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California Teaching Credential - Obtaining Your California Teaching Credential - California Teaching Credential – Multi-Subject

requirements pass approved commission

California is one of the most difficult states in which to obtain your teaching credentials. California law is very strict and very specific about who is eligible to teach both children of different levels/abilities and adults. The requirements are all spelled out by the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Even though the requirements are very strict, the state helps prospective teachers by providing several different avenues to obtaining the California Teaching Credential.

The California Teaching Credential varies depending on if the recipient is to be a multi-subject teacher, as is often the case with elementary school teachers, or a single-subject teacher, more often high school teachers.

California Teaching Credential – Multi-Subject

The Multiple Subject California Teaching Credential is that obtained by most individuals seeking employment in schools at the elementary level, but this credential does not limit the holder to such employment. If the applicant has completed a commission-approved university program, the university or college must submit a formal recommendation before the application can be approved.

A preliminary California Teaching Credential is issued for a period of five years. The holder of the preliminary credential has until the five-year expiration date to complete the additional requirements for the unlimited, or clear, California Teaching Credential.

Requirements for the preliminary credential
1. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree must be completed from an accredited college or university.

2. Meet the basic skills requirements, which include passing the CBEST test or an out-of-state basic skills examination.

3. Pass a multiple subject teacher preparation program and receive a formal recommendation from the institution from which it was passed.

4. Verify competence in subject matter by completing a subject matter examination or an elementary subject matter program approved by the Commission.

5. Pass the RICA examination, which is an assessment for reading instruction competence.

6. Pass a course in comprehensive reading instruction that includes phonics, literature, and comprehension. Diagnostic techniques and techniques for early intervention are also required.

7. Pass a course on the U.S. Constitution.

8. Pass a course on computer literacy.

Requirements for the clear credential
There are three options for completing the requirements for the clear credential:

  • Option 1 – Pass a Professional Teacher Induction Program that has been approved by the Commission.
  • Option 2 – Complete a fifth-year course of study approved by the Commission that includes health education, providing educational opportunities through traditional classroom teaching, computer technology, and teaching English.
  • Option 3 – Obtain certification through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

California Teaching Credential – Single Subject

The Single Subject California Teaching Credential allows the holder to lawfully teach students a single subject in a departmentalized educational institution such as that provided by most high schools. However, this credential does not limit the holder to teaching in only high school settings.

The single subject credential is also issued in two stages: the five-year preliminary credential and the clear credential. The requirements are the same except that the applicant must pass a subject matter examination only in the subject for which he or she intends to be credentialed. Approved subjects include the following:

  • Agriculture
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • General Science
  • General Mathematics
  • Geology
  • Health Science
  • Home Economics
  • Industry/Technology
  • Foreign Language
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Social Sciences
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