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Exceptional Needs Specialist / Early Childhood Through Young Adulthood

This certificate is appropriate for teachers who teach students ages birth through 21+ years with exceptional needs and who know the philosophical, historical and legal foundations of special education. Candidates in this certificate area are required to select one of the five paths that best describe their teaching situation.

Assessment at a Glance

Review the ECYA/ Exceptional Needs Specialist Assessment at a Glance to learn more about the following:

  • Choosing the right certificate
  • Reviewing the Standards
  • Portfolio entry descriptions
  • Assessment center exercise descriptions
  • Retired prompts
  • Understanding the National Board scoring process
  • Certification planning timeline


Read the ECYA/ Exceptional Needs Specialist Standards that represent a professional consensus on the aspects of practice that distinguish accomplished teachers.

Portfolio Instructions

Read the ECYA/ Exceptional Needs Specialist Portfolio Instructions as well as the General Portfolio Instructions to learn how to prepare, develop and submit your portfolio.

Scoring Guide

Understand how your entries are scored.