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Online Teaching Credential Programs California

Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

Students can pursue non-medical fields of interest and these programs often do not require the MCAT before entering California

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Best Teaching credential programs in california

This page is an informative guide for anyone looking for teaching schools in California. There are many colleges and universities in California that offer teacher preparation programs that prepare aspiring teachers for a long career in the classroom. For more information on the various teaching degrees in California, we have included lists of top-rated teaching programs, a table of accredited, state-approved teacher preparation, and student reviews. Whether you’re fresh out of school or looking to change your current career, the teacher career guide below can help you jumpstart your way into a fascinating career in education.

You will also find data on teacher preparation program enrollment, completion, and licensing exam pass rates by institution, for both traditional and alternative programs, for the 2018-2019 academic year in this table. These data points are collected from annual US Department of Education records under Title II (Teacher Quality) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which provides for reporting that holds institutions and state departments of education accountable for increasing academic achievement through improvements in teacher quality. Traditional teacher preparation programs are usually completed as part of a bachelor’s degree program. Alternative certification programs are typically designed for career changers looking to enter the field and lead to a postgraduate certificate or a master’s degree. Many schools in our table offer both traditional and alternative programs. Take a look at our California traditional and alternative certification guides for more information.

Finally, we have provided the net price per year for undergraduate tuition, based on the cost of attendance (tuition, books, room and board, and related expenses) for students who qualify for in-state tuition and fees, less the average financial aid award (including grants and scholarships).

Programs that are not ranked, or for which data is not available, in a given category are denoted as “–“.

State-Approved SchoolCAEP Accred.?5Trad. Teacher Program Enrollment6Trad. Teacher Prep Prog. Completers 6Trad. Licensing Exams Pass Rate6Alt. Teacher Program Enrollment 6Alt. Teacher Prep Prog. Completers 6Alt. Licensing Exams Pass Rate6Net Price1
Antioch UniversityNo1013387%N.Av.
Azusa Pacific UniversityYes60017494%15976100%$31,367
Bard CollegeNo11686%N.Av.
Biola UniversityNo3498792%54N.Av.$34,713
California Baptist UniversityNo6209599%402391%$27,883
California Lutheran UniversityNo2439196%44N.Av.$29,669
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis ObispoNo15213094%$20,491
California State Polytechnic University-Humboldt (f.k.a. Humboldt State University)No917989%42N.Av.$15,015
California State Polytechnic University-PomonaNo2569997%373681%$14,457
California State University-BakersfieldNo57813098%268115100%$7,697
California State University-Channel IslandsNo1668191%84N.Av.$15,059
California State University-ChicoNo36023793%845196%$16,109
California State University-Dominguez HillsNo53816382%15789%91%$4,683
California State University-East BayNo234140100%524198%$13,260
California State University-FresnoYes76835289%14312590%$6,906
California State University-FullertonYes94640999%452295%$8,322
California State University-Long BeachNo1,45751396%673797%$10,568
California State University-Los AngelesNo82819593%50291%$3,859
California State University-Monterey BayNo1046873%903689%$13,989
California State University-NorthridgeNo64222199%1737799%$8,882
California State University-SacramentoNo33922497%712896%$11,473
California State University-San BernardinoNo29019699%4827100%$8,492
California State University-San MarcosNo20515593%$12,933
California State University-StanislausNo59125386%211391%$7,418
Chapman UniversityYes1344498%32N.Av.$44,327
Claremont Graduate UniversityNo3313100%683597%N.Av.
Concordia University-IrvineNo1547094%11N.Av.$29,893
Dominican University of CaliforniaNo703797%87N.Av.$36,899
Fresno Pacific UniversityNo36348100%2198399%$18,728
Hebrew Union CollegeNo76N.Av.N.Av.
Holy Names UniversityNo672N.Av.208N.Av.$23,430
Hope International UniversityNo962592%$20,470
Humphreys UniversityNo381N.Av.382N.Av.$10,240
La Sierra UniversityNo728N.Av.11N.Av.$24,891
Loyola Marymount UniversityYes1783686%61322598%$48,758
Mills CollegeNo231482%$27,954
Mount Saint Mary’s UniversityNo1524388%104N.Av.$27,346
National UniversityYes3,22153791%97062092%$21,363
Notre Dame de Namur UniversityNo2264876%803884%$28,243
Pacific Oaks CollegeNo192872%236N.Av.N.Av.
Pacific Union CollegeNo331090%$23,163
Pepperdine UniversityNo704391%73N.Av.$46,550
Point Loma Nazarene UniversityNo62713989%12610295%$34,644
San Diego Christian CollegeNo2411N.Av.$27,919
San Diego State UniversityNo525285100%4022100%$13,192
San Francisco State UniversityNo41819790%1052064%$14,757
San Jose State UniversityNo49721591%1015194%$15,995
Santa Clara UniversityNo1636489%381694%$48,284
Simpson UniversityNo773979%$23,012
Sonoma State UniversityNo17412492%231794%$17,239
St. Mary’s College of CaliforniaNo10522N.Av.2919N.Av.$40,401
Stanford UniversityNo8787100%$20,023
The Master’s UniversityNo121090%$29,567
Touro UniversityNo4313100%4319100%N.Av.
University of California-BerkeleyNo636098%$19,329
University of California-DavisNo16315198%$17,026
University of California-IrvineNo142142100%$13,106
University of California-Los AngelesNo110103100%$16,474
University of California-MercedNo211N.Av.6$13,578
University of California-RiversideNo133115100%11N.Av.$11,948
University of California-San DiegoNo1094598%261192%$15,222
University of California-Santa BarbaraNo776895%$17,223
University of California-Santa CruzNo605697%$17,842
University of La VerneNo5308899%1466294%$30,061
University of Massachusetts Global (f.k.a. Brandman University)No1,38216397%41723795%$24,084
University of RedlandsNo71417488%362467%$30,240
University of San DiegoNo19659100%94N.Av.$37,547
University of San FranciscoNo23312396%784198%$42,801
University of Southern CaliforniaYes261153100%33N.Av.$39,759
University of the PacificNo39212794%6964100%$32,780
Vanguard UniversityNo532693%$21,667
Westmont CollegeNo1313100%$32,418
Whittier CollegeNo501292%22N.Av.$28,647
William Jessup UniversityNo2435396%$26,094
  • — indicates none or not applicable.
  • N.Av. indicates data was not available or pass rates were omitted for confidentiality.

Top-Ranked Schools with Education Programs in California

Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Education Majors 2022

Loyola Marymount University

US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Education Programs 2022

  • University of California-Los Angeles (#3)
  • Stanford University (#6 tie)
  • University of Southern California (#11 tie)
  • University of California-Irvine (#15)
  • University of California-Berkeley (#19 tie)
  • University of California-Davis (#37 tie)
  • University of California-San Diego (#50)
  • San Diego State University (#55 tie)
  • University of California-Riverside (#55 tie)
  • Loyola Marymount University (#64 tie)
  • University of California-Santa Barbara (#76 tie)
  • Claremont Graduate University (#85 tie)
  • Mills College (#100 tie)
  • San Jose State University (#125 tie)
  • University of California- Santa Cruz (#136 tie)
  • University of San Francisco (#154 tie)
  • Chapman University (#178 tie)
  • Pepperdine University (#178 tie)
  • Alliant International University (#211-277)
  • University of La Verne (#211-277)
  • University of Redlands (#211-277)

US News & World Report’s Best Online Master’s in Education Programs 2022

  • San Diego State University (#8 tie)
  • California Baptist University (#80 tie)
  • UMass Global (formerly Brandman University) (#130 tie)
  • Academy of Art University (#242-321)
  • Alliant International University (#242-321)
  • Mills College (#242-321)
  • National University (#242-321)

Select California Schools with Teacher Preparation Degrees

University of California Los Angeles

The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is home to the UCLA School of Education & Information Studies (Ed&IS), specializing in research and instruction geared towards improving teaching and learning methodologies for learners of all ages. The UCLA Ed&IS prepares students to be leaders in the field of education regarding policy, research, and practice. An undergraduate major offered in Education and Social Transformation educates activists to analyze modern education issues and advocate for positive change and social justice. Two minors are also offered in Education Studies and Information Media Literacy. Ed&IS offers both academic (Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)) and professional degrees (Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Doctor of Education (EdD)) in a variety of focal areas, including Higher Education & Organizational Change, Teacher Education, and Student Affairs. Prospective students are welcome to visit the department’s website or attend one of the many recruiting events held by the school throughout the calendar year.

Pepperdine University

Pepperdine is a prestigious private university located on the shores of Malibu. The university is home to the Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, and the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP). Seaver College offers a wide range of undergraduate programs, including multiple-subject (Elementary) and single-subject (Secondary) teacher education, as well as Educational Technology. GSEP offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL); an MA in Social Entrepreneurship and Change; a Master of Science (MS) in Learning Design and Technology; an MS in Organizational Leadership and Learning; an MS in Leadership in Higher Education; and an MS in Leadership in Pre K to 12 Education. Each program has its own unique set of admissions criteria with most programs requiring official transcripts, professional recommendations, and a statement of purpose. Some programs require graduate testing while others do not. Many of the programs have several different pathways and can be completed while working full time. Some programs, including the MA in Teaching, can be completed in as little as 11 months.

Schools with Associate Degrees in Education

While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational level required to qualify for state certification, an associate’s degree can be the first step towards a career in education. It can qualify graduates for careers in non-licensed roles in early childhood education, after-school care, and related areas. The credits earned from an accredited associate degree program can also typically be transferred towards a bachelor’s degree. The following Alabama schools offer associate’s degrees in education.1 Schools with an asterisk (*) also offer four-year teaching programs and/or alternative route to certification programs.

Allan Hancock College
800 S College Dr
Santa Maria, CA 93454-6399
(805) 922-6966
www.hancockcollege.edu

American River College
4700 College Oak Dr
Sacramento, CA 95841-4286
(916) 484-8011
www.arc.losrios.edu

Antelope Valley College
3041 West Ave K
Lancaster, CA 93536-5426
(661) 722-6300
www.avc.edu

Bakersfield College*
1801 Panorama Dr
Bakersfield, CA 93305-1299
(661) 395-4011
www.bakersfieldcollege.edu

Butte College
3536 Butte Campus Dr
Oroville, CA 95965-8399
(530) 895-2511
www.butte.edu

Cabrillo College
6500 Soquel Dr
Aptos, CA 95003
(831) 479-6100
www.cabrillo.edu

Canada College
4200 Farm Hill Blvd
Redwood City, CA 94061-1099
(650) 306-3100
canadacollege.edu

Cerritos College
11110 Alondra Blvd
Norwalk, CA 90650-6298
(562) 860-2451
www.cms.cerritos.edu

Cerro Coso Community College
3000 College Heights Blvd
Ridgecrest, CA 93555-9571
(760) 384-6100
www.cerrocoso.edu

Chabot College
25555 Hesperian Blvd
Hayward, CA 94545
(510) 723-6600
www.chabotcollege.edu

Chaffey College
5885 Haven Ave
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737-3002
(909) 987-1737
www.chaffey.edu

Citrus College*
1000 W Foothill Blvd
Glendora, CA 91741-1899
(626) 963-0323
www.citruscollege.edu

City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Ave
San Francisco, CA 94112-1898
(415) 239-3000
www.ccsf.edu

Clovis Community College*
10309 North Willow Ave
Fresno, CA 93730
(559) 325-5200
www.cloviscollege.edu

Coastline Community College
11460 Warner Ave
Fountain Valley, CA 92708-2597
(714) 546-7600
www.coastline.edu

College of Marin
835 College Ave
Kentfield, CA 94904-2590
(415) 457-8811
www.marin.edu

College of San Mateo
1700 W Hillsdale Blvd
San Mateo, CA 94402-3784
(650) 574-6161
www.collegeofsanmateo.edu

College of the Canyons
26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd
Santa Clarita, CA 91355-1899
(661) 259-7800
www.canyons.edu

College of the Desert
43-500 Monterey Ave
Palm Desert, CA 92260
(760) 346-8041
www.collegeofthedesert.edu

College of the Sequoias
915 S Mooney Blvd
Visalia, CA 93277-2214
(559) 730-3700
www.cos.edu

College of the Siskiyous
800 College Ave
Weed, CA 96094
(530) 938-5555
www.siskiyous.edu

Columbia College
11600 Columbia College Dr
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 588-5100
www.gocolumbia.edu

Compton College
1111 East Artesia Blvd
Compton, CA 90221-5393
(310) 900-1600
www.compton.edu

Contra Costa College
2600 Mission Bell Dr
San Pablo, CA 94806
(510) 235-7800
www.contracosta.edu

Cosumnes River College
8401 Center Pkwy
Sacramento, CA 95823-5799
(916) 688-7344
www.crc.losrios.edu

Cuesta College*
Highway 1
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-8106
(805) 546-3100
www.cuesta.edu

Cuyamaca College
900 Rancho San Diego Pkwy
El Cajon, CA 92019
(619) 660-4000
www.cuyamaca.edu

Cypress College*
9200 Valley View
Cypress, CA 90630-5897
(714) 484-7000
www.cypresscollege.edu

Diablo Valley College
321 Golf Club Rd
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
(925) 685-1230
www.dvc.edu

East Los Angeles College
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez
Monterey Park, CA 91754-6099
(323) 265-8650
www.elac.edu

El Camino Community College District
16007 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90506
(310) 532-3670
www.elcamino.edu

Evergreen Valley College
3095 Yerba Buena Rd
San Jose, CA 95135-1598
(408) 274-7900
www.evc.edu

Feather River Community College District
570 Golden Eagle Ave
Quincy, CA 95971-9124
(530) 283-0202
www.frc.edu

Foothill College
12345 El Monte Rd
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
(650) 949-7777
foothill.edu

Fresno City College*
1101 E University Ave
Fresno, CA 93741
(559) 442-4600
www.fresnocitycollege.edu

Fullerton College
321 E Chapman Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832-2095
(714) 992-7000
www.fullcoll.edu

Gavilan College*
5055 Santa Teresa Blvd
Gilroy, CA 95020
(408) 848-4800
www.gavilan.edu

Golden West College
15744 Goldenwest St
Huntington Beach, CA 92647-2710
(714) 892-7711
www.goldenwestcollege.edu

Grossmont College
8800 Grossmont College Dr
El Cajon, CA 92020-1799
(619) 644-7000
www.grossmont.edu

Humphreys University*
6650 Inglewood Ave
Stockton, CA 95207-3896
(209) 478-0800
www.humphreys.edu

Imperial Valley College
380 E. Aten Rd
Imperial, CA 92251-0158
(760) 352-8320
www.imperial.edu

Irvine Valley College
5500 Irvine Center Dr
Irvine, CA 92618-0301
(949) 451-5100
www.ivc.edu

Lake Tahoe Community College
One College Dr
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 541-4660
www.ltcc.edu

La Positas College
3000 Campus Hill Dr
Livermore, CA 94551-7650
(925) 424-1000
www.laspositascollege.edu

Lassen Community College
478-200 Hwy 139
Susanville, CA 96130
(530) 257-6181
www.lassencollege.edu

Long Beach City College*
4901 E. Carson St
Long Beach, CA 90808-1706
(562) 938-4111
www.lbcc.edu

Los Angeles Trade Technical College
400 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90015-4181
(213) 763-7000
www.lattc.edu

Los Angeles Valley College
5800 Fulton Ave
Valley Glen, CA 91401-4096
(818) 947-2600
www.lavc.edu

Mendocino College
1000 Hensley Creek Rd
Ukiah, CA 95482
(707) 468-3000
www.mendocino.edu

Merced College
3600 M St
Merced, CA 95348-2806
(209) 384-6000
www.mccd.edu

MiraCosta College
1 Barnard Dr
Oceanside, CA 92056-3899
(760) 757-2121
www.miracosta.edu

Modesto Junior College
435 College Ave
Modesto, CA 95350-5800
(209) 575-6550
www.mjc.edu

Monterey Peninsula College
980 Fremont St
Monterey, CA 93940-4799
(831) 646-4000
www.mpc.edu

Moorpark College
7075 Campus Rd
Moorpark, CA 93021-1695
(805) 378-1400
www.moorparkcollege.edu

Moreno Valley College
16130 Lasselle St
Moreno Valley, CA 92551
(951) 571-6100
www.mvc.edu

Mount Saint Mary’s University*
12001 Chalon Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1599
(310) 954-4000
www.msmu.edu

Mt. San Antonio College
1100 N Grand Ave
Walnut, CA 91789-1399
(909) 594-5611
www.mtsac.edu

Mt. San Jacinto Community College District
1499 N State St
San Jacinto, CA 92583-2399
(951) 487-3002
www.msjc.edu

Norco College
2001 Third St
Norco, CA 92860
(951) 372-7000
www.norcocollege.edu

Orange Coast College*
2701 Fairview Rd
Costa Mesa, CA 92628-5005
(714) 432-5072
www.orangecoastcollege.edu

Oxnard College
4000 S Rose Ave
Oxnard, CA 93033-6699
(805) 986-5800
www.oxnardcollege.edu

Pacific Union College*
One Angwin Ave
Angwin, CA 94508-9707
(707) 965-6313
www.puc.edu

Palomar College
1140 W. Mission
San Marcos, CA 92069-1487
(760) 744-1150
www.palomar.edu

Pasadena City College
1570 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106-2003
(626) 585-7123
www.pasadena.edu

Reedley College*
995 N Reed Ave
Reedley, CA 93654
(559) 638-0300
www.reedleycollege.edu

Riverside City College
4800 Magnolia Ave
Riverside, CA 92506
(951) 222-8000 x8979
www.rcc.edu

Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95822-1386
(916) 558-2111
www.scc.losrios.edu

Saddleback College*
28000 Marguerite Pkwy
Mission Viejo, CA 92692-3635
(949) 582-4500
www.saddleback.edu

San Bernardino Valley College
701 South Mount Vernon Ave
San Bernardino, CA 92410-2798
(909) 384-4400
www.valleycollege.edu

San Diego City College
1313 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101-4787
(619) 388-3400
www.sdcity.edu

San Diego Mesa College
7250 Mesa College Dr
San Diego, CA 92111-4998
(619) 388-2600

Teacher Credential Program Overview

As of 2019, there are approximately 250 institutions throughout California that offer teacher credential programs, ranging from the certificate to graduate degree level. The programs typically require a combination of coursework and practical fieldwork as a public school student teacher. While the student teaching program is conducted on site, some schools offer students the opportunity to complete their courses online. This is an excellent option for students living in rural areas or who do not have time to travel to the school. Take a look below to learn about four schools which offer online teacher credential programs.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education offers an online Master of Arts in Teaching program that gives students the opportunity to receive a teacher credential recommendation. Prospective students can choose to enroll in the elementary school Multiple Subject Teaching concentration or one of the secondary school concentrations (English, mathematics, social science, science). Each program includes coursework and practical field experience that cover four broad areas: foundations, language and literacy, teaching methods, and field experience and capstone portfolio. The program requires a minimum of 28 credits and can be completed in one to three years.

California State University

CSU’s state-wide CalStateTEACH program is a Multiple Subject program that combines online coursework with student teaching in a local classroom. The program requires students to complete 15 semester units over one to three years. Students have three credentialing pathways in the program: student teaching, intern teacher, and employed private teacher. All pathways require fieldwork as a student teacher in a public school as part of the program.

Pacific Oaks College

Students at Pacific Oaks College have online teacher credential program options at the certificate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. The school offers three Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree options: elementary education, elementary and special education, and human development with a Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. The B.A. degrees require a minimum of 120 credits and include fieldwork as a student teacher. At the master’s degree level, students can choose between a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Special Education or a M.A.T. in Elementary Education. Both programs require 43 credits to complete, including student teaching. A standalone Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential certificate is available for those who already have a bachelor’s degree. This program requires 37 credits of coursework and student teaching fieldwork.

Concordia University – Irvine

At Concordia University in Irvine, students who already possess a degree can enroll in the teacher credential program, which combines online coursework and student teaching. There are four credential program options: single subject, multiple subject, mild-moderate teaching, and clear induction. The school offers the single subject credential in several areas, including English, mathematics, music, science, social science, and art. Courses last 7-15 weeks and students are required to complete one public school semester of student teaching, which typically lasts 18 weeks.

Teacher Credential Resources

There are several steps you need to take to become a teacher in California besides completing a teacher credential program in an accredited school, including student teaching and successfully completing a teacher credentialing exam for your chosen area of expertise from special education to secondary education. Study.com has the resources you need to discover how to prepare for the appropriate exams and become a teacher in California:

  • How to Become a Teacher in California Online
  • Prepare for your CSET/CBEST Exams
  • RICA Exam: Test Prep & Practice

Expert Contributor: Martha Maurno Martha has an MS in Education and experience teaching HS, college, and as an academic advisor. She specializes in online instruction & education.

Fast Track Teacher Certification California

California Alternative Teacher Certification

There are several alternative pathways to becoming a certified teacher in California. Regardless of the pathway, however, all candidates must meet California’s basic skills requirements for reading, writing, and mathematics and either take a course on the US Constitution or pass an examination proving adequate knowledge. All candidates must also complete an application for a teaching credential and submit the necessary form for a criminal background check. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing oversees all requirements for teacher certification, both through traditional and alternative pathways.

free teaching credential program california

All of the means for acquiring a teaching credential in California start with the interested candidate earning a bachelor’s degree and passing exams. Some options have fewer exams than others, which could make these routes less expensive. Find out more about the requirements and options below.

Education RequiredBachelor’s degree
Exam RequirementsVaries
Certification Renewal PeriodVaries
Average Salary (2019)$63,700 (teachers in CA)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)8% (teachers nationally)**

Sources: *Salary.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Credential Options in California

The type of credential relevant to an interested candidate is dependent on what level of education they wish to teach. Candidates interested in teaching elementary school must obtain the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential while candidates interested in teaching high school must obtain the Single Subject Teaching Credential. Candidates interested in becoming special education teachers need to acquire the Education Specialist Instruction Credential. Within these options there are multiple pathways to obtaining certification, all with different price points.

Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

Candidates who are interested in this credential have several options within this route. These include going to a college or university along with work experience, Peace Corps experience, and various internship programs. Based on the information available, the exams that must be taken and passed are all the same, making these routes similar in price. One would just have to determine if gaining work experience could be beneficial for paying for college costs.

Single Subject Teaching Credential

This route has similar options to the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. These options include college or university attendance, internship programs, and work experience. The Early Completion Intern Option lists an additional exam than the other options, and so may be more costly.

Education Specialist Instruction Credential

Earning this credential can be done by attending a college or university and completing internship programs. There could be a number of exams to pass for special education teachers, based on a number of different specialties, so this option could be the most expensive.

General Cost of Education

Because all of the options require earning a bachelor’s degree, the cheapest way to attain a teaching credential in California could start with finding an affordable degree program at an accredited college or university. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost for in-state residents for a four-year degree program at a public university in California was $22,081, inclusive of room and board for the 2017-2018 academic year. Without room and board, the cost was $8,020. Out-of-state residents paid $29,173 for tuition and fees at a 4-year public university in California. The total cost of attending private school in the state averaged $47,410 for the same year. Without room and board, tuition and fees averaged $33,483.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

The basic qualification for alternative teacher certification is a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a teachable subject. Those who are interested in teaching a specific subject must verify knowledge of the subject matter. Verification of subject matter knowledge is done by passing the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET). Those interested in teaching in self-contained classrooms (grades K-8) must also verify content area knowledge by passing the appropriate CSET exams. The CSET exams are typically taken after completing a teacher preparation program, though some programs may require candidates to sit for the exams prior to admittance.SPONSORED SCHOOL(S)

logo for Walden University

Walden UniversityFeatured Program(s): BS in Elementary Education, MS in Education (Accelerated) – Teacher Leadership, Doctor of Education (EdD) – Curriculum, Instruction & AssessmentRequest Info

logo for Liberty University

Liberty UniversityFeatured Program(s): Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Bachelor of Science in Special Education – Interdisciplinary Studies, Master of Arts in Teaching – Elementary EducationRequest Info

logo for Post University

Post UniversityFeatured Program(s): Associate of Science – Early Childhood Education, Bachelor of Science – Child Studies, Master of EducationRequest Info

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in California

There are several different alternative pathways a candidate can take to achieve certification in California. These include through a university internship program, a school internship program, teaching at a private school, or the Peace Corps. More information about each of these options can be found through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

University Intern or District Intern Credential

Internship programs allow hopeful new teachers to work in the classroom, gaining practical experience while completing coursework in a teacher preparation program. Whether working through a state-approved university or public school (district) internship program, all credential-through-internship applicants must have already completed a bachelor’s degree, passed the California basic skills test, and met the fingerprinting and background clearance requirements. Candidates must also pass the appropriate subject assessments for the subject(s) to be taught, and complete an appropriate course or exam in the US Constitution. Those pursuing this pathway are expected to complete all requirements for a professional certificate within two years; a one-time, one-year hardship extension may be requested.

Credentialing Through Private School Experience

Not all private schools require teachers to be certified through the state. Those with at least three years of experience in private school classrooms may apply for public school teacher credentialing with the state and have the student teaching component waived. Those candidates with six or more years of classroom experience may have the teacher preparation program requirement waived entirely.

Credentialing Through the Peace Corps

Applicants for California teacher credentialing who served at least 18 months in the Peace Corps may be eligible to teach while working towards meeting the teacher preparation program requirement. Candidates must have spent at least 50% of the Peace Corps experience in a classroom setting and must meet all other requirements for credentialing, including holding a bachelor’s degree, satisfying the basic skills requirement, meeting English language skills and reading requirements, and completing a course or exam in the US Constitution, as well as passing the appropriate subject matter exams. Once issued, the certificate is valid for up to five years as the candidate completes an approved teacher preparation program in order to qualify for a standard teaching license.

Sojourn Certificate

Individuals who are academically qualified to teach a foreign language or culture through completion of a college-level program in a foreign country may be eligible for the Sojourn Certificate. In addition to meeting education requirements, individuals must have taught within a foreign country within the past year, satisfy the basic skills requirement, receive an employment offer from a California school district, and pass a background check. If issued, the Sojourn Certificate allows the holder to teach a foreign language as they work towards meeting standard teacher certification requirements.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

For teachers holding an out-of-state certificate, there are options for reciprocity in California. These applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, meet California’s basic skills requirement, and have an active teaching credential that is considered comparable to California’s. For more information on reciprocity, see our guide to reciprocity or the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing website.