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Standard 3: Aspect A

Preparation programs ensure that candidates, upon completion, are ready to engage in professional practice, to adapt to a variety of professional settings, and to grow throughout their careers. Effective program practices include: consistent offering of coherent curricula; high-quality quality, diverse clinical experiences; dynamic, mutually beneficial partnerships with stakeholders; and comprehensive and transparent quality assurance processes informed by trustworthy evidence. Each aspect of the program is appropriate to its context and to the credential or degree sought.


Alignment with State Standards:
The Preliminary Education Specialist Credential Program in Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe Disabilities is aligned with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing standards which address the state-adopted Common Core Standards, the Teacher Performance Expectations (TPEs]) and the Commission-adopted Education Specialist Standards. The program includes a coherent, consistent and carefully designed sequence of courses which effectively prepare Education Specialist candidates to provide high quality instruction, interventions and supports to California’s richly diverse school populations, including learners with identified disabilities. The program is also recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

The program prepares Education Specialist candidates to assess, universally design, and implement high quality instruction, accommodations, modifications, and evidence-based, high leverage practices which build on students’ strengths and respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs across grades TK- age 22. The program provides extensive opportunities for teacher candidates to explore and acquire theoretical and scholarly concepts, knowledge, and resources to apply in clinical settings with diverse student populations. Course content and clinical practice experiences address the state-adopted Common Core Standards, the Teacher Performance Expectations [TPEs] and the Commission-adopted Education Specialist Standards. 

As highlighted in the matrices linked below, in Phases 1 and 2, candidates explore/apply theoretical models and research on effective instructional practices for developing mathematics skills [CI 176] and developing literacy skills [LEE 158 & LEE 166]. To prepare candidates to meet the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse student populations and their families, candidates explore/apply models and research for developing language acquisition in English Learners (LEE 159). Candidates also engage in program-specific coursework addressing the Education Specialist Program Standards, special education law and the Individualized Education Program [SPED 145]; positive behavior support and classroom management [SPED 125], formal and informal academic assessments and data collection models in SPED 130; and specialty-specific curriculum, assessment and instruction coursework in either Mild/Moderate Disabilities [SPED 136] or Moderate/Severe Disabilities [SPED 146].  

As candidates progress to their final phase, they engage in more advanced theory and scholarly research, exploration and application of evidence-based practices, special education law and ethics. SPED 233 is designed to provide candidates with a deeper understanding of research methods and design features as tools for analyzing and interpreting special education research and the results of research. Collaboration, professionalism and communication strategies are addressed and applied in projects in SPED 219. In SPED 246, Mild/Moderate candidates circle back to a deeper exploration of the Individualized Education Program and transitioning students with disabilities. Each candidate also collects data, designs, and implements a single-subject academic intervention for 1-3 students they serve who need additional academic support and instruction. In SPED 247, Moderate/Severe candidates engage in a deeper exploration of Individualized Education Program, communication needs and strategies for students with little-no language skills and students’ medical issues. 

In addition, candidates engage in a supervised clinical field experience across all three phases of the program. Clinical experiences are designed to provide candidates with   extensive opportunities, under the guidance of an experienced Veteran Practitioner/Mentor Teacher with coaching from the university assigned supervisor, to increasingly demonstrate their abilities to cohesively apply the pedagogical, theoretical and scholarly knowledge gained across the program to administer assessments, collect and analyze data, develop and implement informed instruction and units of study, and manage students’ behaviors in the classroom. In the first phase, Education Specialist candidates are placed in a general education elementary or middle school classroom working with a credentialed Multiple Subject Mentor Teacher and a Multiple Subject University Coach/Supervisor three full days per week during school hours (285 hours). In phase 2, candidates are placed in a special education classroom, adult transition program, or inclusive setting, under the guidance of an experienced Special Educator with coaching from the University Special Education Coach/Supervisor three full school days per week (285 hours). In their final phase, candidates are again placed in special education classrooms, adult transition programs, or inclusive settings all five week days (750 hours). Candidates also have four weeks of solo takeover teaching and responsibility for the classroom students. Fresno State's nationally accredited Education Specialist Credential program prepares caring, competent and reflective candidates to teach children, youth and adults with disabilities in a variety of diverse educational settings in grades TK - age 22 in California. 

Alignment between curricula and state standards: 

See Appendix C for the CCTC Alignment Matrix. 

Aspect B →