Give Students the Skills to Succeed

If you have the heart and passion for helping students with special needs succeed in school and in life, consider earning an Endorsement in Special Education from City University of Seattle. You’ll gain the knowledge and skills to teach and support a wide range of learning abilities.

This endorsement is offered via mixed-mode format, which includes convenient in-person classes and supplemental online learning, so you can continue teaching while working toward further certification. You’ll receive educational guidance from our expert special education faculty, who will bring your learning to life by giving you real-world applications.

City University of Seattle offers an Endorsement in Special Education for certified teachers who want to work with special needs students in grades P-12. If you are a certified teacher in Washington state, you can apply to this program. Or, you may add it as an emphasis to your bachelor’s in education program for initial certification.

Upon completion of CityU’s special education endorsement you’ll need to pass the Washington Educator Skills Test (WEST-E®) to become highly qualified in Washington state.

Learning Outcomes

Throughout the special education endorsement program, you’ll build your knowledge base and pedagogy in the following areas:

  • Human growth and development
  • Special education law
  • Assessment and evaluation tools
  • Inclusion and specialist paradigms
  • Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
  • Teacher and community collaboration

EDE 433

Content: Mathematics I (4)

EDE 433 is the first of two courses that examine theoretical perspectives on mathematics education and methods of teaching and learning mathematics at the elementary and middle school levels. Candidates acquire and demonstrate practical experience in the understanding of the mathematics concepts and methods taught in grades K-8. In this course, candidates investigate various teaching strategies to motivate children, explore what it means to know and do mathematics, to solve problems, to use assessment to inform instruction, and to teach math equitably to all children.

ERL 436

Literacy Instruction and Assessment I (4)

This is the first of three courses in the literacy sequence for the undergraduate Teacher Certification Program. This course provides a foundation for literacy instruction. Topics include reading and writing instruction, response to literature, language acquisition, construction of meaning/comprehension, and strategies for English language learners. Candidates learn strategies for literacy instruction, which can be used with all learners. Prerequisite: Per program plan, plan of study or approval of permission of program director

ESP 370A

Content: Exceptionality in Special Education (4)

The purpose of this course is to inform candidates on both inclusion and specialist paradigms in special education, including definitions of disabilities and program delivery. This course emphasizes identification, specific needs of students, service delivery, and legal issues. Practical application of these principles will form the foundation for future special education courses. Prerequisite: Per program plan, plan of study, or approval of program director.

ESP 373

Special Education: Low-Incidence Students (3)

This course is a study of students identified with low-incidence disabilities such as: Developmentally Delayed, Autism Spectrum, Moderate/Severe Mental Retardation, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Orthopedically Impaired, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, and Visually Impaired. Components of the course include definitions, family involvement, assessments, instructional methods, procedural, and landmark legal issues in Special Education. Candidates provide appropriate program accommodations for students identified with a low-incidence disability. Prerequisites: Admittance to the Bachelor of Arts in Education program or prior approval of the Program Director or Senior Faculty is required before students begin this course.

ESP 376

Autism (3)

The purpose of this course is to provide the candidate opportunities to delineate and define autism spectrum disorders (differences and similarities). The course emphasizes knowledge of autism spectrum disorders with regard to severity and intensity and other characteristics unique to each disorder. Candidates apply information learned in this course to meet the educational aspects of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Prerequisites: Admittance to the Bachelor of Arts in Education program or prior approval of the Program Director or Senior Faculty is required before students begin this course.

ESP 405

Behavior Analysis and Management (3)

The purpose of this course is to provide candidates opportunities to explore models for analyzing and managing student behavior. The course emphasizes basic types of student behavior, motivation, prevention strategies, intervention strategies, and behavior change plans. Practical application of these principles will be demonstrated through the completion of data collection samples, a functional behavioral assessment, positive behavior support plan, and emergency response protocols for use of restraint and/or isolation interventions. Prerequisite: Admittance to BAEd or Endorsement-Only program or prior departmental approval.

ESP 408

Student Assessment and Evaluation (3)

This course focuses on the necessary foundations, strategies, and understanding to successfully perform assessments and evaluations in the classroom for placement and implementation of programs for students receiving special education services. Emphasis is placed on the selection of appropriate assessment and evaluation tools, timelines, and the interrelationship between assessment components. Candidates demonstrate selection of appropriate assessment tool and accurately interpret data used in the assessment process for qualification and implementation of individual programs for students receiving special education services.

ESP 409A

Content: Fundamentals of the IEP Process (3)

The purpose of this course is to provide candidates with the compliance elements necessary for writing and implementing a quality Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). This course emphasizes State and Federal mandates, procedural safeguards, IEP content requirements, and parent participation. Upon successful completion of this course, candidates will be able to write an appropriate IEP that meets the needs of students identified with (a) special education need(s).

ESP 423

Curriculum Modifications and Adaptation (2)

This course provides educators with the pedagogical foundations, strategies, and understanding to successfully modify and provide curriculum adaptations within the learning environment for the special needs of exceptional students. Coursework and class activities includes topics on classroom arrangements, adaptive equipment, grouping, scheduling, homework materials selection, classroom management accommodations, effective delivery, and adaptation of subject content, as well as ways to foster student social competence and self-determination.

ESP 465

Transitions, Teaming and Collaboration (1)

The purpose of this course is for the teacher candidate to understand the collaborative relationships with other educators in the educational setting, inclusion of family members as part of the team, and working with schools/agencies for successful transitions. Topics include techniques to supervise paraprofessionals, transitions, meeting diversity and multicultural needs. Candidates will be able to facilitate meetings involving all appropriate participants and develop successful transition plans. Prerequisites: Entry to Special Education teacher endorsement program.


Taken after all coursework is passed

EDU 390

Endorsement Practicum for Certified Teachers (1)

In the endorsement practicum, certified teachers seeking an Elementary Education K-8 or P-12 Special Education endorsement will demonstrate effective integration, instructional strategies, and assessments for specific endorsement content areas. During the practicum, candidates exhibit essential dispositions; demonstrate skill in planning, engagement, assessment, and reflection upon student learning; and collect evidence of performance that connects with current state standards. Through successful completion of the practicum, candidates demonstrate endorsement competencies required for teacher certification with an Elementary Education K-8 or P-12 Special Education endorsement. This course provides field experiences required to meet state requirements for adding additional endorsement(s) to a teaching certificate. Prerequisite: Pass state required endorsement test(s) and prior departmental approval.

The mindset of a special education teacher is needed throughout many parts of today’s educational landscape. When you complete a special education endorsement, you improve your job prospects and, in some cases, your earning potential. However, working with special needs students and seeing their progress is a highly rewarding profession in itself.

Networking Opportunities

At CityU, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your professional network by connecting with faculty working in your field, students from around the globe, and alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies. Plus, you’ll be part of a supportive community that’s dedicated to helping you reach your career goals.

Tuition Cost

Learn more about tuition and fees for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

Financial Aid Opportunities

At CityU, we’re committed to helping students achieve their academic goals no matter their economic situations. Our financial aid counselors are here to find the resources you need to pay for your education, including grants, loans, work study, and scholarships.

Learn more about financial aid opportunities at CityU, or contact our Financial Aid Team at 800.426.5596, 206.239.4540, or

Military Tuition Benefits

As a Yellow Ribbon school, CityU is proud to serve those who have served in the military. We offer military tuition discounts for active-duty servicemembers and their spouses and accept military benefits such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and Tuition Assistance.

Learn more about military tuition benefits, VA benefits, and military partnership programs designed to help you reach your military and career goals.