Teaching Credential Programs

University Center for Teacher Education Services Center
Education Bldg. (02), Room 120
(805) 756-2126

The Teaching Credential Programs consist of coursework and field experiences, including student teaching, required to obtain the Preliminary and Professional Clear Multiple and Single Subject teaching credentials in California. Guideline s for all credentials are established by the State of California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), and are subject to change.

Cal Poly is authorized by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to prepare candidates and recommend for the following credentials:

Basic Credentials

(Preliminary and Professional Clear)

Multiple Subject Instruction (as commonly practiced in California elementary and middle schools)

Crosscultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD) Emphasis

Bilingual Crosscultural Language and Academic Development (BCLAD) Emphasis

Single Subject Instruction (as commonly practiced in California high schools and most junior high or middle schools)
English (and Speech Communication)
Home Economics
Life Science (Biology)
Physical Education
Physical Science (Chemistry and Physics)
Social Science (History and Political Science)

Advanced Credentials

Specialist Credentials (Clear)

Adapted Physical Education Specialist
Agriculture Specialist
Reading/Language Arts Specialist
Special Education
Learning Handicapped
Severely Handicapped

Services Credentials

Administrative Services (Preliminary and Professional Clear)
Pupil Personnel Services (School Counseling)

The teaching credential programs typically take four or five quarters to complete depending on completed prerequisites. Applications are accepted during specific periods at the beginning of each Fall, Winter and Spring quarters (for these dates contact the University Center for Teacher Education Services Center). Detailed information about other requirements can be found in the credential handbooks, "The Guide to the Multiple Subject, CLAD/BCLAD Credential Program" and "Single Subject Teaching Credenti al Handbook," which are available at the Services Center. Further information, requirements and procedures for entering a particular credential program may be obtained from the appropriate credential program adviser. The Master of Arts in Education sectio n of this catalog contains additional information regarding graduate degree programs which may coincide with credential programs.

Candidates for the single subject teaching credential in Agriculture or the Agricultural Specialist credential complete their preparation program through the Agricultural Education Department at Cal Poly. For further information or advisement students should communicate with the head of the Agricultural Education Department.


Cal Poly's Crosscultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD) and Bilingual Crosscultural Language and Academic Development (BCLAD) programs stress knowledge of language structure acquisition and development; methodologies for English language development and specially designed content instruction delivered in English; and general cultural concepts relevant to Education.

Additionally, BCLAD is designed to prepare teachers for bilingual classrooms. The BCLAD emphasis focuses on knowledge of bilingual teaching methodologies, the Latino culture, and proficiency in Spanish.

Multiple and Single Subject Teaching Credential Program

Admission Requirements

The requirements for admission to Cal Poly to pursue a Multiple Subject credential differ slightly from those for the Single Subject credential. Details concerning specific credential program admission requirements are available from the appropriate ad viser, and in the advisement handbook.

Admission to the university does not guarantee admission to the teacher education program.

Admission to the Teaching Credential Program - Step I

To enter the credential program and to identify additional requirements that must be completed prior to beginning student teaching, a "Step I" application is to be submitted at least two quarters before student teaching (not including summer quarte r). For most credential candidates this is done upon completion of the baccalaureate degree or during the first quarter of postbaccalaureate studies. Check with your credential program adviser and the credential handbook to be sure that all requirements a re completed.

Minimum Scholarship Standards for Admission to Teaching Credential Programs


Minimum GPA



Note: GPA's are subject to change.

Single Subjects:



Biological Sciences


Education/Physical Education


Home Economics (includes Child Development)


English (includes Speech)




Physical Sciences (includes Chemistry and Physics)


Social Sciences (includes History and Political Science)



Multiple Subjects 2.94

The candidate shall have a grade point average in the upper half of undergraduate students in the candidate's discipline division. The candidate's GPA shall be based on the cumulative work attempted at Cal Poly. In the absence of at least 45 quarter un its of work attempted at Cal Poly, the GPA shall be based on cumulative work attempted at all colleges and universities. It is the prerogative of the major department to require a GPA which exceeds the mandated minimum standard. These GPA's are subject to change.

Step I Requirements:

Refer to most recent student handbook for specifics.

Admission to Student Teaching - Step II

Student teaching consists of two consecutive quarters in public school classrooms, under the supervision of a cooperating teacher and a university supervisor. Application for student teaching assignments must be made by Monday of the fourth week of the quarter before one plans to student teach. Applicants must pass CBEST prior to receiving a student teaching assignment.

Multiple Subject student teaching consists of two full-time all day experiences with the student teacher gradually assuming responsibility for the class.

Single Subject student teaching involves a six unit and a twelve unit assignment. Six unit student teaching consists of a part-time (half day) experience in the classroom observing and teaching. Twelve unit student teaching consists of a full-ti me all day experience with the student teacher gradually assuming responsibility for the class.

Application for the Preliminary or Professional Clear Credential

Candidates for the California Single Subject teaching credential must verify competence in their teaching field by one of the following methods:

1. passing an appropriate examination(s) for the selected subject matter, or

2. completing an approved academic program of coursework (or its equivalent) in the selected subject matter area.

Upon completion of Cal Poly's Teaching Credential Program (Multiple or Single Subject) (or passing an appropriate examination (Single Subject)), each student must apply for his or her Preliminary or Professional Clear Credential. These applications are available through the University Center for Teacher Education Services Center and may be submitted as early as two weeks prior to completing the final credential requirements. See the credential handbooks for more information.

Professional Clear Credential - Fifth Year of Study

To qualify for the Professional Clear Multiple or Single Subject credential candidates must complete the following requirements beyond the Preliminary credential requirements. This is also referred to as the Fifth Year of Study.

Passing the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) is required for all credentials.

Minimum GPA Requirements

Students may enter the credential program as an undergraduate or as a postbaccalaureate candidate. The minimum GPA which must be maintained each quarter after admission to the program for undergraduate candidates is the same as their required admis sion GPA (see above table).

Postbaccalaureate candidates must maintain a 3.00 quarterly GPA. The required grade point averages must be maintained in both the professional education coursework (see Credential Program Handbook for specific courses) and all other coursework attempte d after admission to the credential program.


Advanced credential candidates must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better in all credential required coursework. Calculation of the grade point average will include grades received in all classes required for the credential, although only courses with A, B, or C grades will be counted to satisfy credential requirements.

Administrative Services

The Educational Administration program offers two credential programs, one leading to recommendation for the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, the second leading to recommendation for the Professional Administrative Services Credentia l (Credential program requirements will change January 1, 1997).

The preliminary program is designed to prepare candidates for the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential which authorizes service in any administrative position at any grade level. It requires 44 quarter units, most of which are applicable to t he Master of Arts degree with a Specialization in Educational Administration.

In consonance with the Master of Arts program, the credential program emphasizes a comprehensive knowledge of public school administration including applied theory of administration and leadership, schools in contemporary society, and effective managem ent related to educational outcomes.

The credential emphasizes applied theory with actual experience in fieldwork assignments and an evaluation of administrative competence as a basis for credential recommendation.

The professional credential program prepares candidates for the Professional Administrative Services Credential. The 1996-1997 program requires 36 quarter units of work, a minimum of 12 units of which must be advanced fieldwork, and 18 units must be ap propriate coursework. Candidates must hold a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential.

The program emphasizes advanced skill development in building-level or central office administration with emphasis on the job application of management skills.

For credential recommendation the candidate must, in addition to completing the program of study, have had two years of successful administrative experience and meet program competency review criteria.

For more information regarding this program, contact the Coordinator, Educational Administration program, University Center for Teacher Education.

Pupil Personnel Services

The Pupil Personnel Services Credential -- School Counseling is designed to prepare students for counseling and guidance positions in public and private schools in grades K-12. This program stresses applied theory and practical, direct experiences to prepare pupil personnel candidates. A low student-adviser ratio allows for personalized attention. The PPS Credential program has excellent fieldwork placements in K-12 public schools including career centers, continuation schools, and special classes. Required courses are generally offered in late afternoons and evenings.

For more information regarding this program, contact the Coordinator, Counseling and Guidance, University Center for Teacher Education.

Reading/Language Arts Specialist

The Reading/Language Arts Specialist Credential program is designed to supplement the basic multiple subject or single subject credential. The Reading/Language Arts Specialist Credential permits the holder to function as a Reading Supervisor, Readi ng Specialist or Reading Teacher in grades K-12. In order to qualify for admission to the program the candidate must hold a valid Multiple Subject or Single Subject Preliminary or Life Credential; and have completed a reading methods course or the equival ent. The Reading/Language Arts Specialist Credential program requires two years of full-time teaching experience and successful completion of a final assessment examination before the credential can be awarded.

For more information, contact the Coordinator, Reading/Language Arts, University Center for Teacher Education.

Special Education Specialist

The Special Education Specialist program is designed to prepare teachers for two advanced credentials: the Learning Handicapped Credential, and the Severely Handicapped Credential. These credentials enable the teacher to work with students ages 3-2 1, with mild, moderate and/or severe problems in a variety of settings. The unit requirement for the credential allows the full-time student to complete the requirements in one year. The Special Education program emphasizes a practical orientation to teac hing.

In order to be admitted to the program, a candidate must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, and should have a preliminary teaching credential that is valid in California. Applicants must also meet general personal and professio nal standards determined by an admission interview and recommendations. Generic courses are open to undergraduate students as per university guidelines.

Units for the Specialist Credential may be applied towards the requirements for a Clear Single or Multiple Subjects teaching credential. It is also possible for qualified students to complete the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Education while pursuing the Specialist Credential.

Learning Handicapped Specialist Credential

This program is designed to give students the competencies needed to teach mildly handicapped students ages 3-21. This program stresses practical skills across a wide variety of areas. The Learning Handicapped Specialist Credential may be combined with the Reading/Language Arts Specialist Credential.

Severely Handicapped Specialist Credential

This program is designed for those who wish to teach students ages 3-21 with severe handicaps including the trainable mentally retarded, severely emotionally disturbed, autistic, and multiple handicapped. The training emphasis is upon functional cu rriculum planning, integration into least restrictive environments, vocational preparation, and community living skills.

The Severely Handicapped Specialist Credential may be combined with the Learning Handicapped Specialist Credential.

For more information regarding this program, contact the Coordinator, Special Education, University Center for Teacher Education.

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