Preliminary Teaching Credential: Special Education

This program prepares candidates to teach mild to moderate disability special education students in special day classes, special schools, home/hospital settings, correctional facilities, non-public schools and agencies, and resource rooms. 

This rigorous, specialized program emphasizes personal interaction integrated within the theoretical framework of social and educational justice. It finds its firm foundation in the School of Education’s mission to strive for educational equity and access for all students. 

Program Highlights

Combined coursework and fieldwork experiences are taken concurrently from the beginning of the program and require students to think critically and reflectively about the theory-to-practice continuum. The curriculum prepares candidates to support individuals with the following disabilities:

  • Autism
  • Deafblind
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Other Health Impairment
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Why get your Special Education Credential at Redlands?

The University of Redlands provides small class sizes and one-on-one interaction with faculty, fostering the development of interpersonal skills and overall academic success. School of Education professors care deeply about their students, supporting each individual in reaching their potential.

Students learn in a well-mentored cohort group and receive classroom training and field experiences that accentuate coursework and case studies. This close-knit community setting builds confidence and tactical teaching skills in order to be compassionate, effective special education teachers.

Furthermore, credential courses are offered in the evenings, and online increasing access to this transformative program for students of all backgrounds.

Hybrid Program Options

A Special Education Teaching Credential can be obtained by students seeking only the credential as well as those pursuing the Master’s in Education: Learning and Teaching degree, providing two pathways to tailor to individual professional goals. The program is offered in a hybrid format, with certain class meetings conducted in-person and others held online synchronously. Some courses are offered 100% online, asynchronously. 

Special Education Teaching Credential Program

  • The program consists of 30–33 credit hours.
  • Students take two evening courses per week.
  • Students participate in 14 weeks of student teaching or a 14-week internship.

Master of Arts in Education: Learning and Teaching with Special Education Credential

  • The program consists of 36–39 credit hours.
  • Students take two evening courses per week or complete the coursework portion of the program entirely online.
  • Students participate in 14 weeks of student teaching or a 14-week internship.
  • The program will conclude with a final 14-week master’s seminar course.

Learn more about our master's program >

Accreditation and Institutional Report Card

The Special Education Mild to Moderate Support Needs (MMSN)  Teaching Credential program is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

Review the most recent Title II Annual Institutional Report Card and passage rates for the various programs offered in the state of California.

Launch your Special Education Teaching Career at the School of Education

Take the first step in launching your special education teaching career. Request more information, or apply now!


Admission Requirements

Important Deadline Information:  Please refer to the Application and Enrollment Calendar for deadlines.

Learn more about the application process >

  1. Completed application 
  2. Evidence of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution 
  3. One (1) official transcript issued by the Registrar of the institution where your degree was conferred must be sent directly to the Office of Graduate and Professional Enrollment
  4. Two (2) letters of recommendation from faculty or professionals who know your work
  5. Personal Statement: Please write a 500-word statement that articulates why an equity-centered pedagogy will be important for you as a future teacher. In your response, please refer to at least three of the bold-faced words/phrases in the conceptual framework.
  6. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 - Application files with less than 2.75 cumulative GPA require two additional letters of recommendations (a total of four) and a GPA petition statement.
  7. Certificate of Clearance, for CCTC issue, to be cleared through the DOJ and FBI 
  8. Evidence of negative TB test results within the last two years
  9. Experience working with students preferred, but not required
  10. Completion of Child Development course, CLEP exam, or equivalent
  11. Meet Basic Skills Requirement
  12. Evidence of Subject Matter Competency
  • Evidence of subject matter competency by providing proof of registration for CSET examination(s), completion of state-approved subject matter waiver program, or by qualified college-level coursework/degree. Applicants may show evidence of registering for examination(s) for application purposes, but will need to meet Subject Matter Competency by the designated student teaching application deadlines in order to student teach.

Program Overview

The School of Education's innovative teacher preparation programs are accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). Credential courses are offered in the evenings, with access for individuals of different backgrounds.

Fieldwork Options

Teacher candidates have two options for fulfilling the fieldwork requirement. 

Student Teaching

During student teaching, teacher candidates will be paired with a cooperating teacher in one of our partnered school districts, full-time for 14 weeks. Student teachers are supported by a university program supervisor.


Interested students may be eligible for a teaching internship to fulfill their fieldwork experience. To intern, the student will obtain employment as a full-time employee of a public school district or charter school with a classroom of their own. The University of Redlands will oversee the student for at least 14 weeks in this position. Students must be prepared to take on this immense responsibility and it is only recommended to those who have prior teaching experience. Interns are supported by a district-assigned mentor teacher and a university program supervisor.

Teacher Residency

The School of Education’s teacher residency pathway is designed to provide aspiring teachers with a high-quality practical experience while working towards a California teaching credential.

Learn more about the Teacher Residency Program >

Coursework & Pathway

The coursework and field experience segments of the Preliminary Teacher Credential program are delivered in a prescribed sequence. For course descriptions, please view the most recent university catalog.

Preliminary Teaching Credential (PTC) Education Specialist Program Pathway >