- Course Requirements
- TaskStream ePortfolios
- Steps to Becoming a Teacher
- Credential Analysts
- Frequently Asked Questions
The cohort model begins with Module 1, with entry in either the Fall I or Spring I term. Candidates who enter at other times of the year will be advised as to what courses to take until the next modular entry occurs with official advisement only. A maximum of nine units may be taken per term with the program director's prior written approval.
|Module 1||7 units|
SPED 506Educational Foundations and Classroom Management (K–12)
SPED 516Methods of Teaching Reading and Writing*
SPED 566AField Experience I (K-12)**
*Students must complete this course before taking the RICA. The RICA must be passed before qualifying for a credential.
**This is a mentor-based course with two seminar meetings as scheduled by each regional center SPED site coordinator. Coursework is assessed via eCompanion, and signature assignments are posted on TaskStream. Teacher candidate must be able to complete observation hours.
|Apply for Clinical Practice|
|After completion of Module 1, candidates must apply for clinical practice by April 1 for spring and October 1 for fall.|
|Module 2||7 units|
SPED 530Introduction to Individual Differences and Strengths-based Education
SPED 535Counseling, Collaboration, and Consultation
SPED 566BField Experience II (K-12)*
*This is a mentor-based course with two seminar meetings as scheduled by the regional center SPED site coordinators. Coursework is a continuation of SPED 566A and is assessed via eCompanion, and signature assignments are posted on TaskStream. Teacher candidate must be able to complete observation hours.
|Clearance for Clinical Practice|
|After completion of Module 2, candidates must obtain clearance for clinical practice in their approved classroom.|
|Module 3||7 units|
SPED 531Assessment Issues and Methodologies Related to Student Learning
SPED 540Rtl/Brain-based Teaching and Learning: Math Disorders
SPED 576AClinical Practice I (Student Teaching, K-12)*
*Candidates may not register for this course without clearance from the Office of Student Services. This is a mentor-based course without regular class sessions. TaskStream is used for ePortfolio verifying Clinical Practice. Course packet access information is given at the Mandatory Clinical Practice Orientation Meeting.
|Module 4||7 units|
SPED 536Rtl/Brain-based Teaching and Learning: Reading and Written Language Arts Disorders
SPED 537Theories and Interventions in Behavior Disorders
SPED 576BClinical Practice II (Student Teaching, K-12)*
*Candidates may not register for this course without clearance from the Office of Student Services. This is a mentor-based course without regular class sessions. TaskStream is used for ePortfolio verifying Clinical Practice. Course packet access information is given at the Mandatory Clinical Practice Orientation Meeting. Coursework is a continuation of SPED 576A.
|Additional Credential Course (Summer II or as advised)||3 units|
SPED 511Language Development for All Students
|Apply for Preliminary Credential|
|Submit Intent to Graduate Form to Graduate Registrar.|
|Required Courses for Master of Arts in Education: Special Education (for those in combination programs only)||12 units|
SPED 581Historical and Philosophical Perspectives of Disabilities Studies
SPED 583Current Trends in Curriculum and Disabilities Studies
SPED 584AGuided Research Project: Procedures
SPED 584BGuided Research Project: Findings
*If waived for credential, must still be taken for master’s degree
**Must be taken at very end of program, after all other coursework is completed (May not be taken out of order or during summer terms)
|Credential Only||31 units|
|Both Credential and Master’s||46 units|
Note: Completion of all credential requirements, including all examinations, coursework, and other requirements, must be met before the master’s degree will be posted. An Intent to Graduate Form must be completed and fees paid by the deadlines set by the Office of the Graduate Registrar.
Candidates are required to enroll in TaskStream, which includes an online portfolio assessment system to facilitate candidate evaluation. Candidates create electronic portfolios to showcase and document their competencies and experience with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC), share artifacts or the entire portfolio with instructors and advisors for feedback and review online, submit sections of their portfolio or the entire body of work for evaluation online, and track their progress toward their degree. Courses include assignments, etc. that comprise the portfolio. A one-time assessment fee is levied at the program’s outset to cover these requirements.
Note: Up-to-date schedule of course offerings per term can be found through the university’s Web portal, or with the assistance of the site coordinator.
Steps to Becoming a Teacher
The cohort model begins with entry in Module 1 in Fall I or Spring I. Candidates may enter at other times of the year. Their academic advisor will direct candidates as to specific courses in which to enroll.
Step 1: Successful Completion of First and Second Modules of coursework (See credential/master’s program for specific courses.)
NOTE: Candidates admitted with Provisional Program Acceptance must complete the first 12 units with a B (3.0) or better in each course to remain eligible for continued enrollment at the university. CBEST must be passed before moving to Module 2.
Step 2: TPA – Task 1
As part of SPED 505/506 in the first module, candidates must demonstrate mastery of the Teaching Performance Expectation (TPE) through Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) by completing task one. A one-time assessment fee is levied at the beginning of the program. TPE will be met through SPED courses.
Step 3: RICA
Special Education candidates are required to pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) before applying for a Preliminary Credential. As the course to prepare for this exam is taken in the first module (SPED 515/516), students are strongly encouraged to take the exam during the second module.
Step 4: Clearance to advance to Clinical Practice (Student/Contract Teaching)
The Application for Clinical Practice Clearance must be submitted to the Office of Student Services (626) 815-5353 or (626) 815-5343 by October 1, for the spring semester, or by April 1, for the fall semester with the supporting documentation listed below:
- Subject-Matter Competency according to state and program guidelines by:
- Proof of passage of California Subject Examinations for Teacher (CSET): Multiple-Subject, all three subtests
- Proof of passage of Single-Subject Assessment Examination, all required subtests
- Official verification of completion of a CTC-approved subject-matter program signed by the credential analyst at the institute of higher education in which the courses were successfully completed
- U.S. Constitution requirement (passage by test or by verified coursework)
- Verification of passage of CBEST
- Receipt of results of Certificate of Clearance or a copy of a current Emergency Permit
- Verification of negative results from a Mantoux TB skin test
Continuing positive disposition characteristics including emotional stability, interpersonal relations, evidence of mental and physical health, evidence of meeting ongoing “character” standards, and other requirements listed on the application
NOTE: Candidates must report any changes or issues in “character” standings, including unresolved issues with the law and/or the CTC, to the credential analysts at APU. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the program.
Completion of SPED 505/506, 515/516, 530, 535, 565A/566A, and 565B/566B with a grade of B or above. Remediation is required if a candidate only earn a B- and is done through the instructor or program director. Candidates must retake the course if their final grade is C or below.
NOTE: Remediation does not change the course grade but shows competency and allows the teacher candidate to proceed.
- Candidates must attend the Mandatory Orientation Meeting as directed by the department before Clinical Practice.
- Clinical Practice is met through one of the following:
- Track A – Traditional student teaching in a master teacher’s classroom during Modules 3 and 4 (18 weeks, full-time, voluntary work).
Track B – Contracted teaching assignment in the candidate’s own classroom. Candidates must provide a copy of their contract and letter on school letterhead fully describing the assignment for consideration and must obtain prior approval from the program director.
NOTE: Candidates with an approved non-WASC teaching position must complete an extra 50 hours (four to six weeks) of Clinical Practice in a WASC setting as placed by the Office of Student Services. (626) 815-5353 or (626) 815-5343
Step 5: Successful completion of Clinical Practice and all coursework in Modules 3 and 4 (See credential/master’s program for specific courses.)
Step 6: Successful completion of additional Credential Courses (See credential/master’s program for specific courses.)
Step 7: Completion of transition plan and CPR (infant, child, and adult).
Step 8: Apply for Credential.
Candidates may apply for the Preliminary Credential upon completion of all the above criteria. The Preliminary Credential is valid for five years and nonrenewable. Contact the Credential Analysts’ Office for application materials at the end of the fourth module. Contact (626) 815-5346 for more information.
Step 9: Professional Clear Credential
Candidates completing their Preliminary Credential and are employed, have 120 days to begin work on their Professional Clear Credential. A Change of Program must be submitted in order to be admitted and advised for the Individual Induction Plan process. During this advisement, the IIP is developed and permission is given to register for Clear Credential coursework. (See Clear Credential program for more information.) Candidate must verify through the school district whether the candidate qualifies for Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA).
NOTE: Those in the credential/master’s programs are allowed to continue with their master’s coursework while they are completing their Clear Credential program.
Credential analysts are liaisons between graduate education candidates, school districts, and California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). They process requests for fingerprint clearance (Certificates of Clearance), and applications required to file credentials with the CTC. They review all potential candidate files as part of the admissions process. For more information, please contact (626) 815-5346.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many units do I take each semester?
Students may take no more than 8 units per nine-week term, which includes a maximum of two methods or education classes and their corequisite field experiences (if appropriate).
How long is a semester?
Each semester has two terms (Fall I and Fall II, Spring I and Spring II). Each term is nine weeks in length. The 18-week student teaching semester covers Fall I and II or Spring I and II.
How many hours does each class session require?
Each class requires that students meet for approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes, once a week.
How many evenings per week do I attend classes?
Students meet one night a week for nine weeks, plus a Saturday final exam session.
Does APU require theses, dissertations, or capstone projects?
Students are required to complete a thesis/capstone project for this program.
How soon can I finish this program?
This program can be completed in a year. Depending upon the desired course load, working individuals usually finish this program in 12–18 months.