally in English at the level required of public school teachers by demonstration of English production skills in the course EDSP 454 and through an oral interview with department faculty.

13. Demonstrate character and personality traits that satisfy the standards of the teaching profession and suitable aptitude for teaching in public schools through the application documentation, the group interview, and performance in the EDSP 454 course. Candidates must continue to demonstrate appropriate character and personality traits through completion of the program.

14. Submit a complete application packet by April 1st to begin core courses in summer, June 1st to begin core courses in fall, OR by November 1st to begin core courses in winter or spring. Applications will be accepted after the deadline on a space available basis.

Provisional admission will be considered for applicants that have attempted but not yet passed all parts of the CSET exam for subject matter competency and for candidates that have complete a minimum of three of the five prerequisite courses. Applicants will be informed by email of the decision of the program faculty regarding program admission. Upon acceptance, the candidate is required to attend a mandatory advisement meeting to create their Advisement Plan and receive permission to enroll in program core courses.

Application and Admission to the Intern Pathway

The Education Specialist Credential Program Internship Pathway is available for candidates that are admitted to the Education Specialist Credential Program, have completed the requirements to be eligible for an internship that are listed below and have been offered full time employment in a public-school district in which CSULB has an approved Internship Agreement on file.

To be eligible for an internship, ESCP Candidates must have met ALL of the following requirement in addition to the program admission requirements:

1. Have an offer of full time employment in a school district in which CSULB has a current agreement on file.

2. Be admitted to the Education Specialist Credential Program

3. Be a matriculated CSULB Student and enroll in EDSP 586 each semester as an active intern with the exception of the semester/s enrolled in student teaching.

4. Have passed all three subtests of the CSET: Multiple Subjects Exam

5. Have completed the Basic Skills Requirement

6. Have completed the US Constitution Requirement

7. Have completed all five (5) pre-requisite courses

Requirements for the ESCP and ESIP

To be considered for full admission in the ESCP and ESIP programs, candidates must complete all prerequisite courses (13 units):

Take one of the following:

  • EDP 301, EDP 302, HDEV 307, PSY 361

Take all of the following:

  • EDSP 350 Introduction to Teaching the Exceptional Individual (3)
    Prerequisites: None.
  • EDSP 454 Supporting the Academic and Language Development of English Learners (3)
    Prerequisites: Consent of Instructor.
  • EDP 405 Positive Strategies for Classroom Management (3)
    Prerequisites: None.
  • ETEC 110 Introduction to Computers as Tools (1)
    Prerequisites: None.

Fully admitted candidates complete core courses (33 units)

Take all of the following:

  • EDSP 480 Foundations of Inclusive Education in a Diverse Society: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives and Legal Mandates (3)
    Prerequisites: Admission to Education Specialist Credential Program.
  • EDSP 534 Collaboration and Transition in Special Education (3)
    Prerequisites: Full admittance to Education Specialist Credential Program or ITEP.
  • EDSP 564 Assessment and Evaluation of Students with Disabilities (3)
    Prerequisites: Admission to the Education Specialist Credential Program or consent of instructor.
  • EDP 560 Functional Behavior Assessment and Positive Behavior Support (3)
    Prerequisites: EDP 405.
  • EDEL 462 Teaching and Learning Mathematics, K-8 (3)
    Prerequisites: Admission to the Multiple Subject Credential Program.

Take one of the following:

  • EDEL 452, EDSE 457

Take one of the following:

  • EDSP 577, EDSP 578

Core courses include the advanced fieldwork courses:

Take one of the following pairs of courses:

  • EDSP 587A and EDSP 587B


  • EDSP 588A and EDSP 588B

Candidates for dual authorization must complete the methods course and 6 units of student teaching in the second authorization.

The candidate's overall grade point average must continue to meet the program admission standard. A 3.0 grade point average in the core courses is required to advance to fieldwork (student teaching).
Candidates in the ESIP program must identify and work closely with a site-based support team comprised of their site-support coach, principal, and other school and district support personnel throughout the program.

Advanced Fieldwork (Student Teaching) Requirements for the ESCP and ESIP

The final phase of the ESCP and ESIP programs is advanced fieldwork (student teaching). Candidates are required to student teach for 4 days a week for the length of the semesters that they are enrolled in advanced field study courses. ESCP candidates student teach as a traditional student teacher under the direction of a master teacher. ESIP candidates use their own K-12 special education classroom setting in which they are the teacher of record as their advanced fieldwork placement.

A separate application is required for advanced fieldwork (student teaching). Applications for advanced fieldwork must be submitted by the posted deadlines during the semester prior to which the candidate wishes to student teach. Application packets are distributed at program Fieldwork Information meetings, which are announced in program courses and posted on the program website. Upon notification of acceptance to advanced field study, candidates register for Advanced Field Study: EDSP 587 A & B or EDSP 588 A & B.

To be eligible for advanced fieldwork (student teaching), candidates must:

1. Pass CBEST.

2. Complete all program prerequisite and core courses with a 3.0 grade point average.

3. Have on file a negative tuberculosis skin test or chest X-ray valid through completion of student teaching.

4. Meet the U.S. Constitution requirement (through POSC 100 or POSC 391 or equivalent course at another institution or by exam).

5. Submit proof of character clearance (fingerprint background check).

6. Submit a student teaching application by the appropriate deadline: November 1 for spring student teaching; April 1 for fall student teaching.

Applying for the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential

To be eligible for the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential, candidates must successfully meet all program requirements, including passing student teaching. They must also pass the Reading Instruction Competency Assessment (RICA). Candidates may take the RICA at any time prior to applying for the credential. RICA information booklets are available in the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (ED1-67). Candidates apply for the credential through the college Credential Center.

Petition Process

Appeals to program decisions or requests for policy waivers are made by filing a written appeal to the program appeals committee. The committee reviews the written statement and supporting evidence. After the review, the committee renders its final decision. Examples of petitionable policies are: the minimum grade point average required for program admission, waiving the deadline for submission of a test score, waiving an application deadline, completing all program courses prior to student teaching, readmission to student teaching, and course equivalencies. Consult the program coordinator for items not listed here. Students follow university procedures (available elsewhere in this Catalog) to appeal a course final grade.

Clear Education Specialist Credential: Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe

Candidates who have completed their Education Specialist Preliminary credential can earn the Education Specialist Clear Credential at CSU Long Beach. The advanced Clear Credential program prepares candidates to meet the academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning needs of all students with disabilities from birth-22 under IDEA categories. Candidates must earn the Clear credential within 5 years of completing the Education Specialist Preliminary credential.

Candidates can earn their Clear credentials in the following areas:

  • Education Specialist Mild/Moderate Professional Clear Credential
  • Education Specialist Moderate/Severe Professional Clear Credential

These two professional Clear credentials align with our Preliminary Credential Program at CSULB that offers both the mild/moderate and moderate/severe Preliminary credentials.

Graduates may concurrently enroll in the Master of Science in Special Education Degree program at CSULB. The Master of Science in Special Education Degree program develops advanced knowledge and skills in current research in special education, and promotes reflective inquiry in special education practice. Candidates receive multiple opportunities to develop critical thinking and writing skills through coursework and the culminating capstone experience i.e., either a comprehensive exam or a thesis.

Application to the Program

Candidates must apply separately to both the university and the program by posted deadlines. Applications should be submitted at the same time. The application for Graduate Admission to the University is available online through CSU Apply ( One complete set of official transcripts must be submitted with the university application. This set of transcripts will be used to determine grade point average eligibility. Failure to submit transcripts in a timely manner will result in a delayed review of the application.
A separate application to the School Psychology program must be submitted to the College of Education Graduate Studies Office (EED-7). An application and directions can be downloaded from the College of Education website ( The program application does not require a set of transcripts. After an initial paper screening, select applicants are invited for an interview with program faculty.

Prerequisite Conditions and Requirements

1. Admission to the University.
2. Minimum 2.85 overall grade point average in last degree (not credential or certificate) earned from an accredited institution of higher education. Applicants whose overall GPA is less than 2.85 but meet the University minimum GPA requirement and who present compelling evidence of academic and professional potential either through recent academic performance and/or experiential background, may be considered for admission at the discretion of the program admission committee.
3. Completion of Preliminary/Level I Credential or Certificate of Eligibility.
4. CPR certification.
5. Two letters of recommendation (from employer and a university faculty member at previous institution).
6. Interview with program faculty.
7. Attendance at an on-campus program orientation.
Upon acceptance to the program, candidates will attend a mandatory orientation meeting at which time they will complete an Individualized Induction Plan (IIP) with the Clear Credential program coordinator. This program planner will assist candidates in taking courses in an appropriate sequence.

Credential Activities

Candidates will complete supervised observations with a university faculty member. Candidates will develop a portfolio, which includes observation logs, lesson plans, and reflections.


The Clear credential requires 12-units of upper division and graduate courses that must be taken at the 500/600-level taken at CSULB. Credential requirements include the following courses:

Foundation Courses (6 units):
  • EDSP 546A Practicum in Special Education (2 units)
  • EDSP 546B Practicum in Special Education (1 units)
  • EDSP 550 Emerging Perspectives in Special Education (3 units)
    Specialization Courses (6 units, select any 2 of the following courses)
  • EDSP 535 Collaborative Partnerships and Effective Communication in School Settings (3 units)
  • EDSP 525 Advocacy and the Educational Context of Disability (3 units).
  • EDSP 582 Research in Special Education: Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction (3 units)
  • EDSP 577 Instructional Methods and Strategies for Individuals with Mild/Moderate Disabilities (3 units).
  • EDSP 578 Instructional Methods and Strategies for Individuals with Moderate/Severe Disabilities (3 units)

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