Special Education Endorsement

Special Education (SPED) Endorsement

Meeting the needs of all students is central to the work of professional educators. Having the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the diverse learning needs of our students both supports quality learning in the classroom and educators' career development.

The Inclusive Practice in Special Education endorsement (SPED) is designed to equip K12 teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary for supporting the positive academic and social-emotional development of children and youth with disabilities in inclusive classroom and school settings.

The endorsement structure facilitates professional learning through the movement from knowledge and skills 
acquisition to application via case based learning and practical experience. Areas of curricular focus include: a) foundations, b) assessment, c) planning, d) instruction, and e) communication and collaboration.

Students may pursue the SPED endorsement through the following program:

*The endorsement is connected to existing programming.  A non-matriculated, SPED endorsement-only option is not currently available. 

Endorsement Requirements

Required Courses (20 credits)

  • B EDUC 403 Introduction to Special Education
  • B EDUC 482 Assessment in Special and Inclusive Education
  • B EDUC 483 Planning for Student Success in Inclusive Education
  • B EDUC 484 Secondary Special Education and Transition
  • B EDUC 485 Instruction in Inclusive Settings
  • B EDUC 435 Student Teaching in SPED

Courses must be taken in order and students must earn a 2.0 GPA in all SPED coursework.

Practicum Experience (200 hours)

Candidates will be in their special education classroom placement 3-4* days per week for a total of 10 weeks (not including district spring break week) beginning the second week of the university quarter, continuing through the last week of the university quarter. 

The practicum will consist of a minimum of 200 hours spread across the quarter.  The placement will be in a public school classroom identified by the SES placement coordinator, and students will be mentored by a cooperating teacher and supervised by a university field instructor.

*Number and days of the week may be altered-determined by their assigned cooperating teacher schedule.  Current teachers will work closely with the placement coordinator to arrange a schedule to meet this requirement.

Content Testing Requirement

To be recommended for the Special Education endorsement, students are required to pass the Washington Educator Skills Test (WEST-E) Special Education test (070).

This test is required by the State of Washington and is designed to measure knowledge of specific Special Education content. 

Students are requested to take the WEST-E in Special Education during their SPED practicum term.

What Teaching Positions Can I Pursue with the SPED Endorsement?

With the SPED endorsement added to your residency certificate, students can pursue SPED-only teaching positions (such as Resource Room teacher), or general education teaching positions (traditional or inclusion classroom situations). 

Candidates with the SPED endorsement are highly qualified and, due to the shortage of SPED-endorsed teachers in Washington State, they will be sought after whether or not they accept a SPED-only teaching position.