Humboldt State University

School of Education

Special Education

The Special Education Program at Humboldt State University promotes the vision that students with mild to severe disabilities can enjoy academic confidence and developmental, educational growth by interacting with teachers who maximize the students’ learning potential and provide a student-centered learning environment.

Successful special education teachers model advocacy for their students. They work effectively within an expanded educational community student support system of parents, colleagues, and community members and also demonstrate strong leadership skills. They are approachable, adaptable, and flexible Through their written and oral communication skills, they demonstrate sound subject matter knowledge and pedagogical methods. They model respect for and rapport with diverse student, parent, and community populations. Diversity is broadly defined and includes ethnic, lingusitic, economic, cultural, gender, religious, and alternative life-style.

Special Education teacher classroom

School of Education Mission Statement

The mission of the School of Education is to prepare knowledgeable and effective education professionals to promote excellence and equity with students of diverse talents and cultural backgrounds in rural and urban settings.  We develop professionals who are committed to reflective practice, scholarship, collaborative action, and social justice to take leadership in improving the quality of education for all students.

Program Learning Outcomes (Special Education)

School of Education Credential Program Candidate Learning Outcomes:

1.    Demonstrate an ability to work effectively with diverse students, parents, colleagues, staff, and others in the community;
2.    Develop and maintain safe, positive, and productive educational environments;
3.    Use research-based practice to inform their work;
4.    Demonstrate a coherent theoretical framework of learning and human development that supports reflection on their practice;
5.    Collaborate on efforts to improve education opportunities for all students.

Program Learning Outcomes:  Education Specialist

1.    Candidates will understand the characteristics of students with mild to severe disabilities and advocate for their education.
2.    Candidates will develop and implement classroom management and individual behavior plans which include positive behavioral supports.
3.    Candidates will use informal and formal assessment tools to develop and implement effective individualized instructional plans.
4.    Candidates will select, create and adapt instructional strategies and materials based on educational theory and research.
6.    Candidates will describe models and methods of collaboration, which increase the effectiveness of teaching students with disabilities in inclusive environments.

Special Education

Admissions Information

To learn more about our program, come to one of our orientation meetings. Click here for dates/times of orientation meetings. We also offer FREE CSET Test Prep workshops (click to learn more).

Why Teach Special Education?


As a teacher you can make a difference in the life of a child or youth in your community. Teaching is a rewarding career and the need for teachers is growing every day!

Special Education Deadlines

The Special Education Application deadline is June 1st. Submit early, as space is limited. Special Education coursework begins in the fall semester. The program application and admissions guide can be found on this page in the green box to the right. Call the Program Coordinator Peggy Kirkpatrick at 707.826.5795 for more information.

  1. Apply to the SPED Program
  2. Meet Admission Requirements as set forth in the application
  3. Apply to HSU as graduate student
  4. Apply for Certificate of Clearance to California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC)
The Educational Specialist Program - Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe:

The Special Education Credential program is a one-year course of study that begins in the fall semester of each year. Students will obtain a preliminary credential by taking a 46-unit professional education program to qualify for K-12 Special Education teaching positions. The Moderate/Severe specialization may be added to an existing Preliminary Special Education Credential.

Student Teaching Placement Calendar
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