Special Education with P–12 Teacher Certification

Special Education (BA): Teaching Tracks

The Special Education major with teacher certification will develop you into a teacher with the knowledge and skills to design and implement appropriate education for students with disabilities. You must major in either Special Education: Elementary Emphasis with Certification or Special Education: Secondary Emphasis with Certification.

To become a P–12 certified Washington state Special Education teacher, you must complete the Elementary Emphasis with Certification or the Secondary Emphasis with Certification, which requires admission to the School of Education as well as to your major. You will also be required to complete additional content at SPU to receive a dual endorsement as mandated by the state. Your faculty advisor and the certification officer in the School of Education will guide you through these requirements and processes. Contact them for guidance as soon as possible once you enroll at SPU.

  • A minimum 111 credits are required for the major with P–12 certification, including 77 upper-division credits.
  • A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required in all courses that apply toward teacher certification.
  • If you are an incoming student interested in the Special Education major, and you listed Special Education as your first-choice major, you are admitted to the program along with admission to SPU. This will ensure that you receive advising and information about the Special Education program requirements.
  • Acceptance to the Residency Teacher Certification Program is separate from acceptance to the major. Plan to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 so you can apply for admission to the School of Education.
  • If you are a transfer student, you must complete at least 15 upper-division credits in Special Education coursework prior to your Internship.
  • Washington state requires a second endorsement in a content area for teacher candidates pursuing an endorsement in Special Education.
  • The second endorsement area will include 30–40 credits in addition to the major, some of which may fulfill general education requirements.
  • You will do an internship in both Special Education and your second endorsement area.
  • The Special Education major requirements are maintained by the program chair.
  • The P–12 Special Education Certification requirements for Special Education elementary and secondary teachers are maintained by the School of Education Certification Office and listed by emphasis.

Second Endorsement

Washington state requires that teacher candidates pursuing an endorsement in Special Education must also earn a second endorsement (e.g., Elementary Education, English Language Arts, Math, etc.) in order to receive their Residency Teacher Certificate. While the Special Education endorsement qualifies students to teach in a P-12 setting, the second endorsement area needs to be earned either at the elementary level (kindergarten through 8th grade) or the secondary level (middle school or high school). You will need to choose either the Elementary Emphasis track or the Secondary Emphasis track in the major, based on the second endorsement area you will complete.

If you are not sure which endorsement or emphasis track they should pursue, contact the Special Education major advisor or the Certification Office for assistance in deciding.

Elementary

If you pursue the Special Education Elementary Emphasis track, you will need to meet the minimum content knowledge in Elementary Education to receive this endorsement. Along with required courses in the Special Education major and teacher education program requirements, you will complete an additional 37-38 credits in courses that meet state competency requirements in elementary education. These courses, listed below, along with courses in the Special Education major and the teacher education program, will fulfill SPU’s Exploratory Curriculum requirements. 

  • Two of the following: ART 3546 (3), MUS 3501 (3), TRE 3800 (3) or any 5 credit WKA (Fulfills WKA)
  • HHP 3510: Teaching Physical Education (5)
  • ENG 3334: Multi-Ethnic Literature (5) (Fulfills WKH)
  • BIO 2571: Introduction to Biology (5) (Fulfills WKFS)
  • PHY 2567: Development of Concepts in Physical Science I (3) (Fulfills WKAS, when combined with PHY 2568)
  • PHY 2568: Development of Concepts in Physical Science II (4) (Fulfills WKAS, when combined with PHY 2567)
  • HIS 2502: The United States to 1876 (5) (Fulfills WKSS)
  • HIS 3600: Pacific Northwest History (5) (Fulfills WE)

View the complete requirements for P-12 Special Education: Elementary Emphasis with a second endorsement in Elementary Education. Note that a grade of C or better is required for all classes that meet certification requirements, regardless of major requirements. Transfer students may be able to take fewer courses than listed, depending on courses they have transferred to SPU.

The Certification Office recommends these classes because they fulfill the current Elementary Education endorsement’s content requirements. Note, however, that these requirements can change due to state legislation, so it is important to work with the Certification Office to ensure classes selected will fulfill state requirements. Make an appointment with the certification advisor by visiting the Peterson Hall 300 front desk, or emailing soe-cert@spu.edu.

Secondary

If you would like your second endorsement to be at the middle school or high school level, you may select between English Language Arts or Math. If you are interested in a different endorsement area, contact the Certification Office to discuss what other options may be available.

You will need to meet the minimum content knowledge for your chosen second endorsement. This consists of approximately 30 additional credits for either the English Language Arts endorsement or the Math endorsement. The required courses for the English Language Arts endorsement can be found in the section called Certification—English Language Arts Content Courses on this document. For the Math endorsement, please contact soe-cert@spu.edu to determine what courses are required. Note that a grade of ‘C’ or better is required for all classes going towards certification, regardless of major requirements. Transfer students may be able to take fewer courses than listed, depending on courses transferred to SPU.

Washington state requires that teacher candidates meet a specific set of competencies through their coursework. These competencies can change, so it is important to work with the Certification Office to ensure classes are currently appropriate to fulfill state requirements. Make an appointment with the certification advisor as soon as possible to develop a plan of study by stopping by the front SOE office in Peterson Hall 300 or emailing soe-cert@spu.edu.

entering and completing this major

In order to earn a degree, you must complete at least one academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, so if you change your mind about a major or minor, or want to include an additional program, you are able to do so, as outlined below.

Note that the University encourages you to enter your chosen major(s) and minor(s) by the start of your junior year. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should enter a major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you identified a major in this department as your first choice on your application for admission to the University, you have gained entry to the major. To change or add a major or minor, follow these instructions.
  • If you are an SPU student with an SPU cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, follow these instructions to enter a major or minor in this department.
  • Students on academic probation (with an SPU cumulative GPA below 2.0) will not be permitted to enter a new major or minor until they regain good academic standing.
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements that are in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year you enter the major or minor.

Professional Certification Disclosure

SPU’s Undergraduate Teacher Certification Program meets the educational requirements for certification in the state of Washington. Each state has different professional licensure and certification requirements. Eligibility for certification/licensure may involve more than degree completion and may include professional examinations, background checks, and fingerprinting. The requirements for certification/licensure can change without notice.

The state professional licensing boards make the ultimate decision as to whether or not an individual will be eligible for licensure based on the rules and regulations in place at the time the individual submits their application for licensure. Find information here about certification/licensure in the state where you intend to teach.

Peterson

School of Education

Visit the School of Education to see how you can begin to educate youth, achieve your goals, and make a difference in the world.

Lindsey Neal

Special Education in the School of Education

Visit Special Education at SPU’s School of Education to see how you can begin to educate youth, achieve your goals, and make a difference in the world.

Time Schedule: Special Education

Course planning

Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.