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The School of Education has a variety of options for people seeking a career in Special Education with Mild to Moderate and Extensive Support Needs Education Specialist Instruction Credentials.

All credentials authorize instruction of English learners (ELA, former CLAD). Education Specialist program options approved by the university and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) are briefly described here.

If you do not have any teacher credentials,the Education Specialist Concurrent Program is the program for you! If you already hold a Multiple Subject or other credential, the Education Specialist Add-On Program would be your best option!  If you already hold a Multiple Subject or Single Subject credential, the Education Specialist Add-On Program would be your best option! Paid internships are available for both Education Specialist Programs. All Education Specialist programs provides the option to obtain a Master of Arts in Special Education degree. See the Master of Arts in Special Education program description for admissions requirements, courses, and clinical practice that may be applied toward the master’s degree.

The Preliminary Mild to Moderate Support Needs Education Specialist Instruction Credential authorizes instruction of students with mild to moderate support needs with a primary disability of

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder,
  • Emotional Disturbance,
  • Intellectual Disability,
  • Multiple Disabilities,
  • Orthopedic Impairment,
  • Other Health Impairment (e.g. Attention Deficit Disorder),
  • Specific Learning Disability, or
  • Traumatic Brain Injury.

The Preliminary Extensive Support Needs Education Specialist Instruction Credential authorizes instruction of students with extensive support needs with a primary disability of

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder,
  • Deaf-Blindness,
  • Emotional Disturbance,
  • Intellectual Disability,
  • Multiple Disabilities,
  • Orthopedic Impairment,
  • Other Health Impairment (e.g. Attention Deficit Disorder),
  • Specific Learning Disability, or
  • Traumatic Brain Injury.

Applications Open

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Application Instructions

Education Specialist and Multiple Subject Concurrent Program

Concurrent candidates receive the Multiple Subject and one or both of the Preliminary Education Specialist Credentials: Mild to Moderate Support Needs and Extensive Support Needs. The Authorization to Teach English Learners is met through coursework and clinical experiences. A bilingual emphasis may be added to the Multiple Subject Credential for qualified candidates. Internship options are available for the Preliminary Education Specialist Credentials.

Admission Requirements and Program Description

Education Specialist Add On Program

This Preliminary Mild to Moderate Support Needs and Extensive Support Needs Education Specialist “Add On” Program is specially designed for teachers who have completed a basic (e.g., Multiple Subject, Single Subject) credential and have satisfied California subject matter competence requirements (an emergency or substitute permit is not a basic credential). The Authorization to Teach English Learners is met through coursework and clinical experiences.

This credential program prepares teachers in advanced skills to instruct students in grades K through 12 and adults with identified disabilities.

Admission Requirements and Program Description

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Application Instructions

    CSUSM Credential Application (CSU Apply)

    All applicants to Initial Teaching Credential Programs must complete an  application to California State University San Marcos in order to be considered for admission.    Cal State Apply

    Application Instructions

    Visit our How To Apply page for further information. The application fee is $70.00.

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    California State University programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student to meet California licensure and certification requirements. Admission into programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the California State University and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time. 

    The California State University has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements for licensure and certification. Students enrolled in a California State University program who are planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether they will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C).