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What do I need to become a teacher in California?
(adopted from College of the Canyons)

What Kind of Teacher?

There are three basic teaching credentials in California:

  • A Multiple-Subject Credential qualifies you to teach elementary school, typically from Kindergarten through fifth or sixth grade. You usually teach a variety of subjects to one class of students.
  • A Single-Subject Credential qualifies you to teach in one subject, like Math or English. Most single-subject teachers work at Middle or High schools and teach sixth through 12thgrade.
  • An Education Specialist Credential qualifies you to teach from Kindergarten through 12thgrade in a special education environment. People pursuing this credential start by meeting the subject matter competency for either a Multiple-Subject or a Single-Subject credential.
    oCSUN has advised us that Liberal Studies is still the best major for Special Ed as most special education teachers teach many subjects and typically enroll in Multiple Subject Credential programs. Occasionally, some school districts ask for a Single Subject credential.

Requirements for a Teaching Credential

  1. Earn a Bachelor's degree.
    a. For a Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential you should major in a subject that covers a wide variety of different disciplines, such as Liberal Studies or a similar major.
    b. For a Single-Subject Teaching Credential you should major in the subject you intend to teach.
  2. Pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). Most people take this test during the first two years of college. http://www.cbest.nesinc.com/
  3. Demonstrate Subject Matter Competency. http://www.cset.nesinc.com/
    a. For a Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential, you must pass a three-part California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) test.
    b. For a Single-Subject Teaching Credential, you must either pass the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) test for your subject, or you must complete an approved Single Subject Matter Preparation Program as part of your undergraduate degree (this is a "teacher preparation" major in a specific subject).
  4. Complete a Teaching Credential Program. These are usually "fifth-year" programs completed after you finish your Bachelor's degree. Some universities offer "integrated" programs where you complete preliminary credential coursework during your undergraduate education. Many local universities offer teacher credentialing programs, including CSUN, and CSUB (via the University Center). You can earn a Bachelor's degree from one university and complete a teaching credential program at a different university. Students must earn a 2.67 transferable GPA in order to be admitted to a Credential program.

Teaching Related Information

Note: This field is changing rapidly. Check regularly for new changes and information.
For information, please see a Counselor and consult these websites:

Victor Valley College recommend handout:  http://www.vvc.edu/offices/guidance_and_counseling/documents/Pathways-Teaching.pdf

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)http://www.ctc.ca.go                                                                                                                                    From the CTC homepage, you can access all California credentialing requirements, an online credential handbook and a list of all accredited teacher preparation schools and universities in California.
California Center for Teaching Careers  This site, also known as CalTeach, is an information, recruitment, and referral center for individuals interested in a teaching career in the state of California.

TEACH California http://www.teachcalifornia.org/

University of California's Teacher Education Programs  The UC is committed to recruiting, training, and supporting K-12 educators.  Get the most up-to-date information regarding their various credential and Extension programs.


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