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College of Education Information

College of Education

CSULB students read aloud from a children's book

Credential Programs

Public school teaching and service credentials in California are regulated by the state legislature and administered by the State Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Credential programs offered at CSULB have been developed to meet current requirements, which are complex and continually reviewed and changed by legislative and agency action. Candidates for all credentials must meet legal requirements in effect when completing credential programs. It is the responsibility of the candidate to be familiar with the program requirements. For information regarding admission, academic requirements, and fieldwork, contact the specific credential program coordinator. For information on state credential laws and regulations, pending changes, and new legislation, contact the Credential Center (ED1-42; 562/985-4109; credentials@csulb.edu).

Basic Teaching Credentials

There are three types of basic teaching credentials: Multiple Subject, Single Subject, and Education Specialist.

The Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential authorizes the holder to teach all subjects in a self-contained classroom, generally in an elementary school. A teacher authorized for multiple subject instruction may be assigned to teach in any self-contained classroom — pre-K to grade 12, or in classes for adults. In practice, most teachers with a multiple subject authorization teach in elementary schools. In addition to completing a sequence of professional preparation courses and student teaching, candidates for the Multiple Subject Credential must demonstrate subject matter competence by passing the California Subject Examinations for Teachers: Multiple Subjects (CSET: Multiple Subjects) as a condition of entry to the program. With additional course work, students in the Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential Program may earn a Bilingual Cross Cultural and Academic Development (BCLAD) authorization in Spanish, Cambodian (Khmer), Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese), Korean, or Vietnamese. For detailed information on the Multiple Subject Credential Program, refer to the Teacher Education Department section in this catalog or visit the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (ED1-67; 562/985-1105).

One of the pathways to a Multiple Subject credential is the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP). ITEP combines undergraduate study of academic subjects aligned to the California standards for the K-8 curriculum with professional preparation courses, field experiences, and student teaching. ITEP students may also complete the requirements for the Education Specialist Credential or Bilingual Cross Cultural and Academic Development (BCLAD) Credential along with those for the Multiple Subject Credential and receive dual authorization. ITEP students are required to demonstrate subject matter competence by passing the CSET: Multiple Subjects exam as a condition of advancement to student teaching. For detailed information on the ITEP program, refer to the Liberal Studies section of this catalog or contact the Liberal Studies Department (AS 133; 562/985-4228).

The Single Subject Credential authorizes the holder to teach a specified subject. A teacher authorized for single subject instruction may be assigned to teach this subject at any grade level — pre-K through grade 12, or in classes for adults. In practice, most teachers with a single subject authorization teach departmentalized classes in middle, junior high or senior high schools. CSULB offers Commission on Teacher Credentialing-approved Subject Matter Programs in Art, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, English Geosciences, Health Science, Home Economics, Industrial and Technology Education, Languages Other than English (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Spanish) Mathematics, Music, Physical Education (Adapted P.E., Elementary School, Secondary School), Physics, and Social Science. For detailed information on the Single Subject Credential Program, refer to the Single Subject Teacher Education section in this catalog or visit the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (ED1-67; 562/985-5325).

The Education Specialist Credential authorizes a candidate to teach in a special education assignment with students with special needs. This K-12 credential certifies individuals to work as a special day class teacher, inclusion support teacher, a resource specialist. In addition to completing a sequence of professional preparation courses and student teaching, candidates must demonstrate subject matter competence by passing all three sub-tests of the California Subject Examinations for Teachers: Multiple Subjects, or the appropriate CSET exam in Math, Science, or Language Arts as a condition of entry to the program. Another pathway to the Education Specialist Credential is the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP), through which students can earn dual authorization to teach Multiple Subjects and Special Education. For detailed information on the Education Specialist Credential Program, refer to the Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling section in this catalog or visit the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (ED1-67; 562/985-1105).

Elementary and secondary teachers who wish to diversify their teaching authorizations may do so by fulfilling specific requirements. Further information is available in the Credential Center (ED1-42; 562/985-4109; credentials@csulb.edu).

Obtaining the Preliminary Credential

Requirements for the Preliminary and Professional Clear credentials are set by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing in accordance with state law. Requirements for the Preliminary credential include:

  • 1. a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • 2. an approved professional preparation program, including the teaching of reading and student teaching
  • 3. verification of subject matter competence (coursework or examination)
  • 4. passage of CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test) or an equivalent basic skills test
  • 5. completion of an approved course or examination in the U.S. Constitution
  • 6. demonstration of Level I computer technology proficiency (course or exam)
  • 7. for Multiple Subject and Education Specialist candidates, passage of the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)

Graduates of CSULB credential programs meet Commission and program requirements and are recommended for the Preliminary credential by the College.

Obtaining the Professional Clear Credential

The Preliminary Credential is valid for five years from the date of issuance and is not renewable. During the first five years of teaching, teachers are expected to earn the Professional Clear Credential through a Commission-approved Professional Teacher Induction Program sponsored by a school district, county office of education, college or university, consortium, or private school.

For information on the Professional Clear credential, contact the Credential Center (ED1-42; 562/985-4109; credentials@csulb.edu).

Entry Levels for Basic Credential Programs

Credential programs may begin at five different levels:

1. Qualified candidates who wish to earn the Multiple Subject Credential may begin the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) in the Liberal Studies Department as first-term freshmen. This program leads to the Multiple Subject Credential in four and a half years of full time, accelerated study.

2. Qualified transfer students from community colleges who wish to earn the Multiple Subject Credential and who have started the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) at their community college may continue the program as transfer students. This program leads to the Multiple Subject Credential in four and a half years of full time, accelerated study.

3. Junior level – With a carefully planned program, credential program courses may be taken as electives as early as the first semester of the junior year with completion of the program coming as early as the first semester after graduation.

4. Senior level – Credential program courses may be taken during the senior year as electives. The remaining credential courses and student teaching are then completed at the post-baccalaureate level. (Note: By petition only, up to twelve units of course work taken in the final undergraduate semester -- and not needed to meet major or degree requirements -- may be counted as postgraduate credit toward credit on a district salary ladder. This petition must be filed prior to graduation. Information is available in the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (ED1–67; 562/985-1105).

5. Graduate level – The entire credential program may be completed at the post-baccalaureate level.

Application to Credential Programs

Information on application to basic credential programs is available in the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (ED1-67; 562/985-1105). Students currently not enrolled in the University must file an application for admission to the University (www.csumentor.edu) as well as an application to the specific program. Note: Some programs have established application periods each year that are separate from the University application periods and process.

Application for Student Teaching

Candidates for student teaching for the summer or fall term of any year must apply by March 1. Spring candidates must apply by October 1. Student Teaching application deadlines are firm.

Candidates for student teaching must attend a Student Teaching Application Meeting which is the only venue for distributing applications. Dates and times for each application period are posted on bulletin boards and program websites.

Appeal Process

Students may address an appeal to the appropriate committee regarding any policy related to admission and continuation in a teacher preparation program. Petition forms and assistance are available in the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (ED1-67; 562-985-1105).

Specialist Credentials

CSULB offers programs leading to a Reading Certificate and to a Reading and Language Arts Specialist Credential. Both require a valid basic teaching credential. (Note: the Adapted Physical Education Credential is available through the Department of Kinesiology. Refer to the College of Health and Human Services section of this catalog.)

Service Credentials

Service credential programs are available in the following areas: Preliminary Administrative Services, Professional Administrative Services, Teacher Librarian Services, School Counseling, and School Psychology. Both the Preliminary Administrative Services and the Teacher Librarian Services credentials require a valid basic teaching credential. (Note: Designated Subjects, Health Services [school nurse], Speech-Language Pathology Services, and School Social Work, Child Welfare and Attendance credentials are also available at CSULB. Refer to the College of Health and Human Services section of this catalog.)