Teaching Credential, Preliminary, Moderate/Severe

Preliminary Education Specialist – Moderate/Severe Credential

Special education teachers are caring, patient, creative, and accepting professionals who work to motivate and educate students throughout their learning experiences. Brandman University’s preliminary teaching credential in moderate to severe disabilities prepares candidates to become influential leaders within their school systems by working with individuals in grades K-12 and adults up to age 22 who have unique educational needs. Based on Common Core and other California state content standards, students will learn to design engaging lessons and develop the skills needed to plan and deliver differentiated instruction, effectively manage their classrooms, and implement data-driven assessments. Brandman University’s program is uniquely designed to combine course work with field experiences giving students real-world application that they can use to forward their careers. Both of these elements are aligned with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) Special Education Teacher Performance Evaluations and reflect current best practices and research in the field.

What Jobs Can I Get with My Credential?

Special education teachers who instruct students with moderate to severe learning, physical, and cognitive conditions are part of an elite group dedicated to serving those who are most in need.  Jobs are available at all levels of primary and secondary education systems throughout the country, and although employment growth depends on government funding and grade level, opportunities will continue to exist as teachers begin their roads to retirement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics job opportunities may be better in certain specialties, such as experience with early childhood intervention and skills in working with students who have multiple disabilities, severe disabilities, or autism spectrum disorders [1]. Brandman University’s moderate/severe program helps equip teachers with the skills needed to satisfy this demand along with its alternative degree and teaching credential programs in many these specific areas.

In addition to becoming special education teachers, or even those who want to serve as substitute teachers to help with California’s teacher drought, some graduates may even consider becoming childcare workers who are dedicated to serving families who have individuals with moderate to severe challenges. Especially in the summer season when traditional schools are in recess, many parents seek assistance for watching their children while at work and look for those who understand and know how to serve individuals with specific needs. These invaluable professionals may work within childcare centers, their own homes, or the homes of the children in their care. The job outlook for childcare workers is relatively positive with the Bureau projecting 14% growth for the occupation through 2022 [2], and specializing in disability related care gives professionals a unique competitive edge.

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 the Bachelor's degree conferred
  2. Statement of Intent
  3. Recommendation for Teacher Preparation Candidates Forms (3)
  4. Proof of a passing score on the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) or any CTC approved basic skills tests is required for admission to all credential programs. Multiple Subject candidates may use the passage of the Multiple Subject CSET (all four subsets) in place of the CBEST.
  5. Providing 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. (This is not a requirement for the Early Childhood Special Education Credential)
  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.

Adding a Mild/Moderate or Moderate/Severe Options to an Existing Credential Option:

Adding a mild/moderate or moderate/severe Preliminary Education Specialist Credential, 2009-2010 CTC Standards, to an existing Preliminary Education Specialist Credential, 2009-2010 CTC Standards.

Prerequisites: Valid Preliminary or Clear Education Specialist Credential, mild/moderate or moderate/severe with EL Authorization based on 2009 CTC Program Standards and an Autism Authorization. This program is not available to candidates who hold only a Level 1 credential.

Admission Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirements:

  • Applicants to a credential program must possess a grade point average of 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): any two of the three GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative or Analytical Writing) may be used to meet credential program admissions standard. The minimum acceptable score for the Verbal and Quantitative sections is 450. 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). Exceptions are Foundational Level General Math where only subtests I and II are required and Foundational Level General Science where only subtests I and II are required.

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 413/513 Student Health and Safety 2
EDUU 451/551* 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 Literacy and Language in K-8 Classrooms I 3
or EDSU 532 Effective Literacy for Single Subject Candidates 3


Emphasis Course (3 credits)

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


English Learner requirements must be met in one of the following ways: (0-15 credits)

  1. Passing score on the CTEL examination.
  2. Hold a current CLAD/BCLAD.
  3. Hold a current 1059 or 2042 Multiple of 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 Mathematics 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 following courses and a portfolio for the CTEL certificate:
    EDUU 570 Voice, Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice 3
    EDUU 526 Theories of Language Development 3
    EDUU 527 Language Development: A Teaching and Learning Process 3
    EDUU 528 Content-based Instruction for Linguistic Minority Students, Sheltered Academics 3


Clinical Practice (10 credits)

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

Candidates seeking both a Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe Credential will be required to complete at least 2 sessions of Directed Teaching at two different age levels.


Total Credits (not including Prerequisites) 40-55
Antelope Valley Campus Building
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