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.
Basic Skills Requirement
Individuals may satisfy the basic skills requirement by one of the following methods:
Enrolling in a credential program also requires one of these requirements be met:
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:
For elementary school teachers, you may confirm competence in your selected subject by one of the following methods:
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.
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:
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.
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.
Pathways to Teaching
Teach.org is a teaching credential pathway generator that displays the best academic career course for you.
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.