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Become a Teacher

The San Diego County Office of Education offers an Education Specialist Intern Credential program.

If you are interested in becoming a Special Education Teacher, Teacher Effectiveness and Preparation Intern program provides a pathway to earning your Mild to Moderate, Moderate to Severe or Early Childhood Education Specialist credential while teaching in the classroom. We also expect to offer the Deaf and Hard of Hearing credential in the 2022-2023 school year.

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To attend the online Intern Information Session, sign up here!

Program Description

This is a 2-year credential program toward becoming a Special Education teacher in K-12 or pre-K settings. After the first 3 months of required preservice coursework and passage of a CSET exam, you will be qualified to seek a full-time job in a special education teaching position as an "intern" while you finish the rest of the credential program.

The commitment to coursework over the 2-year period is 2 nights per week.  The cost for the first 3 months of preservice is $1,200.00, and then $10,000.00 for the remainder of the coursework, paid in installments if preferred.  Books not included.

Preservice Component

All applicants are required to complete 165 hours of preservice preparation. This preparation includes classroom management and planning, reading/language arts, specialty specific pedagogy and human development, with 45 hours devoted specifically to teaching English learners.

Applicants holding a valid teaching credential with an EL authorization or a CLAD certificate need only take one preservice course specific to special education law and collaborative practice.

Steps to Becoming an Intern

Step One: Attend an Information Session (required)

To begin the process of entering the SDCOE Intern Program, prospective interns must attend an Informational Session. If you find you are interested and qualify, here are the steps that follow:

  • Complete the application
  • Submit university transcripts verifying bachelor's degree, basic skills/CBEST, and certificate of clearance (fingerprints) to your application
  • Submit a non-refundable application fee of $300 (applied toward preservice)

    Though it is not required for entry into the program, 
    you will want to prepare for the CSET early. - See our test prep materials here!

Step Two: Preservice Coursework

After acceptance, prospective interns must successfully complete 165 hours of preservice coursework offered in our TEP Preservice Program.  To begin Preservice you will:

  • Attend an Intake Meeting
  • Submit $900 tuition (may be done in 3 installments)
  • Complete 165 hours of preservice coursework (synchronous online format)

Step Three: Complete Final Requirements

Prior to being accepted to the intern portion of the program, prospective interns must also provide verification of:

  • Subject Matter/CSET
  • US Constitution
  • Offer of Employment from Local School District/Agency

Step Four: Begin Intern Program

Once all above requirements have been met, the applicant's intern credential will be submitted to CTC and the intern will begin the two-year program alongside their employment. 

SDCOE TEP Intern Program is accredited by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing