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FAQ - Special Education

I completed a generic special education teacher preparation program outside of California. What do I qualify for in California?
Individuals who completed generic special education teacher preparation program outside California may qualify for the Level I Education Specialist Instruction Credential if they meet the following minimum requirements:
  1. Completion of a bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  2. completion of a special education teacher preparation program, including student teaching
  3. Possession of a special education teaching credential in the state where the program was completed

The Commission will issue a Level I Education Specialist Instruction Credential to individuals who have completed a broad special education teacher preparation program in one of the following specialty areas:
  1. Mild/Moderate
  2. Moderate/Severe
  3. Early Childhood Special Education
Individuals issued Education Specialist Instruction Credentials on the basis of a broad program will need to complete the equivalent of a Commission-approved Preliminary program in the specialty area listed on the credential.

My Level I Education Specialist Instruction Credential states I must complete a Level II program to qualify for the Level II credential. What is a Level II program?
The last date one could enroll in a Commission-approved Level II program was December 31, 2014.

Level I credential holders must complete a Special Education Clear Induction Program, including a Transition Plan and an Individualized Induction Plan as determined by the program sponsor in harmony with meeting any additional requirements as found in the Education Specialist Preliminary Credential program for this transition. For more information, please see Credential Leaflet CL-808CA for California-prepared applicants completing a Preliminary Education Specialist Credential program.


I currently hold a Specialist Instruction Credential in Special Education (Learning Handicapped, Severely Handicapped, Communication Handicapped, Visually Handicapped, and/or Physically Handicapped) issued under the old special education regulations. Does my credential authorize me to perform services as a Resource Specialist?
No. Specialist Instruction Credentials in Special Education do not authorize service as a Resource Specialist. You may discuss the possibility of employment as a Resource Specialist with your employer. You may be eligible for an Emergency Resource Specialist Permit or a Preliminary Resource Specialist Added Authorization, which will allow you time to complete a Resource Specialist Added Authorization program through a Commission-approved RSP program. Please refer to our Emergency Resource Specialist Permit and Resource Specialist Added Authorization leaflets for more information.


My Level I Education Specialist Instruction Credential lists subject-matter competence as a renewal requirement. How can I satisfy this requirement?
Subject-matter competence is one of the general education components required for an Education Specialist Instruction Credential. You have the option of verifying your subject-matter competence for either the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential or for any subject that can be listed as a major on a Single Subject Teaching Credential. There are two ways to verify your subject-matter competence: 1) take and pass the appropriate subject-matter examination(s); or 2) complete a Commission-approved subject-matter program at a California college or university. Please refer to leaflets CL-674S (Single Subject) and CL-674M (Multiple Subject) for more information regarding subject-matter competence examinations.


Updated April 2, 2015