One-Year Teacher Credentialing Programs in California

Prospective educators who have a desire to teach can now enroll in one-year credential programs. There are a number of one-year programs available in California through which you can qualify as a teacher. Alongside a bachelor's degree, there are a number of other testing requirements. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of One-Year Teaching Credential Programs in California

Educators must complete a teaching credential program prior to their employment in California. Individuals who have already completed their bachelor's degree in a non-teaching setting can potentially complete a one-year credential program. Read below to learn what is entailed in these programs.

Required Degrees Bachelor's degree required; field-based programs, preferred; master's degree, optional
Testing Requirements CBEST, CSET Subject, RICA (Elementary school exam required for California educators)
Certifications Multiple-subject training (Elementary School); Single-subject training (Middle School and Secondary School); Valid for five years
Annual Mean Salary for Teachers in California (2018) $80,100 (Elementary School), $75,600 (Middle School), $80,510 (High School)
Projected Job Growth (by 2028) 3% (Elementary School), 3% (Middle School), 4% (High School)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Teacher-Certification.com, ***Teach.org

Benefits of Choosing a One-Year Program

The one-year credential program offers specific training and courses designed for individuals who have already earned a bachelor's degree. The traditional teacher preparation program requires students to practice teaching during fieldwork assignments, including student teaching. Individuals can choose their own route: a shorter 'certification-only' route, or an in-depth master's degree plan. They also have the choice of working from either on-site or online programs and choose whether to be a full-time or part-time student.

Student Teaching and Fieldwork

In addition to completing at least 36 units of coursework over a variety of topics, prospective teachers are required to complete fieldwork projects (observation components) and a student teaching assignment. Aspiring educators will be placed in classrooms specific to the credential they pursue, where they will work one-on-one with a mentor teacher, who offers helpful advice and tracks a student's progress as they lead the class, prepare lesson plans, and complete additional tasks. The mentor will then provide a written assessment of the individual's performance, which will remain under review until completion of the credential program.

Examinations

Prospective teachers are required to complete a number of exams before they are able to apply for their license;

  • CBEST: Students must earn a minimum scaled score of 41 in three sections (reading, writing and mathematics).
  • CSET (For Multiple-Subject Teaching Credentials): Students must earn a minimum scaled score of 220 during three subtests.
  • CSET (For Single-Subject Teaching Credentials): If students didn't complete a Commission-approved subject matter education program, then they must take the appropriate Commission-approved subject matter examination. Students must earn a minimum scaled score of 220 on the proper subject test in order to earn their credentials in that subject.
  • RICA (For Multiple-Subject Teaching Credentials): Students pursuing an elementary teaching credential must earn a minimum scaled score of 220 covering reading skills, educational problems, instructional tasks, and one case study.

Licensing

After completing an approved education program, prospective teachers must complete a criminal history background check, including fingerprinting and apply for a Certificate of Clearance. Then, they must apply for their California teaching credential with the Application for Credential Authorizing Public School Service (Form 41-4). The application requires the following:

  • Official college transcripts listing a bachelor's degree, proof of completing the California-approved teacher preparation program, and a list of completed course requirements
  • Photocopies of examination scores
  • Copy of completed Request for LiveScan Service
  • Application fees
  • Signed Oath and Affidavit

Renewal Requirements

The initial credential license is valid for five years, during which time, teachers must meet the requirements for a Clear Credential. To obtain this credential, teachers must have a valid initial license, and either complete a one-year Commission-approved General Education Induction Program or become certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standard (NBPTS).

Teachers who fail to complete the requirements for the Clear Credential can apply for a one-time extension, valid for another five years. To apply, teachers must apply for the initial license, pay the fee, provide a letter explaining the reasons for the extension, and present proof of employment by a school.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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