La Verne’s Education Specialist Credential Program—sometimes referred to as a teaching certificate in other states—is designed for California teachers interested in working with students with mild to moderate special needs. Mild-Moderate Education Specialist Credential candidates receive a complete range of instruction and support in teaching learners with mild-moderate learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, mental retardation, autism, and other health impairments. The program provides opportunities for students to develop knowledge and skills in supporting all types of neurodiversity.
The University of La Verne boasts accessible faculty and small class sizes, with courses that blend theory and practice and are offered at flexible times. The Education Specialist Credential is offered at the Bakersfield and Burbank College of the Canyons satellite campuses in addition to La Verne’s main campus.
To enter the Education Specialist Credential program at La Verne, applicants must submit/possess:
- Three (3) letters of recommendation on official letterhead paper
- A GPA of 2.8 or higher in a completed B.A. or B.S.
- A passing score on admissions interview.
- CBEST Passage (or proof of registration)
- CSET Passage (or proof of registration)
- TB Clearance
- Fingerprint Clearance
- Health Education/Drug Prevention/Sexually Transmitted Disease course
- Internet access capability
- Computer for Educators-approved course
- Public communication competence
- U.S. History Constitution competence
To earn your California Teaching Credential, La Verne requires 40 total semester hours. The hours are broken down as follows:
Pre-Internship and Core Requirements: 13 Semester Hours and CBEST/CSET Passage
Students can choose from five classes to fulfill the 13 semester hours needed for the core requirements as well as the internship. Courses include Introductory Teaching Practices, Theories and Methods of Education for Linguistically Diverse Students, and Culturally Responsive Instruction, Mindfulness, Inclusivity, and Practicum.
Area of Concentration: 26-27 semester hours
More in-depth than the core requirements, courses like Foundations of Emergent Literacy Instruction for Special Education and Practicum prepare special education teachers for a diverse population of learners.
Prior to applying to the Commission, proof of a valid CPR card and proof of US Constitution competency and Speech/Public Speaking are required.
For the full course list, see the Education Specialist Curriculum Program page.
Education Specialist Internship Program
The Education Specialist Internship Program at La Verne offers an intern credential for those qualified to become the teacher of record in a mild-moderate special education class. Interns take all the core courses for the Mild-Moderate Education Specialist Preliminary Credential, as well as SPED 459—Intern Seminar—a 2 semester hour course, for each semester/term they are teaching.
Interns may complete SPED 409 (Directed Teaching) in their intern classroom. The internship credential is a two-year program that is district-specific—coordinated with a local school district under an approved memorandum of understanding agreement.
Candidates must successfully complete the core coursework and required state tests before they can be considered for an internship and/or advancement into the concentration course.
Applicants need not possess any other credential—although, with a number of additional courses, students may also complete a Multiple Subject or Single Subject teaching credential or Reading Certificate. The Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) and any course-related Teacher Performance Assessments (TPA) are required.
California Clear Credential & Special Education Graduate Program
Upon completion of the Education Specialist Preliminary Credential, candidates have five years to complete the Clear Education Specialist Credential. For more information, access California’s Teaching Credential information here.
Candidates in good standing may also apply to La Verne’s Special Education Studies Master’s Degree Program and begin the first required core course, Methods of Research, while in the Preliminary Credential Program. 12 hours from the Credential can also be contributed toward your master’s degree. Learn more about the M.S. in Special Education Program.
Earn your Education Specialist Credential at La Verne
University of La Verne’s Mild-Moderate Education Specialist Credential prepares teachers in the state of California to instruct students with learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. To learn more about this program, request more information today.