Special Education Certification

Choosing a major

Students seeking an endorsement in special education will major in Special Education with a focus in Elementary Special Education or Secondary Special Education. Your focus will drive the courses you take for certification, courses for your second endorsement, as well as placements during your student teaching. Basic requirements for certification are the same and listed below, but the certification courses vary based on emphasis.

Find out more about this School’s mission, vision, and outcomes.

Second endorsement

SPU's Undergraduate Residency Teacher Certification program requires that teacher candidates pursing an endorsement in Special Education also earn a second endorsement in a content area. 

Special Education majors will work with the certification advisor to develop a plan of study for earning a second endorsement. 

Please make an appointment with the certification advisor as soon as possible to begin working on this plan. Make appointments by emailing soe-cert@spu.edu or at the front SOE office in Peterson Hall 300.

For a complete overview of the Residency Teacher Certification Program, visit the School of Education.

Foundations Quarter

The following Foundations prerequisites apply to EDU 2300. 

All Foundations courses must be passed with a 3.0 (“B”) average and no grade lower than a 2.0 (“C”).

Foundations prerequisites include:

  • Official admission to SPU.
  • Sophomore standing (45 credits).
  • Post-baccalaureate students only: Passing score on the Washington state basic skills test (WEST-B), Washington state educators' endorsement test (WEST-E/NES), and transcript evaluation by the School of Education.

Methods and Skills courses

These courses may be taken independently of each other and the professional quarters. Courses must be completed prior to Methods quarter. See the School of Education for more details.

Students must receive a minimum 2.0 GPA (“C”) in all Methods and Skills courses to be recommended for certification.

Methods Quarter

Methods quarter is offered only Autumn Quarter. A minimum GPA of 2.0 (“C”) is required in all methods courses

Methods prerequisites include:

  • Successful completion of the Foundations requirements with a 3.0 (“B”) average and no grade lower than a 2.0 (“C”).
  • Senior standing (135 credits).
  • Acceptance into the Special Education major.
  • Applied to the Residency Teacher Certification program and admitted to the School of Education program.
  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA or 3.3 in the last 45 credits.
  • Receive two favorable recommendations from SPU faculty and staff.
  • Pass ENG 3301, or both WRI 1000 and WRI 1100, with a minimum 2.0 GPA (“C”) or better (if admitted to the University autumn 2012 or later).
  • Pass MAT 1560, MAT 2561, MAT 3562, and EDRD 2000 with a 2.0 (“C”) or better.
  • Fingerprint and pre-residency clearance completed.
  • Documentation of meeting the SOE preferred scores on the basic skills tests (reading, writing and math). Official Washington Educator Skills Test - Basic (WEST-B), SAT, or ACT scores are required.

  • Take the appropriate Washington Educator Skills Test – Endorsement (WEST-E/NES) for each endorsement being earned. SPU should have official passing scores by September 1 of the student teaching year. 

Integrated and Internship quarters

You must take Integrated and Internship quarters sequentially in the same academic year (offered winter and spring).

A minimum 3.0 GPA (“B”) is required for Special Education Internships A and B.

Integrated and Internship prerequisites include:

  • Successful completion of the Methods Quarter with no grade lower than a 2.0 (“C”)
  • Completion of 15 upper-division Special Education credits.
  • Maintaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA or a 3.3 in the last 45 credits throughout both quarters.
  • Official passing score on the appropriate Washington Educator Skills-Endorsement (WEST-E/NES) test(s). 
    • SPU should have official passing scores by September 1 of your student teaching year. Official passing scores must be received by SPU before students will be given permission to register for Integrated Quarter.

Apply to the major

For major application requirements for Special Education: Elementary Emphasis or Secondary Emphasis, see the Special Education major page.

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.