Becoming a Teacher in California
The process to becoming a teacher in the state of California can at first seem daunting. The process, though, is simpler than it seems.
Half of California's public school students come from low income families. One quarter of California's public school students are learning English as their second language. Research shows that students who have two consecutive years with an effective teacher experience success as learners, regardless of factors like poverty and English proficiency. You could be that teacher who changes children's lives!
1. Decide What Your Educational Interests Are
Education is a big field with many career options. Learn as much as you can about the profession before making decisions about your path. Read about different options and related requirements in the links below.
2. Make a Career Plan
The best way to get a good start on your education career is to develop a plan. A good plan captures your interests, goals, and provides a map to get there. A good plan is also flexible, allowing you to adapt your goals as you learn more about your interests and the kind of work you would like to do.
3. Information Sessions
The credentialing process in California is heavily regulated by the state and federal governments. Come to an informational session for detailed and accurate information about the admission requirements and credential programs at Sacramento State. Our informed advisors will help to clarify the complex but necessary steps to earning a California teaching credential.
4. Complete a Bachelor's Degree Program and Demonstrate Subject Matter Competence
To enter into a certification program, you need to first have completed a bachelor's degree program from an accredited university. A completed B.A and B.S. is one pre-requisite for entry into a fifth year/post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program. In addition, all applicants must demonstrate subject matter competence.
For Multiple Subject candidates, subject matter competence is demonstrated by passing the California Subjects Exam for Teachers (CSET).
For Single Subject candidates, there are two options for demonstrating subject matter competence. Single Subject candidates can take the CSET OR they can complete an approved subject matter waiver program. A list of approved subject matter waiver programs can be found in the section below.
5. Complete the Basic Skills Requirements
The basic sills requirement is a way for California to verify that all applicants for a credential meet basic skills proficiency. There are several options for meeting this requirement. Consult information from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to understand all current options for meeting this requirement.
6. Explore Financial Aid/Scholarship Options
Getting a credential doesn't have to be a tough financial undertaking if you plan well and take advantage of financial assistance available. The College of Education offers over sixty Scholarships. (Note: Applications are due in March for awards given in the subsequent fall semester) Many sources of federal and state financial aid are also available, some in the form of grants, others as loans. Whatever your financial situation, solutions exist to allow you to enter and complete a teaching program without undue financial hardship.
7. Complete a Teacher Preparation Program
A teacher preparation program provides the foundation for a new teacher's career. The programs vary based on the type of educational setting and subject you would like to teach.
CSET / CBEST – www.ctcexams.nesinc.com
Taking the CBEST and the CSET are two essential parts of submitting a complete application. This link takes you to the website for these two exams where you will find detailed information about test dates and reporting procedures, practice tests and test-taking tips. Contact our Equity Coordinator, Adriana Echandia, for support with preparing for these two tests.
Pre-Requisite Credential Courses
Pre-requisite credential courses MUST be completed prior to starting the Two Semester Credential Program. Pre-requisite courses are: EDBM 170, EDS 100A/B, HLSC 136 & KINS 172* (*KINS 172 for Multiple Subject Applicants only). If the pre-requisite or the equivalent is not completed by the end of the Spring Semester, summer school will be required. If you believe you have completed equivalent coursework (not on the pre-approved course list), you must submit, with the application packet, the full course syllabi for review, including descriptions of readings, assignments, student outcomes, etc.
Applying to the teacher preparation program requires two parallel processes: applying to a credential program and applying to the graduate program. Follow these detailed instructions closely. Remember – submitting a complete application makes you eligible for priority admissions!
Plan early when applying to a credentialing program! Don't wait until the end of your senior year to begin applying to teaching programs. You will improve both your success in applying to programs and your choice of programs by beginning your application planning early, preferably during your junior year.
There are many programs to choose from.
8. Find a Job
The field of education is a promising area for job opportunities. As with all job searches, successful candidates are well prepared, flexible, and organized. Luckily, many helpful resources exists for educational professionals.
Visit Advising, Equity, Retention, Recruitment, Recommendation, and Outreach for help and advice.