This program prepares you to become a special education teacher in California in K-12 classrooms, as well as within other instructional settings geared for children and adults up to age 22. As a graduate of the program, you are specifically equipped to serve students with mild to moderate disabilities, including autism, various learning disabilities, emotional disturbances and other health impairments.
Successful completion of the program results in a preliminary teaching credential recommendation to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). The Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential is valid for five years, after which it must be elevated to a Clear Credential.
- Make subject matter comprehensible to all students
- Assess student learning
- Engage and support all students in learning
- Plan instruction and design learning experiences
- Create and maintain effective environments for learning
- Develop as a professional educator
- Address matters of multiculturalism and diversity in education
Program Learning Outcomes/Goals
This program has Program Learning Outcomes that are directly linked to California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) Program Standards. Through product and performance assessments that are linked to the CCTC credentialing standards, Candidates demonstrate measurable proficiency in all areas identified necessary to be effective Special Education teachers.
After completing this course of study, students will be able to do the following:
- Describe characteristics of the 12 Disability Categories in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004
- Learn therapeutic interventions to address the learning needs of students with special challenges to overcome
- Learn how to develop lesson and unit plans with differentiated instruction to address to address the learning needs of all students
- Develop a culturally sensitive mind-set and awareness of differences
- Learn and develop analytical and critical thinking skills
- Learn Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) strategies to address the learning needs of students whose first language is not English
- Learn federal Special Education law and its underlying values, beliefs, and practices.
Internship, Practicum, and/or Dissertation Information
Student Teacher Track
Candidates on the Student Teaching track ease into the classroom teaching experience. The first two terms of Clinical Practice require classroom observations. Clinical Practice III and IV, commonly called “Student Teaching” typically starts with observation, moves to one-to-one instruction, then period teaching, and gradually, over time, the candidate will take over all the duties of a “Teacher-of-Record” (TOR), and during the entire time, the Candidate is being mentored by a veteran “mentoring teacher”.
The Student Teacher Track requires four 8-week terms of Clinical Practice. In Clinical Practice I and II, 60 observation hours per term is required in K-12 classrooms for observations. Half of these observation hours can be substituted for serving as a substitute teacher or as an instructional aide.
For Clinical Practice III and IV, candidates should plan on devoting themselves full-time to “Student Teaching” and stay in their Clinical Practice placement during the same contracted hours required by the employed teachers of the school.
For Clinical Practice III and IV, the student teachers will occupy two different placements, one for each term.
Attaining a Certificate of Clearance (Background Check) is a prerequisite to be enrolled in Clinical Practice courses, as well as providing a negative Tuberculosis (TB) test result. Passing the CSET is also a prerequisite to enroll in Clinical Practice III and IV (Student Teaching).
Intern Teacher Track
In order to enroll in Clinical Practice courses on the Intern Teacher track, an Intern Credential needs to be earned by the candidate. To attain an Intern Credential, the candidate needs to pass the CBEST, pass the CSET, attain a negative Tuberculosis (TB) test result, have a Certificate of Clearance, and have taken a 120-hour Preservice course. After meeting these requirements, candidates can attain an Intern eligibility letter from Alliant’s Credential Analyst Department.
After a public school district or a certified non-public school through the California Department of Education (CDE) offers you a teaching contract as a Special Education “Teacher-of-Record” after providing them an Intern eligibility letter, then Alliant will recommend you to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) for your Intern Credential.
All of the hours for Clinical Practice I-IV on the Intern track are done through your contracted teaching position, except for 15 observation hours that must be done at different grade levels from the candidate’s teaching contract.