Special Education Credential, Mild Moderate Disabilities

Preliminary Education Specialist - Mild/Moderate Credential with an English Learner Authorization

Special education teachers are some of the most passionate and dedicated professionals in the world who work to help educate, develop, and support students with special learning, mental, or emotional needs. Brandman University’s Education Specialist program prepares candidates to teach students with mild-to-moderate challenges in grades kindergarten through high school, and adults up to age 22. They will learn to assess, plan for, instruct and evaluate students with early-to-mid stage disabilities while effectively communicating strategies with their support systems.

Brandman’s program is uniquely designed to ensure learning outcomes are illustrated with practical application by requiring all mild/moderate education specialist credential students to experience at least of ten hours of field work. Both elements of the program are aligned with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) Special Education Teaching Performance expectations and reflect current research and best practices in the industry.

What Jobs Can I Get with My Credential?

The majority of special education teachers work with children with mild to moderate disabilities using or modifying the general curriculum to meet the individual's unique needs. These valuable professionals are typically patient, able to motivate students, understanding of their students’ unique needs, and embrace diversity by accepting others with various backgrounds. They must be creative and able to apply different types of instructional methods to tailor education plans to students who are having difficulty learning. Some schools offer year-round education for special education students, but most teachers in the field work the traditional school year with summer months off.

There are many factors that lead to the field’s growth including better screening, legal compliance obligations for schools to provide services to disabilities, and earlier identification of various disabilities in children. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, within the special education field kindergarten and elementary school teachers are projected to have the most job opportunities through 2022, but the highest growth rate of 16% is at the preschool level [1]. Just as Brandman’s credential program prepares its candidates for jobs within the K-12 system, preliminary education specialist graduates may also pursue careers in middle to secondary schools. In addition to the mild/moderate special education preliminary teacher credential, students may consider pursuing their credential in moderate/severe or even both. Master’s degrees in teaching with credential options are also available to provide students the competitive edge they need to become stand out candidates and leaders.

Admission Requirements

Applicants intending on enrolling in this program, whether online or on campus, must be California residents and must complete the formal application process with all required documents, which include:

  1. Official (sealed) transcripts indicating a conferred Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  2. Statement of Intent
  3. 3 recommendation forms
  4. Proof of a passing score on the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) or any CTC approved basic skills tests
    1. Multiple Subject candidates may use the passage of the Multiple Subject CSET (all four subsets) in place of the CBEST
  5. Provide evidence that they have registered for, have taken or have passed the appropriate subject matter examination (CSET) prior to admission to the program. Single Subject candidates may submit verification of completion of a subject matter preparation program in the appropriate subject matter to meet this requirement. (Early Childhood Special Education Credential candidates excluded)
  6. Letter of Good Standing: Applicants transferring from another institution's credential program must supply a letter from that institution's Education Department attesting to the applicant's good standing in their program. Such a letter should be written on institutional letterhead by the Dean, the department chair, the director of teacher education, or some other person in a similar position.

Admission Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirements:

  • Applicants to a credential program must possess a 2.75 (GPA) calculated over the most recent 30 graded semester (45 quarter) credits completed in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program, including credits earned toward a credential. All credits used for GPA calculation must be from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Applicants to the Single Subject or Education Specialist Credential program who are using an academic major or coursework for subject matter competency must also have a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 in their major field to be admitted
  • Applicants with GPAs between 2.50* and 2.74 can qualify for admission to a credential program by earning a passing score on one of the qualifying examinations listed below. A passing score will fulfill both the admission and the major grade point average requirements. Applicants may not enroll in any 500 level courses other than prerequisites, until successful completion of an entrance examination:
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE): achieve the required minimum scores on two out of the three subsections. The minimum acceptable score for the Quantitative section is 141. The minimum acceptable score for the Verbal section is 150. The minimum acceptable score for the Analytic Writing is 4.5.
    • Miller Analogies Test (MAT): achieve a minimum scaled score of 403.
    • Subject Matter Competency Examinations: successfully pass all subtests of the appropriate California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET).

Exceptional Admit:

Multiple and Single Subject, and Education Specialist applicants with a GPA lower than 2.5 may, under certain conditions, petition for admission consideration under an “exceptional admit” category. Applicants must have passed the CBEST and one of the approved graduate admission examinations specified in number 6 above to be considered for an “exceptional admit”. The School of Education encourages applicants to take the appropriate Subject Matter Competency Examination as a way to demonstrate suitability for admission to a credential program. To petition for admission candidates must submit all required admission documents specified in #1 above and each of following:

  1. Petition for exceptional admission.
  2. Letter from the candidate specifying exceptional admission criteria and how those criteria have been met.
  3. Passing scores on CBEST and passing scores on one of the approved graduate admission exams listed above.
  4. Three current letters of reference attesting to the candidate’s ability to complete graduate coursework. The letters cannot be older than two years from the date of application.
  5. A letter of support from the local campus education committee. The committee must have three members and must include one full-time faculty member.

Applicants who choose to enroll in these credential programs have the option of completing their programs in a "credential only" format, or, if they meet graduate degree admission criteria in a Master of Arts in Teaching format (please see MAT degree program for details).

*Students admitted to credential programs are not automatically admitted to Master's degree programs


Prerequisites (8 credits)

PSYU 323 Child Development 3
EDUU 513 Student Health and Safety 2
EDUU 551* Educational Application of Computers I 3

* A waiver of the technology requirement may be granted based on successful completion of the CSET Educational Technology Exam, documentation of completion of regular education computers in education coursework from an accredited college or university, or the submission of an electronic portfolio (under certain conditions).


Core Courses (21 credits)

EDUU 510 Introduction to Teaching 3
EDUU 511 Collaboration for Inclusive Schooling 3
EDUU 512 The Art and Craft of Teaching 3
EDUU 649 Data-Based Decision Making in Special Education 3
EDUU 602 Positive Behavior Supports 3
EDUU 603 Instructional Supports for Communication, Language, and Literacy 3
EDUU 655 IEP Development and Special Education Law 3


Literacy Content (6 credits)

EDMU 520 Literacy and Language in K-8 Classrooms I 3
EDMU 521 or Literacy and Language in K-8 Classrooms I 3
EDSU 532 Effective Literacy for Single Subject Candidates 3


Emphasis Course (3 credits)

EDUU 519  and/or Teaching Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities 3
EDUU 560 Teaching Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities 3


English Learner requirements must be met in one of the following ways: (0-12 credits)

  1. Passing score on the CTEL examination (available only by petition, speak with your advisor about this option). 
  2. Hold a current CLAD/BCLAD.
  3. Hold a current 1059 (with CLAD) or 2042 Multiple or Single Subject(s) Credential.
  4. Successfully complete the following courses in addition to EDMU 520 and EDMU 521.
    EDMU 523 History, Social Studies, and Visual/Performing Arts in K-8 Classrooms 3
    EDMU 524 Teaching and Learning Math in K-8 Classrooms 3
    EDMU 525 Teaching and Learning Science in K-8 Classrooms 3
  5. Successfully complete the following courses in addition to EDMU 520 and EDSU 532.
    EDSU 530 Theories, Methods, and Materials for Teaching English Language Learners 3
    EDSU 531 Secondary Instructional Strategies for Language/ Culturally Diverse Classroom 3
    EDSU 533 Content Specific Strategies for Single Subjects 3
    EDSU 534 Preparing 21st Century Learners: A Collaborative and Integrated Approach 3
  6. Successfully complete the CTEL certificate courses and a portfolio (available only by petition, speak with your advisor about this option).


Clinical Practice (10 credits)

EDTU 572 Directed Teaching I, Mild/Moderate  3
EDUU 544 Student Teaching Seminar I 2
EDTU 592 Directed Teaching II, Mild/Moderate  3
EDUU 545 Student Teaching Seminar II  2
EDTU 573 Directed Teaching I, Moderate/Severe  3
EDUU 544 Student Teaching Seminar I 2
EDTU 593 Directed Teaching II, Moderate/Severe 3
EDUU 545 Student Teaching Seminar II 2

Candidates seeking both a Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe credential will be required to complete a total of 2 sessions of Directed Teaching, one in each area and at two different age levels.


Total Credits (not including prerequisites) 40-55
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