About the Program
The current shortage of special education teachers creates a growing demand for educators with a special education credential. APU now offers a clear credential in special education for the teaching of mild/moderate disabled students (K–12).
APU candidates prepare to work in schools as teachers and they must know and demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all candidates learn. Therefore, the Department of Special Education assesses candidates from admission through recommendation of credentials in these credential standards. As a result, our candidates are highly sought after because of fulfillment of these professional standards.
APU offers a variety of programs in special education. The Special Education Program offers two credential tracks for a Preliminary Mild to Moderate Disabilities Special Education Credential. Track A is for special education teacher candidates without full-time teaching contracts or who are without Subject Matter Competence. Track B is for special education contracted teacher candidates who are employed full-time in a public or WASC-approved private K–12 school, in a setting and assignment approved by the special education program director or chair. They also must have Subject Matter Competence. All special education candidates must participate in supervised field experience, clinical practice, and develop an ePortfolio through TaskStream. These are state-approved, ELL-embedded programs.
If desired, candidates may qualify to enter one of the credential/master’s degree combined programs which work with the same Preliminary, Track A and Preliminary, Track B credentials as described above. Credential courses are combined with selected courses required for a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Special Education. Master’s degree coursework usually follows completion of credential programs. These are state-approved ELL-embedded programs.
With program requirements and class times tailored to the working adult, APU's School of Education programs fit your schedule.
- Classes meet one night a week for nine weeks.
- Each class lasts approximately four hours.
- Students should not take more than two courses (6 units) per term.
- It takes most working individuals 12–18 months to finish the program, depending on requirements.
- Six-week summer sessions are available.
Aspiring and veteran educators from a variety of backgrounds pursue their graduate degree at APU. Most are adult students seeking to enhance their professional development, while others enter the program as a step toward a career change. Our student population comprises approximately 60 percent women and 40 percent men. Small class sizes increase opportunity for individual attention from expert faculty, making the education experience both relevant and personal.