Special Education Certification

When you choose a focus in Elementary Special Education or Secondary Special Education, this will drive the courses you take for certification as well as placements during your student teaching. Basic requirements for certification are the same and listed below, but the certification courses vary based on emphasis.

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Second endorsement

Washington state requires that teacher candidates pursing an endorsement in Special Education must also earn a second endorsement in a content area. If you would prefer to work with elementary age children you will be endorsed in Special Education and Elementary Education. If you would prefer to work with middle/intermediate or high school aged children you will be endorsed in Special Education and English Language Arts. A different second endorsement may be approved on a case by case basis at the review of the Certification Officer.

Students seeking a Special Education endorsement will work with the certification advisor to develop a "Plan of Study" to meet the content requirements for your second endorsement area.

Please make an appointment with the certification advisor as soon as possible to begin working on this plan. Make appointments by emailing soeinfo@spu.edu or at the front SOE office in Peterson Hall 300.

For a complete overview of the Residency Teacher Certification Program, visit the School of Education.

Foundations Quarter

The following Foundations prerequisites apply to EDU 2300. It is recommended that you take EDU 2100 concurrently with EDU 2300 whenever possible.

All Foundations courses must be passed with a 3.0 (“B”) average and no grade lower than a 2.0 (“C”).

Foundations prerequisites include:

  • Official admission to SPU.
  • Sophomore standing (45 credits).
  • Minimum cumulative 2.8 GPA or 3.0 GPA in last 30 credits.
  • Completed paperwork to start a School of Education File (contact the Education office to obtain paperwork).
  • Approved general psychology or general sociology class with a minimum 2.0 GPA (“C”).
  • Post-baccalaureate students only: Passing score on the Washington state basic skills test (WEST-B), Washington state educators' endorsement test (WEST-E/NES), and transcript evaluation by the School of Education.

Students will be required to make a Foundations advising appointment with the Certification Advisor the quarter they take EDU 2300.

Methods and Skills courses

These courses may be taken independently of each other and the professional quarters. Courses must be completed prior to Methods quarter. See the School of Education for more details.

Students must receive a minimum 2.0 GPA (“C”) in all Methods and Skills courses to be recommended for certification.

Methods Quarter

Methods quarter is offered only Autumn Quarter. A minimum GPA of 2.0 (“C”) is required in all methods courses

Methods prerequisites include:

  • Successful completion of the Foundations Quarter with a 3.0 (“B”) average and no grade lower than a 2.0 (“C”).
  • Senior standing (135 credits).
  • Acceptance into the Special Education major.
  • Applied to the Residency Teacher Certification program and admitted to the School of Education program.
  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA or 3.3 in the last 45 credits.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation for review. 
  • Receive a favorable recommendation from SPU faculty and staff.
  • Pass ENG 3301 or SPU writing requirement with a minimum 2.0 ("C") or better.
  • Pass MAT 1560, MAT 2561, MAT 3562, and EDRD 2000 with a 2.0 (“C”) or better.
  • Fingerprint and pre-residency clearance completed.
  • Official passing score on the Washington Educator Skills Test – Basic (WEST-B) testing requirement for teachers or official ACT/SAT scores meeting the minimum requirement for reading, writing, and mathematics.
  • Take the appropriate Washington Educator Skills Test – Endorsement (WEST-E/NES) for each endorsement being earned. Exams must be passed prior to September 1. 

Integrated and Internship quarters

You must take Integrated and Internship quarters sequentially in the same academic year (offered winter and spring).

A minimum 3.0 GPA (“B”) is required for Special Education Internships A and B.

Integrated and Internship prerequisites include:

  • Successful completion of the Methods Quarter with no grade lower than a 2.0 (“C”). Methods lab must be passed with a 3.0 ("B") or better.
  • Completion of 15 upper-division Special Education credits.
  • Maintaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA or a 3.3 in the last 45 credits throughout both quarters.
  • Official passing score on the appropriate Washington Educator Skills-Endorsement (WEST-E/NES) test(s). 
    • SPU should have official passing scores by September 1 for internship placement purposes. 
  • Completion of EDU 3942.
  • Continued clearance of fingerprints in the OSPI database. Fingerprints must be cleared through the entire duration of your internship.

Apply to the major

For major application requirements for Special Education: Elementary Emphasis or Secondary Emphasis please see Special Education major page.

Lindsey Neal

Special Education in the School of Education

Visit Special Education at SPU’s School of Education to see how you can begin to educate youth, achieve your goals, and make a difference in the world.

Time Schedule: Special Education

Course planning

Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.

Time Schedule: EDU

Find out when the education courses that you want are offered.