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Sonoma State University


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Teaching Credential

Generally speaking, in order to teach in a public school at the elementary, middle, or secondary levels in California, you will need an appropriate teaching credential. The Education department offers numerous programs to train students in teaching at these levels, as well as in special education. The department also offers service credentials in administration and school counseling, as well as Master's and doctoral degrees.

Students generally choose between three credential options, and must show subject matter competence in the area they choose:

  • Single subject (enables you to teach a single subject, usually in middle or high school)
  • Multiple subject (enables you to teach in a self-contained classroom, usually in elementary school)
  • Special education (enables you to teach special education in elementary, middle, or high school)

Each credential program has different prerequisites. If you're at SSU you should try to take the prereqs during your junior and senior years. You will also need at least 45 hours of documented experience in working with children or adolescents before you enter the credential program.

If you're a student at SSU, the department offers suggestions for planning a course of study to lead you to the prerequisite courses for your teaching credential. The Guide for First Year Students is a six-step guide explaining the options and the steps to take. There is also a Freshman Interest Group (FIG) for incoming first year students interested in teaching.

The department provides these guides to obtaining these credentials:

For more information see the Education department website. Students who have already received their bachelor's degree and would like to earn their teaching certificate at SSU may do so by applying as a post-baccalaureate student via CSUMentor.

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