Teaching is a difficult field, requiring a delicate balance of care and competency as one serves students in the classroom. Teaching those with special needs requires even further nurturing, providing for the needs of those in our state's special education programs. Our state-certified special education credential program, the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Program (Mild/Moderate), meets these challenges through helping educators:
Individuals with this credential are usually offered employment in an elementary classroom setting. Biola's Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Program (Mild/Moderate) at the graduate level is a non-degree program unless pursued simultaneously with the M.A. in Teaching program. View program sheet (PDF).
Our Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Program (Mild/Moderate) is fully online and can be completed in a minimum of four semesters. Candidates may begin their program in either the fall or spring semester.
We provide challenging field experiences to help connect theoretical instruction to classroom application. Our expert faculty offer quality instruction from a Christian worldview and are committed to serve you -- both academically and spiritually. The need for well-prepared and knowledgeable Special Education teachers in California is great. Our credential progam can equip you to succeed.
The main elements of the program include:
The following prerequisite courses or their undergraduate equivalents must be taken before entering the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Program (Mild/Moderate) at Biola University. Prerequisite courses are offered at this time on the La Mirada campus only and may be waived if an equivalent course has been completed or if a candidate holds a California Preliminary Multiple or Single Subject Teaching Credential.
SEED 519/LEDU 301: Foundations of Education (2)
SEED 526/LEDU 330: Psychological Foundations of Education (3)
SEED 541/LEDU 341: Methods of Teaching Linguistically Diverse Students (3)
SEED 520/LEDU 420: Elementary Reading / Language Arts (3) or SEED 525/LEDU 425: Secondary Content Area Reading (3)
SEED 561: Issues in Special Education (3)
SEED 562: Assessment and Evaluation of Exceptional Learners (3)
SEED 563: Teaching Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities in Inclusive Settings (3)
SEED 564: Behavior and Classroom Management for Students with Special Needs (3)
SEED 583: Curriculum Design for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities (3)
SEED 532: Diagnosis and Remediation in Reading (3)
SEED 582: Consultation, Collaboration, and Communication for the Education Specialist (3)
SEED 580: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders (3)
SEED 584/SEED 585: Student Teaching in Special Education (6, 6)
Student Teaching is the final course in Biola's Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Program (Mild/Moderate). Students will have two full-time, eight-week placements in WASC-accredited schools, one in a lower grade and the other in an upper grade. Biola University supervisors mentor student teachers through regular Skype or Webex meetings and through weekly seminars.
California law requires potential teachers to complete a Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA) as one of the steps to earning a teaching credential. This assessment — made up of four individual tasks — is designed to measure how well a candidate meets the state's Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs), which define what teachers should know and be able to do. Details regarding the TPA and TPEs are available from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Biola University includes the TPA tasks within its Teacher Preparation Program coursework. Passage of all four TPA tasks are required in order to receive formal recommendation from the University for the Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential. Specifics of each TPA task are as follows:
Please contact our TPA Coordinator, Professor Christie Curtis, with any further questions.
Required Prior to Student Teaching
Please see the admission requirements page for admission information.