Pathways to Teaching
In order to teach in public schools in the state of California, you must have a bachelor’s degree and a teaching credential.
- What is a credential? Official certification to teach in public schools from the state in which it is obtained (credential requirements are different in each state; we will only reference requirements for the state of California).
- What is a teaching credential program? A professional training program all prospective teachers must complete before being authorized to obtain a credential and teach a certain grade level and/or subject. Credential programs take approximately one year to complete and, in California, are typically completed after obtaining a bachelor’s degree (post-baccalaureate).
CSUF offers three initial teaching credential programs (initial = for students with no previous teaching credentials):
- Multiple Subject Credential – authorizes an individual to teach multiple subjects to students in classrooms from transitional kindergarten through 8th grade (elementary through junior high school).
- Single Subject Credential – authorizes an individual to teach the specific subject named on the credential, such as English, Art, Mathematics, Physical Education, etc. (typically for junior high through high school).
- Education Specialist Credential – authorizes an individual to teach in the disability areas of specialization such as Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Moderate/Severe Disabilities and Early Childhood Education for students from birth through early adulthood.
Recommended Majors for Future Teachers
There is no Education or Teaching major at CSUF and students can major in any subject area to become a teacher. Please note, the following are just a few of the options to prepare for a credential. Please make an appointment with a CCT advisor to learn more and find the best fit for your career goals.
Elementary-JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL Teaching
Majors at CSUF that align well to prepare for the Multiple Subject Credential Program for elementary school teaching include Child & Adolescent Studies-Elementary School Settings, Liberal Studies-Elementary Education Plan or Human Services-Elementary Education track. However, you are not required to choose one of these majors to become an elementary school teacher. Our Advisors can help you create an academic plan that combines your interests and career goals.
JUNIOR High - HIGH SCHOOL Teaching
Majors at CSUF that align well to prepare for the Single Subject Credential Program for junior high or high school teaching are the same as the subject you wish to teach. For example, if you wish to be a math teacher, you should major in math. However, you can obtain a Single Subject Credential in the subject you wish to teach even if you don’t major in that subject.
Education Specialist Teaching
The recommended preparation to become an Education Specialist at the undergraduate level is based on the age group with which you wish to work. So if you plan to work with children with special needs in the elementary schools, you should select the majors that align with Elementary School teaching, as listed above. If you plan to work with children with special needs in the junior high or high schools, you should select the majors that align with Junior High/High School teaching, as listed above. If you plan to work with children with special needs in early childhood (birth - transitional kindergarten), you should focus on early childhood dvelopment in the Child & Adolescent Studies major. However, you are not required to choose one of these majors to become an special education teacher. Our Advisors can help you create an academic plan that combines your interests and career goals.