Special Education and Educational Specialist Credential Programs

Frequently Asked Questions:

What does this degree allow you to do?

  • Teach in a Special Education classroom, either mild/moderate or moderate/severe. 
  • Can be combined with Master of Arts with an Emphasis in Special Education.  

What are the unique features of Touro's Special Ed program?

  • Focus on inclusion
  • Focus on instructional strategies
  • Practical teaching skills developed in classrooms

 How long does the program take?

  • For SPED Preliminary, teacher candidates generally take the coursework over three to four semesters to complete 36 semester units.

How much does it cost?

  • For the 18-19 academic year: SPED Preliminary: 36 units x $600 per unit=$21,600; Software and books=$700
  • Financial aid is available
  • Tuition and Fees posted here: LINK

What are the admissions requirements to the Educational Specialist Credential Program?

  • Credential program admissions requirements and criteria are found here: LINK

Additional Program Specific Admissions Requirements: 

  • Proof of Completion of Basic Skills Requirement: Applicants must provide evidence of one of the following CTC approved options for meeting Basic Skills Requirement: https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-source/leaflets/cl667.pdf?sfvrsn=91a6cf60_24. Note that applicants who have not yet met the Basic Skills Requirement can be considered for conditional admission with proof of registration for CBEST. 
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged, but not required to meet subject matter competency prior to applying. This includes CSET for Multiple Subject candidates and Education Specialist candidates/CSET or a Subject Matter Competency waiver from an accredited subject matter preparation program for Single Subject candidates. Candidates who are admitted and enroll must provide proof of registration for subject matter competency by the second semester and must demonstrate successful completion of subject matter competency before the end of the second semester. A failure to do so will delay progress in the program. 

Can you transfer credits to the program?

  • Up to 12 credits can be transferred in the credential completion programs, upon program approval.

Location of classes?

  • Touro University, Mare Island, Vallejo
  • Where groups of local teachers are interested, school district based cohorts can be formed.

When do classes meet?

  • Classes meet in the evenings, usually one or two times per week.


Linda Haymes, Ph.D.
Program Chair and Associate Professor

CCTC Approved Special Education/Educational Specialist Teaching Credential Programs

  • Preliminary Educational Specialist-Mild/Moderate Teaching Credential
  • Intern Educational Specialist-Mild/Moderate Teaching Credential
  • Preliminary Educational Specialist-Moderate/Severe Teaching Credential
  • Intern Educational Specialist-Moderate/Severe Teaching Credential

Touro University offers the Education Specialist Teaching Credential.  The teacher preparation program at Touro University’s Graduate School of Education integrates coursework with clinical field experiences, including student teaching. During the completion of coursework, candidates have opportunities to build and demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the domains essential to effective teaching and to develop their professional identity.

All teacher credential candidates demonstrate their abilities and competencies by completing a portfolio which includes assignments, position papers, reflection papers, student teaching evaluations, and classroom materials developed throughout the preparation program. The portfolio is evaluated by the candidate's adviser prior to recommendation for the Education Specialist teaching credential.

Requirements for an Education Specialist
Preliminary Teaching Credential

The teacher candidate provides all documents necessary to verify completion of requirements. The Touro University Graduate School of Education recommends the candidate for a credential. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) issues the preliminary credential, valid for five years. Students must complete a Clear Induction Education Specialist Credential program during that time period.

Prior to admission to Touro University’s Credential Program and enrolling in classes:

  • Complete a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Pass California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)
  • Verify negative results of tuberculosis (TB) examination
  • Complete a LiveScan and Certificate of Clearance

Prior to student teaching or intern teaching:

  • Complete 120 hours of instruction 
  • Show competency in the principles of the U.S. Constitution
  • Verify subject matter knowledge. Options include passing the California Standards Examination for Teachers (CSET) or securing a letter from a university verifying completion of a CCTC-approved subject matter program                     

Prior to filing for credential:

  • Pass Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA). 
  • Complete exit interview with advisor after completing Preliminary Credential requirements.

Course Sequence:

Preliminary Mild/Moderate Disabilities ( 36 Units) and/or

Moderate/Severe Disabilities (36 units)

EDUC 770: Educational Psychology & Classroom Management (3 units)

EDUC 771: Teaching Diverse Learners (3 units)

EDUC 772: Elementary Literacy & Planning Instruction (3 units)

Teacher Candidates are Intern Eligible after completing these 3 introductory courses (must have CBEST, US Constitution, and Subject Matter Competence)

EDUC 718: Inclusive School Environments for all Learners (3 units)
SPEC 711: Transition from School to Adult Life (3 units)
SPEC 791: Positive Behavior Supports (3 units)
SPEC 792: Assessment and the IEP Process (3 units)
SPEC 793: Instruction of Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities (3 units)               

SPEC 794: Instruction of Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities             

COURSE ELECTIVE (3 units) Students select one course from the following courses:

EDUC 773:  Secondary Literacy & Planning Instruction 

EDUC 774:  Curriculum & Instruction Methods 1: Elementary Language Arts, Social Studies,                       Visual and Performing Arts       

EDUC 775:  Curriculum & Instruction Methods 1: Secondary                        

EDUC 776:  Curriculum & Instruction Methods 2: Elementary Math,
                Science (Health/PE)                                                               
EDUC 777:  C&I Methods 2: Secondary                                                            
EDUC 778:  Advanced Elementary Literacy Instruction                               
EDUC 778:  Advanced Elementary Literacy Instruction                           
EDUC 779:  Advanced Secondary Literacy in the Content Areas


EDUC 781C: Clinical Field Experience Practicum & Seminar Mild/Moderate 9 units  and/or
EDUC 781D: Clinical Field Experience Practicum & Seminar Moderate/Severe
Clear Mild/Moderate Disabilities and/or Moderate/Severe Disabilities

***Beginning the fall 2017 semester, Touro University California will no longer offer the clear educational specialist (MM or MS) teaching credential. This is due to changes in the CCTC credential standards and, in general, new teachers who are preliminary educational specialist credential holders will be supported in induction programs sponsored by district or county offices. This does not impact Touro students currently enrolled in the clear program. Importantly, Touro will not admit new students into the clear program for fall 2017.

AB 2086 requires that all teacher preparation programs provide a link to the most recent data available about teacher licensure pass rates.  That data can be found HERE.