Mild/Moderate Disabilities Education Specialist Credential

APU’s Mild/Moderate Disabilities Education Specialist Credential program prepares educators to skillfully and compassionately guide mild to moderately disabled students.

Azusa Pacific University’s Mild/Moderate Disabilities Education Specialist Credential program prepares candidates to earn a California Mild/Moderate Disabilities Specialist Preliminary Credential. This rigorous program includes comprehensive foundation courses emphasizing teaching and educational methods, as well as specialization courses providing content required for the disabilities specialist credential. Practical classroom and fieldwork experiences provide application to theory, preparing candidates to teach in diverse settings. The mode of delivery includes face-to-face instruction, campus-based classes, distance learning, and clinical experiences.

Computer and Software Requirements

Each student must have a Mac or PC laptop or notebook running the latest operating system with a word processing program and a stable internet connection.

Course Requirements

Foundation Courses
TESP 501Art of Teaching I: Foundations of Teaching 13
TESP 511Art of Teaching II: Pedagogy and Instructional Design 13
TESP 502Science of Teaching I: How Students Learn 13
TESP 512Science of Teaching II: Effective Assessment Strategies for All Learners 13
TESP 503The Soul of Teaching: Tapestry of American Education3
TESP 504Schools and Educational Systems3
Specialization Courses
SPED 525Methods of Teaching Reading and Writing3
SPED 526Specialized Academic Instruction: Reading, Writing, and Math3
SPED 528Assessment and IEP Development3
SPED 529Positive Behavior Supports for Students with Exceptional Needs3
SPED 551Clinical Practice I: Mild to Moderate Disabilities2
SPED 552Clinical Practice II: Mild to Moderate Disabilities2
Total Units34

NOTE: A maximum of 9 units may be taken per 8-week session. Completion of all credential requirements—including all examinations, coursework, and other requirements—must be met before the candidate will be recommended for a credential. Candidates should meet with their credential analyst for information regarding the credential application process.

NOTE:  Candidates who hold an Intern Credential must enroll in an intern support course (SPED 500) during each 8-week session (fall or spring) in which they are not enrolled in a clinical practice course.


University graduate admission and program-specific requirements must be met before an application is complete (see Admission to the University). Program-specific application requirements are available online.

International students should contact Graduate and Professional Admissions for application procedures.


Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Engage and support all students in learning.
  2. Create and maintain effective environments for student learning.
  3. Understand and organize subject matter for student learning.
  4. Plan instruction and design learning experiences for all students.
  5. Assess student learning.
  6. Develop as a professional educator.