Teacher Professional Development in California

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing assumes the administrative role for credentialing all teachers.

Basic Credential Requirements
  • Bachelor's Degree or higher from a regionally accredited university
  • Teacher preparation program (credential program, including student teaching)
  • Developing English Language Skills (reading instruction course)*
  • U.S. Constitution course*
  • Subject matter competency (California Subject Examinations for Teachers – CSET)
  • Subject matter program (major)
  • Computer technology course
  • Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA)—for multiple subject and education specialist credential only

*Denotes multiple-subject and single-subject credential only.

Two-Tier Credential Structure
A Five-Year Preliminary Credential is the first credential issued after an individual meets basic credential requirements.
A Clear Credential is issued when all credential requirements have been completed.

Five-Year Preliminary Credential
1. Complete a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally-accredited college or university.
2. Satisfy the basic skills requirement. (See Commission leaflet
CL-667, entitled Basic Skills Requirement for additional information.)
3. Complete a Commission-approved teacher preparation program including student teaching, performance assessment, and a recommendation by the California institution where the program was completed.
4. Verify subject matter competence through examination or completing an approved subject-matter program.
Satisfy the Developing English Language Skills, including Reading requirement.
6. Complete a course (two semester units or three quarter units) in the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution or pass an examination given by a regionally-accredited college or university.
7. Complete foundational computer technology course work that includes general and specialized skills in the use of computers in educational settings.

Clear Credential
Individuals who complete a professional teacher preparation program and receive a five-year preliminary credential must earn a clear credential by completing one of the following three options:

Option 1 – Complete a Commission-approved Professional Teacher Induction Program through an approved school district, county office of education, college or university, consortium, or private school.

Option 2 – Complete a fifth year of study completed at a California college or university with a Commission-approved teacher preparation program, securing that institution’s formal recommendation for the clear credential.

Option 3 – Teachers who are certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards will be issued a Clear Teaching Credential in the subject area in which they have received national certification.

Teach California: http://www.teachcalifornia.org/
California Department of Education website on Professional Development: http://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/bt/gc/
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing: http://www.ctc.ca.gov