Guide for Teaching Special Education

Are you a Sonoma State Undergraduate interested in teaching Special Education? 

Special Education teachers can MAJOR IN ANYTHING! In any major you will learn content that will help you teach children with disabilities who are 5-22 years old. Teach subjects including math, science, reading/language arts, social studies, health, art, PE, and more in special classrooms. Teach children basic academic skills in small group settings. You might even teach young adults with disabilities to access workplaces and function in the community.

Three Great Options: 

1. Any Major from an Accredited Institution: 

  • Consider subject matter preparation courses as electives! Some are even GE courses!

2. SSU Majors Recommended for Special Education Teaching:

3. ECS-ITEP The direct route to becoming a special education teacher:

  • B.A. & Credential in 4 years. ECS-ITEP is a 4-year degree with the credential embedded. You get:
    • Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Studies
    • Special Education Credential courses, seminars, and student teaching
  • Declare ECS-Education as your major.
  • Apply to the Credential Program at the end of sophomore year. Candidates must attain Junior status to start the program.
  • Take teaching methods in junior and senior years.
  • Finish your BA and Credential.
  • Start teaching as soon as you graduate.
  • *Available to first time freshman and transfer students.

We encourage you to complete the following during your undergraduate program:

Contact your major advisor regarding subject matter preparation courses.

Meet the Basic Skills Requirement. There are many ways to meet the Basic Skills requirement.  More information can be can be found on the CTC website or contact the School of Education Student Services Office. Many students do so via the CSET Writing Section (applies only to those taking the CSET: Multiple Subject Exam) OR the CBEST exam*. *ECS-ITEP program candidates MUST complete the Basic Skills requirement prior to admission to the credential.

Demonstrate Subject Matter Competence. CSET: Multiple Subjects, English, Science, or Math exam. OR completion of a subject matter preparation program. *ECS-ITEP program candidates need to pass this exam to earn credential. All others, we recommend that you pass the exam before admission into the Credential Program.

Obtain 45 hours of pre-program field experience working or volunteering in a classroom or other setting with children. Some SSU courses offer early field experience for example: EDUC 250EDEC 220EDEC 437.

Apply during senior year (or any time after) completing BA/BS Degree. Some requirements may be in-progress when you submit your application, but they must be completed by the time you begin the credential program.  Applications are typically due at the end of September for Spring admissions and at the end of February for Fall admissions. 

Questions? Contact the School of Education Student Services Office