Special Education

About the Special Education Department

What is Special Education?

Special Education is specially designed instruction for students with exceptional learning needs. The field of special education addresses the needs of students who have disabilities and students who are identified as gifted or talented.

Why pursue Special Education at CSUN?

The Department of Special Education at CSUN offers Credential and Master's degree programs for professionals who work with infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families. All programs focus on preparing highly qualified special educators to serve culturally and linguistically diverse learners.

  • The Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Programs emphasize beginning child and family-focused competencies for the educator of children with special needs.
  • The Teacher Induction Education Specialist Credential Programs address more advanced child, school and community-focused competencies for the educator of children with special needs.
  • The Master's Degree Program builds upon the competencies developed in the Special Education Credential Programs, preparing students for positions of leadership, advocacy and scholarship in schools, the community, and within the overall profession of Special Education.

Added Authorizations to teach an Education Specialist Credential

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Resource Specialist

CSUN Provides Alternative Pathways To Pursue A Preliminary Credential

  1. Traditional Program, a post BA program for candidates in non-teaching or teaching positions interested in flexible scheduling.
  2. Intern Program, post BA two-year program (including summers) designed for teachers who are eligible for an intern credential and are hired in a cooperating school district.
  3. Accelerated Collaborative Teacher (ACT) program, a post BA full time two-semester (MM), three-semester (MS) or four-semester (DHH) program, offered corroboratively with District 2 in the Los Angeles Unified School District. (Fall admission only).
  4. Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) (DHH, MM, MS), undergraduate program with candidates beginning as freshmen or entering the two-year option as transfer students, earning their credential and bachelor's degree in liberal studies concurrently.

What makes CSUN the program for YOU? It is…

  • High Quality: CSUN is recognized nationally for its reputation in providing high quality preparation programs for special educators. Programs emphasize the application of evidence-based research through coursework linked to supervised field experiences Faculty provide individualized advisement and mentoring.
  • Affordable: Significantly lower than many other institutions. Stipends, forgiveness loans, and/or financial aid are available.
  • Flexible: Multiple pathways for full-time, part-time, and on-the-job students. Most courses are offered in the late afternoons and evenings. Traditional, online, and hybrid courses are also offered.
  • Innovative: The CHIME Institute provides three nationally recognized model sites (preschool, elementary and middle) that demonstrate best practices in inclusive education and offer field experiences for credential students. The Family Focus Resource & Empowerment Center and the Special Education Literacy Laboratory are part of the College's Teaching, Learning & Counseling (TLC) Consortium, providing innovative clinical training and community service.