Step Two: Think about all the factors impacting the decision — California specific
Selecting the right teacher preparation program for you is critical. Spend time in analyzing all
the relevant information. Your research can save you time and money.
Range of Teacher Preparation Program Options
High school students: Look for local dual enrollment programs between your high school and local
California Community College (CCC) to complete required undergraduate courses.
High school students or others seeking a baccalaureate degree: Complete lower-division, prerequisite
courses at your local CCC. Some CCC's have a Teacher Preparation Pipeline Project that specialize in
assisting Career Technical Education (CTE), science, math and bilingual teacher candidates. These programs
also help with K-12 credentials and Early Childhood Education permits. Talk to your CCC academic advisor
in advance about transferring credits to the baccalaureate program of your choice.
High school students and others: Consider enrolling in a Commission-approved blended or
integrated baccalaureate program.
Reminder: Not all colleges and universities offer all the types of teaching credentialing programs.
Reminder: Be efficient. Consider enrolling in a Commission-approved subject matter program while
you obtain your baccalaureate degree. Read the Subject Matter Competence section for more information.
Reminder: Obtain credit if you have experience teaching. Talk to
the academic advisor of the teacher preparation program you choose.
College graduates: Consider enrolling in a Teacher Residency Program, which will match you with a carefully chosen mentor teacher to guide you as you learn to plan lessons and support students throughout the school year as part of a cohort with other student teachers.
Career changer and already have your baccalaureate degree: Consider an Intern program (alternative route) for the type of credential you want. If you need to make money while becoming a teacher, can handle the pressure of being a student, and teaching at the same time, an alternative certification program may be worth considering.
Career changer with no teaching experience and a baccalaureate degree, you might want to enroll in a
traditional program (Post-baccalaureate program).
Tuition and fees differ greatly, even for campuses within the same education system (California State University
or University of California).
Online teacher preparation programs approved by CTC may be a good option to keep costs down. There are no programs
that are totally online since there is a student teaching component that must be supervised by a fully credentialed
ASSIST: An online student-transfer information
system that shows how course credits earned at one public California college or university can be applied when transferred
Utilize tools from the U. S. Department of Education to obtain tuition cost comparisons. (Go to Step 3 to find out
if a particular program is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing for the teaching credential
College Navigator: Find the right college for
you. Search by name of college, state, program/major, level of award, and type of institution.
Any of the 113 California Community Colleges could be a good place to complete the lower division, first two years,
of the required coursework. Talk to your academic advisor.
Many teacher preparation programs offer some of their courses online, potentially reducing the number of times you have
to go to campus for class.
Time Classes Are Offered
Are you going to have to work while you take classes, or do you have family responsibilities that will limit the time you
are available to attend class? Many teacher preparation programs offer some of their courses online, on the weekend, or
during the evening, which might make it easier for you to enroll in their program
Intern programs (alternative route) offer classes at night, on the weekend, online, and during teaching breaks.
Length of Program
Blended or Integrated program starts in the undergraduate years and can extend beyond the traditional 4 years of
coursework because they include student teaching
A shorter program will probably be less costly, but the pace of the courses will probably be a lot faster.
Subject Matter Competence
Teacher candidates are required to demonstrate competence in the subject matter they will be authorized to teach before
beginning student teaching. There are two options to meet this requirement:
The Commission-approved undergraduate subject matter programs
are offered through institutions of higher education.