The mission of the Education Specialist Program is the advancement of excellence within the special education profession. Central to this mission is the crafting of special education preparation programs that reflect evidence-based practice, empirical support, as well as values founded in respect for the dignity, educational progress and improved lives of learners with disabilities. The core values of our program center upon educational and social success as dynamic contributors to quality lives for students with disabilities.
A Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Program is offered in the areas of mild-moderate support needs (MMSN) and extensive support needs (ESN), authorizing the provision of services to individuals in grades K- age 22 in inclusion programs, resource specialist program (RSP) settings, special day classes (SDC), and working with adults. Each credential authorizes the teaching of individuals with many federally defined disabilities, including autism, as well as the teaching of students who are English learners. The emphasis on the level of support an individual needs to be self-determined is what differentiates the MMSN from the ESN. Teachers with an MMSN credential may expect to teach individuals with a range of abilities in academic, social, behavioral, and functional skills. The ESN credential prepares teachers to work with students whose disabilities require more intensive support and assistance to live independently.
Each semester of the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Program includes a fieldwork component in a local K-22 school setting. School-based practice is a vital part of learning to be an effective special educator.
Successful completion of and recommendation for the Preliminary Education Specialist authorizes the candidate to seek employment as a special educator. The Preliminary Education Specialist Credential holder must clear the credential through a Clear Induction program.