Through its mentor-guided clinical component, the MA in Education with an Education Specialist Instruction Credential prepares highly skilled special education instructors who are ready to hit the ground running.

We believe the best way to prepare great teachers is through real-world experience. In addition to teaching in theory and methods, our program’s internship component provides a mentor-guided teaching experience in a K–12 setting, where every assignment and class is designed to develop the unique skills and strategies you’ll need to succeed in the special education environment. Our program lets you earn your MA in Education while simultaneously getting your Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential. You’ll be mentored by seasoned special education veterans, many of whom have taken time out of the special education arena to pursue doctoral work or to participate in research projects.

Our candidates simultaneously earn their master of arts degree and one of the following credentials:

  • Education Specialist Instruction Credential: Mild to Moderate Support Needs: For those who want to work with students who have mild to moderate support needs.
  • Education Specialist Instruction Credential: Extensive Support Needs: For those who want to intensively work with students who have moderate to severe support needs.
Program Highlights
  • Complete your credential and MA in Education in either 12, 18, or 24 months.
  • Enjoy the choice between a fully online or 80/20 hybrid program.
  • Choose one of 3 completion pathways depending on your career goals.
  • Benefit from accessible and affordable program pricing to address the urgent need for teachers in California.
  • CGU’S Teacher Education Program has built strong relationships with more than 150 school districts that recognize CGU’s reputation for producing high-quality teachers; the result is ample internship opportunities for our student-teachers.
  • Within five years of earning a Preliminary Credential in California, a teacher must earn a Clear Credential from an approved Induction Program. CGU has both a Preliminary Credential Program and an Induction Program.

Program at a Glance

36 units

12–24 months

*Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring | Summer

Teacher Education

MA in Education; Education Specialist Instruction Credential

Featured Courses

EDUC 338
Designing Humanizing IEPs with a focus on Transition and Behavior

Develops the candidate’s ability to design asset-based Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that are student and household centered and take into account cultural and linguistic diversity.

EDUC 368
Collaboration in Special Education: An Ecological Model

Hones the collaboration and communication skills that candidates need to work with multidisciplinary teams in the planning, assessment, drafting, and implementation of student-centered IEPs.

EDUC 339
Humanizing Critical Social Justice SPED Assessment Practice

Deepens the candidate’s assessment practices through learning how to collect, analyze, and interpret informal and formal assessment data in order to write standards-based, rigorous IEPs which include Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) appropriate to the student’s instructional program.

EDUC 301
TLP 1: Teaching/Learning Process for Social Justice & Equity

Develops a foundation of shared understanding and language regarding prevalent harmful practices and hidden curriculum in schools, and supports candidates in adopting humanizing and empowering habits of mind and practice to disrupt them.

EDUC 303
TLP 2: Cultivating Differentiated Classroom Ecologies

Complements candidates’ first months in their classroom placement by introducing robust research and scholarship to support them in differentiating not only their instructional practices for students, but also their care, relationship building, and communication with students and households.

EDUC 305
TLP 3: Instructional Intensity & Support for All Learners

Deepens candidates’ understanding of students’ & households’ funds of knowledge and their school/community culture, so they can design challenging curricula predicated not only on strong content and pedagogical knowledge but also on the cultural and linguistic assets of their students.

Pathways to Certification

To accommodate a variety of backgrounds and learning styles, our program can be completed exclusively online, or it can be combined with select face-to-face courses and/or weekend seminars to make it a high-touch hybrid experience. We provide three pathways to certification:

Program Length: 12-18 Months
Residency Pathway
  • Provides you personalized training to build strong foundational skills.
  • Observe and teach under a mentor teacher, gradually taking on more ownership throughout the school year.
  • Unpaid
Program Length: 18-24 months
Internship Pathway
  • Provides personalized training and an accelerated pathway into the classroom.
  • Complete a year-long internship as the teacher of record in your classroom.
  • Work in a local school district, directly impacting students and communities.
  • Receive a salary during your internship year (average:$45K/year).
Program Length: 12-18 months
Claremont Fellows Program
  • Personalized training during a full-time, year-long residency.
  • $18K to $45K living stipend*.
  • 3-year teaching commitment at a high-needs school.
  • Ongoing support available after graduation.

*Separate fellowship application required. See admission rep.

Sample 12-Month Residency Pathway

Semester Courses Units
Summer (August) Teaching/Learning Process I 4 units
Fall Teaching/Learning Process II; Literacy & Methods I- A & B; Clinical: Residency; CalTPA 1; Special Education Seminar 12 units
Spring Teaching/Learning Process III; Literacy & Methods II; Clinical: Residency; CalTPA 2; Special Education Seminar 12 units
Summer (July) Teaching/Learning Process IV; Special Education Seminar 8 units

Faculty & Research

  • DeLacy Ganley profile image

    DeLacy Ganley

    Dean, School of Educational Studies
    Professor of Education

    Research Interests

    Culturally relevant education; resiliency and achievement of marginalized populations; intersection of families, community, and school; language acquisition; social capital theory; systems theory

  • Rebecca Hatkoff profile image

    Rebecca Hatkoff

    Clinical Assistant Professor

    Research Interests

    Critical Social Justice Teaching Competencies; Classroom and School Ecology; Effective and Empowering Pedagogy for all Students, Teacher Candidates, and Teachers; Strength-Based Views of Schools, Teachers, Students, Households, and Communities

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Request information about the California Preliminary Credential – Education Specialist Instruction program

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Maryam Qureshi

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-6374 (Direct)
T: 909-607-7811 (Central Admissions)