Career descriptionsIn California those who seek a career in special education must receive an education specialist instruction credential, which allows that person to perform the teaching responsibilities of a regular teacher with the added specialty of aiding and tailoring the education for those with disabilities. Special education teachers often specialize in a specific area such as:
- Mild/Moderate Disabilities. This includes specific learning disabilities, mild to moderate mental retardation, other health impairments, and serious emotional disturbance;
- Moderate/Severe Disabilities. This includes autism, deaf-blindness, moderate to severe mental retardation, multiple disabilities, and serious emotional disturbance;
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This includes deafness, hearing impairment, and deaf-blindness;
- Visual Impairments. This includes blindness, visual impairment, and deaf-blindness;
- Physical and Health Impairments. This includes orthopedic impairment, other health impairments, multiple disabilities, and traumatic brain injury;
- Early Childhood Special Education. This includes the mild/moderate and moderate/severe disabilities listed above and traumatic brain injury, and authorizes service to children ages birth to pre-kindergarten only.
Certification and Educational requirementsMuch like other teaching credentials in the state of California, there are two different credentials one must receive, with the first being a preliminary credential leading to the second.
Requirements for the Level I Credential
- Obtain a Bachelor's degree or higher degree, except in professional education, from a regionally-accredited college or university.
Satisfy the basic skills requirement in one of four ways:
- Pass the CBEST.
- Pass the CSET: Multiple Subject Plus Writing Skills Examination.
- Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement examinations.
- Pass a Basic Skills Examination from another state.
One of the following requirements must be satisfied:
- Provide verification of subject-matter competence by either passing the appropriate subject matter examination(s) as specified in Verifying Subject-Matter Competence by Examination (Multiple Subject) leaflet or Verifying Subject-Matter Competence by Examination (Single Subject) leaflet.
- Complete a Commission-approved subject-matter program of course work or its equivalent and obtain certification of completion from the authorized person in the education department of a California college or university with an approved program. However, the availability of subject matter programs at California colleges and universities may be limited as they continue to phase out programs.
- For Specialized Science subjects only, individuals may take and pass the appropriate subject matter examinations or obtain verification of completion of subject-matter course work from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
- Pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA).
- Complete a Commission-approved Education Specialist Credential program in an education specialist specialty area (as explained earlier) resulting in formal recommendation by the approved program through which program requirements are completed.
Requirements for the Level II Credential:
- Complete an individualized induction plan designed in collaboration with your employer and a California college or university with a Commission-approved education specialist program in the disability area listed on your Level I credential and obtain the formal recommendation for the credential by the program sponsor where the individualized induction plan was completed.
- Complete a course in Health Education, including but not limited to, nutrition; the physiological and sociological effects of alcohol, narcotic and drug abuse; and the use of tobacco. This requirement must include training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that covers infant, child, and adult CPR skills.
- Complete a course in Computer Education, including instruction in general and specialized skills in the use of computers in educational settings.
- Provide verification of a minimum of two years of successful full-time special education teaching experience in a public school, nonpublic school, or private school with equivalent status while holding the Level I Education Specialist Instruction Credential, verified by your employer.
Now that you are a professional becoming certified to teach Special Education in California, please explore our cooresponding master's degree programs. Browse Programs Here