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California: Teacher Credentialing in California

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Becoming a teacher in California is a process that starts with education and ends with certifications from the California Board of Education. Under state law, individuals need to work towards obtaining the necessary education to teach others. This process involves necessary coursework to be completed, followed by teacher preparation, and then final testing requirements. When you meet all of those requirements, you can then fill out an application with the California Board of Education, submit the necessary fee, and obtain your education certificate.

Prerequisite Coursework

In order to become a teacher in California, individuals must first have the necessary coursework completed. This coursework will include courses in education, behavior, and child development. Students will need to obtain at least a bachelor's degree in education from an accredited school within the state. The board of education provides aid in determining if the school you are registered in will qualify as an accredited school. In some cases, students will need to have specific undergraduate credits, depending on the type of degree they hope to obtain.

Teacher Preparation

The next step in the process is to obtain the necessary teacher's preparation. This includes the completion of accredited teacher education programs. This includes enrollment in the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Program, or BTSA. This program helps students become prepared to provide an education to their students. It helps the student to fulfill the requirements for the California Clear Multiple and Single Subject Credentials as well.

In addition to this, the student will need to work through an internship, or a student teaching position within an assigned school. This is generally handled through the college or university that you have enrolled in to complete your coursework. You will need to observe and later perform duties as a teacher in this role. A fully licensed teacher will provide you with aid in becoming a teacher and will work with you to meet the state's requirement of lesson plan development and interactions with teachers.

Certification Requirements

As you complete each of these aspects and requirements, the next step in the process is to obtain the required testing. In the state of California, this includes completing a Basic Skill Test called the California Basic Education Skills Test. In addition, many students will also need to complete the secondary program called the California Subject Examinations for Teachers or CSET. In order for you to become a teacher, you must successfully pass this certification.

Already Have a Degree?

If you already hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, though it is not an educational degree, you may qualify for an alternative teaching certificate. To find out if you qualify for this particular type of educational teaching degree, contact the California State Board of Education. Once you have met all of the requirements to becoming a teacher, you will then fill out an application form with the board of education and submit it, along with the necessary fee and transcripts, to obtain your California teaching license.

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