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Secondary Credential Requirements (California Prepared)

To teach middle or secondary school in California, you must have the Single Subject Teaching CredentialIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site. This credential authorizes the holder to teach the specific subject(s) named on the credential in departmentalized classes, such as those in most middle schools and high schools, in grades preschool, K–12, or in classes organized primarily for adults. All teaching credentials in California are obtained through a two-level process, beginning with the preliminary credential and resulting in the clear credential. School districts may also look for other related qualifications and experience.

California has a two-level process to obtain a clear teaching credential

A preliminary credential is valid only for 5 years. The following requirements must be met to obtain the preliminary credential:

  1. Obtain a baccalaureate degree
  2. Satisfy the basic skills requirement
  3. Satisfy the subject-matter competence requirement
  4. Satisfy the Developing English Language Skills requirement, including reading instruction
  5. Complete a course or pass an examination on the U.S. Constitution
  6. Complete a foundational computer technology course
  7. Complete a Commission-approved Single Subject Teaching Credential 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 Intern 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 are already credentialed in another state or country, you should visit the My Career Plan section.

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