Find the Right Preparation Program

Subject Matter Programs

You may hear about “subject matter programs” which are different from teacher preparation programs and not the same as majoring in a subject. Successful completion of a subject matter program Page opens in new window is one of two ways (the second is the CSET exam) in which prospective teachers can demonstrate subject matter competency.

Step 1: Research the types of teacher preparation program.

There are three different types of teacher preparation programs:

  1. "Blended" Programs
    Some colleges and universities have programs that combine course work for the bachelor’s 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 program package.

  2. Post-baccalaureate Programs
    Many colleges and universities offer state-approved courses for college graduates. This "fifth year" approach involves two or three semesters of coursework and student teaching and sometimes includes a master's degree.

  3. Alternative Certification or Intern Programs
    Once you have your bachelor's 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 program. These specially designed programs put you in the classroom as a teacher (under supervision) while you complete coursework on teaching theory and techniques.

Step 2: Factors to Think About

Type of Program Offered

If you need to make money while becoming a teacher, or you can handle the pressure of being a student AND teaching at the same time, look into alternative/intern programs.

If you have no teaching experience, you might want to enroll in a traditional program.



Time Classes Are Offered

Length of Program

Step 3: Find Teacher Preparation Programs

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) is California’s teacher licensing agency, and it maintains the most up-to-date list of teacher preparation programs Page opens in new window.

There are three basic ways to search this database:

  1. If you know the type of program in which you are interested, go to the pull-down menu at the top left of the page. Select the type of program in which you are interested.

  2. If you are more interested in looking at institutions within a particular system, select the system (CSU, UC, Private, Districts, Counties and other Entities) of the program in which you are interested.

  3. If you want to know what programs particular institutions offer, scroll through the list and select the specific college/university in which you are interested.