The program provides a specialized education specialist teaching credential, tackling the continuous demand for qualified special education teachers. The designed degree program aims to prepare you for a role as a special education specialist in PK-12 classrooms and instructional settings for individuals up to age 22.
Certified as a special education teacher, you will receive training to deliver life skills and foundational literacy, facilitating your students in reaching their maximum potential. This pivotal role situates you as a crucial ally to special education students with mild-to-moderate disabilities and their families.
The education specialist credential program holds approval from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). It guides you through coursework and instruction styles, preparing you to work effectively as a special education teacher for diverse students with special needs. Teaching credential holders commonly instruct students at early childhood, elementary, middle, and secondary levels.
Throughout the special education credential program, you will engage in one of two tracks: the student-teaching track or the intern track. This hands-on experience prepares you to emerge as a leader in the classroom from graduation onward.
Make a Meaningful Difference
In the special education program, you will acquire the skills to teach students with disabilities, assisting them in overcoming classroom challenges. The program guides professionals in showing students how to navigate their educational paths and develop life skills that will benefit them for years.
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Ways to Earn Your Preliminary Special Education Credential Online Program
If the journey to the classroom is about learning in unique ways and recognizing this diversity, our online special education credential program offers two paths to success. In collaboration with our partners with schools in the surrounding area, we are committed to assisting you in networking and securing the optimal placement aligned with your future aspirations.
Student Teaching Track:
In this teacher education track, participants, whether prospective educators or teacher candidates, will complete two eight-week terms of unpaid student teaching placement guided by a cooperating teacher.
Standard Intern Teaching:
Tailored for candidates wanting to enter the special education program as a Teacher of Record , this option is open to all candidates, regardless of experience level. The initial class provides essential tools and knowledge for success in the internship.
The Master Plan
Often, significant growth results from small leaps. Enroll in our online Master of Arts in Education with Teaching Emphasis program to take that leap.
How it Works: As a candidate in the preliminary online education specialist instruction credential teaching program, only three additional courses are needed to earn the MAE in teaching. This efficiency is possible because special education coursework can be applied to the master's degree, and all MAE courses are conducted online.
Why it Works: A master's degree empowers teacher candidates and future educators to develop expertise in teaching and theory applicable in the classroom. With both a master's degree and a teacher credentialing certificate, broader career options become available.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Scholarship and Financial Aid Options are available?
Private and public scholarships are available to help offset the cost of education at Alliant, and institutional scholarships are offered to many candidates. Additional financial aid options, including loans, grants, federal work-study, and military aid, are available for those who qualify. Further details can be found in our Financial Options Guide.
Are there Grant Options?
Several grant options are available for eligible candidates, including the Alliant Pathway to Teaching Grant, CSAC - Golden State Teacher Grant Program (ca.gov), TEACH Grants | Federal Student Aid, and Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program (ca.gov)
Does graduation from this program prepare me for licensure exams?
This program thoroughly prepares candidates for teacher licensure exams, including the Assessment of Professional Knowledge (APK), CSET, and TPA exams. You will undergo a teaching performance assessment, a crucial step toward earning your California teaching credential.
When does the program start?
The credential is an eight-week term program and is open for enrollment during each of those respective enrollment periods. You can find a copy of our eight-week term academic calendar here.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The preliminary special education teaching credential is a 27-credit program and takes a minimum of one year to complete, over five terms.
Why Pursue a Special Education Certification
Among the common reasons why professionals apply for the certification are the job opportunities available in this high-demand field, the career and professional development it offers, the increased knowledge and skills useful across other areas of education, and sense of fulfillment in making a difference in the lives of the students with unique needs.
“In my experience with Alliant it was very clear from the start that there was a commitment to education being the great equalizer—and so, I feel like I got tools through my learning at Alliant that are allowing me to become a better teacher and reach out to everyone in my classrooms.”
At Alliant, our mission is to prepare students for professional careers of service and leadership and to promote the discovery and application of knowledge to improve lives. We offer an education that is accredited, focused on practical knowledge and skills, connected with diverse faculty and alumni, and aimed at the student experience.
CSOE offers a variety of degrees, certificates, and credentials in education that prepare you to make a lasting difference through teaching, counseling, leadership, advocacy, administration, management, and community work. Whether you’re looking for an online degree program or an in-person learning experience for your higher education, we are here to guide you every step of the way.