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To teach Special Education in California, you must have the Education Specialist Instruction Credential. It authorizes the holder to teach in the area of specialization listed on the credential in the following settings: special day classes, special schools, home/hospital settings, correctional facilities, nonpublic schools and agencies, and resource rooms. School districts may also look for other related qualifications and experience.
To obtain a Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential, the following requirements must be met:
- Obtain Bachelor's Degree or higher from a regionally accredited university
- Meet the Basic Skils Requirement
- Demonstrate subject-matter competency with the CSET Test or an approved college or university program
- Pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) test (applicants who hold a valid California teaching credential other than internship credentials, internship certificates, and emergency permits are exempt from this requirement)
- Complete an accredited Education Specialist Credential program in an education specialist category
To obtain a Clear Education Specialist Instruction Credential, an individualized induction plan must be completed.
If you have a bachelor's of arts or bachelor's of science (BA/BS) degree and have met other requirements, you may be eligible for an internship program while you complete the coursework necessary for a credential.
If you already have a California teaching credential, you may want to add another credential or authorization. If you already have a special education credential, you may want to add an authorization.
Credentialed in another state? Go to the Make and Follow Your Plan section.
Interested in locating Education Specialist Instruction Credential programs that provide financial support? Create your own list. (Make sure you select "OSEP-funded Program" at the bottom of the page.)
Learn more about Special Education.