Guide for Graduate Students Interested in Teaching

Step 1: Decide what type of a teaching credential you would like to pursue.

Options are:

  • Single Subject (to teach a single subject, usually at High School and/or Middle School)
  • Multiple Subject (to teach in a self contained classroom, usually Elementary School)
  • Special Education (to teach as a Special Education teacher in Elementary School and/or High School/Middle School)

See handouts: Program descriptions for Single Subject, Multiple Subject and Education Specialist credentials)

Step 2: Prerequisites, Basic Skills and U.S. Constitution.

Each credential program has different pre-requisites. Check the appropriate program information sheet for the list of pre-requisites you need to take. You DO NOT need to be admitted into a credential program to take the pre-requisite courses. Prerequisites are offered Fall, Spring and usually summer session (depending on budget status).

The Basic Skills: Depending on the program you are seeking Basic Skills can be covered by one of two options. CBEST or CSET plus writing skills section. The exam is required of anyone who is pursuing a teaching credential. Take this exam as soon as you can.

Anyone pursuing a credential in California must take a U.S. Constitution exam or course. If you think you have already taken a course that meets the requirement, check with the credentials office to verify. If you need information about approved courses and/or where to take an exam, contact the credentials office.

(see handout: Program descriptions for SS, MS and Education Specialist credentials)

Step 3: Meet Subject Matter Competency.

The State of California requires that anyone pursuing a credential meets “subject matter competence”. This means that you have proven to the state that you know the subject area that you will be teaching. You can meet subject matter by either taking the appropriate exam (CSET) OR by having completed a subject matter preparation program through your B.A. If you are not sure if you completed a preparation program, check with your undergraduate institution or, for Single Subject candidates, you can have an SSU subject matter advisor review your transcripts.

(see handout: Undergraduate Pathways to Careers in Teaching, Program Descriptions)

Step 4: Seek experience working with children and/or adolescents.

It is important to explore teaching and work with children and/or adolescents in order to make an informed decision about pursuing a career in teaching.

EDUC 250 is a great class that provides experience in the classroom as well as a challenging curriculum that explores teaching. You DO NOT need to be admitted into a credential program to take this course.

(see handout: Opportunities to Explore Teaching)

Step 5: Research financial aid/scholarship opportunities.

Visit the SSU Scholarship Office in Stevenson Hall to find out about scholarships available for students pursuing a career in teaching. Visit the Credentials Office at Stevenson Hall 1078 for information about the APLE loan assumption program a specific assistance program for prospective teachers.

Step 6: Apply to the School of Education.

Make sure to complete the School of Education Application for Credential Programs AND the University Graduate Application. Check for applicable deadlines.