Teaching, MA – Inclusive Education with Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential

The University of La Verne designed the Master of Arts in Teaching, Inclusive Education degree for individuals seeking to earn a Preliminary Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential and Multiple and Single Subject candidates who plan to teach students with mild or moderate special education needs, including learning disabilities, emotional and behavior disorders, mild intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injury, other health impaired, and autism spectrum disorders.

The program encompasses 45 credit hours, along with fieldwork, and can be completed in about two years with summer and January terms. Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree and want to gain a broader understanding of special education may benefit from the blend of theory-based and hands-on learning. Concentrations further emphasize skills necessary for teaching in specialized and inclusive general education settings.

Within this framework, the Master’s degree in Inclusive Education:

  • trains you to tackle the challenges of today’s diverse K–12 classroom and create a truly inclusive environment where students achieve their goals and gain a sense of belonging;
  • provides you with the skills to create an intellectually-stimulating setting meeting Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) expectations;
  • instructs you in best practices for teaching educational or subject topics to students with mild to moderate disabilities;
  • prepares you to develop special education programs and assess the specific needs of students with ASD; and
  • helps you get ready for your initial teaching license through a blend of educational theories, methodologies, current classroom trends, and hands-on experience.

La Verne’s Master of Arts in Teaching, Inclusive Education is available at the main campus and Bakersfield and Santa Clarita regional campuses.

Curriculum

Through core and concentration courses, the curriculum covers a wide spectrum of instruction techniques, skill development, and professional insights necessary for working with K–12 students, including English language learners. The core courses (12 semester hours) establish a foundation in inclusive education, introducing topics related to law, behavior, case management, and writing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

All students then select a concentration (33 semester hours) based around one of California’s teaching credentials:

  • Education Specialist: Professionals who earn an Education Specialist credential are eligible to teach one of the following specialization areas: Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Moderate/Severe Disabilities, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Visual Impairments, Physical and Health Impairments, and Early Childhood Special Education.
  • Multiple Subject Candidate: Earning this credential is essential for instructing all subjects in a self-contained K–12 classroom, as well as for serving in a core or team teaching setting. You’re also in the position to teach English language learners, including specific academic subject instruction in English.
  • Single Subject Candidate: This concentration is designed for individuals aspiring to teach a specific subject in a Preschool–12 setting, particularly in middle or high school, and earn the credential they need to do so. Receiving this distinction further allows you to provide English language instruction, including within your specific subject area or grade level authorization.
  • Dual-Credential (MS/EDSP) Candidate: Students complete 48 credit hours in this joint program where you work to earn a Master of Science in Teaching and Education: Specialist Credential (EDSP) upon graduation.

Although classes differ, concentration courses touch on language and literary concepts, teaching practices, and subject-specific pedagogy. In the process, you’ll complete an Introductory and/or Advanced Supervised Teaching experience and finish with a capstone project.

Total Units: 45, plus fieldwork

Core Courses: 12 units

Code Course Title Units
SPED 420 Foundations of Inclusive Education 3
SPED 430 Assessment Practices and IEP Development 3
SPED 450 Inclusive Educational Systems: Law, Behavior and Case Management 3
EDUC 593 Assessment and Research for Educators 3

33 semester hours selected from the credential coursework listed below:

Education Specialist Candidates

Code Course Title Units
EDUC 425 Language and Literacy, Multiple Subject 4
SPED 421 Literacy Assessment and Intervention Practicum 1 1
EDUC 426 Introductory Teaching Practices, Multiple Subject 4
EDUC 440 Intermediate Teaching Practices, Multiple Subject 4
SPED 422 Literacy Assessment and Intervention Practicum 2 1
EDUC 441 Advanced Teaching Practices, Multiple Subject 4
EDUC 491 Subject Specific Pedagogy – History, PE, and Visual/Performing Arts 4
EDUC 492 Subject Specific Pedagogy – Math and Science 4
EDUC 497B Introductory Supervised Teaching, Special Education 3
SPED 409 Directed Teaching 4-6

Multiple Subject Candidates only

33 semester hours selected from the credential coursework listed below:

Code Course Title Units
EDUC 425 Language and Literacy, Multiple Subject 4
EDUC 426 Introductory Teaching Practices, Multiple Subject 4
EDUC 440 Intermediate Teaching Practices, Multiple Subject 4
EDUC 441 Advanced Teaching Practices, Multiple Subject 4
EDUC 491 Subject Specific Pedagogy – History, PE, and Visual/Performing Arts 4
EDUC 492 Subject Specific Pedagogy – Math and Science 4
EDUC 497 Introductory Supervised Teaching, Multiple Subject 3
EDUC 498 Advanced Supervised Teaching 6

Single Subject Candidates only

Code Course Title Units
EDUC 427 Language and Literacy, Single Subject 4
EDUC 428 Introductory Teaching Practices, Single Subject 4
EDUC 442 Intermediate Teaching Practices, Single Subject 4
EDUC 443 Advanced Teaching Practices, Single Subject 4
EDUC 494A-J Subject Specific Pedagogy (must enroll in your content area) 4
EDUC 495 Foundations in Teaching, Single Subject 4
EDUC 497A Introductory Supervised Teaching, Single Subject 3
EDUC 498 Advanced Supervised Teaching 6

Dual Credential (MS/EDSP) Candidates only

50 semester hours selected from the credential coursework listed below:

Code Course Title Units
EDUC 425 Language and Literacy, Multiple Subject 4
SPED 421 Literacy Assessment and Intervention Practicum 1 1
EDUC 426 Introductory Teaching Practices, Multiple Subject 4
EDUC 440 Intermediate Teaching Practices, Multiple Subject 4
SPED 422 Literacy Assessment and Intervention Practicum 2 1
EDUC 441 Advanced Teaching Practices, Multiple Subject 4
EDUC 491 Subject Specific Pedagogy – History, PE, and Visual/Performing Arts 4
EDUC 492 Subject Specific Pedagogy – Math and Science 4
EDUC 497 Introductory Supervised Teaching, Multiple Subject 3-4
EDUC 497B Introductory Supervised Teaching, Special Education 3-4
SPED 409 Directed Teaching, or  
EDUC 498 Advanced Supervised Teaching 4-6

Careers in California with a Master’s in Inclusive Education

Nationally, demand for special education instructors is predicted to remain relatively stable between 2018 and 2028, based on figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. California, on the other hand, presents a different case. Across 977 school districts with over 6 million pupils, one in eight students receive special education services, and over the past decade, that percentage has increased. For the 2014–15 school year, 10.3% of students received special education services; by 2018–19, that number grew to 11.7%.

Yet, according to a report from Policy Analysis for California Education, many districts don’t have enough special education instructors. In turn, professionals with the right certifications are in demand across the state.

In California, special education teaching credentials involve a two-step process. Graduates first work toward their Preliminary Credential and, after some time, seek to earn a Clear Credential. In the past, these were known as Level I and Level II Credentials, respectively.

To start this process:

  • A Regional or Central Campus Master’s in Inclusive Education candidate will be eligible for an Enhanced Intern Credential (Education Specialist) if they have earned a cumulative 3.0 GPA; completed the US Constitution requirement; finished SPED 420, SPED 430, EDUC 425, EDUC 426, and SPED 421; is enrolled in SPED 459; received a passing California Subject Examinations for Teachers® (CSET) score and earned a 3 or higher on the writing competency assessment; and has received a contract with a public school district.
  • For the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s Preliminary Credential, candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university; successfully completed EDUC 497A: Introductory Student Teaching and SPED 409: Directed Teaching; earned a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA; passed their TPE Portfolio; completed an Application for Credential; submitted an Individual Induction Plan; and is cleared by the credential analyst for all remaining requirements.

For a Professional Clear Credential with the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, candidates must complete a professional induction program within five years of receiving their Preliminary Credential.