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Course Requirements

Module 16 units
SPED 511
Language Development for All Students
SPED 574
Literacy and Reading Instruction for Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities

*Students must complete this course before taking the RICA. The RICA must be passed before applying for the Education Specialist Preliminary Credential.

Apply for Clinical Practice

Apply for enrollment in clinical practice by April 1 for spring and October 1 for fall as well as clearance and placement by Office of Credentials and Student Placement with master teacher. Non-interns must complete Track A requirements and interns must complete Track B requirements on the application. The Office of Credentials and Student Placement does not secure placement for contracted (intern) teaching.

Module 26 units
SPED 521
Collaboration, Inclusion, Community Integration for Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities*
SPED 530
Introduction to Individual Differences and Strengths-based Education

*Assessment fee of 1 unit automatically charged with registration of SPED 530. If course is waived, fee will be moved to another course.

Transition Plan

Candidates must meet with faculty advisor by the end of Module 2 to develop a Transition Plan.

Module 37 units
SPED 501
Instructional Strategies for Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities
SPED 503
Behavior Support to Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities
Clinical Practice/Seminar for Moderate/Severe Disabilities I (Student Teaching)**
- or -
Clinical Practice/Seminar for Moderate/Severe Disabilities I (Contract Teaching)**

**Candidates cannot register for this course without clearance from the Office of Credentials and Student Placements. This is a mentor-based course. Teacher candidates do not attend classes. However, clinical practice seminars may be required and held face-to-face and/or online. Teacher candidates must attend a mandatory clinical practice orientation meeting before the beginning of the clinical practice term.

Module 47 units
SPED 502
Diagnostic and Prescriptive Intervention for Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities
SPED 507
Assessment and IEP Development for Students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities
Clinical Practice/Seminar for Moderate/Severe Disabilities II (Student Teaching)*
- or -
Clinical Practice/Seminar for Moderate/Severe Disabilities II (Contract Teaching)*

*Candidates may not register for this course without clearance from the Office of Credentials and Student Placements. This is a mentor-based course without regular class sessions. TaskStream is used for verifying clinical practice. Candidates must attend a mandatory Clinical Practice Orientation meeting. Coursework is a continuation of SPED 585A/586A.

Apply for Preliminary Credential

In order to apply for the Moderate/Severe (K–12) Education Specialist Preliminary Credential, all courses, fieldwork, clinical practice, and TaskStream ePortfolio requirements, including the completion of the Transition Plan and verification of CPR (infant, child, and adult), must be met.

Required Courses for the M.A.Ed. in Special Education18 units
SPED 532
Bilingual Special Education
SPED 582
Theories of Learning and Research in Disabilities Studies
SPED 581
Historical and Philosophical Perspectives of Disabilities Studies
SPED 583
Current Trends in Curriculum and Disabilities Studies
Guided Research Project: Procedures
Guided Research Project: Findings
Comprehensive Exam (offered November, March, and June)
Submit Intent to Graduate Form to Graduate Registrar
Total Units
Credential only27 units
Both credential and master’s degree45 units


All School of Education degree, credential, and non-degree candidates must register for and establish an electronic portfolio account through TaskStream for the duration of their studies. The candidate’s electronic portfolio will be contributed to throughout the program of study and will include the course signature assignments and other key assessments as required by the candidate’s degree or credential program. The signature assignments are critical to program improvement efforts and to the School of Education’s continuing accreditation. A candidate’s final course grade for courses with a signature assignment cannot be submitted until all necessary assessments have been uploaded to TaskStream. Successful evaluation of the electronic portfolio is required for degree completion and/or recommendation for a credential to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).

Steps to Becoming a Teacher

Step 1: Successful completion of all coursework.

NOTE: Candidates must earn a B or better in all teacher education coursework. Candidates who earn a B- or below must retake the course before they can move on to the next module. For EDUC prefix coursework, candidates must maintain a B average. Provisional Program Admittance candidates must maintain a 3.0 GPA and may not receive any grade lower than a B- during the first 12 units of the program.

Step 2: Completion of each of the following program requirements:

Step 3: Successful completion of fieldwork and clinical practice. Fieldwork is required of those credential candidates who are not in contracted teaching positions. Clinical practice is met traditionally with a master teacher; however, candidates who hold contracted teaching positions will complete clinical practice in their own classrooms.

Step 4: Before applying for a preliminary credential, credential candidates must:

Step 5: Application for a credential.

Credential Analysts

Credential analysts are liaisons between graduate education candidates, school districts, and California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). 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.

Note: This information is current for the 2013–14 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.