Special Education Endorsement


The Special Education Endorsement is a stand-alone program designed for those candidates who desire to add the Special Education Endorsement to an existing teaching license.

Endorsement Description

Special Education Endorsement [P21}: Early Childhood/Elementary, Elementary/Middle School or Middle School/High School

The Special Education Endorsement for candidates holding a preliminary license is a 25-semester hour program. This standards-based program will provide in-service educators with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to increase the academic progress of students identified with special learning needs. Professors in the program are either current practitioners or higher education personnel who hold appropriate credentials and degrees to teach and mentor accepted candidates. The program requires clinical experiences under the guidance of experienced special education teachers. Courses are either taught face-to-face, online or in a hybrid format.

The Special Education Endorsement will serve these types of educators:

  • In-service educators who hold a Preliminary License (formerly Oregon Initial I license) and want to add the Special Education Endorsement in the move toward Professional License or other advanced credentials.
  • Teachers who already have an Oregon Professional License (formerly Initial II License), but want to work with students in Special Education.
  • Teachers from other states with current teaching credentials who wish to add the Special Education Endorsement to that license.

Candidates for the Special Education Endorsement will have multiple opportunities to demonstrate progress toward professional standards during the program. Every course in the endorsement program has a common assessment tied directly to course goals, which in turn align with the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) and Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards. George Fox University is committed to multiple measures of candidates/abilities to provide meaningful learning experiences for students in P-12 settings who have specialized learning needs. Candidates for the Special Education Endorsement must also pass all appropriate state testing in order to add the endorsement to an existing license.

Students accepted into the Special Education Endorsement will begin coursework in the fall session of each year and move through the program in a cohort with a planned sequence of courses.

Program Objectives

Educational Objectives

Candidates who complete this Special Education Endorsement will be able to:

  • Write Standard-based compliant IEP's including SMART goals
  • Monitor student progress for annual goal reporting
  • Implement procedural requirements
  • Develop and implement appropriate curriculum, instruction, and assessments across grade levels
  • Instruct large and small groups using effective teaching methods
  • Problem solve with staff and parents around student needs and services
  • Lead IEP meetings efficiently
  • Effectively organize caseload activities; paperwork, notice, meetings, eligibility forms, IEPs, etc.
  • Use time wisely to complete all procedural requirements
Professional Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Fulfill their professional development needs as educators who specialize in different aspects of Mild to Moderate and Moderate to Severe P-12 education
  • Earn the Special Education (SPED) Endorsement.

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the Special Education endorsement program must hold a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in most recent 60 semester or 90 quarter hours (and an explanation if the grade point is below 3.0). In addition, applicants must complete the following to be considered for admission to the program:

  • Master of Education application form and application fee
  • One- to two-page essay as described in the application
  • One official transcript from all colleges or universities attended
  • Three references (forms provided in the application materials).

Applicants seeking to meet TSPC licensure or endorsement requirements upon completion of the program must also complete the following:

  • Verification of valid Oregon teaching license or the equivalent, such as an expired or out-of-state license, education degree, or documented and appropriate teacher experience (applicants to the program that do not have a teaching license should submit a letter of explanation as to how the program would meet their professional goals.)
  • Complete Teachers Standards and Practices Character Questionnaire

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit will be considered on a case to case basis by the Department Chair. Transfer credits will only be considered upon review of Official Transcripts and Course Descriptions of the transfer courses.

Residence Requirements

Of the 25 hours required for the Special Education Endorsement program, all hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University, except pre-approved transfer credit courses. Courses are offered face to face, online, and in a hybrid format.

Course Requirements

The Special Education Endorsement (SPED) program is generally 18 months in length with 25 semester hours of SPED coursework required for completion.

Licensure in Oregon and Other States

Upon completion of the SPED program, students will need to take the appropriate SPED tests before applying for their Special Education Endorsement through Oregon's Teachers Standards and Practice Commission (TSPC). Non-Oregon students will need to check each particular state's licensing criteria before entering the SPED program.

Graduation Requirements

In order to earn the Special Education Endorsement students must:
  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 25 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Achieve no grade lower than a B in all core courses. If a grade of a B- or lower is received in a designated course, that course must be retaken (for more specific information, please refer to the student handbook).
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Curriculum Plan

Note: The curriculum plan is prescribed and candidates will be advised as to the proper sequencing for the Special Education Endorsement courses.

Complete the following:

This course will focus on the historical foundations and purpose of special education, theory, special education law and policy, including legislation and litigation, and ethics. The course provides the foundational knowledge needed to understand exceptionalities of all kinds.
The theoretical and practical aspects of human development with emphasis on - birth through young adult – and the connection to developmental psychology and learning theory. Functional knowledge of exceptionalities: autism, dyslexia, executive functioning are developed as it relates to learning.
This course prepares candidates to meet the needs of school students with high incidence learning disabilities in general education classrooms. Develops curricular modifications and adaptations to evaluate content curriculum, and to provide assistance to general education teachers. Develops knowledge and skills to adjust curriculum content using Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and informal assessments to provide information on student progress in the general education curriculum.
This course prepares candidates to meet the needs of school students with low incidence disabilities. Candidates explore, discuss and learn how to plan and implement curriculum that includes CCSS as well as informing disability eligibility decisions as well as instruction in academic and functional low incidence disabilities including: intellectual disability, hearing impairment, visual impairment, deaf/blindness, communication disorder, emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairment, traumatic brain injury, autism spectrum disorder, and other health impairments. Functional living skills are incorporated into content planning.
This course addresses assessment and evaluation as the means for informing special education disability decisions as well as instructional decisions. The candidate will learn and practice multiple ways of assessing students. These include informal assessment, progress monitoring, formal evaluations, and standardized achievement tests. Candidate will learn to write formal reports that emphasize proper administration of assessments and ethical complications of the evaluation process to synthesize all that data to create a cohesive picture of the student’s standing, and continue to use the appropriate assessment tools to generate the information needed to make curricular and program decisions.
This course will focus on developing candidates’ ability to evaluate technological and assistive supports and determine appropriateness for exceptional learners. Candidates will design and develop assistive technology tools for use in academic and functional settings.
Candidates will gain knowledge and skills in writing effective, compliant Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and acquire communication and collaboration strategies to facilitate IEP meetings and interactions with families. Candidates will identify key issues that could lead to litigation. Course content includes communication, organization, compliance and administrative management.
This course will focus on preparation of candidates to work with students who demonstrate significant emotional/behavioral, trauma, and fetal alcohol/drug issues and use interventions that are research-based. Candidates are instructed on the methods of behavior analysis and accommodation strategies to include development of behavior support plans.
This course will focus on the families, individuals, and community supports for individuals with disabilities ages birth - 21. Candidates will identify age-appropriate services such as Head Start, early intervention, vocational educational programs, community experiences, employment and other post-school adult living objectives, acquisition of daily living skills, if appropriate, and access to state and federal services. Candidate will also learn all required federal/state requirements for secondary transition plans. They will learn how to apply and develop an individual Education Plan for students of transition age.
This practicum will be completed at either early childhood elementary, or elementary middle, or middle level and high school, in settings with students identified with mild to moderate disabilities. Candidates will complete a work sample during this practicum. Candidates will complete a minimum of 90 hours of clinical practice in a mild to moderate disability placement.
This practicum will be completed at either early childhood elementary, or elementary middle, or middle level and high school, in settings with students identified with moderate to severe disabilities. Candidates will complete a minimum of 90 hours of clinical practice in a moderate to severe disability placement.
Individualized and clinical observation/research in an area of special interest to the student which is outside the regular offerings of the program.