Frequently Asked Questions
This webpage should answer your questions regarding admission process and programs offered by our department, but if you have any additional questions you can always contact us.
- Program Admission
Do I have to pass the CBEST before being admitted to the program?
Yes, proof of passing scores must be submitted with your department application for all credential programs.
What is a Certificate of Clearance? Do I need one?
A Certificate of Clearance is verification that you have not been convicted of a felony, a condition which would prevent you from being issued a credential by California law. Students who fail to submit a Certificate of Clearance may not be admitted or may have their admission delayed. A valid emergency permit or current California Teaching Credential will be accepted in lieu of a Certificate of Clearance.
Must I satisfy the pre-professional experience requirement before being fully admitted to the Program?
When must I satisfy the U.S. Constitution requirement?
As soon as possible. You cannot receive a credential, including the intern credential, unless you meet this requirement.
How long does it take to complete the credential program?
The length depends on which credential program you are in. The Intern program can be completed in 2 years. Check the Roadmap for your credential program to determine the number of units required.
Can I work full-time and still be able to complete the program?
Our program is outlined so that you can take classes online, week nights, and weekends. Most classes will not begin until 4pm.
What if I want to complete both the MA and credential program?
You can earn an MA and complete our credential at the same time. Make sure that you apply as an MA student and pass the writing requirement of the department. Once admitted, an advisor will develop your course roadmap with you.
How do I know who my advisor is?
After your application is complete, you will receive a letter of admission from our Special Education Department with your advisor's name and contact information.
When do I sign up for student teaching?
Student teaching should be done at the end of your course program. You must submit an online google form (Supervision Course Application) one semester before enrolling in student teaching. The deadlines are October 1 for the spring semester and April 1 for the fall semster.
- Subject Matter Competency
How long do I have before I need to have subject matter competency ?
Admission into the program without subject matter competency is possible; however, subject matter competency must be completed within the first semster from the date of admission, either by coursework or by examination. For more information, visit the CTC website.
How long are passing CSET scores valid?
Passing scores on CSET are valid for 10 years from the date of the test. Therefore, studies for preliminary program must be completed within that time frame, or you will have to retake the exam.
- Transfer Courses/ Units
Do comparable courses taken previously satisfy current credential requirements?
Professional preparation courses completed at another college or university must be evaluated by our faculty to determine equivalency. The student is responsible for submitting the appropriate documentation to Graduate Studies. This includes syllabus of the course(s) and the transcript with the grade. Courses applied toward a Master of Arts degree are valid for seven years only. Please check with the Special Education staff for details. Other restrictions may apply. The "Equivalency" form can be downloaded from our Student Forms link.
- Student Teaching
What is the difference between student-teaching and directed teaching?
Individuals in student-teaching are placed in the class of a Mentor Teacher that works with students with the disability for which the individual seeks credentialing.
Directed teaching is for individuals who have been hired with emergency permits or intern credentials. You are observed as you conduct the activities of a full time special educator.
Can I complete my student teaching in a private school?
You may student teach in a non-public school if the school is accredited and the students served are of the disability group for which you are seeking to be credentialed.
Can I complete my student teaching at any school?
Only at accredited school within our service area that serve the population for which you seek a credential.
Do I need to teach in a general education classroom?
Yes, you have to show evidence of planning and teaching 50 hours in a general education classroom. Complete our 50 Hours of General Education Field Work [pdf] [pdf] and turn in to our Special Education office.
- Continuation in the Program
What happens if my GPA falls below 3.0 during the program?
Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 are subject to disqualification from the program. Students who receive a grade less than a B are sent warning letter from the department chair. For more inforamtion about grades, visit our Policies webpage.
What happens if I fail student-teaching or the directed teaching practicum?
Students who fail a practicum once will be given one more opportunity or a second placement. However, they must skip a semester (to practice skills, or improve teaching situation) before re-applying to take it again. Those that fail the second time will be disenrolled from the program.
What happens if I notice that I'm not doing will in a course?
Students should meet with the course instructor, seek recommendations, and apply themselves immediately to the task of improving. Students should also meet with their faculty advisor for advise and guidance. If a student has problems with communication (oral and/or written), please seek help from:
When do I register?
After the Cal State Apply admission process is complete with the university, students receive a personal log in and pin number allowing students to register for courses. They can check when their registration date begins by logging into MySJSU. If this is a students first semester and registration has already begun, then they should be able to register as soon as they receive their pin number. It is extremely important that students follow up with this or they could lose their opportunity to take a course needed. When sections fill up the enrollment closes. Students should check their account regularly and use their sjsu.edu email for any communication with University.
What happens if I miss the registration deadline?
Usually registration will close a few days before classes begin, then will reopen the first day of class. Students will have a short time period where they can register for a course. After the last registration deadline, late adds will be permitted, under emergency conditions.
How much does it cost?
Fees are dependent on the number of units students take each semester. To get an approximate figure, please visit the Bursar's Office website for the latest costs.
How do I Pay?
After registering, Students should check within a week at MySJSU to verify that they have been billed, and the amount owed. It is a good idea for students to print their schedule once they have paid fees and also when grades post.
What happens if I do not pay on time?
In cases of late payment, or failures in processing payment, Students will be disenrolled, and could possibly lose their space in a class.
- Master of Arts Degree Option
What are the options for a person who just wants to do an MA?
Students complete 6 common trunk courses across all 3 credential programs - Early Childhood Special Education, Mild/Moderate Disabilities, and Extensive Support Needs Disabilities. The MA requires 30 approved units. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0.
If I enroll in the MA program, can I teach in a California School?
Students cannot teach in a public school unless they have a valid California teaching credential in Multiple Subjects (or Elementary) or Single Subjects (or Secondary), or in Special Education in the area of disability that matches your students.
Do I have to take the courses in a specific sequence?
The MA program begins on a Fall sequence. Students must meet with their advisor to prepare a candidacy form. Students must carefully plan for the (4) courses that must be taken sequentially not concurrently:
- EDSE 285
- EDSE 231
- EDSE 231X
- EDSE 220