How to Become a Certified Dance Teacher in California

Dance can be a good artistic option for students at any level and as such, qualified teachers are a necessity for this function. This article will focus on how to become a certified dance teacher in California. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Information About Becoming a Certified Dance Teacher in California

Before specializing in the area of dance, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) requires an interested candidate to be hold a general credential first. There are two credential options available in the traditional route, but the general requirements are summarized in the table below.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree (minimum)
Exam Requirements CBEST or
CSET or
CSU
Certification Renewal Period Five years
Requirements for Renewal Submission of required documents and work experience criteria
Average Salary (2018) $52,060 (all other teachers in CA)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (high school teachers nationally)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

General Requirements

In order to qualify for a preliminary teaching credential in California, the interested candidate must possess an undergraduate or postgraduate degree from an accredited university or college. He or she must complete a basic skills assessment as well as a subject matter examination relevant to the area of interest. The candidate must also complete a course based on the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution as well as a CTC-approved teacher preparation program. Once these requirements are satisfied, the applicant must then get a formal recommendation from the program sponsor to obtain the preliminary teaching credential. The preliminary credential is valid for five years and must be upgraded to a clear credential by completing a CTC-approved teacher induction program. Candidates must pass a background check as well.

Exam and Teacher Preparation Program Requirements

The basic skills assessment is mandatory for all candidates applying for a teaching credential and can be satisfied by any one of the tests covered in this section. The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) includes three sections which cover the areas of reading, writing and mathematics. Candidates must pass each section, and passing scores are valid indefinitely. Candidates may also take the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subjects exam in combination with the CSET: Writing Skills exam in order to meet the basic skills requirement. The third option is for the candidate to pass the California State University (CSU) Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examinations in combination with the Entry-Level Mathematics Examinations. The scores for the second and third options are also valid indefinitely.

A number of schools are CTC-approved to provide teacher preparation programs. The complete list can be accessed on the CTC website but the list includes institutions such as Antioch University, Bard College, Chapman University and Hope International University.

Single Subject and Multiple Subjects Credentials

Single subject credentials allow the educator to teach a specific subject at several grade levels such as preschool, K - 12, certain middle and high schools as well as adult learners. The subjects available for this credential include art, English, business, health science, music and social science. On the other hand, a multiple subject credential will allow the educator to teach all subjects in a self-contained classroom, such as those at the elementary, preschool and K - 12 levels.

Adding a Specific Subject Authorization

Once the candidate has achieved the preliminary credential, whether in a single subject or multiple subjects, they can apply to the CTC for a specific subject authorization to be added to their credentials. Dance is one of the available subjects for this authorization. In order to qualify, the candidate must maintain his or her valid credential as well as complete either 32 semester units of non-remedial coursework or a degree program specific to the area of dance from an accredited institution. Remedial coursework or professional development activities do not count towards satisfying this requirement.

Application Process

When applying for the credential as well as the authorization, the candidate can download the appropriate application forms from the CTC website. Candidates are expected to submit verification of their academic achievements as well as the relevant examination scores with the application. The application fee can be paid online but there is an additional $2.50 charge.

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