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Specialization in Moderate/Severe Disabilities

Lead Faculty: Dr. Nilsa Thorsos

The Specialization in Moderate/Severe program meets the professional program specific standards required by CTC for credentials. Candidates will meet California Standards for the Teaching Profession and Teacher Performance Expectations.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze the implications of the characteristics of students with Moderate/Severe/Profound disabilities for service delivery impacting assessments, IEP development, instruction, and program options.
  2. Analyze students’ verbal and non-verbal communication abilities to develop needed augmentative, alternative or signed systems including assistive technology, to enhance communication, social interaction, academic performance and skill development.
  3. Evaluate a variety of assessments and procedures to maximize students’ participation in standards and evidence-based, academic/life skills/wellness curriculum within IEP goals and objectives across school/community settings.
  4. Establish and maintain educational environments based upon positive behavior support processes at the individual and school-wide levels.
  5. Analyze the movement, mobility, sensory, and specialized health care needs to access school and community to the fullest extent using appropriate techniques, procedures, materials, assistive technology, and adaptive equipment.
  6. Exhibit collaborative case management to coordinate the IEP process and the various transitions experienced by students with Moderate/Severe/Profound disabilities, while addressing the legal and instructional requirements of their IEPs.


To receive a California Preliminary Education Specialist Teaching Credential, candidates are required to successfully complete core courses, specific program (advanced) courses, and a clinical practice path to supervised teaching (student teaching or internship).
Candidates choosing the Internship option to obtain the Preliminary Education Specialist Teaching Credential will need to meet the Internship Eligibility requirements.
The CTC mandates approved internship programs require a minimum of 120 hours of pre-service coursework prior to becoming the teacher of record. 4.5 quarter units are equal to 40 clock hours. These pre-service courses must be successfully completed prior to eligibility for completing the internship option.
Specialization Requirements (8 courses; 31.5 quarter units)
Core Requirements (4 courses; 18 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):
Clinical Practice Requirements
Students will need to choose from one of the following options: Internship or Student Teaching
Internship Option (4 courses; 13.5 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):
Student Teaching Option (4 courses; 13.5 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):
Optional: For the Multiple or Single Subject Credential Requirements, please choose one of the following options.
(6-8 courses; 22.5-31.5 quarter units)
Multiple Subject Credential (3 courses; 13.5 quarter units)
Single Subject Credential (3 courses; 13.5 quarter units)
Choose from one of the following options
Student Teaching Option (3 courses, 9 quarter units)
Internship Option (5 courses; 18 quarter units)
Optional: Masters in Special Education Masters in Special Education Requirements (2 courses, 9 quarter units)