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Alternative Pathways

Most people wanting to become a teacher earn their credential through a typical credential program as described in these Webpages on becoming a teacher. However, there are a few students who desire and qualify for alternative pathways to a credential.

Private School Teachers

If you have been a teacher at a regionally accredited private school for more than 3 years, you may want to take advantage of recent legislation which allows you to earn your credential without completing a full teacher education program.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) has several requirements that must be satisfied.

Read CTC requirements

Early Completion Internship Option

Recent legislation has provided an option for candidates currently employed in a public school to earn their full teaching credential without completing an entire teacher preparation program.

The early completion option provides individuals who have the requisite skills and knowledge, and have passed the Teaching Foundations Examination offered by National Evaluations Systems, have met subject matter competence either by coursework or by passing the appropriate CSET, and have a full-time teaching contract with a school district to teach in a classroom appropriate for the subject(s) listed on their credential, to work with an accredited teaching internship program to complete a performance assessment.

View updated information

Internship Program

Most candidates for the multiple or single subject credential enter programs in which they complete final, directed student teaching. These students work under the guidance of an experienced master teacher over the course of an entire semester in which they are not paid. The internship program is an alternative to the traditional student teaching program. It is not meant to be the typical route for the majority of candidates.

Internship programs were established by the state of California to achieve two goals:

  • to meet the needs of school districts, and
  • to meet the needs of mature individuals with exceptional experience with children and youth and with expertise in the content area designated by the credential.

Candidates in internships must have passed the CSET or hold a subject matter waiver (single subject credential candidates only) from a university accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and must have met the political science requirement.

In addition to fulfilling the regular requirements for admission to either the multiple or single subject credential program, the intern candidate must meet the additional requirements listed below:

  1. Submit an additional application to the internship program.
  2. Complete a second admission interview with the program director.
  3. Submit verification of an offer of employment from a school district for a teaching position that is appropriate for the credential the candidate is working toward.
  4. Complete a minimum of 120 hours of coursework and field experience prior to being recommended for the intern credential. Contact the program director for more information regarding this requirement.

The internship program best serves those mature individuals who are able to tie theory and practice together in on-the-job preparation for the professional career. Districts generally hire interns in credential areas that are underserved by credentialed teachers, such as special education, mathematics and science. Interns complete credential courses while teaching independently as a salaried teacher.

In addition, students who enter the student teaching program are sometimes offered internships after they complete their first full-time semester in the program. In such cases, and with strong recommendations from their program advisor and university mentor, these students change from the student teaching option to the intern option and complete their credential in the intern program.