Mission Statement

The foundation of the department’s educational program is built upon knowledge derived from a sound theoretical base and rigorous research. We believe a quality program includes opportunities for reflection, problem solving and collaboration, and the application of knowledge and skills in settings that demonstrate effective practices. Working in partnership with schools and communities, a quality program provides ongoing support, mentoring and guidance to its students, while promoting innovative approaches for individuals with disabilities in the communities it serves.

About the Department

The Department of Special Education at California State University, Northridge, offers credential and master’s degree programs for professionals who work with infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families. Programs are designed to prepare special educators to understand the diverse characteristics and backgrounds of students with disabilities, to adapt curriculum and instruction to ensure equal access to the general education program, and to make sound educational judgments based on assessment findings.

The Department of Special Education offers a Preliminary Education Specialist Credential and a Teacher Induction Credential in Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Early Childhood Special Education, Mild/Moderate and Extensive Support Needs. These programs provide specialized coursework and field experiences for candidates who are interested in serving students with disabilities.

The Department of Special Education offers the following preliminary credential pathways:

  1. Traditional Program, a post-B.A. preservice professional program.
  2. Intern Program, a post-B.A. two-year program designed for on-the-job teachers who are eligible for an intern credential. Interns must meet all admission requirements prior to receiving an intern credential. Interns are district employees and serve as the teacher of record.
  3. Accelerated Collaborative Teacher (ACT) Preparation Program, a post-B.A. full-time, two-semester program, offered collaboratively with the Los Angeles Unified School District.
  4. Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP), an undergraduate program with candidates beginning as freshmen or entering the two-year option as transfer students, earning their credential and bachelor’s degree concurrently (in Mild/Moderate and Extensive Support Needs program only).
  5. Dual Preliminary Single Subject/Education Specialist Credential, a post-B.A. preservice professional program in which candidates earn a Preliminary Education Specialist Credential in Mild/Moderate and Extensive Support Needs and a Preliminary Single Subject Credential.

The Teacher Induction Credential program is a two-year, individualized program designed for candidates who hold a valid Preliminary Education Specialist Credential in the following specialization areas: (1) Deaf and Hard of Hearing; (2) Early Childhood Special Education; (3) Mild/Moderate Disabilities; or (4) Moderate/Severe Disabilities. The purpose of the Teacher Induction program is to provide ongoing mentoring and support for new teachers. Candidates develop an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) designed to strengthen their professional practice through self-assessment, goal setting and reflection. The program consists of four induction courses centered around the ILP and two pedagogy courses designed to build on skills and knowledge acquired through the Preliminary Credential. The one-year early completion option is available for induction candidates who meet predetermined criteria. Please contact an advisor in the department for guidance. Induction candidates can also complete the Induction credential and M.A. degree concurrently.

The master’s degree program builds upon the competencies developed in the credential programs, preparing special educators for positions of leadership, advocacy and scholarship in schools, the community and within the overall profession of Special Education. The department offers two M.A. programs: (1) an online M.A. in Educational Therapy, and (2) an M.A. in Special Education with an emphasis in (a) Deaf and Hard of Hearing, (b) Early Childhood Special Education, and (c) Mild/Moderate and Extensive Support Needs.

Academic Advisement

Faculty in the Department of Special Education are available to assist students with questions about the department’s programs. Please refer to the Department of Special Education website for contact information.

Prospective students who are unsure of the programs available, what specialization to choose or how to apply to the programs or campus, please contact the department chair.


All credential programs are accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).


Department of Special Education
Chair: Amy Hanreddy
Education (ED) 1204
(818) 677-2596