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Earn Your Education Specialist (EDSP) Credential

In California, a person studying to be a special education teacher will work toward obtaining an Education Specialist (EDSP) credential. This credential allows you to teach a variety of subjects to students K-22. Concordia students earn the Mild to Moderate Support Needs credential, which includes specific learning disabilities, mild-to-moderate intellectual disabilities, other health impairment, serious emotional disturbance, and authorizes service in grades K–12 and in classes organized primarily for adults through age 22.  Information about this credential can be found on the CTC website.

Credential coursework can be done as part of your undergraduate degree, meaning you can finish your bachelor’s degree and credential at the same time. Some universities have this as a “blended” program. We think it is just good sense. It will take 4-5 years, depending on the pace you set for becoming a teacher.

Concordia's Liberal Studies major is part of California's Elementary Subject Matter Preparation (ESM) program. Therefore, Concordia students in this major who pursue the Multiple Subject credential will not be required to take the California Subject Examination Test (CSET).

If you wish to teach Special Education at the secondary (grades 6-12) level, some school districts will require that you also earn a Single Subject credential in the specific content area. That can be done after earning your preliminary EDSP credential.

If you want to teach in a Lutheran school, you can obtain your Lutheran Teacher Certificate through Concordia. This can be done with your undergraduate major and credential coursework.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Teacher Education program comes in two parts. You must first be accepted as a student through the University Admissions application process. A separate application for the School of Education will be done once you have started the introductory education classes.

The State of California requires that all candidates for teacher credentials complete and pass state-approved tests and assessments before certification no matter which school you attend. Concordia’s Liberal Studies major will prepare you for these exams.

For transfer students to Concordia, read more here.

Student Teaching and Placements for EDSP Candidates.

Read more about transfer students to Concordia University Irvine.

Why get your credential at Concordia University Irvine? Read what our graduates have to say.

Learn about your future professors in the School of Education Faculty profiles.

Questions? Send an email or call at 949-214-3350.


  • Graphic Design Emphasis
  • 24 Units
  • ARTG 261: Graphic Design I
  • 3

This studio art course will give students an introduction to the study of graphic design, as they are exposed to the history of visual communication, typography, advertising, and learn how to identify the elements and principles of design by creating image and text related projects. Students will also develop skills using the digital techniques of scanning, typographic adjustments, vector drawing, exporting, and printing. Class fee: $50. This course is offered every spring semester.

  • ARTG 270: Digital Publishing
  • 3

In this course students will develop page layout skills utilizing composition and typographic principles while learning to use Adobe InDesign and the creation of images in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, including text to produce flyers, posters, newsletters, magazines, brochures, calendars, etc. Class fee: $50. This course is offered every spring semester.

  • ARTG 271: Digital Image Manipulation
  • 3

Students will become proficient using Adobe Photoshop in this course, including its applications in graphic design, advertising, web design, animation, and multimedia. Examination of the ways in which complex ideas and messages can be interpreted and represented in visual form will also be included. Class fee: $50. This course is offered every fall semester.

  • ARTG 272: Digital Illustration
  • 3

In this course students will acquire type manipulation and digital illustration skills through exercises, demonstrations, and practical assignments using Adobe Illustrator, including the development of an individualized artistic process to produce digital illustrations that convey specific messages. Class fee: $50. This course is offered every fall semester.

  • ARTG 300: History of Graphic Design
  • 3

This survey course will examine the history of graphic design as students gain a broader understanding of how design affects and is affected by the culture; identify individual illustrators, designers, and artists; and recognize specific styles and movements. This course is offered every spring semester. Class fee: $50. Prerequisite: ARTG 261 or consent of instructor.

  • ARTG 360: Typography I
  • 3

This course will give a historical overview of type and typographic technologies that will introduce students to the formal qualities of different typefaces and teach them to use type as an expressive communication tool. This is an essential course for anyone wishing to communicate with the printed word. Class fee: $50. This class is offered every fall semester. Prerequisite: ARTG 261 or consent of the instructor.

  • ARTG 361: Graphic Design II
  • 3

Students will produce intermediate design projects that emphasize aesthetics, the theory of design, and the relationship between text and image in this course including the development of digital imaging and layout skills using Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. A portion of this course will be devoted to a service learning assignment creating design projects for a nonprofit organization within the community. Class fee: $50. This course is offered every fall semester. Prerequisite: ARTG 261.

  • ARTG 461: Graphic Design III
  • 3

This course will allow students to complete advanced graphic design projects to fill gaps in their portfolios, emphasizing their preparation to become professional graphic designers through the production of strong portfolios that can be used to gain internships or employment. Class fee: $50. This course is offered every spring semester. Prerequisite: ARTG 361.

Current students, please note: The requirements listed here may not reflect the most current courses for this major and may not be the requirements for the catalog year you are following to complete your major. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for official requirements you must meet to qualify for a degree.

Student Teaching and Placements

Student teaching is the culminating experience of the credential program. This is a full-time experience in two classroom settings for an entire semester (18 weeks). Generally, fall student teaching ends mid-January and spring student teaching ends mid-June. Education Specialist candidates will have two student teaching placements in different EDSP settings.

Learn more about Student Teaching and Placements for EDSP Candidates.


Get in Touch

For more information about any of the many rewarding education programs at Concordia University Irvine, we invite you to contact us directly.

[email protected]

(949) 214-3350


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