Special Education Teacher Certification Options

A table showing the certification required for various types of special education teaching assignments can be found on the special education teaching assignments by certificate webpage.

Information about the new Special with Disabilities (All Grades) certificate is available on the Summary and FAQ webpage.

  • Special education teachers can teach additional grade levels and subject areas with the following extensions.
  • Special Education Teachers Who Teach A Special Class

    Effective July 1, 2021, all special education teachers who teach one or more subject areas in a special class (self-contained class) in grades 7-12, with some or no students under alternate assessment, must either:

    • be certified in each subject area that they teach, or
    • meet the teaching experience requirement for the statement of continued eligibility (SOCE) and have an active SOCE application in the TEACH online system in each subject area that they teach.

    There are several ways that special education teachers can become certified in a subject area. They can earn one of the certificates listed on the Types of Certificates and License webpage in a subject area. They can also earn subject area certification through the limited extensionSOCE, or subject area extension.

    The limited extension enables eligible special education teachers to be certified in a subject area while they teach a special class in grades 7-12 and pursue the subject area extension or certificate. The SOCE certifies eligible special education teachers who met specific requirements to teach a subject area in a special class in grades 7-12. The deadline for applying for the SOCE is June 30, 2021.

Information about the subject area certification requirement for special education teachers who teach a special class is also available in a December 2019 memo and a April 2020 memo to the field.

Last Updated: September 14, 2022