Special Education Teacher Certification

Begin your rewarding career as a special education teacher! The application for the 24-25 school year has closed but you can still apply for the District Referral Program to obtain your SPED certification.

Become A Certified Special Education Teacher

Special education is a calling for individuals who are passionate about innovative teaching strategies and serving as advocates for individuals with disabilities and their families.  In addition, a special educator is called to work with students with all ranges and abilities, which requires patience, compassion, and technical expertise. The Special Education Certification Program’s purpose is about more than just preparing qualified special education teachers; it is to equip special educators with a foundation in research-based, innovative teaching practices and giving teachers the tools to create environments where students achieve success in academics, behavior, functional, and vocational skills.

Our Special Education Certification Program is appropriately rigorous in preparing you for the reality of teaching. Our dedicated staff trains and supports participants seeking special education certification. Our 17-month certification process includes:

  • test preparation
  • state-based training
  • current instructional practices for special education educators

Special Education Certification Options

All participants must select a content area in addition to the Special Education EC-12 certification. Content areas include: Core Subjects EC-6, Core Subjects 4-8, ELAR 7-12, or Math 7-12.

Special Education EC-12

The Special Education (SPED) EC-12 certification area will allow a participant to teach in a variety of classroom settings in Early Childhood (EC) through grade 12. These classroom settings include preschool program for children with disabilities (PPCD), life skills, resource, inclusion and behavior programs. Content areas available for SPED certification are core subjects EC-6, core subjects 4-8, English language arts and reading 7-12, math 7-12, and science 7-12.

Dual Certification

The Dual Certification allows a participant to become certified in special education EC-12 and bilingual core subjects EC-6.

Certification Options

View all the certification options available through ECP

Program Requirements

Bachelor's Degree

Candidates must have a degree earned from and conferred by an accredited institution of higher education.

Min 2.5 Grade Point Average

Minimum 2.5 GPA on all coursework or 2.75 in the last 60 semester hours of completed coursework.

Official College Transcripts

Request your official transcripts be sent to the ECP office.

Content Area Proficiency

Candidates must meet the content area proficiency requirements specific to their program.


Complete our online application with all required documents.


View your content area's specific certification requirements


Our certification program curriculum is aligned with Texas Education Agency standards and educational best practices.  All curriculum is taught by certified staff and content area experts.


About 2/3 of our classes are face-to-face and 1/3 of our classes are online. Participants employed by schools within the Region 13 service area, as well as those from schools within a 100-mile radius of Austin, attend classes at the Education Service Center Region 13 in Austin.

Participants will be required to attend training that will continue to build on instruction learned during pre-service training. 

In addition to the pre-service training, Special Education participants will receive training specific to their certification program which includes:
  • delivering engaging instruction
  • integrating content specific strategies into lesson design
  • developing and using student assessments
  • understanding student diversity and instructional differentiation
  • preparing for formal classroom observations
  • preparing for TExES PPR exam
  • preparing for TExES content exams
  • The science of teaching reading
  • Facilitating guided reading, writing and math
  • Integrating science and social studies content into lesson planning
  • Training specific to Early Childhood (Pre-K), Primary (1st – 2nd), Intermediate (3rd – 6th), Secondary (7-12) with special education strategies
  • understanding the strengths and skills of students
  • legal and ethical responsibilities within special education
  • Social, emotional and behavioral skills


In the Special Education certification program, technology is an integral part of curriculum and instruction. Our program emphasizes:
  • incorporating the effective use of current technology in instruction
  • evaluating students’ technologically produced products and projects
  • utilizing technology applications in problem-solving situations and project-based learning activities
  • using developmentally appropriate instructional practices, activities, and materials to integrate the Technology Applications TEKS into the curriculum
  • managing technology platforms to increase communication with student families on academic and behavior progress

What’s Next?

Info Sessions

Find out more about our programs by attending one of our info sessions.


Complete our online application and take the first step in becoming a fully certified teacher.