Transferring a California Teaching Credential to Other States

The route to obtaining a teaching credential may differ from one state to the other, so it is important to know if a certificate or license acquired in one state can be used in another. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Transferring Teaching Credentials

California is one of many U.S. states and Canadian provinces that participate in what is known as the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement. This agreement allows holders of valid teaching credentials, licenses or certificates from a participating state to transfer these to another participating state, under certain conditions that must be confirmed by the receiving state's education department. Find out more information in the table below.

Education/Experience Required Valid credential/certificate/license
Exam Requirements Dependent on the receiving state
Average National Teacher Salary (2018)* $57,980 (kindergarten and elementary school); $58,600 (middle school); $60,320 (high school)
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* 7-8% (teachers nationally)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

NASDTEC Interstate Agreement

The current NASDTEC agreement was signed to span 2015-2020 and is slated to be reviewed as well as renewed in 2020. It is important that educators keep up-to-date with the details of the most current agreement, especially state requirements for transfers. The agreement contains the definitions of who is qualified to be called an educator or an administrator for the purpose of the agreement. It also contains a list of potential Jurisdiction-specific requirements (JSR) that different member states may need in order to grant the transfer of a credential, license or certificate.

Transfer Agreements

Based on the agreement, transferring credentials, licenses or certificates may be easier for educators who have accomplished this through a more traditional route. If candidates have an alternative or non-traditional educator or administrator certificate, the details of possible transfer would need to be confirmed with the department of education for the receiving state.

Some states may require candidates to have completed a teacher preparation program, a bachelor's degree, and a student teaching experience. States allowing credentials from one state are not obligated to accept other states.

Transferring Credentials from California

Since California is a participating state in the agreement, persons with valid credentials from California are eligible to request a transfer of those credentials to a receiving state. The request must be made while the credentials are still valid and the candidate's degree must have been achieved from one of the approved schools listed in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.

The state of California recommends checking with the receiving state's department of education directly to verify its ability to accept a California teaching credential.

State Conditions for Transfer

Each state has its own requirements or conditions for transferring credentials. Arkansas grants full reciprocity for those with teacher certification, but does differentiate between experienced and inexperienced teachers. Those with three years of experience are considered experienced. Other states, such as Alaska will allow the transfer for a set period of time but will require the candidate to satisfy their specific state requirements in order to extend the certificate. This could include taking subject-specific exams. California is receptive to educators with a valid certificate or license from another state, though they may require candidates to have at least two years of experience teaching in a particular area.

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