4-Semester Option: Early Childhood Preliminary Credential

See requirements for the 4-Semester Option, Early Childhood Preliminary Credential.

Program of study: Preliminary Specialist Credential in Early Childhood Special Education

Note: You can download this information as a printable PDF.

After completion of the Preliminary Credential, candidates are eligible to take teaching positions. Following employment as a special education teacher, candidates have 5 years to complete the Clear Professional Credential.

Preliminary, Prerequisites*
16 units
Preliminary, Semester 1
6 units (5+ units if intern)
Preliminary, Semester 2
6 units (+5 units if intern)
SPED  450 (Classroom Adaptations for Special Populations) – 3 units [Formerly SPED 500] SPED 553 (Behavioral Strategies and Supports of Students with Disabilities) – 3 units SPED 526 (Char. & Ed. Physical, Health, Sensory Impairments) – 3 units
SPED 501** (Typical & Atypical Learning Processes) — 3 units

CFD 580 (Observations and Assessments)  3 units 

SPED 560 (Applications of Technology for Individuals with Disabilities) – 3 units
SPED 502 (Field Experiences in General and Special Education) – 1 unit

SPED 970B (Practicum in General & SPED)  Interns only


DLE 925 (Seminar) 1 unit Interns only

SPED 970B (Practicum General & SPED)   4 units

Intern Only


DLE 925 (Seminar) 1 unit Interns only

SPED 528*** (Young Children with Disabilities and Their Families)  3 units Preliminary, Semester 3 
6 units + 8 unit practicum
Preliminary, Semester 4
6 units + 8-unit practicum
SPED 527# (SPED in a Pluralistic Society) – 3 units

SPED 530 (Issues in Autism)  3 units

CFD 380 (Early Language and Literacy Dev in a Linguistically   – 3 units
DLE 915A /B# (Teaching and Learning in the Content Area: English Language Development/ SDAIE ) – 3 units CFD 585 (Work with Family at Risk)  – 3 units  SPED 543 (Educational Programs and Services for Young Children w/ DisabilitiesPreschool) – 3 units
   SPED 980D (Advanced Practicum  Infant/Toddler) SPED 562 (Collaboration, Legislation, and Educational Planning in SPED)  2 units

DLE 925 (Seminar) 1 unit Interns only


SPED 980D (Advanced Practicum — Preschool)


DLE 925 (Seminar) 1 unit Interns only

* Students may major in Liberal Studies but are encouraged to enter from Child Development or related majors. Students from Liberal Studies must show evidence of the courses in CFD or their equivalent from another college or university. The CSET is not required.

* Courses in this column are available to upper division undergraduate students.

** Not required for candidates who possess a Multiple Subject or Single-Subject Teaching Credential from a California program sponsor. Individuals who acquired their Multiple Subjects or Single Subjects equivalent credentials outside of California are required to have a course in educational psychology or take this class or submit substitution forms proving course of a similar content was successfully completed at another institution.

***Because it will not be offered in summer, students are admitted to the program in Fall must take SPED 528 concurrently with Semester I courses.

# Not required for candidates who possess a Multiple or Single Subjects credential inclusive of CLAD or EL authorization.

Note: Candidates for the Preliminary credential must demonstrate knowledge of principles and provisions of U.S. Constitution through successful completion of a 3-unit college level course or examination. For further clarification contact the Office of Student Services at 619-594-6320.

Candidates for the Preliminary credential must complete a course in Health Education, including, but not limited to, nutrition, the physiological and sociological effects of alcohol, narcotics, drugs, and use of tobacco. This requirement must include verification of training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which covers infant and child to adult CPR skills. SDSU course TE 280. For further clarification contact the Office of Student Services at 619-594-6320.

Petitions to Substitute or Waive course(s) must be turned in the semester prior to being admitted to the credential program.

San Diego State University — Department of Special Education
This information is subject to change without notice. Every effort is made to ensure this information is current and accurate. 7/18/19