Moderate to Severe Disabilities

Learn More About Our COVID-19 Response

The current shortage of special education teachers creates a growing demand for educators with a Moderate/Severe Disabilities Education Specialist Credential. This program prepares teacher candidates for 21st-century teaching and learning.

Wondering What It’s Like to Work in Special Education?

Special education teachers work to effectively instruct students of all abilities and are often driven by a personal desire to positively shape lives. Meet two teachers, Tucker and Kevin, and read what they have to say about the rewards of a career in special education.

As APU candidates prepare to work in schools, they must know and demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Therefore, the School of Education assesses candidates from admission through recommendation of credentials in these credential standards. As a result, APU candidates are highly sought after because they fulfill these professional standards.

Which Teaching Credential is Right for Me?

If you want to be a teacher, it’s helpful to know which credential best fits your teaching goals and the kinds of students you wish to work with. For help deciding, read more about each type of teaching credential.

Program Highlights

  • Flexible program schedules allow students to take classes just one night a week while earning their credential.
  • Expert faculty offer quality instruction grounded in a Christian worldview, creating a relevant program that enables students to make a difference in their classrooms.
  • Small class sizes create a rich learning community as students progress through the program with a cohort of peers.

Learn more about the program coursework and our faculty.

Deciding Between Student Teaching and an Intern Credential

In California, students enrolled in teacher preparation programs can choose to pursue an Intern Credential or earn their credential through student teaching. These two pathways come with different expectations and requirements. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between student teaching versus an Intern Credential.

School of Education Accreditation

Azusa Pacific University receives accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). In addition, the School of Education receives accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which is transitioning to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), making APU one of only three private schools in California with this distinction. Further, our credential programs are accredited by California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Our Educational Psychology program is also accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). These notable accreditations set APU graduates apart from other candidates and ensure that your degree will be recognized throughout the United States and internationally.

University Reputation

Azusa Pacific University secured a place in the most prestigious category of U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2019 rankings, and also ranked No. 22 for First-Year Experience, No. 23 in Service Learning, and No. 31 in Campus Ethnic Diversity. In addition, Forbes and The Princeton Review included Azusa Pacific in their America’s Top Colleges 2019 and 2020 Best Western Colleges rankings, respectively. Azusa Pacific is also a military-friendly Yellow Ribbon University, serving more than 500 military-connected students and families, and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as an R2 Doctoral Research University.

Note: This information is current for the 2020-21 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.