Which Schools Offer Teaching Certificates in California?

Find out which schools in California offer teaching certificate programs. See program requirements and school information, and learn about the job prospects and salary information for a teaching career in California. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

If you're interested in pursuing a teaching career, you can enroll in a bachelor's degree, master's degree or graduate certificate program in California; you can usually narrow down your field of study, too, such as in elementary education, for example. These programs prepare you to earn a teaching certificate, required for employment. Prerequisite coursework is typically required to apply. Programs usually include classroom lectures and field work; online learning may be an option in some cases. Read on for more information about your education options.


Bachelor's Degree and Teaching Credential Programs in California

Concordia University

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts
  • Field of Study Options: Elementary, secondary or special education
  • Program Length: 4 years, full time
  • Tuition: $13,350 per semester (2011-2012)
  • Prerequisites: Minimum GPA of 2.7, completion of introduction to teaching careers I and either introduction to teaching careers II or introduction to teaching special populations with minimum grade of B- for eligibility to participate in field experience
  • Admission Requirements: Health clearance certificate, college transcripts, California Basic Educational Skills Test scores, two letters of recommendation, approval from dean of students and School of Education faculty and dean, interview with School of Education faculty advisor and recommendation from same
  • School Type: 4-year, private; about 1,600 undergraduate and 1,600 graduate students
  • Address: 1530 Concordia West, Irvine, CA 92612
  • Phone: (949) 854-8002

This school allows you to study credential and degree courses concurrently. At this school, if you plan to teach at the elementary school level or to teach a variety of subjects at the junior high school level, you must complete the coursework for a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies. This program prepares you to acquire the multiple subjects credential. To teach high school or a single subject in a junior high setting, the school requires you to pick a major from the options of exercise sport science, English, chemistry, math, political science, art, biology, history and music. This requirement is so that you are prepared to earn the single subject teaching credential.

Pacific Oaks College

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education
  • Field of Study Options: Preliminary multiple subject credential or dual credential
  • Program Length: 60-65 credits beyond prerequisites, depending on the option chosen
  • Tuition: $736 per credit (2012-2013)
  • Prerequisites: An associate's degree or completion of 60 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0 from an accredited school
  • Admission Requirements: Essay, transcripts and summary of work and volunteer experience
  • School Type: 4-year, private; about 180 undergraduate and 420 graduate students
  • Address: 5 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, CA 91103
  • Phone: (877) 314-2380

These education programs at Pacific Oaks College are bachelor's degree-completion programs that require you to have completed at least 60 credits before seeking admission. Courses are available onsite and online. In addition to coursework, you complete a six-credit-hour supervised practicum. You can combine the degree program with a teaching credential program or complete a teaching credential program alone.


Master's Degree and Teaching Credential Programs in California

Concordia University

  • Program Name: Combined Credential and Master of Education Program
  • Field of Study Options: Single subject, multiple subject or special education credential
  • Program Length: 46 credits
  • Tuition: $500 per credit (2011-2012)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.25
  • Admission Requirements: California Basic Educational Skills Test, proof of competency in subject matter, essay, two references, resume, certificate of clearance and statement of intent
  • School Type: 4-year, private; about 1,600 undergraduate and 1,600 graduate students
  • Address: 1530 Concordia West, Irvine, CA 92612
  • Phone: (949) 854-8002

This program requires you to complete two core courses about educational research methods and analysis and brain-based teaching and learning. You also complete a capstone course and a student teaching experience. Elective classes cover topics like coping with stress and violence in the classroom, curriculum design, classroom management and fostering learning through health.

Pacific Oaks College

  • Program Name: Master of Arts in Education
  • Field of Study Options: Preliminary education specialist credential; multiple subject credential
  • Program Length: 2.5 years
  • Tuition: $938 per credit (2012-2013)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Admission Requirements: Essay, transcripts, summary of work and volunteer experience; letter of recommendation is needed if undergraduate GPA is below 2.5
  • School Type: 4-year, private; about 180 undergraduate and 420 graduate students
  • Address: 5 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, CA 91103
  • Phone: (877) 314-2380

You must complete 50 credit hours of study in the preliminary education specialist credential program and 51 credit hours of study in the preliminary multiple subject credential program. Completion of the education specialist program allows you to teach disabled students in kindergarten through 12th grade and disabled adults up to the age of 22. Coursework for each option can be completed on campus or online.

University of San Francisco

  • Program Name: Preliminary California Multiple or Single Subject Teaching Credential Program with Master of Arts Degree
  • Field of Study Options: Teaching; teaching reading; teaching: urban education and social justice; digital media and learning; teaching English to speakers of other languages; Catholic school teaching; San Francisco teacher residency; undergraduate option
  • Program Length: 3-4 semesters
  • Tuition: $1,035 per credit for master's program and $860 per credit for credential program (summer 2012)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Admission Requirements: Statement of intent, California Basic Educational Skills Test, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, resume and proof of competence in subject matter
  • School Type: 4-year, private; about 6,000 undergraduate and 4,000 graduate students
  • Address: 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
  • Phone: (415) 422-6481

This program includes classroom instruction and field experience. Credits earned in the credential program can be applied to your Master of Arts in Teaching degree program. The school also offers an accelerated dual-degree program that allows you to earn your bachelor's and master's degrees while earning your teaching credential.


Graduate Credential Programs in California

Fresno Pacific University

  • Program Name: Clear Credential
  • Program Length: 3 semesters
  • Tuition: $460 per credit (2011-2012)
  • Prerequisites: Preliminary multiple- or single-subject credential
  • Admission Requirements: Statement of intent, orientation interview, three references and transcripts
  • School Type: 4-year, private; about 2,500 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students
  • Address: 1717 South Chestnut Avenue, Fresno, CA 93702
  • Phone: (559) 453-2016

This is an online program for teachers who already have a preliminary multiple- or single-subject credential not working in a school district with a clear credential induction program. You start this program with an online orientation before progressing to studying goals, teaching English learners and teaching special populations.


California Teacher Certification Requirements

To teach in a preschool, elementary or secondary public school in California, you must receive a teaching credential from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Earning this credential is a two-step process. First, you earn a preliminary credential that lasts five years. Second, you earn your 'clear credential'. Requirements for the preliminary credential include possessing a bachelor's degree and completing a single- or multiple-subject teaching preparation program. Requirements for the clear credential include possessing a preliminary credential, being certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and completing a general education program approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Salary and Job Outlook for a Teaching Career

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2011 there were 149,090 elementary school teachers and 103,060 secondary school teachers in California who both earned an annual average salary of about $66,000. The BLS projected 17% increase, nationwide, in job opportunities for elementary school teachers and 7% growth for high school teachers during the 2010-2020 decade.

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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