Education Specialist Credential Program
Education Specialist Mild/Moderate Credential Program Course Sequence
Education Specialist Moderate/Severe Credential Program Course Sequence
Education Specialist Credential Program Admission Requirements
Internship Information
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Handbooks and Forms

Education Specialist Credential Program

The Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Program, with authorizations for Mild/Moderate or Moderate/Severe Disabilities, prepares future teachers to serve children, youth, and adults who have special learning or emotional needs. The Education Specialist Credential may be used in K-12 resource rooms, special day classes, or alternative settings. Education Specialists function in public schools or private settings as instructors and as consultants to teachers and to families. As a credential candidate, you may choose to pursue either the Mild/Moderate or the Moderate/Severe Disabilities Authorization for the Education Specialist Credential.

Types of Credentials


The Preliminary Education Specialist Mild/Moderate Credential authorizes teachers to instruct individuals in grades K-12 and adults who have:

  • specific learning disabilities
  • mild/moderate intellectual disabilities
  • emotional disturbance
  • other health impairments


The Preliminary Education Specialist Moderate/Severe Credential authorizes teachers to instruct individuals in grades K-12 and adults who have:

  • Autism
  • moderate/severe intellectual disabilities
  • deaf-blindness
  • emotional disturbance
  • multiple disabilities

NorCal CLIPP Grant

The NorCal CLIPP Grant has closed.  For current recipients of the NorCal CLIPP Grant who are in the Education Specialist Moderate/Severe Credential Program who need information about their status can contact:

Joanna Herrera-Van Sickle/Grant Project Assistant
School of Education
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA  95929-0220
Email: / 
Phone: (530) 898-5744

Alternative Options for Earning the Education Specialist Credential

The PRISMS Project, which includes the Residency in Secondary Education (RiSE) program, gives graduates the opportunity to become educators through collaboration in an accelerated teaching program. RiSE is an innovative 12-18 month graduate program combining a Master of Arts in Education and an Education Specialist Credential in Mild/Moderate or Moderate/Severe Disabilities. Candidates may also elect to receive financial support with a living stipend. For more information about RiSE, click here. A full list of Education Specialist Credential Pathways may be viewed here

Special Features

The Education Specialist Credential Program addresses the California Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs) and Education Specialist Competencies. In addition, the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Program offers the following courses and supervised teaching experiences:

  • Relevant special education field/supervised teaching experiences
  • Teaching of reading and content literacy
  • Teaching of evidence-based interventions
  • Special education laws and regulations
  • Service learning methods
  • Strategies for teaching English Learners
  • Strategies for teaching students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Program Features

  • Fall or spring semester entry 
  • Introductory prerequisite classes offered without formal program admission
  • Assistance with preparation for employment

After Employment

Preliminary Education Specialist Credential holders have five years in which to complete the professional clear Education Specialist Credential through a regional Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) program or any other accredited induction program. An optional program extension you may pursue is a Master's Degree in Education (Special Education Advising Pattern available).


For pre-program advising please contact Andrew Nichols in Tehama 125, call 530-898-6421 to schedule an appointment, or email

Program Coordinator
Vicki Shadd
Tehama 417