School of Education

Education Specialist Credential Program

The Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Program, with authorizations for Mild to Moderate Support Needs (MMSN; Mild/Moderate) or Extensive Support Needs (ESN; Moderate/Severe), 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 to Moderate Support Needs (MMSN) or the Extensive Support Needs (ESN) Authorization for the Education Specialist Credential.

Types of Credentials

Mild to Moderate Support Needs (MMSN)


The Preliminary Education Specialist Mild to Moderate Support Needs (MMSN) Credential (Mild/Moderate) authorizes service in grades K-12, transitional kindergarten, and in classes organized primarily for adults through age 22 who have:

  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Mild/Moderate support needs
  • Autism
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Intellectual disability
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairment 
  • Other health impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury

Extensive Support Needs (ESN)


The Preliminary Education Specialist Extensive Support Needs (ESN) Credential (Moderate Severe) authorizes service in grades K-12, transitional kindergarten, and in classes organized primarily for adults through age 22 who have:

  • Autism
  • Deafblind
  • Extensive support needs
  • Intellectual disability
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Traumatic brain injury

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.


For pre-program advising please visit this link.

Program Coordinator
Dr. Karen Schreder
Tehama 411
530-898-6421 in new window)

Application Deadlines

Application Window: December - March 1st (Fall Term Start)

  • Bilingual
  • Concurrent
  • Education Specialist
  • Multiple Subject
  • Single Subject
  • Education Specialist Add-On

Application Window: July - October 1st (Spring Term Start)

  • Education Specialist
  • Multiple Subject
  • Single Subject
    • Art, Music, and World Languages (Spanish) are Fall Start only
  • Education Specialist Add-On