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Credential Programs

Program Overview

The Special Education Program at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) offers a graduate course of study that leads to a California Educational Specialist Credential and/or a Master of Science Degree. Students may choose to specialize in one of the following three authorization areas: Mild to Moderate Support Needs (MMSN), Extensive Support Needs (ESN), or Early Childhood Special Education.

Before being fully admitted to the Special Education Programs, prospective students must attend an Information Session either at the San Bernardino campus or the Palm Desert campus. Reservations are not required for Information Sessions on the San Bernardino campus. If you have questions, please contact us at (909) 537-5621. Reservations are required for the Palm Desert campus so please contact us at (760) 341-2883 ext. 78145. There is a $6 fee for parking on both campuses. Please check out the section on Credential Program Options.

What You Need to Know to Become a Special Education Teacher

* RICA is not required for admissions at CSUSB.

The special education program at CSUSB offers programs in Mild to Moderate Support Needs, Extensive Support Needs, and Early Childhood Special Education. The Mild to Moderate Support Needs (MMSN) and Extensive Support Needs (ESN) authorizations certify the teacher to serve children with special needs in grades kindergarten through 12 (or up to age 22). The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) authorization certifies the teacher to serve children with special needs between birth and kindergarten and their families. 

There are two levels of the Education Specialist teaching credential for all authorizations. The first level is called the Education Specialist Preliminary Credential (2018 Standards). As of January 1, 2011, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved the new Education Specialist Preliminary Credential structure at CSUSB. This credential is valid for a period of five years.  To obtain a California Education Specialist Preliminary Credential, State law requires individuals to complete or demonstrate the following:

  • Baccalaureate Degree (B.A. or B.S.)
  • California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST)
  • Subject Matter Competency: Subject matter proficiency may be demonstrated through one of the following options:
  1. Completion of a subject matter program approved by the commission.
  2. Passage of a subject matter examination (the California Subject Examination for Teachers or CSET).
  3. Successful completion of coursework at one or more regionally accredited institutions of higher education that addresses each of the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the commission in the content area of the credential pursuant to Section 44282, as verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation. See PSA 23-04.
  4. Successful completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with the following, as applicable: For education specialist credentials, either a major in one of the subject areas in which the commission credentials candidates or a liberal studies or other major that includes coursework in the content areas pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 44282. See PSA 23-04. For more information about the subject matter options by credential area or type, please see the following chart: Subject Matter Chart of Options
  5. Through a combination of the methods described in clauses (1), (2), and (3) in whole or in part, has met or exceeded each of the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the commission in the content area of the credential pursuant to Section 44282 for multiple and single subject credentials, or pursuant to Section 44265 for education specialist credentials. 
  • Certificate of Clearance
  • Teacher Preparation Program
  • U.S. Constitution
  • Reading Instruction Competency Assessment (RICA) *

The holder of the Education Specialist Preliminary Credential may apply for an Education Specialist Clear Credential upon successful completion of a Commission‐approved induction program with a school district within five years of completing the preliminary credential. All credentials must be renewed every five years on the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) website.


Special Education SB Campus Information Sessions


Special Education Palm Desert Campus Information Sessions

There are no scheduled upcoming events at this time.