Dual Certification Programs

Special Education Dual Certification/Licensure Program Description Examples

About this Snapshot

The table below highlights a selected group of dual certification programs in special education, and is in no way exhaustive of all dual certification programs.

Program/Length/Grade BandLicensure AreaLength of Existence and Cohort SizeCourseworkField PlacementReferences/Contact/Visibility via Publications, Presentations, and Leadership
California State Long Beach

Undergraduate- fourth- and fifth-year program
Postbaccalaureate option

Urban dual education programSince Fall 2015
2015 Cohort: 10 students
2016 Cohort: 20 students
• Semester 1: Coursework (inclusion education, literacy—Tier 1, positive behavior supports, English learner language development), describe assignment to classrooms/teachers, teaching Tier 1 lessons—whole group, feedback cycle, debriefing
• Semester 2: Coursework (assessment, literacy Tiers 2 and 3, equity, access and inclusion, mathematics—Tier 1), possibly two classroom assignments, describe intervention process, collaboration, data, etc.
• Semester 3: Coursework (mathematics—Tiers 2 and 3, art/health/physical education, history/social studies), review of major competencies, coteaching, unit planning
• Semester 4: Science, teaching students with moderate or severe disabilities, transition services
Clinical Practice:
• Semester 1: Clinical rounds 2 days/week
– Focus Tier 1 literacy, teach three lessons
• Semester 2: Clinical rounds 2 days/week
– Focus Tier 2/3 literacy, conduct K–2 intervention
• Semester 3: Student teaching 5 days/week
– Focus: Meet student teaching competencies
• Semester 4: Student teaching 5 days/week
– Focus: Meet student teaching competencies

Cara Richards-Tutor
Shireen Pavri
Fresno State University

4 years

Middle School
Dual credential program multiple subject and education specialist credentialsn/aCourse DescriptionsClassroom Placements:
Grades 3–8→6 hours/week
Grades K–3→20 hours/week (16 general education)
State Policy and Practice Portrait

4 years; 120 credits

Grades 7-12
Exceptional needs—early and late adolescence/mathematics or science
Exceptional needs—early and late adolescence/English language arts
Late 1990s
4-5 students per year
• Mathematics or science total: 120 credits
– Professional education: 60+ credits
– Mathematics: 26–27 credits
– Science: 25 credits
– Electives
• English language arts (ELA)
– Professional education: 60+ credits
– ELA content: 25 credits
Challenge: Students in the dual program do not have a “passion” for Special Education; the school is concerned this can cause a lack of advocacy for Special Education
Remedy: Orientation at the beginning of every semester; seminar discussions about advocacy throughout semesters; one-on-one interventions for targeted cases
• One semester, full time, student teaching (Collaborative Student teaching model)
– Either in general education or inclusion (depends on school)
– Paired with Special Education mentor teacher
– No K–12 Special Education option; either K–6 or secondary
• Three field experience placements prior to student teaching; placements in general education, inclusion; placement prior to student teaching semester is in a Special Education classroom
The secondary program is more fluid because students match up with a mentor teacher for Special Education and the subject area. The level of fluctuation also causes variance in the number of hours completed. At a minimum, candidates’ complete 160 contact hours:
• 10 weeks student teaching in Special Education classroom
• 6 weeks teaching in content area

Denise Wyatt

The School of Education does not have any definitive research published or unpublished regarding the program, but general statistics are available on the Title II website.
Blanton, L. P., & Pugach, M. C. (2007). Collaborative programs in general and special teacher education. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.

146-148 credits

Grades K-6
Dual licensure in elementary education and Special Education–mild interventionn/a• Program major: 96 credits
– Student teaching: 16 credits
– Student teaching dual license: 6 credits
• Other program: 51–52 credits
• Student teaching: 16 credits
• Student teaching dual license: 6 credits
• Split program—junior year half of the time is spent in an intensive Special Education classroom (approximately 1.5 days per week)
• Practicum experience tends to cover grade range K–12 for Special Education
• Senior year—elementary full-time student teaching in general education inclusion classroom


University of Saint Francis

4 years: 128 credits

Secondary (Grades 6-12)
Licensure in subject matter area (mathematics, business, chemistry, health and physical education, English language arts, life sciences, physical sciences, and social studies) and Special Education mild intervention2002-2003Students begin taking core courses—all of which are cotaught—then complete courses and experiences in subject matter and Special Educationn/aBlanton, L. P., & Pugach, M. C. (2007). Collaborative programs in general and special teacher education. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.

Brandi Prather-Leming

New Jersey
Kean University

132 credits

Grades preschool-12
BA English, history, mathematics, earth science, and biology
Major: Subject/ teacher of students with disabilities
Option: Dual certification for teacher of students with disabilities and P–12 subject
n/a• Example: Biology and SPECIAL EDUCATION:
– General education and liberal arts requirements: 68 credits
– Foundations requirements: 13
– Disciplinary/interdisciplinary distribution requirements: 32
– Additional requirements (science): 23
– Academic major requirements (biology): 32
• Professional education: 32
• Split placements in both preprofessional and professional experiences between the general education and special education setting
– One semester student teaching: split 50% general education, 50% Special Education


Montclair University

48-51 credits; 2-2.5 years

Master of arts in teaching program in subject area and teacher of students with disabilitiesSince 2008
15 students per year in 17 content areas
The 33-credit master’s program is organized into three interrelated strands that integrate theory, technique, and practice in instruction and assessment.The program culminates in a one-semester, full-time practicum in a classroom setting and a related, teacher-as-researcher course that includes an action research project.
• Students complete a professional year during which they complete 120 hours of individual and small-group instruction (through either a pull-out/resource setting or implementation of tiered interventions in the partner school) followed by a full-time student teaching semester. Most candidates are placed in an inclusion classroom with a content area teacher (middle or secondary) and a Special Education teacher who are an established coteaching team (together for more than 2 years). They teach two full periods or blocks in the in-class support (inclusion) classroom and one period or block in a pull-out resource setting. The New Jersey Department of Education does not specify how much field experience candidates must have for the SPECIAL EDUCATION endorsement. Montclair ensures all candidates have rigorous experiences across environments, including inclusion teaching as dual educators.

Jennifer Goeke

College accreditation data are collected through course-embedded assessments—including data on four benchmark performance assessments across the professional year: academic change (response to intervention/tiered interventions), inclusion unit planning and implementation, coteaching, and a culminating defense.
A few articles and book chapters have been published, and an edited book about the U.S. Department of Education 325T grant project is forthcoming in 2017, titled Redesigning Special Education Teacher Preparation: Challenges and Solutions
New Mexico
University of New Mexico

131-135 credits; 4 years. Program starts sophomore fall or spring

Grades K-8
Special Education (PK-12) and elementary education (K-8)Since 1996
Approximately 30 students in a cohort
Coursework breakdown:
• 16 student teaching credits
• 57 credits prior to acceptance into dual program
• 8 educational foundation
• 30 general education
• 24 content area teaching field
• Not enough available placements for elementary education candidates in inclusion environments
Added a high school placement option for SPECIAL EDUCATION and encourages candidates to be in high school settings
The New Mexico Department of Education does not have a requirement concerning dual licensure and student teaching placement. The dual licensure program within the University of New Mexico requires student teaching placement across general and Special Education settings. Placement in inclusion settings is preferred, but is not always available. Candidates are placed in a K–8 setting for their general education semester, with preference toward students with disabilities in the classroom and where Special Education teachers provide services directly in the classroom. Candidates are placed in a PK–12 setting for their Special Education semester across all types of settings (e.g., general education inclusion, resource room, self-contained), with a priority toward general education inclusion.
For the general education semester, candidates are placed in a setting aligned to their field (mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts).
Additional Notes:
• Candidates are not placed in separate schools for students with disabilities.
• If placed in inclusion setting, candidates are offered the option to stay during the entire year—which most prefer—or are offered the following:
– Complete one semester of student teaching in Special Education classroom and one semester in general education classroom
– Complete 10 days of solo teaching in each placement or 20 days of solo teaching in an inclusion setting

Erin Jarry

Keefe, E. B., Rossi, P. J., De Valenzuela, J. S., & Howarth, S. (2000). Reconceptualizing teacher preparation for inclusion classrooms: A description of the dual license program at the University of New Mexico. Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 25(2), 72–82.
New York
Molloy College

5 years

Grades 7-12
Adolescent education (Grades 7–12) biology, English, mathematics, social studies, or Spanish and Special Educationn/a• 37 credits specific to adolescent and Special Education
– Apprentice: 13 credits
– Preprofessional: 9 credits
– Preprofessional semester: 9 credits
• Separate requirements for content
• Semester of student teaching:
– Half semester in a general education classroom
– Half semester in a Special Education/inclusion classroom
• Field experiences are with two different age groups:
– One placement Grades 7–9
– One placement Grades 10–12
Student Teaching Description


Pace University

Five-semester course of study

Prepares candidates as 7–12 content area specialists in general and Special Education as well as Special Education “generalists,” which is consistent with New York teacher certification
Adolescent education (BA)/Special Education (MA)Since 2013
10-12 students per year
CoursesTwo student teaching components:
• In undergraduate program in the content area (one semester)

Leslie Soodak
Roberta Wiener

Teacher preparation data are collected as follows: (a) key assessments across coursework (to meet Council for Exceptional Children and Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium Standards) and (b) field performance data from students, clinical supervisors, and mentors. Postgraduation data are collected as follows: (a) anecdotal reflections from graduates on their experiences in teacher preparation and (b) observation data of instruction after employment.
Presentations concerning the development and design of the dual certification program were at relevant general and Special Education conferences. Data concerning graduate outcomes are currently being prepared to inform improvement.
Wagner College


Grades 1-6
General education and students with disabilities and content: art, English, French, history, mathematics, music, natural science, philosophy, psychology, sociology/ anthropology, Spanish, or theater/speechn/a• General education requirements
• Foundations of education (3 units; 65 hours)
• Methods and content of education (5 units; 110 hours)
• Student teaching (3 units; 440 hours)
• Professional experience: 175 hours
• Student teaching: 440 hours
• ED 560B Student Teaching: Inclusion/Childhood Grades 4–6. One unit. The teacher candidates’ preparation for teaching diverse children in Grades 4–6 culminates in a full-time, 7-week, 220-hour directed teaching experience in an accredited inclusion or self-contained classroom led by a teacher certified in the target certification area.

Suzanne Damato

North Carolina
Elon University

132 credits minimum; 4 years

Grades 9-12
Special Education (general curriculum K–12) and a second license in general education, in one of the following licensure areas:
Elementary (K–6)
Middle (6–9)
English (9–12)
Mathematics (9–12)
Science/biology (9–12)
History (9–12)
Since early 1990s
Currently there is one student in the program
• Core curriculum: 56-60 credits
• Major (content): 94 credits
• Education: 49 credits
– Student teaching: 10 credits
Student Teaching:
• Fall semester: two placements→one in content area and grade level, one in Special Education inclusion classroom
• Candidates teach in the same inclusion class for 14–15 weeks, full time, spring semester
• Candidates can elect to student teach in a resource room
Edu 450. Teaching Diverse Learners In Middle And Secondary Schools: A 30-hour field placement in a diverse secondary classroom provides real world experience for students.

Lesley Henry

Collect data on candidates that assesses graduate performance; nothing published.
Bowling Green State University

128-130 credits; 4 years

Grades K-12
Intervention Specialist (IS) program with licensure in mild-moderate (MM) and moderate-intensive (MI)First cohort started in 2013; currently 1,000 students in the programCourse RequirementsThe candidates complete a full 2 years of methods and student teaching in inclusion classrooms. The candidates serve as intervention specialists in Year 1 and as a general education teacher in Year 2.Resource

Mary Murray

Some manuscripts are published
Chapter from: Blanton, L. P., Griffin, C. C., Winn, J. A., & Pugach, M. C. (1997). Teacher education in transition: Collaborative programs to prepare general and special educators. Denver, CO: Love.
University of Dayton

Two concentrations of 24 or more semester hours
124 semester hours→4 years

Grades 4-9
Middle childhood grades (4-9) and intervention specialist (grades K-12) Mathematics
Social Studies
Reading/language arts
2015Checklist of coursesStudent teaching during senior year:
• Middle Grades: 9 weeks
– Intervention specialist: 6 weeks

Connie Bowman

Portland State University

5 years

Secondary dual educator programn/aProgram CourseYear 1:
First term—Observing in both general and Special Education settings (10 hours/week)
Second term—Applying new knowledge and skills directly with students with an individual education program (IEP) (10 hours/week)
Third term—Half-time student teaching in Special Education (20 hours/week)
Year 2:
First term—Working with students with more significant disabilities and coteaching in an inclusion-content classroom (10-hour practicum/week)
Second term—Half-time student teaching in general education (20 hours/week)
Third term—Full-time student teaching in general education (40 hours/week)
Fullerton, A., Ruben, B. J., McBride, S., & Bert, S. (2011). Development and design of a merged secondary and Special Education teacher preparation program. Teacher Education Quarterly, 38(2), 27–44.

Randall L. De Pry

Fullerton, A., Ruben, B. J., McBride, S., & Bert, S. (2011). Evaluation of a merged secondary and Special Education program. Teacher Education Quarterly, 8(2), 45–60.
Teaching for a New World: Preparing High School Educators to Deliver College- and Career-Ready Instruction.
Arcadia University

133-134 credits; 4-4.5 years

Grads 7-9
Special Education and mathematics
Special Education and English
Only a couple of students have done the Special Education and secondary dual certification• Secondary education courses: 19 credits
• Special Education courses: 21 credits
• Fieldwork and student teaching: 15 credits
• English total: 134 credits
– Secondary: 40 credits
– Additional: 42 credits
• Total mathematics: 133 credits
– Secondary: 49 credits
Additional: 32 credits
Fieldwork and student teaching: 15 credits
• Fall semester: 14 weeks full-time teaching in general education (inclusion) classroom
• Spring semester: 14 weeks in Special Education practicum; teach for half day in Special Education classroom; other half of day is usually an English as a second language practicum

Christine Miller

Point Park University

142 credits; 8 semesters (with student teaching)

Grades 7-12
Special Education dual certification option
Subjects: biology, citizenship, English, mathematics, and social studies
5 years in existence
More than 10 students per year (about 50% of education majors choose dual certification)
• Example: Biology
– Core curriculum: 42 credits
– Major requirements: 100 credits
» Math: 6 credits
» Chemistry: 11 credits
» Physics: 4 credits
» Biology: 31 credits
» Education: 21 credits
Special Education: 27 credits
Student teaching—The state requires 12 weeks, but the university requires approximately 15 weeks
Split placement:
• 7 weeks Special Education placement
• 7 weeks general education placement

Janel Orwig

Yearly report submitted to state annually and published at the state level. Follow up with graduates to track performance.
Southern Utah University

Provost emphasizes completing in 4 years, but secondary content areas sometimes require extra semesters

Secondary (Grades 7-12)
Special Education mild/moderate dual licensure concentration: K–12
(complete either the elementary education major component (66 credits or the secondary education major and licensure component requirements; credits vary)
8-10 years in existence
16 candidates in cohort
Practicum: throughout courseworkStudent teaching:
• Half of student teaching in regular classroom
• Half of student teaching in inclusion classroom
Other notes: Placement school determines candidates placement
Challenge: High turnover rate of faculty—four faculty in the last 2 years; program is in transition

Bart Reynolds
Kim Mendenhall

University of Utah

Four years; eight semesters

Secondary (Grades 6-12 in six content majors)
"Integrated model"2008The core of the curriculum is grounded in the three-tiered model of instruction, universal design for learning, and evidence-based practice.Field placements are viewed as an extension of coursework.Hardman, M. L. (2009). Redesigning the preparation of all teachers within the framework of an integrated program model. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(4), 583–587.

Michael Hardman

The program is held accountable for the quality and impact of its preparation programs on candidate performance. A continual feedback and improvement cycle is initiated at the initial preparation phase, during induction and across the early years of teaching.
The University of Vermont

21-credit dual endorsement option

Grades K-8
Ages 7-21
Special Education dual endorsementn/a
Candidates earn teacher licensure in chosen area (e.g., elementary education, middle level education, secondary education, art education, music education) along with endorsement as a special educator for students in corresponding age levels
Courses in assessment, applied behavior analysis, early or adolescent literacy, and research-based instructional methods for including students with disabilities in general education classrooms
• 6-credit Special Education internship
• Student teaching semester

George Salembier
Leslie Colomb