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Elementary Credential Requirements (California prepared)

To teach elementary school in California, you must have the Multiple Subject Teaching CredentialIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site which authorizes teaching in preschool, transitional kindergartenIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site, kindergarten, grades 1-12, and classes for adults. School districts may also look for other related qualifications and experience.

California has a two-level teaching credential

To obtain a Preliminary Credential, which is valid only for 5 years, the following requirements must be met

  1. Obtain a baccalaureate degree
  2. Satisfy the basic skills requirement
  3. Satisfy the subject-matter competence requirement *
  4. Pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)
  5. Satisfy the Developing English Language Skills including reading instruction requirement
  6. Complete a course or pass an examination on the U.S. Constitution
  7. Complete a foundational computer technology course
  8. Complete a Commission-approved multiple subjects teacher preparation program

To obtain a Clear Credential, you must complete one of the following options before the Preliminary Credential expires:

  1. Complete a Commission-approved Teacher Induction ProgramIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site and submit the application for the clear credential through the Induction program sponsor. Program sponsors are often public or private colleges/universities, and school districts.
  2. Obtain a National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certificationIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site

Other Credential Options

An Intern Program is an alternative path to a preliminary credential.

If you have a baccalaureate degree and have met other requirements, you may be eligible for an Intern programIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site while you complete the coursework necessary for a credential and work as a teacher. You might even be able to challenge the course work portion via the Early Completion Internship OptionIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site. The Find the Right Preparation Program page identifies California specific information you should know prior to selecting an Intern teacher preparation program.

If you already have a teaching California credential, you may want to add another credential or authorizationIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site.

If you are already credentialed in another state or country, you should visit the Make and Follow Your Plan section.

Learn more about the teacher shortage areas. This might improve your employability.