Special Education

The Special Education Program is designed to meet the needs of college graduates who wish to pursue careers in Special Education by earning a preliminary credential, clear credential or an MA in Special Education.  Credential and master's level course work combine theory, methods, and field experiences to enrich candidates teaching practices and enhance professional expertise. Additional information appears in the Special Education Handbook [PDF].


Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Programs/Pathways

Preliminary Credential Programs

Mild Moderate Support Needs (MMSN) includes: assessments specific to student progress in the core academic areas and to provide services to students who have Autism (Autism), Emotional Disturbance (ED), Intellectual Disability (ID), Multiple Disabilities (MD), Other Health Impairment (OHI), Orthopedic Impairment (OI), Specific Learning Disability (SLD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and authorizes service in grades K-12 and classes organized primarily for adults through age 22.

Extensive Support Needs (EXSN) includes: Autism (Autism), Deaf-Blindness (DB), Emotional Disturbance (ED), Intellectual Disability (ID), Multiple Disabilities (MD), Other Health Impairment (OHI), Orthopedic Impairment (OI), Specific Learning Disability (SLD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and authorizes service in grades K-12 and classes organized primarily for adults through age 22.

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) includes: mild/moderate support needs and extensive support needs listed above and traumatic brain injury; and authorizes the provision of services to infants, toddlers, and young children from birth to age 5 with stated disabilities and their families.


Preliminary Credential Pathways

Intern Option: The Special Education Intern Program (SEIP) is an alternative credential pathway that allows candidates to work in P-12 schools as teachers-of-record while they complete university coursework necessary to obtain their credential. The SEIP is a collaborative effort with school districts, Non-Public School (NPS), or Charter Schools. Interns receive assistance from school site support providers and university supervisors.

Student Teaching Option: The Student Teaching Program is a traditional credential pathway that allows student teachers to be placed in public school P-12 classrooms under the guidance of a Master Teacher for fieldwork experiences while completing university coursework necessary to obtain their credential.

Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) Mild/Moderate Educational Specialists: The ITEP Program for the Education Specialist Mild Moderate Support Needs Credential is an option within the undergraduate Liberal Studies major wherein students earn a BA degree in Liberal Studies while also earning an Education Specialist Credential-Mild Moderate Support Needs (Student Teaching Option only). To meet all requirements for the ITEP program, students must also complete a depth of study in Educating Children with Disabilities and be accepted into the Special Education Credential Program. The total number of units for the BA and Credential is 135 units. Please see the Liberal Studies section of the catalog, as well as an advisor in the Liberal Studies Office for more information about the ITEP Option.


Advanced Programs

Teacher Induction Program leading to a Clear Education Specialist Credential Program: This program is designed for holders of a Preliminary Credential (MMSN; ESN; ECSE) and includes advanced coursework and Individual Induction Plans.

Master's Degree: The Master's degree program is based on curriculum that prepares candidates to assume advanced roles in the field of Special Education. The capstone experience for this degree includes a thesis or a comprehensive essay exam.


Special Education Information Sessions & Orientations

General SPE Information Sessions (via Zoom)

  • September 12, 2022 @ 4:00pm  - 5:00pm
  • October 10, 2022 @ 4:00pm  - 5:00pm
  • November 14, 2022 @ 4:00pm  - 5:00pm
  • December 12, 2022 @ 4:00pm  - 5:00pm  

 Zoom Link Invitation

New Student Orientation: Credentials (via Zoom)

  • December 5, 2022 @3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Zoom Link Invitation

New Student Orientation: Masters (via Zoom)

  • Spring 2023 TBD

Zoom Link Invitation

For any questions or concerns please contact Jasmine Combs in the SPE department or (310) 243-2779.  

Program Requirements [click here]

Spring Semester

  • Priority Deadline: October 1
  • Final Deadline: November 1

Fall Semester

  • Priority Deadline: May 1
  • Final Deadline: June 1

Contact Us

Special Education • COE 1410 • (310) 243-2779


Forms and Documents

For Special Education's forms and documents, please visit our Forms webpage.