Academic Catalog

Special Education: Elementary Certification (BA)

Program Description

The Special Education major with teacher certification will develop you into a teacher with the knowledge and skills to design and implement appropriate education for students with disabilities. You must major in either Special Education: Elementary Emphasis with Certification or Special Education: Secondary Emphasis with Certification.

To become a P–12 certified Washington state Special Education teacher, you must complete the Elementary Emphasis with Certification or the Secondary Emphasis with Certification, which requires admission to the School of Education as well as to your major. You will also be required to complete additional content at SPU to receive a dual endorsement as mandated by the state. Your faculty advisor and the Certification Officer in the School of Education will guide you through these requirements and processes. Contact them for guidance as soon as possible once you enroll at SPU.

Second Endorsement: Elementary

Washington state requires that teacher candidates pursuing an endorsement in Special Education must also earn a second endorsement (e.g., Elementary Education, English Language Arts, Math, etc.) in order to receive their Residency Teacher Certificate. While the Special Education endorsement qualifies students to teach in a P-12 setting, the second endorsement area needs to be earned either at the elementary level (kindergarten through 8th grade) or the secondary level (middle school or high school).

You will need to choose either the Elementary Emphasis track or the Secondary Emphasis track in the major, based on the second endorsement area you will complete. If you are not sure which endorsement or emphasis track they should pursue, contact the Special Education major advisor or the Certification Office for assistance in deciding.

If you pursue the Special Education Elementary Emphasis track, you will need to meet the minimum content knowledge in Elementary Education to receive this endorsement. Along with required courses in the Special Education major and teacher education program requirements, you will complete an additional 37-38 credits in courses that meet state competency requirements in elementary education. These courses, listed below, along with courses in the Special Education major and the teacher education program, will fulfill SPU’s Exploratory Curriculum requirements. 

Select two of the following:6-8
Art Education
any 2 credit WKA in Music or Theater2
or any 5 credit WKA (Fulfills WKA)
HHP 3510Teaching Physical Education5
ENG 3334United States Multi-Ethnic Literature (Fulfills WKH)5
BIO 2571Introduction to Biology (Fulfills WKFS)5
HIS 2502The United States to 1876 (Fulfills WKSS)5
PHY 2573Concepts in Physical Science for Educators5
HIS 3600History of the Pacific Northwest (Fulfills WE)5

Note that a grade of C or better is required for all classes that meet certification requirements, regardless of major requirements. Transfer students may be able to take fewer courses than listed, depending on courses they have transferred to SPU.

The Certification Office recommends these classes because they fulfill the current Elementary Education endorsement’s content requirements. Note, however, that these requirements can change due to state legislation, so it is important to work with the Certification Office to ensure classes selected will fulfill state requirements. Make an appointment with the certification advisor by visiting the Peterson Hall 300 front desk, or emailing the Certification Office.