At a Glance

  • Units: 36
  • Cost Per Unit: $538
  • Typical Program Duration: 24 months

Special Education Credential

Serving with Compassion and Excellence

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:

  • Conduct educational assessments regarding students’ access to the academic core curriculum as well as their progress towards meeting instructional academic goals;
  • Provide instruction and special education support to individuals who have a primary disability of specific learning disabilities, mild/moderate mental retardation, other health impairment, and/or emotional disturbance;
  • Serve this population in kindergarten, grades 1-12 through age 22, and classes organized primarily for adults in services across the continuum of program options available.

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). 

The Biola Difference

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:

Prerequisite Coursework

Choose one of the following four options to meet your prerequisite coursework:

Option #1: Credential Holder
If you already hold a multiple subject or single subject credential, all prerequisite coursework to our online Education Specialist, Mild/Moderate Credential is waived.
 
Option #2: Online Accelerated Graduate Prerequisite/Corequisite Coursework*
If you do not hold a credential, you may take two graduate online courses (or the equivalent) to meet the prerequisites:
SEED 518: Designing Successful Classrooms: Starting Right (starting Fall 2014)
SEED 530: Reading Processes and Approaches (starting Fall 2014)
 
*Those taking the accelerated online pre-requisite/co-requisite courses may concurrently take other special education coursework, such as SEED 561, 562, 563, 564, and/or 580 as their schedule allows.
 
Option #3: In Person Graduate or Undergraduate Coursework
You may take a cluster of four in-person undergraduate or graduate courses (or their equivalent), or a combination thereof, as prerequisite coursework to the online Education Specialist, Mild/Moderate 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)
 
Option #4: Director Interview
You may interview with the Director of Special Education to determine personalized requirements for prerequisites, based upon transcripts and work experience.
 

Special Education Coursework

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

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. 

Teaching Performance Assessments (TPAs)

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:

  • TPA Task #1
    ($100.00 fee, subject to change)
    • SEED 541: Methods of Teaching Linguistically Diverse Students (3 units)
  • TPA Task #2
    ($100.00 fee, subject to change)
    • SEED 520: Elementary Reading/Language Arts (3 units)
  • TPA Task #3 
    ($100.00 fee, subject to change)
    • SEED 583: Curriculum Design for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities (3 units)
  • TPA Task #4
    ($120.00 fee, subject to change)

Please contact our TPA Coordinator, Dr. Christie Curtis, with any further questions.

Additional Requirements and Exams

Required Prior to Student Teaching

Additional Requirements

  • RICA
  • CPR Certification (infant, child and adult). Must meet American Heart Association or American Red Cross guidelines.  No online courses accepted.
  • Documentation of tuberculosis (TB) test clearance from medical provider (will be required for student teaching and possibly for fieldwork)

Please see the admission requirements page for admission information.

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