Cal Poly Humboldt School of Education Special Education Program

Open Enrollment Until The Program is Full, Please Contact the Coordinator


To become a special education teacher in California you need a California Education Specialist Credential.

This one year program will give you a preliminary Mild to Moderate Support Needs Credential that will prepare you to apply for your credential license. You will be prepared to teach special education for kindergarten through adult grades and authorize you to teach individuals with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, health impairments, and serious emotional disturbances.

The course of study begins in the fall semester of each year. The courses are arranged in a sequential manner, beginning at an introductory level and progressing systematically to develop effective teaching skills in special education. You will gain skills to understand basic characteristics of disabilities, behavior management, diversity, how schools function, and how students learn. In addition, you will learn assessment skills, which include criteria for identifying various disabilities and educational levels.



The Extensive Support Needs Credential is offered through the College of Extended Education & Global Engagement. This credential may be added to an existing Preliminary Educational Specialist Credential. The Extensive Support Needs program is offered in the summer and includes the following courses:

SPED 740 Assessment Planning 2 units

SPED 741 Practicum: Assessment & Program Planning 1 unit

SPED 742 Curriculum & Differentiated Instruction 2 units

SPED 744 Communication Methods 2 units

SPED 746 Movement & Specialized Health Care 2 units

SPED 747 Practicum: Movement & Specialized Health Care 1 unit

Please contact the School of Education for more information! 


Before you apply …

From California tests to minimum GPAs, you must meet minimum eligibility requirements to enter the program. Before beginning the application process, make sure to review our eligibility & application page and plan ahead.

Eligibility & Application

Special Education Teacher Residency Program

Cal Poly Humboldt is proud to collaborate with the Humboldt County Office of Education and Humboldt County Schools to offer the Teacher Residency Program. 

The Residency Program supports up to 7 candidates to obtain their special education credential through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). Each selected candidate will receive $13,000 to cover costs associated with:

  • Program tuition
  • Program fees
  • Textbooks
  • Assessment/Testing fees

Residency candidates can be hired to be a paraprofessional while simultaneously enrolled in HSU’s Education Specialist Credential Program allowing selected participants to obtain their preliminary Education Specialist teaching credential. Contact our office to learn more!



Option: Adapted Physical Education Added Authorization Program
Prepares physical education teachers to work with preschool and school-aged children and youth with disabilities.