Education Specialist Preparation in California

California has a two-tiered credentialing system for Education Specialists. Preliminary programs prepare candidates to obtain an initial teaching credential through successful completion of required coursework, fieldwork, and a performance demonstration of their knowledge, skills, and abilities. The second tier of preparation is a two-year job-embedded individualized induction program that is focused on extensive support and mentoring to new teachers in their first and second year of teaching.

Information for Transitioning to New Standards (2018)

PSA 19-07

Plan to Transition – Due January 1, 2020-June 1, 2020

Plan for Implementation – Due October 31, 2021

These course matrices are provided for transition planning and implementation only. Red and Violet cohort institutions submitting for Program Review in 2019 and 2020 will use the matrices aligned to the current standards. 

Preliminary Education Specialist Teaching Credential Program Standards and Teaching Performance Expectations (2018)
All programs are required to meet these standards by the Summer and Fall of 2022 

Registration for Special Education Transition Technical Assistance Meetings
Register to attend a technical assistance meeting on transitioning to the new Preliminary Education Specialist program standards and Teaching Performance Expectations (implementation date: summer/fall 2022), including the Plan to Transition and Plan for Implementation. Representatives from all Preliminary Education Specialist credential programs are strongly encouraged to attend. To register for a meeting in San Francisco on 11/1, San Diego on 11/15, Sacramento on 11/18, Long Beach on 12/6, or Fresno on 12/13, please click here. Registration is required to attend.


Commission Resources for Education Specialist Credential Programs

Summary of the New Preliminary Education Specialist Credentials
This document provides information on the actions taken by the Commission to improve educator preparation for students with disabilities.

Education Specialist Teaching and Other Related Services Credential Program Standards
The current Standards and Preconditions for the preliminary teaching credentials, added authorizations, clear teaching credential, and Other Related Services credential programs are provided in this document.

New Education Specialist TPEs Comparison Charts
As programs begin to look at transitioning to the new Mild to Moderate and Extensive Support Needs Teaching Performance Expectations, comparison charts are now available. These charts show the relation to the Universal (General Education) TPEs, and highlight those TPEs that are unique for an Education Specialist.

Commission Resources for Clearing Level I Credentials

Education Specialist Out-of-State Credentials and Clearing Level I Education Specialist Credentials
This program sponsor alert clarifies the process for special education teachers with out-of-state credentials and the process to earn a clear teaching credential.

Clear Education Specialist Content for Induction Programs-California Prepared Level I Candidates
This document provides the language of the Level II standards which specify the content that each Level I candidate completing a Commission approved Induction program must address.

Level II Content for Candidates Prepared in California Who Hold a Level I Credential

Important Dates for Level II Programs 

Program sponsors offering the Level II Education Specialist Programs should be aware of the following dates that are included in Title 5 Regulations:

  • December 31, 2014 - Last date to enroll candidates into the Level II Education Specialist Program
  • January 31, 2019 - The date candidates must finish the Level II program

Additional Resources for Education Specialist Credential Programs

Special Education Teaching and Services Credentials, Added Authorizations in Special Education, and Limited Assignment Permits for California Prepared Teachers FAQs
This document provides responses to questions asked about special education teaching credentials and their accompanying authorizations for California Prepared teachers.

Special Education Induction FAQs
Responses to commonly asked questions about teachers clearing their education specialist credentials through Teacher Induction programs.

Transcript Equivalency Review for Out-of-State and Out-of-Country Level I Education Specialist Credential Holders
This document provides a list of institutions that have notified the Commission that they are willing to do the review of an out of state/country prepared special educator.

Submitting a Proposal for a New Educator Preparation Program
When an institution elects to offer a new, or updated a credential program a program proposal must be submitted to the Commission.

Special Education Credentialing Reform Webcast - March 13, 2009

The California Dyslexia Guidelines were published in 2017 and provide a wealth of information about dyslexia. Topics include the neuroscience of dyslexia, the characteristics and socioemotional factors of dyslexia, and information regarding preparation for educators. To access this complete resource, please visit the California Department of Education’s website to find the dyslexia guidelines.

Master Teacher Survey is Now Open

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing is seeking feedback from individuals who have served as a master teacher or cooperating teacher and hosted a student teacher for that individual’s culminating student teaching experience. The survey is designed to be completed by master teachers who have hosted a student teacher during the previous academic year.  This survey was administered last year and almost 2,000 cooperating teachers completed the survey.  The response rate for programs ranged from 0% to 84%.  It is essential that programs share the link with all teachers who had student teachers in their classroom for their final student teaching.  Remember that having a sufficient response rate means that a program may not need to bring in as many cooperating teachers for interviews during an accreditation site visit. For more information and access to the survey please see the Master Teacher Survey Letter [PDF]

Foundational Commission Resources for Education Specialist Credential Programs        

Archived Materials      

Comparability of Coursework for Sponsors of Special Education Teacher Preparation Programs
In response to AB 2226 (Chap. 233, Stats. 2008), the Commission convened a workgroup for the purpose of providing guidance to programs in determining the comparability of coursework and/or field experience completed in other Commission-accredited programs to requirements of special education programs.

Updated October 10, 2019