Education Specialist Instruction Teaching Credentials

An Education Specialist Instruction Teaching Credential authorizes the holder to provide special education and related services to students whose primary disability falls within the specialty area indicated on the credential in preschool and K-12 (up to age 22).  The authorization allows the holder to provide instruction to designated special education students in any and all subjects as determined by the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP).  Under federal and state law, some children are eligible for early intervention special education and related services from birth through pre-kindergarten as well.  The settings shown below are all appropriate settings for special education services.

  • Correctional facilities
  • Home/hospital settings
  • Regular classroom
  • Resource rooms*
  • Special day classrooms
  • State special schools
  • Non-public, non-sectarian schools and agencies
  • Alternative instructional settings other than classrooms

*Educators who hold older special education teaching credentials that are no longer initially issued may not serve in resource rooms without a separate authorization for resource.

Appropriate Special Education Student Placement and Credential Requirement

A special education teacher must hold an appropriate authorization to provide necessary services as identified by a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP).  While an IEP may identify more than one area of need, Federal Statutes require that students with exceptional needs be placed in educational programs with the least restrictive environment.

A teacher must hold a credential to serve each of the disability categories for students in the class as set forth in the IEP.  An IEP team may determine that, based on assessments and IEP goals, an alternate placement may be appropriate.  Alternate placement refers to a placement in a classroom that may not align with the student's primary disability category.  It is the employing agency's responsibility to determine how the special education services will be delivered.  The IEP determines the student's needs and the rationale for the particular services and placement of the student.  Various alternative placements are sometimes required to implement the IEP for each child with a disability.

Updated August 09, 2022