Preliminary Teaching Credential, Education Specialist

The Education Specialist Preliminary Teaching Credential program provides preparation 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.

Education Specialist Program

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 Education Specialist Credential program curriculum prepares candidates to:

  • Know and understand various types of disabilities and their causes
  • Design, adapt, and differentiate instruction for students with a wide range of abilities and disabilities
  • Design and implement positive behavior support plans for students’ behavioral challenges
  • Administer and interpret a wide variety of assessment instruments for referral and progress monitoring of struggling students and students with mild to moderate disabilities


Learn more about the covered concepts in the complete list of required courses in the Education Specialist Credential program curriculum.

Why get your Educational Specialist Credential at Redlands?

The University of Redlands Education Specialist program 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 increasing access to this transformative program for students of all backgrounds.

Program Coursework and Pathways

The Education Specialist 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.

Education Specialist Credential

  • The program consists of 30–33 credit hours.
  • The Education Specialist Credential program can generally be completed in 11 months.
  • Students take two evening courses per week on-campus.

Review the Education Specialist Pathway coursework plan.

Master of Arts in Education: Learning and Teaching (MALT) with Education Specialist Credential

  • The program consists of 36–39 credit hours.
  • The MALT program can generally be completed in 16 months.
  • Students take two evening courses per week or complete the coursework portion of the program entirely online.

Learn more about the Master's degree with an Education Specialist credential.

Student Teaching Capstone Experience

Education Specialist students have the opportunity to put in-classroom theory into practice through the capstone student teaching experience in a special education classroom or setting. This culminating capstone also includes a presentation of a summative portfolio of assignments and case studies to address the Teacher Performance Expectations (TPE) required by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

Student teaching consists of public-school placements for a total of 90 Days (35 days for candidates who hold another current California teaching credential). This required experience is a 14-week, full-time (5 days a week) commitment at an approved public school placement. The student teaching placements are supervised by both a cooperating master teacher at the school site and a University of Redlands supervisor.

The School of Education also offers an 18-week (90 days) supervised internship program to qualified candidates employed in Pre-K-12 school settings. A separate, mid-program, qualifying application process is required to be eligible for the internship experience.

These intensive hands-on learning experiences provided by the School of Education allow students to enter the teaching workforce confidently prepared to make a difference in their communities.

Campus Location Course Offerings

The EDSP courses in the Education Specialist curriculum are offered at the Redlands campus only, and the EDUC courses in the pathway are offered at the Riverside and Rancho Cucamonga regional campuses.

Accreditation and Institutional Report Card

The School of Education's teacher preparation programs are 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

Become a confident, experienced teacher of students with mild to moderate disabilities and those with autism spectrum disorders through the School of Education’s Education Specialist Preliminary Teaching Credential program. This rewarding program combines coursework, classroom training, and field experience to ensure you are prepared to compassionately and effectively serve your students.

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

Admission Requirements

  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 each institution attended, 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. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 
  6. Certificate of Clearance, for CCTC issue, to be cleared through the DOJ and FBI 
  7. Evidence of negative TB test results within the last two years or chest x-ray within the last five years
  8. Evidence of 50 hours of observation or work with children, preferably in a public school setting or equivalent 
  9. Completion of Child Development or Human Growth and Development course, CLEP exam, workshop, or equivalent (workshops available through the University). 
  10. Meet the Basic Skills Requirement  
Individuals may satisfy the basic skills requirement by one of the following methods:  
  • - Pass the CBEST  
  • - Pass the CSET: Multiple Subjects Plus Writing Skills Examination. 
  • - Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examinations  
  • - Achieve Qualifying Score on the SAT or ACT  
  • - College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations  
  • - Pass a Basic Skills Examination from Another State
  1. Evidence of subject matter competency by the passage of the CSET or registration for the CSET, with the understanding that students cannot student teach or intern until all sections of the CSET are passed. See more from CTC on Education Specialist subject-matter competence. 

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. 

The student-teaching requirement is a 14-week, full-time (5 days a week) commitment. Student Teaching consists of approved public school placement.

Students are supervised by both a master teacher at the school site and the University of Redlands’ supervisor.

The School of Education also offers an 18-week, supervised internship program to qualified candidates employed in Pre-K-12 school settings. A separate, mid-program, qualifying application process is required for the internship.

Coursework & Pathways

The Education Specialist Teaching Credential program is taught in an intimate setting, where you will learn in a well-mentored cohort group and receive classroom training, case study work and field experience in the area of special education. A rigorous and specialized program, this 11-month experience will prepare you to teach mild to moderate special education students.

Education Specialist Pathway

Learn more about earning a Master's degree with an Education Specialist credential