Feb 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

How to Become a Teacher

A California teaching credential is a license to teach in California public schools. A single subject credential is primarily for those who intend to teach in a designated subject area at the secondary (high school) or middle school level. A multiple subject credential is primarily for those intending to teach multiple subjects in the elementary or middle school level. The Education Specialist Credential is for individuals who want to become special educators.

A description of the different options is outlined on these pages. The process, requirements, and application materials are described in detail on each program’s website.

Preparation and Tests

Credential Undergraduate Preparation Tests Postbaccalaureate Preparation
Pre-School Consult Child and Adolescent Development department None None
Elementary (TK-8) Preparation to teach in any TK-8 grade in one of the following programs is strongly recommended-Child and Adolescent Development, Creative Arts, Environmental Studies, Liberal Studies, Natural Science, or Social Science CBEST, CSET for Multiple Subject or equivalent Multiple Subject Credential program
High School Complete a Single Subject Matter Preparation program or pass CSET CBEST or equivalent Single Subject Credential program
Special Education Complete a Multiple or Single Subject Matter Preparation program and/or demonstrate subject matter competence by CSET CBEST or equivalent Education Specialist Credential Program
Bilingual/ESL Authorization (Grades K-12)   CBEST, CSET or equivalent and Language Proficiency via the CSET LOTE III Test in Spanish Multiple Subject Teaching Credential program with Bilingual Authorization
College Complete a major in the subject that you want to teach Consult major department PhD (or MA/MS for some community colleges)

Becoming an Elementary School Teacher

  1. Seek Subject Matter Preparation 
    As an undergraduate student consider one of the following programs to strengthen your preparation: 
  2. Apply for Admission to the Multiple Subject Credential  Program
    • Applications to the Credential Program are accepted for Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.
    • Requirements include:
    • Admission to Graduate Studies at San José State University
    • Grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or above (undergraduate or last 60/90 calculation)
    • Passing score on California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) or equivalent
    • Pre-professional experience in a K-8 public school setting. This requirement can be met either through fieldwork hours completed as part of a college course, experience in a K-8 classroom, or a combination of the above. Experience observing/assisting or teaching in a Title 1 or “low performing” school is encouraged. Experience in a private school setting or at the preschool level cannot be included as part of the 45-hour minimum for pre-professional experience.
    • Passing score on California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subject Tests or equivalent
    • Completion of a CalState Apply application
    • Submission of transcripts from all colleges attended outside of SJSU.
  3. Complete all requirements for the Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential  as listed below.

    • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and program. Bachelor’s degree must be granted on the same day or after university graduation.
    • Prerequisites: Certificate of Clearance for personal and professional fitness
    • Foundations: EDTE 224  and EDTE 208  
    • Dual language: EDTE 262  
    • Curriculum: EDEL 108A EDEL 108B EDEL 108C  and EDEL 108D  
    • Student teaching: EDEL 143A  and EDEL 143B , including EDTE 260  
    • In addition, before or during the program, students must take and pass EDTE 190  or its equivalent
    • *Program completers must also take and pass -
      • The Reading Instruction Competence assessment (RICA)
      • CalTPA (California Teaching Performance Assessment)
      • Satisfaction of the U.S. Constitution requirement
      • Level I Technology requirement
      • CPR - Adult, Child, Infant
    • When ready, candidates should visit Credential Services to review requirements for the Multiple Subject Credential  application process.

    • Employed teachers need to continue professional development for the advanced credential following completion of the Preliminary Credential. To meet the requirements for the advanced teaching credential check with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) at www.ctc.ca.gov.

Becoming a Secondary School Teacher

  1. Complete a Single Subject Matter Preparation Program
    Programs with asterisks (*) are majors that are fully compliant with the requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Students in other majors may have to take the California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET). See your department advisor for your particular course of study.
Major Credential
Art Art
Biology* Science: Biological Sciences
Chemistry* Science: Chemistry
Earth Science* Science: Geosciences
Economics Social Science
English* English
French World Language: French
Geography Social Science
History Social Science
Japanese World Language: Japanese
Journalism English
Kinesiology Kinesiology
Mandarin World Language: Mandarin
Mathematics* Mathematics
Meteorology* Science: Physics
Music Music
Physical Education Kinesiology
Physics* Science: Physics
Political Science Social Science
Social Sciences Social Science
Spanish World Language: Spanish
Speech Communication English
Theatre Arts English

Students who have completed or wish to complete another major may consult with the teacher preparation advisor from one of the listed programs to determine possible equivalence to Single Subject Matter Competency.

  1. Apply for Admission to the Single Subject Credential  Program
    Applications to the Credential Program are accepted for both Fall and Spring semesters. Visit the program website at www.sjsu.edu/teachered for information on how to apply. Please note that the process of meeting application requirements can take several months to complete, so plan ahead.
  2. Complete a Professional Preparation Program leading to a single subject credential. Requirements include:

    Non-renewable, valid for a maximum of five years.

Becoming a Special Education Teacher

  1. Apply for admission to the Education Specialist Preliminary Teaching Credential: Early Childhood Special Education Education Specialist Preliminary Teaching Credential: Mild/Moderate Support Needs Education Specialist Preliminary Teaching Credential: Extensive Support Needs  . Requirements include:
    • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and program.
    • Admission to San José State University.
    • Grade Point average (GPA) of 2.75, or better.
    • Passing score on the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) or other approved method to meet the Basic Skills Requirement.
    • Passing score on any of the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (or other approved method to meet Subject Matter Competency).
    • Satisfaction of the Constitution requirement.
    • Completion of 45 hours of verifiable, supervised experience with children in an instructional setting
    • Completion of Department of Special Education  materials in Quadrant 4 of CSU Apply including two letters of professional recommendation.
  2. Complete a Professional Preparation Program leading to the Educational Specialist Credential
    To be endorsed for the credential, the following requirements apply to all options:

    • Satisfied all course requirements for the credential option (see Special Education  section of the Catalog).
    • Grades of “B” or better in all credential courses/GPA of 3.0
    • Proof of competence in Reading Instruction by passing the RICA, unless having a valid California Multiple Subject Credential  or Single Subject Credential .
    • Satisfactory Dispositions Evaluations