Find the Right Preparation Program in Three Steps
California specific information you should know prior to selecting a teacher preparation program.
Step One: Research the types of teacher preparation programs
A California credential is required to teach in California public schools. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) sets teacher preparation standards, approves teacher preparation programs, and grants three types of teaching credentials as well as other credentials and related documents.
There are several types of teacher preparation programs:
California Community Colleges — Teacher Preparation Pipeline for STEM/CTE
Ten California Community Colleges (CCC) have established pipelines to offer future teachers preparation in various high-demand Career Technical Education (CTE) areas, STEM, K-12 education, early childhood education and other areas of teaching in California public schools. Complete lower-division, pre-requisites courses at your local CCC and transfer them to the baccalaureate institution of your choice that offers a Commission-approved teacher preparation program for the credential you desire. Cost: $49/credit unit!
Blended or Integrated Programs at the baccalaureate level
Some colleges and universities have programs that combine course work for the baccalaureate degree and credential. Designed for individuals who know, early on, that they want to teach, these options are generally more intense than traditional programs but enable you to become a teacher faster. Some community colleges have become part of the blended or integrated program package. Check it out. Talk to the academic advisor of the college or university of your choice.
Alternative Certification or Intern Programs
Once you have your baccalaureate degree and have met subject matter competency requirements, you may choose to work while you learn how to teach through a district or university alternative certification or intern program. These specially designed programs put you in the classroom as a teacher (under supervision) while you complete coursework on teaching theory and techniques.
Many colleges and universities offer state-approved courses for college graduates. This "fifth year" approach involves two or three semesters of coursework, student teaching, and sometimes includes a master's degree.