Early Field Experience

On this page: Learn about the Early Field Experience (EFE) Preliminary Credential Admissions Requirement.

Preliminary Credential Admissions Requirements - Early Field Experience Requirement

Contact our advisors at [email protected] if you have specific questions about your past early field experience.

What is Early Field Experience (EFE)?

All candidates must successfully complete a volunteer or paid observation and participation in a “regular” classroom (not a Special Ed class or after school program) in a public school within the past 7 years. The purpose is to get you into a classroom to see what a “day in the life of a teacher” is really about.

This requirement must be COMPLETE and may NOT be in progress when you submit your credential program application (unless being completed as a course during the Spring semester).

Options for Completing This Requirement

There are several ways to complete this experience:

You must complete 45 hours of observation in public California classrooms on your own in the grade level (s) and subject(s) in which you plan to teach. You would need to upload a completed “Early Field Experience” verification page to your Program application.

Note: If you have any teaching experience outside the classroom within the past 7 years (such as tutoring, coaching, international teaching experience, private teaching experience),  these hours can count for up to 15 of the 45 required hours.

Please include a letter or note in your application to document the completion of these hours in addition to the EFE Verification Form for the other 30 hours that would be required.

Applicants can take coursework that has a fieldwork component in lieu of turning in an EFE Verification page.  When completing this requirement as a class, only 30 hours of observation are required as most classes only require 30 hours of observation.  You will also be attending class meetings to talk about your observations, so we unofficially use those hours to make up the difference.

SDSU Students: The following courses may be used to fulfill this requirement:

  • Multiple Subjects: ED 200 or LS 300
  • Single Subject: BIOL 452 (Biology), TE 362 (Social Science) or TE 362 (3 unit section only)*
  • Music Education majors automatically meet the requirement
  • Art 386A and B for Art candidates only
School/Institution EFE Course Equivalent
CSU Bakersfield EDTE 300
CSU Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo EDUC 300, LS 230/250; SCM 300 (Science candidates only)
CSU Chico EDTE 255
CSU Dominguez Hills MAT 489
CSU Fresno EHD 50
CSU Fullerton EDEL 315, EDSC 310
CSU Humboldt EED 210/310, SED 210
CSU Long Beach EDSS 300A
CSU San Francisco State EED 603, ENG 417/419 (English candidates only)
CSU San Marcos EDUC 350
CSU Sonoma State EDUC 250, LIBS 312
Cuyamaca College ED 200
Grossmont College ED 200, Math 177 (Math candidates only)
Palomar College ED 200
San Diego Community Colleges (City, Mesa & Miramar) ED 200 and 203
Southwestern College ED/ENGL 200
UC San Diego (UCSD) EDS 136/139; EDS 128A/139

If you have completed one of the courses above, enter the information in the Program application and you have satisfied the EFE requirement.

*If you took TE 362 (1 unit) or (2 unit) and you completed 30 hours in the schools, just upload your log sheet to your Program application. You do not need to take additional TE 362 classes. If you didn't complete 30 hours in the schools, then complete the additional hours by using our EFE verification page and submit logs and verification pages to verify the 30 hour requirement.

If you have taken a course that you believe fulfills this requirement but is not included in the listing above, you may petition to have it approved. Complete the Request for Adjustment of Credential Requirements Form (PDF) and email this completed form along with the course syllabus to [email protected] for faculty review.

If you already hold a Bachelor's degree, you can use substitute teaching to meet this requirement (instead of the EFE Verification Form, you would upload copies of your pay stubs showing 45 hours completed).

The College of Education Office of Student Services (EBA 259) has a scanner available (free of charge) and can help you with this process.