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Educational Diagnostician Certification

The special populations program provides coursework to prepare students for certification as an educational diagnostician. A minimum of five courses is required*:

  • SPEC 7340 Assessment of Academic Achievement
  • SPEC 7341 Assessment of Learning Difficulties
  • SPEC 7392 Assessment of Intellectual Abilities
  • SPEC 7394 Educational Diagnostician Internship I
  • SPEC 7395 Educational Diagnostician Internship II

*There are thirteen courses on the educational diagnostician certification plan. Transcripts will be evaluated and needed courses will be noted on the educational diagnostician certification plan.

What is an Educational Diagnostician?

The educational diagnostician certification is a state-approved student services certification intended to prepare high caliber professionals that possess the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population in Texas. The holder of the certificate may serve as an educational diagnostician, including providing educational assessment and evaluation, as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or other applicable laws for students from early childhood - grade 12 (see TAC §239.80). 

Educational diagnosticians play a critical role in the identification and support of students with disabilities. They are in high demand due to increases in the numbers of students eligible for special education in Texas, as well as a 56% increase in the number of special education evaluations completed by Texas school districts in the last few years (TEA, 2015-16 compared to 2018-19).


The special populations program will open this certification program to all teachers who meet the criteria for admission to UH, as well as State Board for Educator Certification criteria for educational diagnostician certification:

  • Hold, at a minimum, a master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education that at the time was accredited or otherwise approved by an accrediting organization recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • Hold a valid classroom teaching certificate

To be eligible to receive the standard educational diagnostician certificate a candidate must also:

  • Successfully complete an educational diagnostician preparation program that meets the requirements of TAC §239.82 (complete all requirements on the UH certification plan)
  • Successfully complete the examination based on the standards identified in TAC §239.83 (TExES 253)

What will I learn?

Students who complete the educational diagnostician certificate program:

  • Understand federal and state disability criteria and identification procedures for determining the presence of an educational need.
  • Recognize the significance of diversity for evaluation, planning and instruction.
  • Select, administer and interpret appropriate assessments and evaluations.
  • Understand appropriate curricula and instructional strategies for developing the academic, behavioral and social skills of students with disabilities.
  • Engage the roles and responsibilities of the diagnostician profession.

Courses & Descriptions

SPEC 7340
Assessment of Academic Achievement

Approved course in measurement and SPEC 7341 (may be concurrent)
Standardized, norm-referenced assessment of academic achievement, including test administration, scoring, interpretation, report writing and linking results to interventions

Offered face-to-face every fall semester

SPEC 7341
Assessment of Learning Difficulties

Approved course in measurement
Characteristics of learning difficulties; assessment and linking assessment to intervention; a study of legal issues related to assessment and eligibility

Offered online every fall and summer semester

SPEC 7392
Assessment of Intellectual abilities

Prerequisite: SPEC 7340 and SPEC 7341
Standardized, norm-referenced assessment of intellectual/cognitive abilities, including test administration, scoring, interpretation, report writing and linking results to interventions; This course also reviews determination of learning disabilities.

Offered face-to-face every spring semester

SPEC 7394/SPEC 7395
Educational Diagnostician Practicum
The practicum is the final, “capstone” field experience that builds on and integrates prior experiences and coursework, allowing increasing autonomy in providing comprehensive diagnostic services under supervision. The primary focus and purpose is assuring breadth and quality of training designed to help the intern develop those competencies necessary for professional functioning in the schools. Students in the educational diagnostician sequence must enroll in two consecutive semesters of practicum and successfully complete 160 hours of supervised practicum experience in a public school to complete program requirements and to partially meet state requirements for certification as an educational diagnostician. Please see the practicum handbook for more information.

Arrange with program director and school district.

Applying for a Certification Plan

The certification plan details the coursework and requirements you’ll need in order to be eligible to be recommended for a Texas educator certificate through the State Board for Educator Certification.

The faculty advisor will work with the certification office to complete your certification plan. All courses will be evaluated to determine which courses are needed. Some courses may be waived for those with EC-12 special education certification. Please contact ELPS diagnostician certification for more information.

TExES Examination

Prior to applying to take the TExES Educational Diagnostician (253), students are expected to complete all pre-requisite courses and benchmark requirements for the certification. Students should contact ELPS diagnostician certification for details about obtaining certification. Information is available on our certification page.

Credit toward an M.Ed.

Prospective students will be encouraged to adhere to the admission criteria for UH College of Education graduate programs so that they may apply the courses in this certificate program toward a master’s degree in special populations (if they choose at the end of their certificate program). However, completion of the educational diagnostician certification program does not guarantee acceptance to a M.Ed. program.

For more information about this program, please contact ELPS diagnostician certification.

To apply for this program, please visit ELPS Admissions. Certification applicants are not eligible for financial aid.

An applicant or candidate who has been convicted of an offense may be ineligible for issuance of a certificate upon completion of the Educator Preparation Program. Please refer to the current State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rules prescribed in §249.16 of the Texas Administrative Code (relating to Eligibility of Persons with Criminal History for a Certificate under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 53, and Texas Education Code, Chapter 21). Applicants/candidates have the right to request a criminal history evaluation letter as provided in Chapter 227, Subchapter B, of the Texas Administrative Code (relating to Preliminary Evaluation of Certification Eligibility).