Teacher Preparation

 



Becoming a teacher is a difficult but rewarding experience. At the Institute for STEM Education we believe that the process for earning your teaching credential doesn’t have to be grueling. We have provided a comprehensive list of resources, guides, and graphics to help you on your academic career pathway to being a teacher. There are many ways to achieve a teaching credential, check out our academic career guides, as well as our list of resources for more information on how you can become a teacher. Below you will find a more detailed and thorough explanation of this flowchart along with helpful links and resources to guide you on your path to becoming a K-12 teacher in California.

Becoming a K-12 Teacher in California

Basic Skills Requirement

Individuals may satisfy the basic skills requirement by one of the following methods:

Passing the CBEST

The California Basic Educational Skills Test

About CBEST

The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is designed to assess basic math, reading, and writing skills for candidates planning a career in teaching.  The exam is comprised of three subtests: Math, Reading, and Writing.  The CBEST Math test includes 50 multiple choice questions which require candidates to solve problems from three major areas: estimation, measurement, and statistical principles; computation and problem solving; and numerical and graphic relationships.  The CBEST Reading test is also comprised of 50 multiple choice questions, and demands application of reading abilities from two major skill areas: critical analysis and evaluation, and comprehension and research skills.  The CBEST Writing test requires candidates to write two short essays, one that analyzes a given situation or statement and another which asks test-takers to write about a specific personal experience. Prospective teachers need only pass the CBEST once. Each section of the test must be scored a minimum of 41, with a few exceptions.

More information on the CBEST

Pass the CSET

Multiple Subject Plus Writing Skills Examination

About CSET

The California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) are a set of exams designed to assess subject matter knowledge for individuals planning to teach in California public schools.  The specific CSET exam that a candidate must take depends on the subject and grade-level that candidate plans to teach.  For example, those planning to teach elementary school or special education typically must pass the CSET Multiple Subjects exam, while those planning to teach a specific subject at the secondary school level must pass a CSET Single Subject exam.

More information on the CSET

Enrolling in a credential program also requires one of these requirements be met:

Pass the EPT and ELM Tests

CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examinations

About the EPT and ELM

The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is a collaborative effort among the State Board of Education (SBE), the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California State University (CSU). The program was established to provide opportunities for students to measure their readiness for college-level English and mathematics in their junior year of high school, and to facilitate opportunities for them to improve their skills during their senior year.The California State University (CSU) requires you to take the English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) exam prior to enrollment in the CSU unless you are exempt by means of scores earned on other appropriate tests such as the CSU’s Early Assessment Program (EAP) tests in English and Mathematics, the SAT®, ACT®, or Advanced Placement (AP®) tests.

More information on the CSU Early Assessment Program

More information on the CSU Placement Examination

Pass a Basic Skills Examination from Another State

About out-of-state Basic Skills Examinations

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing will accept basic skills examinations from other states. A photocopy of the score report or letter from the testing agency verifying passage of the examination must be submitted with the application packet. There is no recency requirement for the date the examination was passed. See the Out-of-State Basic Skills Examinations chart at the end of this leaflet for a listing of acceptable examinations from other states.

This is a brief overview of the options available for completing this step in the credential process. For more information and useful resources about the Basic Skills Requirement click here.

Teacher Preparation Programs

The state of California has numerous Teacher Prep Programs available for those who are thinking of teaching as a career. Those who wish to teach in the Elementary level must complete a program that focuses on multiple-subject teaching. While individuals who wish to teach in Intermediate and High school levels must fulfill a single-subject teaching program. However, both sets of teachers must complete their respective programs as well as successful student teaching and teaching performance assessment, and obtain a formal recommendation for the credential by the California college or university where the program was completed. For a full and updated list of all the programs available click here.

Subject Matter Competence

The process for verifying subject matter competence differs slightly for Elementary and Intermediate/High School teachers. See below for the distinctions and processes.

For high school teachers, you may confirm competence in your selected subject by one of the following methods:

Pass the Appropriate Subject Matter Examination(s)

High School Teacher Preparation

About subject matter exams

Individuals may verify subject-matter competence for a Single Subject Teaching Credential by passing all portions of the appropriate Commission-approved subject matter examination(s). It is the individual’s responsibility to take the appropriate examination(s) and to contact the Commission when questions arise. Each subject has different required test(s) for a full completion.

Click here for a detailed chart that displays which examination fits best for your specific teaching goal.

Complete a Commission-Approved Subject Matter Program

High School Teacher Preparation

About subject-matter programs

Many colleges and universities offer Commission-on-Teaching-Credentialing-approved programs for prospective high school teachers that will fulfill this requirement as well as teach you more in-depth about the subject matter. Once you have completed the program that suits your specific needs you must obtain verification of completion from the authorized person in the education department of a California college or university with an approved program.

For a list of current programs available across the state click here.

For Individuals Seeking to Teach Specialized Sciences

High School Teacher Preparation

About Specialized Sciences

In 2003, the CTC defined Specialized Sciences as any of these four subjects (including their respective sub-categories): Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geosciences, and Physics. If your goal subject falls into any of these categories, you have the option to take and pass the appropriate subject matter examinations or obtain verification of completion of subject-matter course work from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

For a full description of requirements and procedures click here and go to page 2.

For elementary school teachers, you may confirm competence in your selected subject by one of the following methods:

Pass the Appropriate Subject Matter Examination(s)

Elementary School Teacher Preparation

About subject matter examinations

Pass the appropriate subject matter examination(s)

Individuals may verify subject matter competence for a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential by passing all portions of the appropriate Commission-approved subject matter examination(s). It is the individual’s responsibility to take the appropriate examination(s) and to contact the Commission when questions arise. Each subject has different required test(s) for a full completion.

Click here for a detailed chart that displays which examination fits best for your specific teaching goal.

Complete a Commission-Approved Subject Matter Program

Elementary School Teacher Preparation

About Commission-approved subject matter programs

Many colleges and universities offer Commission-on-Teaching-Credentialing-approved programs for prospective elementary school teachers that will fulfill this requirement as well as teach you more in-depth about the subject matter. Once you have completed the program that suits your specific needs you must obtain verification of completion from the authorized person in the education department of a California college or university with an approved program.

For a list of current programs available across the state click here.

Developing English Language Skills and Reading Requirement

Many colleges and universities offer courses designed specifically for prospective teachers. The best way to find the course that fulfills your specific requirements is to contact an academic adviser at the institution you plan on attending to find courses that meet this requirement. Note that not all universities and colleges may offer the required courses, so be sure to be aware of the requirements your goal might need.

Foundational Computer Technology

The Commission on Teaching Credentials of California requires that all prospective teachers complete foundational computer technology course work that includes general and specialized skills in the use of computers in educational settings. To find the course that best fits your needs, contact your academic adviser to better plan your academic schedule.

Provisions and Principles of the U.S. Constitution

Prospective teachers must complete a course (two semester units or three quarter units) in the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution or pass an examination given by a regionally-accredited college or university. These courses are offered throughout the state of California at numerous educational institutions. Seek out the academic adviser at your college or the college you wish to attend to find a course that best suits your needs.

For Elementary School Teachers Only

A secondary competence requirement for those wanting to teach at the elementary level is to pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA). The goal of reading instruction is to develop competent, thoughtful readers who are able to use, interpret, and appreciate all types of text. The RICA requirement generally applies to candidates who complete Multiple Subject Teaching Credential or Education Specialist Instruction Credential programs through accredited California colleges or universities or via district intern programs. In addition, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Education Specialist Instruction Credential candidates trained outside of California and individuals seeking to add a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential to their existing Single Subject Teaching Credential may use a passing score on the RICA to fulfill the teaching of reading methods requirements.

For more information regarding the RICA and its requirements click here.

Earning A Clear Credential

Once you complete a professional teacher credential program you will come out with a Preliminary Single Subject or Multiple Subject teaching credential which is valid for five years. Within that 5 years, you must “clear” your credential through a university that offers a clear credential program or you may enroll in a BTSA (Beginner Teachers Support and Assessment Induction) through their school district of employment. You may earn your Clear Credential by one of the following options:

Complete a Commission-Approved General Education Induction Program

Earning a Clear Credential

About Commission-Approved Education Induction Programs

The induction program includes the advanced study of health education, special populations, computer technology, and teaching English learners. You can submit your Clear Credential application through the Induction Program’s sponsor. For a list of CTC-approved General Education Induction Programs in California click here.

Apply Directly to the Commission for a Clear Teaching Credential

Earning a Clear Credential

About the Commission for a Clear Teaching Credentia

You may also apply directly to the CTC for a Clear Credential. If you choose to do this, you must include the following in your application:

• Photocopy of National Board Certification

• Completed application

• Completed LiveScan receipt. If you are an out-of-state resident, you may submit two fingerprint cards in lieu of a LiveScan receipt

• Application processing fee

If you previously have tried to earn your teaching credentials and are unsure where you stand in terms of what to do next, this website will help you decide the path that is right for you based on your experience and education.

  • Cal State East Bay is actively engaged in enhancing every level of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) education from K-12 to the master’s level. No other university in the region brings together such a breadth of programs to address STEM education.

  • CSUEB credential students benefit from strong collaboration between the faculty of the College of Education and College of Science.

  • In addition, intersegmental collaboration with K-12 and community college districts and partnerships with local county agencies like Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) makes our success in STEM educational initiatives possible.

  • Our professors and students in the local K-12 schools and community colleges not only bringing their practical expertise to affect positive change, but also carrying back with them the knowledge of the present realities that our K-12 and community college math & science educators are facing on a daily basis. This close interaction that we have with our educational partners at all levels of science & math education is absolutely essential towards affecting real change in STEM education.

  • The Institute for STEM Education is in the midst of establishing a science & math education center to bring together all of our various STEM initiatives under one figurative roof, as well as faculty from both the College of Education and Allied Studies (CEAS) and College of Science into a collaborative setting. A key component of the new center will be the coordination and centralization of our evaluation and assessment function for all STEM related activities.

  • The fusion of these elements will create a powerful vehicle for fueling change in the STEM education continuum!

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

“Through a collaborative, state-led process managed by Achieve, new K–12 science standards have been developed that are rich in content and practice and arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally-benchmarked science education. The NGSS are based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council.”

– Next Generation Science Standards

For more information click here.

Common Core State Standards

“The Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live. Forty-three states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with the Common Core.”

– Common Core State Standards Initiative

For more information click here.

Here at the Institute for STEM Education, we do our best to provide future teachers the most current and useful information on teaching credentials and programs; however, requirements and standards are constantly changing. For the most recent information, please see the resources below for a more in-depth look into how to become a teacher.

 

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

A state-run website designed to provide information to educators prepared in California, whether current or expired credential holders, and educators from outside California seeking their first California certification.

More information

 

Single Subject Teaching Credential Requirements for Teachers Prepared in California

This document thoroughly explains the requirements and pathways available for credential certification for teachers who plan to be prepared in California.

More information

 

Pathways to Teaching

Teach.org is a teaching credential pathway generator that displays the best academic career course for you.

More information

 

MERLOT

Merlot.org is a program developed by the CSU system which provides instructions and assistance to those pursuing a career in education, serving as an Open Educational Resource (OER) to members.

More information