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For Special Education

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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:

  1. Obtain Bachelor's Degree or higher from a regionally accredited university
  2. Meet the Basic Skills RequirementIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site. A recent change allows specified scores on selected College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinationsIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site to be used to demonstrate basic skills competency.
  3. Demonstrate subject-matter competency with the CSET TestIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site or an approved college or university programIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site
  4. Pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) testIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site (applicants who hold a valid California teaching credential other than internship credentials, internship certificates, and emergency permits are exempt from this requirement)
  5. Complete an accredited Education Specialist Credential programIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site 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 programIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site 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 authorizationIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site. If you already have a special education credential, you may want to add an authorizationIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site.

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 listIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site. (Make sure you select "OSEP-funded Program" at the bottom of the page.)

Learn more about Special Education.