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The Basics

For specific information about credentials, click on the link that applies to you. The initial step on your journey to becoming a teacher in California is joining Student CTA and participating in local chapter meetings, events, and conferences.

  • 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/.
  • U.S. Constitution requirement (this can be met with college courses or an examination; check with the University you are applying to).
  • Complete an English Language Skills / reading instruction course.
  • Complete an approved technology class.
  • Attend a teacher preparation or credential program that includes student teaching.
  • For single subject credentials, prove subject matter competency. You may do this by taking the CSET (California Subject Examination for Teachers) http://www.cset.nesinc.com/.
  • Some teacher preparation programs allow students to be admitted without passing the CSET, but require students to pass the test within the first year of entering the program. Other programs will not admit students without passing the CSET; check with the college/university you are applying to.
  • For special education or multiple subject credentials, pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) http://www.rica.nesinc.com/

We do our best to provide you with the most up-to-date information about 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.

© 1999- California Teachers Association