Frequently Asked Questions
This webpage should answer your questions regarding admission process and programs offered by our department, but if you have any additional questions you can always contact us.
- Program Requirements
What is a Certificate of Clearance? Do I need one?
A Certificate of Clearance is verification that you have not been convicted of a felony, a condition which would prevent you from being issued a teaching credential by California law. Students who fail to submit a Certificate of Clearance may not be admitted or may have their admission delayed. A valid substitute teaching permit or current California Multiple Subject or Single Subject Credential will be accepted in lieu of a Certificate of Clearance.
When must I satisfy the U.S. Constitution requirement?
Candidates must meet the US Constitution requirement by the time they are ready to apply for the Education Specialist Intern Credential or the Preliminary Education Specialist Credential.
How long does it take to complete the credential program?
Candidates entering the program in the summer can complete the MA plus credential in 12 months. Candidates entering the program in the fall or spring semester will finish the MA plus credential in 18 months.
Can I work full-time and still be able to complete the program?
Most candidates work while in the program. Classes do not begin before 4:00 pm. Candidates will likely need to work with their employer to adjust working hours if they intend to work while completing student teaching..
How do I know who my advisor is?
After your application is complete, you will receive a letter of admission from our Special Education Department with your advisor's name and contact information.
How often should I see my advisor?
Students should meet with their advisor at least once a semester.
What is the TPA?
TPA stands for Teaching Performance Assessment. The TPA includes video submissions of teaching along with written narratives.
When do I complete the TPA?
Candidates complete the TPA as part of their fieldwork courses. TPA Cycle 1 is completed in EDSE 234. TPA Cycle 2 is completed in EDSE 217A or EDSE 154.
- Transfer Courses
Do comparable courses taken previously satisfy current credential requirements?
Professional preparation courses completed at another college or university must be evaluated by our faculty to determine equivalency. The student is responsible for submitting the appropriate documentation to Graduate Studies. This includes syllabus of the course(s) and the transcript with the grade. Courses applied toward a Master of Arts degree are valid for seven years only. Please check with the Special Education staff for details. Other restrictions may apply. The "Equivalency" form can be downloaded from our Student Forms link.
- Continuation in the Program
What happens if my GPA falls below 3.0 during the program?
Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 are subject to disqualification from the program. Students who receive a grade less than a B are sent warning letter from the department chair. For more information about grades, visit our Policies webpage.
What happens if I fail a fieldwork course?
Students who fail a fieldwork course once will be given one more opportunity or a second placement. Those that fail the second time will be disenrolled from the program.
What happens if I notice that I'm not doing well in a course?
Students struggling with coursework should first make an appointment with the course instructor to discuss concerns. We recommend that students also set up an appointment with their advisor to discuss additional options for support including but not limited to the following:
We want all students to be successful in our program. We encourage students to reach out early if they find themselves in a situation in which they are not doing well.
When do I register?
After the Cal State Apply admission process is complete with the university, students receive a personal log in and pin number allowing students to register for courses. They can check when their registration date begins by logging into MySJSU. If this is a student's first semester and registration has already begun, then they should be able to register as soon as they receive their pin number. Students should check their account regularly and use their sjsu.edu email for any communication with University.
What happens if I miss the registration deadline?
Usually registration will close a few days before classes begin, then will reopen the first day of class. Students will have a short time period where they can register for a course. After the last registration deadline, late adds will be permitted, under emergency conditions.
How much does it cost?
Fees are dependent on the number of units students take each semester. To get an approximate figure, please visit the Bursar's Office website for the latest costs.
How do I pay?
After registering, Students should frequently monitor their MySJSU account to verify that they have been billed, and the amount owed. SJSU does not send a reminder to pay fees.
What happens if I do not pay on time?
Students who do not pay on time are disenrolled from all classes and must re-enroll after making the payment.
- Master of Arts Degree Option
What are the options for a person who just wants to do an MA?
There is an option to complete a 30-unit MA in Special Education without the credential. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0.
If I enroll in the MA program, can I teach in a California School?
A Master's degree does not authorize individuals to teach in public schools in the state of California. Individuals who want to teach in California must hold a valid California teaching credential: Multiple Subject, Single Subject, or Education Specialist.