There are various options for earning a California teaching credential. Traditional university-based programs may offer a credential only (typically one academic year duration) or a combined credential/M.A. (one to two years, may include summers). There are also “intern” programs that are a) university-based b) district-based or c) affiliated with other programs, such as Teach for America. When deciding on a university-based program think about program variables such as strengths/nature of program, program timeline, price, location, etc. as well as entrance requirements.
Checklist for MOST traditional university-based programs
- Application form
- Transcript(s) from all undergraduate (and graduate if applicable) work
- A college or university course or equivalent experience that addresses the cultural and linguistic diversity found in the U.S. today
- Pre-professional field experience: Documented field experience in a formal or informal educational setting with youth at the same age level which the candidate aspires to teach. Experiences such as as directed observation, substitute teaching, work in after-school programs, camp counseling, instructional aide etc. Typically 30-60 hours. Okay to request documentation from Cal Teach.
- Letters of Recommendation: At least two from university faculty who can address your academic merit/subject matter competency and at least one letter by a professional in the field who has observed your work with children or youth in the applicable age-group for the credential you are seeking.
- California Basic Skills Requirement
- Subject Matter Competency
- Statement of Purpose (essay)
- Personal History (essay)
- TB test
- Certificate of Clearance
- US Constitution Requirement
Cal Teach participants can get financial support for some application requirements. See our Financial Support page for more information.