Elementary Credential Requirements (California prepared)
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To teach elementary school in California, you must have the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential which authorizes teaching in preschool, 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:
- Obtain a baccalaureate degree
- Satisfy the basic skills requirement
- Satisfy the subject-matter competence requirement *
- Pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)
- Satisfy the Developing English Language Skills including reading instruction requirement
- Complete a course or pass an examination on the U.S. Constitution
- Complete a foundational computer technology course
- Complete a Commission-approved multiple subjects teacher preparation program
* Allows elementary subject matter programs (Effective: April 1, 2017) to meet this requirement for the special education and elementary teaching credential.
To obtain a Clear Credential, you must complete one of the following options before the Preliminary Credential expires:
- Complete a General Education Induction Program at your employing school district.
- Complete a Commission-approved General Education Clear credential program through a California college or university.
- Obtain National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification
Intern Program (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 program 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 Option.
If you already have a teaching California credential, you may want to add another credential or authorization.
Credentialed in another state or country? Go to the Make and Follow Your Plan section.
Learn more about the teacher shortage areas. This might improve your employability.