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How to Become a Teacher in California: Teacher Certification

This is a guide to the usual steps a person aspiring to become a teacher might want to take to become certified to teach in the state of California. Please check with your state to make sure you have the most up-to-date information about the certification process.

For information regarding teacher salaries in California, see here.

Traditional Approach for the California Teacher Certification

  1. Earn your bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited university. If you already have a bachelor's degree, you may want to consider going for a master's degree as well.
  2. Complete the Teacher Preparations Program. This includes teacher prep courses, student teaching, and obtaining a formal recommendation from your college/university.
  3. Pass your Basic Skills Requirement exam (CBEST)
  4. Confirm your subject matter competency with one of the following:
  5. Complete the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA). Individuals who hold a valid Teacher Certification are exempt from this prerequisite.
  6. Satisfy the Developing English Language Skills by completing a comprehensive reading course.
  7. Complete a course about the principles of the U.S. Constitution. This course can be taken at any accredited college or university.
  8. Complete the Computer Technology Course to learn the required skills of using computers in an education setting.
  9. Submit the following:
    • Apply Online
    • Application fees
    • Official transcripts, degrees, and school credits
    • Fingerprint cards, release form, and background check form
    • Copies of all test scores
    • Mail to:
      California Commission On Teacher Credentialing
      P.O. Box 944270
      1900 Capitol Avenue
      Sacramento, CA 94244-2700
      (916) 445-7254
  10. *Do you want to renew your California Teacher Certification?*

Alternative Approach for the California Teacher Certification

Alternatively, there is another path you can take to get your teaching credentials in California. The state offers a District Intern Credentenial Program that allows the holder to start their teaching career before they complete their teacher education program. The certificate is valid for two years and can be renewed once before they must continue the standard path

  1. Earn your bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited university. If you already have a bachelor's degree, you may want to consider going for a master's degree as well.
  2. Pass your Basic Skills Requirement exam (CBEST)
  3. Complete a course about the principles of the U.S. Constitution. This course can be taken at any accredited college or university.
  4. Have current school verify internship
  5. Confirm your subject matter competency with one of the following:
  6. Complete 120 hours or 6 semester units of training
  7. Sign up for a mentoring program
  8. Submit the following:
    • Complete Application
    • Application fees
    • Official transcripts, degrees, and school credits
    • Fingerprint cards, release form, and background check form
    • Copies of all test scores
    • Mail to:
      California Commission On Teacher Credentialing
      P.O. Box 944270
      1900 Capitol Avenue
      Sacramento, CA 94244-2700
      (916) 445-7254

Sources:

  1. California Alternative Route to Certification (Intern Programs), Commission on Teacher Credentialing, https://www.ctc.ca.gov/educator-prep/intern/
  2. California Educator Credentialing Examinations, http://www.ctcexams.nesinc.com/
  3. Basic Skills Requirement, State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-source/leaflets/cl667.pdf?sfvrsn=91a6cf60_16
  4. Apply for a New Document, Commission on Teacher Credentialing, https://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/apply
  5. Fingerprint Information, Commission on Teacher Credentialing, https://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/fee-and-fingerprint
  6. CCTC Accepting Livescan Fingerprint Receipts, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-source/commission/coded/1998/989826.pdf

Teaching Schools in California

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