Preliminary Education Specialist Credential

Department of Learning and Teaching

Program Curriculum

Prerequisite Courses

ENGL 318E Development of the English Language 3 Undergraduate Units
EDU X787H (prev #: 558XB)* First and Second Language Development and Structure for the Classroom Teacher 3 Continuing Education Units

*EDU X787H is included in the program of study for students who have not completed it prior to enrolling. The course offered through the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. Continuing Education courses are not eligible for financial aid. The cost for this course is typically several hundred dollars.

Program of Study


Inclusive Curricula for Learners 5-22

Field experience: 20 hours


Methods of Teaching Reading & Language Arts

Field experience: 50 hours

EDUC 584C Methods of Teaching English Language & Academic Development in Crosscultural Context 3
EDSP 570P Assessment in Special Education 3
EDSP 571P Management of Behavior and Instruction 3
EDSP 573P Collaboration with Families and Professionals 3

Evidence Based Inclusive Practices Mild/Moderate 5-22

Field experience: 20 hours


Healthy Environment & Inclusive Education

Field experience: 5 hours of observation


Practicum in Special Education Mild/Moderate

Field experience: 18 weeks/1 semester student teaching

EDSP 590S Student Teaching Mild to Moderate Disabilities Seminar 1
EDSP 593S Practicum Seminar for Individual Induction Plan (IIP) 2

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the program take me?

Students begin their program in January or September and may complete the coursework in 1.5-2 years, depending on their pace.

Can I work while completing the program?

Working during the credential program is challenging because of the amount of time students are required to spend in fieldwork in schools during daytime hours. Nevertheless, some students have been successful in holding part-time employment on-campus or off-campus as long as their work hours do not conflict with their classes or fieldwork commitments. Depending on the schedule they design with their advisors students may not have required courses or fieldwork during summer and intersession, which leaves time for full-time employment during those periods.

When are classes scheduled?

Each class typically meets once per week at 4:40 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. for 2 hours and 50 minutes at a time. Summer and intersession classes hold more frequent class meetings. The program includes one semester of student teaching which is completed during the K-12 district school day. Student teaching placements follow the school district calendar and often extend beyond the end of the USD semester.

How many units are included in the program?

The program includes 33 graduate units and 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

What are the pros and cons of completing the credential-only program versus the Master's Credential Cohort Program?

Almost all of our credential students elect to complete their credential through the Master's Credential Cohort (MCC) Program for two reasons. First, the MCC program allows students to count their credential coursework toward a M.Ed. Instead of completing a credential and returning for a master's degree several years later, they combine the two, saving them time and money. Second, the MCC programs offers a 43% discount on tuition for academic years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, making it more cost-effective to complete the credential with an M.Ed. than on its own.

However, there are two benefits to completing the credential independently of the MCC program. The first is that the credential-only program offers two start dates per year: January and September. The MCC program offers only a September start date. Students interested in starting a program in January can do so with the credential-only option. Second, the credential-only program offers a bit more flexibility. If they so choose, credential-only students can complete their program on a part-time basis, while the MCC program is offered on a full-time basis only.

Is this program offered online?

No, this program is offered on campus at the University of San Diego only. There is no online, hybrid, or distance learning option available.