Credential/License from Another Country
California has a two-level special education teaching credential. The Level I credential, valid for five-years, is the first document issued after an out-of-country prepared individual has met the basic credential requirements which includes a baccalaureate degree and teacher preparation. The Level II or Clear credential, valid for two years, is issued once all credential requirements have been met including induction teaching and professional development experiences and is valid for two years.
If you have completed a teacher preparation program outside the United States, you are eligible for a preliminary credential if you meet the following requirements:
- Provide a foreign transcript evaluation showing completion of an undergraduate or higher degree from a college or university equivalent to a regionally-accredited U.S. institution.
- Provide a foreign transcript evaluation showing completion of a professional preparation program including student teaching.
- Provide proof of comparable teaching credential.
How Do I Apply for a New Document?
Individuals who hold a teaching credential based on alternate preparation (out-of-state, outside the United States, private school experience) and wish to apply for a California teaching credential should submit a paper application following the instructions on the Commission on Teacher Credentialing Web site. The Commission is the state agency that grants teaching credentials.
Credential requirement information for each type of teacher (prepared outside of the United States):
If you are interested in:
- Providing bilingual instruction, foreign language instruction, or cultural enrichment only, you may qualify for a Sojourn Certificated Employee Credential.
- Promoting cross-cultural exchanges, or understanding and respect between California teachers and foreign teachers, you may be eligible for the Exchange Visitor Program for Teachers.
- Obtaining an Eminence Credential, your employing agency must apply on your behalf.
- Completing some needed coursework at a California teacher preparation program, then view our page designed to help you Find the Right Preparation Program.
While bilingual abilities are beneficial, the ability to read, write, speak and understand English is required. You must be legally eligible to work in the United States. (This means that you must be a: U.S. citizen, or a legal resident with a Social Security Number or an Individual Tax Identification Number). Browse the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Website for details.