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Education Specialist (Special Education)

The Education Specialist Credential program prepares individuals to teach and provide services to children and young adults with disabilities from kindergarten through age 22. The CSU East Bay program includes authorizations to teach and provide services for children and young adults with mild/moderate or moderate/severe disabilities including those who are English learners.

The program includes foundational coursework in education psychology, special education law, policy and program design, instruction and assessment working with diverse populations, teaching English language learners, and teaching students with disabilities; a full complement of discipline-based methods courses; and three semesters of fieldwork and student teaching in a range of service delivery models and programs in the bay area.

The program is a full-time, two-year cohort-based program. Candidates begin with full-time enrollment in June and supervised fieldwork experiences begin in the spring semester of the first year and continue fall and spring semesters of the second year of the program. The fieldwork experiences begin with 3 full days a week during the first year and increase to 4 full days and then 5 full days, full-time teaching during the second year. The program only accepts candidates without a general education credential for June admissions. 

The program offers an alternate route to certification (Intern Program). Applications review and acceptance into the Intern Program occurs after program acceptance, usually, after summer classes have started. A separate intern application is available to eligible candidates. 

Application Process

Information Session: All applicants are highly encouraged to attend an Information Session prior to submitting an application. The schedule for Information Sessions can be found on our website.

NOTE:  Applicants must submit two applications to be considered for the program; one to the department and one to the university through Cal State Apply.

Review Application Checklist (below): Start early.  We use a rolling admissions process following the schedule below and candidates with complete applications may receive early admissions.
Please note: Not all application checklist items will apply to your application option. 

 Deadline Dates

Applicants are admitted for the Summer and Fall semesters. Summer admissions are recommended for applicants who are entering without a prior teaching credential. Applicants who hold a multiple or single subject credential must apply for Fall semester admissions.


Summer 2020

Fall 2020

Department Applications
(Traditional & Alternate Route)

Applications open: November 26, 2019
Applications close: April 22, 2020 
Document deadline: May 8, 2020

University Applications

(Cal State Apply)

Applications open: February 1, 2020
Applications close: April 22, 2020
Document deadline: May 8, 2020 

Department Applications
(Traditional & Alternate Route)

Applications open: November 26, 2019
Applications close: June 1, 2020
Document deadline: June 15, 2020

University Applications

(Cal State Apply)

Applications open: October 1, 2019
Applications close: June 1, 2020
Document deadline: July 1, 2020

1. Department Application: Complete the online application $25 non-refundable application fee. Apply now.

2. University Application: Complete the online application at Cal State Apply. 

3. Transcripts: You must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 overall or a 2.75 GPA in your last 60 units to be admitted and be in good academic standing. Do not submit transcripts until you have submitted your application. Official transcripts must be submitted in person or by mail to Graduate Admissions and the Credential Office at:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Cal State East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94542

*Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. Do not submit transcripts until you have submitted your application. 

Credential Student Service Center
Cal State East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., AE 235
Hayward, CA 94542

*Only official bachelor degree bearing transcript. Do not submit transcripts until you have submitted your application. 

IMPORTANT! You should request all transcripts sent directly to your home address, once you have gathered all transcripts you may submit them to both offices separately. The department does not accept electronic transcripts, however, the university does accept electronic copies of transcripts for your University file. Have transcripts for your University application send directly from the institution to

If currently a Cal State East Bay student or a Cal State East Bay graduate, transcripts do not need to be submitted unless you have completed post-baccalaureate coursework at another institution.

Please note: If you are in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree at a school other than Cal State East Bay you will be required to provide a certificate of completion from your university’s registrar’s and one additional official transcript after your degree has been awarded.  Your bachelor's degree must have been awarded by a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

Foreign transcripts (if applicable) - Applicants with international transcripts must provide a copy of an official evaluation of that coursework by a CTC approved agency, for a list of approved agencies visit  FOREIGN TRANSCRIPT EVALUATION

4. Admissions Checklist: The Admissions Checklist needs to be submitted with your application, only once. You will need to sign and date the bottom.

5. Certificate of Clearance: Serves as evidence of having undergone the fingerprint, character and identification process required by the CTC: CERTIFICATE OF CLEARANCE. You must obtain a Certificate of Clearance or hold a valid CTC issued document in order to be accepted to a credential program.

  • Examples of CTC documents include, but are not limited to: Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permits, Short-Term Staff Permits, Child Development Permits, Teaching Credential and other documents for which a fingerprint clearance is required for issuance.
  • Submit document printout from CTC website that displays the document name, issuance date, and expiration date. Document must remain valid while in the program.
  • Please note that the school you are placed at for student teaching may require additional fingerprinting.
  • Live Scan Form

6. Basic Skills Requirement: Demonstrated proficiency in written and spoken English and shall have taken an examination which has been determined by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to meet the California Basic Skills Requirement (BSR). Proficiency is verified by submission of one of the following:

  1. Passing the CBEST exam. Submit a legible hard copy of the official California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) full score report or other approved documentation as noted on the BSR leaflet. You may submit the online score report with the barcode displayed or a copy of the report. Online reports without the barcode are considered unofficial. Information about the CBEST can be found at
  2. Passing CSET Writing Skills subtest #142, in lieu of CBEST. Note: this only clears this requirement if you have passed CSET #101, 214, & 103.
    Submit a legible hard copy of the official score report.
  3. Passing basic skills examination from another state.
  4. Passing the CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examinations

For more information about the BSR requirements or additional options, BASIC SKILLS REQUIREMENT.

7. Subject Matter Competency: The candidate shall have demonstrated subject matter competency by the means appropriate to the credential sought.  Applicants must either A) submit proof of meeting the subject matter competency or B) submit proof of registration for the required exams or C) proof that your Subject Matter Waiver Letter is in process.

  • Special Education credential candidate shall have achieved a passing score on the California Subject Examination for Teachers. CSETs must be in a core subject (Multiple Subject, Art, English, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Music, Science, or Social Science).
*If you already a hold a multiple or single subject teaching credential, you may not be required to take the CSETs. You will still be required to submit a copy of your passing CSET scores used for your multiple or single subject teaching credential.

Note: Per CSU Executive Order 1077, the official subject matter waiver documentation must be from a CTC-approved subject matter program. A comparison and analysis of student transcripts from a non-CSU, non CTC-approved subject matter program will not satisfy the CSU requirement for certifying subject matter competence.

The CSETs can be quite challenging.  About half of the applicants need to retake one or more subtests.  Take them early and allow yourself time to retake them, if necessary. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) requires that candidates possess subject matter competency as demonstrated by passage of a series of CSET subtest or Subject Matter Waiver prior to assuming whole-class instruction (student teaching) or becoming an intern.

Hard copies of test scores including barcode need to be submitted to the CSSC during the first year of the program. More information on the CSETs can be found at About the Assessment Programs CSET.

8. Negative Tuberculosis (TB): Submit legible photocopy of your TB test results provided by your healthcare provider that include the date taken and date read from within the past two years.

  • You must maintain current TB test results throughout your entire program. If your results expire during the program, you will need to retake the test. TB skin and blood tests are valid for 3 years and chest x-rays are valid for 5 years.
  • You may also be required to have more recent results by the fieldwork site.

The TB requirement is separate from the CSUEB “Immunization Requirement” which is due by the end of your first semester in the program and is submitted to the University’s Student Health Center.

9. 45 hours of Early Field Experience: Documented field experience of at least 45 hours in a K-12 classroom or a documented field experience from the past two years. Pre-professional experience must be in a classroom or classroom-like setting with groups of children/adults ages five (5) to twenty-two (22) for the education specialist program.

  • At least 15 hours must be in a special service delivery in a within the last two years. An acceptable special service delivery experience includes work as a teacher's aide or instructional support, behavior support clinician, or classroom volunteer in a special day class. Faith-based instruction is not acceptable.
  • The remaining 30 of the 45 hours minimum must have been satisfied within the last two years. These hours may be completed in public or private school settings as a substitute teacher, para-educator, or classroom volunteer, or in community-based venues such as the YMCA, park recreations center, or in a structured summer camp, after-school, or other formally organized program. Faith-based instruction is not acceptable.
  • Submit original Early Field Experience Verification form. Use as many forms as needed to verify the total hours.

*If you have taken TED 301 (or TED 3001) at CSUEB, this course will cover 15 hours of public school experience. To show proof, you will need to print an unofficial transcript from your MyCSUEB and circle the class so we can see that you received credit.

10. U.S. Constitution: Demonstrated knowledge of the provisions and principles of the United States Constitution as demonstrated by one of the following   

  • Bachelor’s degree earned from a CSU campus in any major; indicate this option on the checklist and do not submit an additional transcript for the Department packet, or
  • An authorized college level course (2 semester or 3 quarter units). Make a photocopy of your official transcript(s)—this is from your personal transcript copy; you must not open the official transcripts required for the admissions packet. (If the course is listed on your degree bearing transcript, you do not need to submit additional documentation.) Circle the course(s) that you think may satisfy the U.S. Constitution requirement and include a printout of the course description(s). There is no expiration date for course validity. Please note the course grade(s) must be a “C” or better; or
  • Passage of U.S. Constitution examinations verified by a regionally-accredited college or university will be acceptable for certification purposes. Submit the official score report showing passage of the U.S. Constitution exam. For online U.S. Constitution exam, certification of completion must be printed in color.
*If you hold a teaching credential from California, you may not be required to complete the U.S. Constitution requirement.

11. Statement of Purpose and Coversheet: The statement of purpose responds to all there bullet points answering the following questions, typed and double spaced 300 or more word essay:

  • Describe your professional goals and experiences.
  • Describe your philosophy regarding teaching diverse students and their learning potential and issues of equity in education including students with and without disabilities.
  • Describe your personal attributes that illustrate potential for success in the program and in the field of special education.
  • Statement of Purpose Coversheet

12. Letters of Recommendation: Provide three (3) letters of recommendation forms that demonstrate suitable dispositions for teaching in public schools. Recommendation forms need to be completed by a person who has observed you teaching or working with groups of children in the age group you are pursuing your teaching credential. These observations must have been done within the last 2 years.

  • Submit three letters of recommendation forms. Must be signed and dated.
  • The letters should come from the same individuals that have observed your early field experience. The letters must be related to your experience working with groups of children related to the credential sought.
  • The individual completing the letter of recommendation form should be the teacher of record, not a student teacher.
  • Academic letters of recommendation are not acceptable.

13. Program Interview: All program applicants are required to participate in a group interview with a College of Education faculty member. You will be notified to schedule this interview after you have submitted your application packet.

REMINDER: In order to be scheduled for an interview you must have submitted the following:

  • Department application
  • University application
  • Statement of purpose

*Not all applicants are eligible for the Alternate Route to Certification (Intern Credential). In order to ensure a quality educational experience for California students the department's minimum requirements are 150 hours (documented) in a Pk-12 classroom at grade levels appropriate to your credential goal and your letters of recommendation must address your abilities to handle a classroom on your own.  The department may take other factors into consideration but having an offer of employment from a district does not guarantee that the university will recommend an Intern Credential.  The department reserves the right not to recommend an Intern Credential even if minimum requirements are met.  Please note according to the regulations of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing an Intern Credential cannot be issued until summer classes are successfully completed with a "B" or better.   Applicants interested in the Alternate Route to Certification may submit the Intern Approval Form to their program coordinator, after they receive acceptance into the program.

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