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Elementary Teacher Requirements

If you would like to teach in public elementary school, then a multiple subject teaching credential is for you! This also applies to some middle schools that are all-inclusive.

This credential is a two-tiered system. First, you receive a "preliminary credential" which is good for five years. Then, take additional courses and complete a fifth year of study (which is met through your credential or teacher preparation program) to obtain a "professional clear credential." A clear credential is renewable every five years.

Requirements for a Preliminary Credential:

  • Obtain a Bachelor's Degree or higher from any regionally accredited university.
  • Pass the CBEST (California Basic Assessment Educational Skills Test) http://www.cbest.nesinc.com/.
  • Prove subject matter competency. You may do this by taking the CSET (California Subject Examination for Teachers) http://www.cset.nesinc.com/. After 7/1/2004, the CSET will be the only way to prove competency.
  • Finish an official teacher preparation or credential program that includes student teaching.
  • Pass the RICA (Reading Instruction Competence Assessment) http://www.rica.nesinc.com/.
  • Complete an English Language Skills / reading instruction course.
  • U.S. Constitution requirement (this can be met with college courses or an examination; check with the University you are applying to).
  • If you have completed the CBEST and CSET, some universities offer special internship options. Internships typically allow you to teach while earning a credential. Call your university to see if they provide internship opportunities.

Requirements for a Professional Clear Credential:

  • Finish your fifth year of study (completing a credential program will satisfy this requirement).
  • Finish approved courses in Special Education, Computer Education, and Health Education.

We do our best to provide you with the most up-to-date information on teaching credentials; however, requirements are constantly changing. For the most recent information available regarding possible changes to the credentialing process, visit the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing http://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/default.html

Special thanks to TEACH California (formerly CalTeach), which provided much of this information.

Every child deserves a chance to learn and no child succeeds alone.

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