Cal Teach Program

Can I participate in Cal Teach in any year as an undergraduate?

Cal Teach is primarily an internship program with associated academic coursework to support students in exploring and preparing for math and science teaching careers. Cal Teach provides ongoing academic and career advising and financial support for its interns as they pursue teaching credentials and into their early teaching careers.

Yes, students may start with Cal Teach in any academic year. However, we generally do not take students in their first quarter at UCSC, to ensure they have time to adjust to the campus and its academic calendar. With that exception, we encourage students to begin Cal Teach involvement as early as possible to allow time before graduation to complete follow-up internships for those who decide they like teaching or to explore other career avenues for those who decide they don’t like teaching.

Do I need to take all Cal Teach classes to have access to resources that will help me become a teacher?

Cal Teach provides academic and career information to anyone who is interested in math or science teaching in California’s K-12 schools. Those who complete either the intensive internship or the academic year internships are considered “Cal Teach interns” and have access to financial resources and may be considered for special internships and scholarships.

Can I participate in Cal Teach if I am not a science or math major?

The goal of Cal Teach is to recruit and educate more math and science teachers with strong academic preparation in STEM fields — typically this means a STEM major or minor. However, UCSC undergraduates who are not STEM majors, but have completed introductory college-level science, engineering, or math coursework and who are committed to further STEM coursework, will be considered for Cal Teach internships.

Courses & STEM Minor

How many courses does Cal Teach offer?

There are three seminar courses in the Cal Teach sequence: CaT1 (EDUC 50), CaT2 (EDUC 100), and CaT3 (EDUC 185). We also offer an independent study option for students who have completed at least CaT1: Special Projects.

How many units are CaT1, CaT2, and CaT3?

CaT1 and CaT2 are both 2-unit classes. CaT3 is a 3-unit class.

Which courses count towards the math subject matter waiver?

CaT1 and CaT2 substitute for Math 188 in the math subject matter waiver. For more details see the CSET Subject Matter Waiver Program

Do Cal Teach courses count towards an education minor?

CaT1, CaT2, and CaT3 count toward the STEM Education minor. They do not count toward the regular Education minor.

Can I take the introductory CaT1 course in any quarter?

The introductory CaT1 course is offered only in fall and winter quarters; it is not offered in spring. We do, however, welcome applications for future quarters at any time.

What exactly are Special Projects?

Special Projects are internships and service opportunities in non-traditional education settings for students with some Cal Teach experience.

Do I have to sign up for the STEM minor to participate in Cal Teach?

No, you do not have to sign up for the STEM Education minor in order to participate in a Cal Teach internship. UCSC undergraduates who are not STEM majors, but have completed introductory college-level science, engineering, or math coursework can participate.

How do I participate?

There are two ways to participate in Cal Teach for your first time: either CaT1 in Fall or Winter or the Summer Intensive Internship the week before fall classes start. You must apply and be accepted to participate in either of these activities. Please see the CaT1 page or the Intensive Internship page to apply.

Do Cal Teach courses count for Gen. Ed. Requirements?

CaT1 satisfies the PR-S (service learning) requirement.


Can I do the Cal Teach Internship if I am not a science, engineering or math major?

UCSC Undergraduates who are not majoring in a science, math, or engineering may participate if they have successfully completed suitable undergraduate coursework in science, math, or engineering. This happens most commonly with environmental studies and economics majors.

Do I need to be a UCSC student to do the Intensive Internship?

Incoming UCSC transfer students and college graduates with academic or professional training in science, mathematics, or engineering are welcome to apply for the Intensive Internship and may be asked to interview prior to acceptance.

I am changing careers. Can I still participate in the Cal Teach internships?

College graduates with academic or professional training in science, mathematics, or engineering are welcome to apply and may be asked to interview prior to acceptance. For Cal Teach Internships with associated coursework (EDUC 50, 100, or 185L), interns must enroll either at UCSC Extensions or UCSC Main Campus.

I missed the priority deadline... can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply after the priority deadline. However, completed applications received prior to deadline will be reviewed first. The priority deadline is set during pre-registration in the quarter prior to the internship to facilitate student schedule planning and to allow time for required TB testing, fingerprinting, and an initial meeting with the host teacher before the internship quarter begins. If there is still space in a Cal Teach class and you will be able to complete the required preparatory work quickly, you can apply up to the first day of class.

Can International and non-U.S. Citizens participate in the internship?
Yes, international and non-U.S. citizens can participate.

Financial Support

Can I get the Noyce or Bruce Scholarship if I attend a credential program other than UCSC?

You cannot get a Bruce Fellowship or UCSC’s Noyce Scholarship if you attend a credential program at another institution. However, the National Science Foundation funds Noyce Teacher Scholars programs at many universities around the country, each with their own application procedures and criteria for selection. If you are applying to other credential programs, you should check the National Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program website to see if they have a Noyce program.

I am a first year teacher. What can I get reimbursed for and how?

Please see the Edward and Miriam Landesman Fund page for details on what you can get reimbursed for. You can get reimbursed by submitting the Request Form along with your original receipts. If you do not have a Payee Setup form on file you will need to submit one before you can be reimbursed (see Cal Teach for more details about the Payee Setup form).

Do all Cal Teach internships provide stipends?

The Cal Teach internships provide scholarships to successful interns ($150-600) if funds are available, with the amount increasing with the more advanced internships. CaT1 internships provide scholarships only for students with documented financial need (based on the FAFSA). Scholarships are paid directly into students’ MyUCSC account. Students whose financial need is already “fully met” by other Financial Aid grants are asked to decline the Cal Teach scholarship, rather than simply replacing one grant with another one, to conserve precious donor funds. Please view the scholarships and financial page for financial support opportunities.


What tests do I need to apply to a credential program?
Everyone must document they’ve met the basic educational requirement (CBEST or alternative) to enter a credential program, and most programs want the score reported with the application materials. Those who are not completing a subject matter waiver program need also to take the CSET for the field they plan to teach. Prospective California teachers also need to document their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. More information on these and other requirements for obtaining a single subject teaching credential can be found on the California Educators Credentialing Exams website.
Can I waive the CBEST or CSET?

See if you qualify to waive the CBEST here. You can waive the CSET if you complete appropriate course work at a university with an approved subject matter waiver program.

At UCSC, what subjects are waived in the CSET exam?

UCSC offers a subject matter waiver program in mathematics.

By when do I need to take the CBEST and the CSET?

Most credential programs prefer that applicants take these exams before applying; some may want the scores reported by the application deadline; others may accept scores up to the time student teaching begins. Cal Teach advises its students to take the CBEST as soon as you know you may want to apply to credential programs in California; test dates are published on the CTC Website. Cal Teach advises taking the CSET as soon as most or all relevant coursework has been completed; this may be as late as fall or winter of the senior year for undergraduates. Because the CSET has several subtests, it can make sense to take one or more subtests sooner than the others, depending on the timing of coursework.

Can I get reimbursed for the exams? How many times?

Assuming donor funds are available (as they have been since 2007), Cal Teach will reimburse interns for the CBEST and CSET if they have completed at least one Cal Teach internship and are preparing to apply for credential programs. Interns who don’t pass an exam may still be reimbursed; however, to be reimbursed a second time for the same tests an intern must consult with Cal Teach to ensure he or she is likely to be successful with the re-test. For reimbursements see the reimbursement instructions on the Scholarships & Financial Aid page.

Do I need to take the GRE to apply to a credential program?

Mostly, no. But some programs do require it, so check early for programs you are interested in.

Teaching Credential

What is a certificate of clearance?

From the website of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing: “The Certificate of Clearance is a document issued by the Commission to an individual who has completed the Commission’s fingerprint and character and identification process, whose moral and professional fitness has been shown to meet the standards as established by law…. An individual enrolled in a California educator preparation program must obtain a Certificate of Clearance prior to beginning their student teaching or practicum. “

The Certificate of Clearance must be requested through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Prior fingerprinting for Cal Teach internships or other employment will not meet the requirement. With this fingerprinting and background check, the California Department of Justice and the FBI will certify that you do not have a criminal record for specific crimes established by the California Education Code. Cal Teach has observed that if you have any sort of previous record, even if it has been expunged, the clearance process may be slowed by several weeks or more.

When should I apply for credential programs? Generally when are applications for credential programs due?

In most cases, you need to submit an application 3-8 months before a credential program begins. University of California credential programs typically have application deadlines in late fall or early winter for programs starting the next summer or fall. Many California State University credential programs have deadlines in late winter to spring for programs beginning in fall. Some programs have rolling deadlines up to the beginning of the semester you want to begin, and some programs allow a student teacher to start in the second semester, but these are not the norm. For combined MA/credential programs at some CSUs, there are two application processes, one for the graduate program and one for the concurrent credential program. Cal Teach has prepared a summary of information about many credential programs in California, see it here.

What are the differences between a credential program at a UC, Cal State, and private university?

There are many important differences. A few key differences to consider are cost, length of program, and type of credential/degree awarded. UC and Private Schools tend to offer both the credential and masters in education or teaching with their programs. Cal State programs tend to be shorter in length since they typically only provide a credential. Cost of attendance varies based on location, type of program, and type of school, but the base cost for CSU programs is always lower than for UC and private university programs. Also, some credential programs have a special emphasis (for example: USF’s Urban Education & Social Justice Master’s Program with Credential focuses on urban public school teaching.)

How long are credential programs?

Credential programs may be as short as two semesters or as long as two academic years depending on the type of credential program. UCSC’s MA/credential program is 12 months, starting in mid July, and ending 52 weeks later, in mid July.

What if I want to teach outside of California? Can I still get a credential in the state of California?

Many states have reciprocal agreements that allow a fairly simple transfer of credential status from one state to another, and most states accept California credentials. However, the details vary widely, with each state making individual agreements with each other state. You should research credential requirements in the states you are likely to move to.