At a Glance

  • Units: 36
  • Cost Per Unit: $592
  • Typical Program Duration: 12–18 months

Special Education (Mild/Moderate) Credential

Special Education teachers in California are in high demand. Biola University provides enriching field experiences combined with dynamic online instruction to prepare candidates for successful entry into the field of special education. Earning the Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential (Mild/Moderate) authorizes teachers to:

  • Provide instruction and special education support to individuals who have specific learning disabilities, mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, other health impairments, serious emotional disturbance, and authorizes service in grades K–12 and in classes organized primarily for adults through age 22
  • Provide autism instructional services to students within the credential subject area
  • Provide instruction for English language development within the credential subject area

Biola’s Special Education Credential program is fully online and can typically be completed in three to four semesters.  Candidates may begin the program in either the fall, spring or summer semester. In addition to earning a teaching credential, candidates may also complete one of Biola University’s master’s degree programs with an additional two to three semesters of online coursework.

The Biola Difference

At Biola, our expert faculty take personal interest in each student’s academic and spiritual growth. Integrating the Christian faith into the vocation of an educator will be the highest priority alongside of providing relevant and academically robust instruction. Students should expect to grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus as they receive academic training at Biola’s School of Education.

Two Paths to Credential

At Biola University, there are two ways to earn a preliminary Education Specialist (Mild/Moderate) teaching credential.

1. Traditional track

The traditional track involves successful completion of prerequisites, online coursework, fieldwork and a student teaching assignment during the final semester of the program. All fieldwork and student teaching placements will be in WASC-accredited public schools. Biola University supervisors will mentor student teachers through regular in-person or online meetings, and through weekly seminars. This program works well for full-time candidates. View Traditional Track Program Sheet for detailed information (PDF).

2. Intern track

The intern track involves successful completion of prerequisites followed by completion of online coursework while the candidate is employed as a full-time special education teacher under an intern credential. Biola University supervisors will mentor Intern teachers through regular in-person or online meetings, and through weekly seminars. View Intern Track Program Sheet for detailed information (PDF).

Students have the option to transition from traditional to intern track at any time if qualifications are met.

Special Education Coursework (units)

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) or SEED 611-614: Intern Support Seminars (3, 3, 3, 3)

Additional Requirements and Exams

Required prior to Student Teaching or Intern Teaching
  • Certificate of Clearance
  • Present evidence of meeting the Basic Skills Requirement
  • Subject Matter Preparation (State-Approved Program or CSET Examination)
  • U.S. Constitution (approved coursework or exam)
  • Documentation of tuberculosis (TB) test clearance administered wtihin three months prior to start of program (find a local health clinic offering TB services here)
  • District teaching contract (required for Interns only)

Additional Requirements for Credential Application

  • RICA
  • CPR Certification (infant, child and adult). Must meet American Heart Association or American Red Cross guidelines.  No online courses accepted.

Please see the admission requirements page for admission information.

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000