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Special Education Credential Requirements (California prepared)

To teach special education in California, you must have the Education Specialist Instruction CredentialIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site. It authorizes the holder to teach in the area of specialization And in a variety of settings listed on the credential. School districts may also look for other related qualifications And experience.

California has a two-level special education teaching credential

To obtain a Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential, valid for five-years, the following requirements must be met

  1. Obtain a baccalaureate degree
  2. Satisfy the basic skills requirement
  3. Satisfy the subject-matter competence requirement *
  4. Pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)
  5. Complete a course Or pass an examination On the U.S. Constitution
  6. Complete a Commission-approved Education Specialist Credential program

To obtain a Clear Education Specialist Instruction Credential, you must complete one Of the following options before the Preliminary Credential expires

  1. Complete a Commission-approved Teacher Induction ProgramIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site And submit the application for the clear credential through the Induction program sponsor. Program sponsors are often public Or private colleges/universities, And school districts.
  2. Obtain a National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certificationIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site

Other Credential Options

An Intern Program Is an alternative path To a preliminary credential.

If you have a baccalaureate degree And have met other requirements, you may be eligible For an Intern programIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site While you complete the necessary coursework And are employed As a special education teacher at the same time. Our Find the Right Preparation Program page identifies California specific information you should know prior To selecting an Intern teacher preparation program.

If you already have a special education credential, you may want To add an authorizationIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site. If you already have a general education California teaching credential, you may want To add another credential or authorizationIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site.

If you are already credentialed In another state Or country, you should visit the Make and Follow Your Plan section.

Learn more. Read our Teach Special Education brochure For more insights.