Jul 21, 2024  
2013-2015 University Catalog 
2013-2015 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education, Department of

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Department Chair

Melinda R. Pierson

Department Office/Website

College Park 570


Stephen Aloia, Deborah Cote, Barbara Glaeser, Erica Howell, Vita Jones, Woo Jung, Belinda Karge, Tiffany Leger-Rodriguez, Joan Levine, Janice Myck-Wayne, Melinda Pierson, Suzanne Robinson, Kristin Stang, Jan Weiner


The Department of Special Education at California State University, Fullerton provides exemplary preparation for special education candidates, general education teachers clearing the preliminary credential and persons interested in improving techniques to work with at-risk children. The faculty in the Department of Special Education are nationally recognized for their contributions in the field of Special Education. Credential programs in Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Moderate/Severe Disabilities and Early Childhood Special Education are available. Additionally, authorizations are available for Resource Specialist, Early Childhood Special Education and Autism. Candidates can earn a master’s degree in any of the above areas. The Department of Special Education provides a program that is nationally accredited (NCATE) in addition to meeting the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) requirements. The department takes pride in meeting the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recommended program standards. The department offers full and part-time programs.

The Department of Special Education is strongly committed to a conceptual knowledge and skill based framework soundly integrated with the philosophies of the university, school and division.

The University Mission, College Philosophy and Department theme emphasize the active, social nature of learning, the interconnections among ways of learning, the dispositions of inquiry and the relationship to the larger diverse society. The refined mission and marks indicate the department is substantive and technical, theoretical and practical, realistic and entrepreneurial.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The following goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a degree in special education:

Knowledgeable and competent specialists

  • Demonstrate a strong foundation in subject matter knowledge or field of study
  • Demonstrate a strong understanding and implementation of pedagogical skills or skills in chosen field
  • Use technology as a resource

Reflective and responsive practitioners

  • Promote diversity
  • Make informed decisions
  • Engage in collaborative endeavors
  • Think critically

Committed and caring professionals

  • Be agents for change
  • Maintain professional and ethical standards
  • Become lifelong learners

Application Deadlines

The deadlines for completing all online applications are Feb. 28 for the fall semester and Sept. 30 for the spring semester. Mailed applications need to be postmarked by the same deadlines. However, deadlines may be changed based upon enrollment projections.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet the CSU requirements for admission to a master’s degree program. Please consult the Graduate Admissions section in this catalog for complete information. In addition, the following are required:

  • University graduate application (csumentor.edu)
  • Department of Special Education application (ed.fullerton.edu/adtep)
  • Four letters of recommendation
  • Letter of intent, including education philosophy, purpose statement (This is the same as an autobiography)
  • Overall, or last 60 units, grade point average of 2.75 for credential programs; 3.0 for Master of Science Program
  • Certificate of Clearance
  • U.S. Constitution verification
  • Passage of the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) of the National Teacher Examination (PRAXIS) or completion of the single subject preparation program or completion of any single subject competency examination approved by the state (for Mild/ Moderate, Moderate/Severe program candidates only)
  • Completion of the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) (all candidates)
  • Satisfactory completion of prerequisite courses:
  • SPED 371  (all candidates)
  • SPED 425  (all candidates)
  • SPED 322  (all candidates)
  • Nine units of child development coursework (for early childhood candidates only)
  • Field experience with typically developing students (for all programs)
  • Faculty interview

For further information please call the Admissions Assistant at 657-278-4196.

Education Specialist Credentials

Programs leading to three Education Specialist credentials are available. They are:

  • Specialist credential to teach persons with mild/moderate disabilities, including specific learning disabilities, mild mental retardation and other health-impaired and emotional disturbance (Mild/Moderate)
  • Specialist credential to teach persons with moderate/severe disabilities, including severely developmentally disabled, mental retardation, multi-handicapped, emotionally disturbed and children with autism (Moderate/Severe)
  • Specialist credential to teach infants, toddlers and preschool children with disabilities (Early Childhood Special Education)

Programs and Courses Offered


    Master of ScienceNon-DegreeCertificate


      Special Education

      Courses are designated as SPED in the class schedule.

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