Virtual Info Session

College of Education Office for Student Success

This presentation, or Virtual Info Session, covers all of the content discussed at our face-to-face group sessions at San Diego State University (SDSU). Sessions include general information regarding requirements for applying to our Preliminary Credential programs including General Education, Bilingual or Special Education programs.

virtual classroom

Transcript of Spoken Word and Referenced Links


Hello and welcome my name is Jackie and I work as an advisor and recruiter in the College of Education at San Diego State University. During today's general session we will cover the basics of the preliminary teaching credential programs currently offered here at SDSU. A list of specific links will be located in the info box below. See referenced links below.

Overview (0:32)

Specifically, in today's presentation we will go over:

The CA Teaching Credential (0:58)

So what is the California teaching credential and who needs one?

First it is important to know that all credentials are regulated and issued by the California Commission on teacher credentialing also known as the CTC

CTC  issued credentials are required by law to teach in the K-12 public setting in the state of California.

California credentials are also often preferred by private and private charter schools.

All California issued preliminary credentials are English learner compliant and have high reciprocity to other states.

It is also important to know that preliminary teaching credentials are renewed within the first 5 years and this is known as professionally clearing your credential. There are many ways to complete this and range from working with the district you are employed in to returning to an institution such as SDSU.

Preliminary Credentials @ SDSU (1:58)

The preliminary credentials currently offered at SDSU are

  • The multiple subject credential for Elementary School teaching
  • The single subject credential for middle Or High School teaching
  • The bilingual multiple or single subject credential teaching in Spanish
  • Credentials in special education

Preliminary Credential Program Format at SDSU (2:22)

All SDSU preliminary credential programs are stand-alone programs and do not include a master's degree. For students who wish to earn a master's degree we recommend first earning your teaching credential and then returning to SDSU for an education-related Master's program.

Traditionally, most students complete our preliminary credential programs in 2 semesters or 1 Academic Year.  There are opportunities in some of the programs for a 3 or 4 semester options.

The SDSU Credential programs are currently only offered in a face-to-face, in-person format and tend to be very full-time. SDSU credential programs require weekday student teaching at a public school within the SDSU service area and weeknight in-person coursework on the SDSU campus.

Admitted students are grouped together in cohorts (sometimes called blocks) of 25-30 and led by a faculty advisor.
Please visit the individual cohort/block pages for detailed information on each of the different blocks, such as the schools each block student teaches in.

Sample Schedule (3:40)

As noted, the program schedule is full-time and does not offer a lot of room for employment or other outside obligations. 
Here are some sample schedules from our STE SS program to help you get an understanding of what a typical credential students’ day may look like:

Graphic description: on the left is a sample fall semester schedule with Monday through Friday occupied with student teaching hours 8 am to noon, and various courses occupying the Tuesday through Thursday evening hours. On the right is a sample spring semester schedule with Monday through Friday occupied with student teaching hours 7 am to 3 pm, and various courses occupying the Tuesday through Thursday evening hours. 

As you can see from these sample schedules, it would be very difficult to hold a full-time job while in a 2-semester program. The 3-semester schedule offers a little more flexibility for part-time work or substantial dependent care.

Please note, this is just a sample and schedules are not finalized until the summer before the program begins.

24 Hours in the Life of a Credential Student (4:30)

The SDSU faculty have created a program format that gives you the most comprehensive teacher training in the shortest amount of time possible. The trade-off for this excellent teacher preparation are the 2-semesters you spend fully immersed in your future profession.

Take it from this former credential student who, when asked what their credential program experience was like, drew this pie chart.

Graphic description: a pie chart divided into 3 equal sections. One section assigns 8 hours for sleep, another section assigns 8 hours for class or student teaching, and the last section assigns 8 hours for homework, reading, projects, lesson planning, etc.

Next Application Period (5:04)

SDSU’s next application period for the credential programs will open on October 1st and close in early spring (usually February or March).   Applications received in this window will be reviewed for the next fall admission. 

Unfortunately, at this time, SDSU is currently only able to offer fall admission.
Referenced Links:

Completing Your Application (5:31)

Beginning on October 1st, the Cal State Apply application will be available online. 

There are general parts of the application where you will input personal contact information and transcripts.

And there is a program specific part of the application that will be reviewed, in detail, by the faculty who make admission decisions to the credential program.  This portion of the application is where you will include written personal statements, letters of recommendation, a short video essay.

You will want to make sure your application is submitted by the deadline even if you are still working on outstanding admission requirements.

Additionally, please note that both portions of the online application include a separate application fee.

Admission Requirements (6:19)

We will now go over the program admission requirements in some additional detail.

Admission requirements across all programs include:

  • A bachelor's degree
  • A 2.67 GPA overall or 2.75 in your last 60 semester or 90 quarter units
  • The basic skills requirement often fulfilled by the CBEST exam
  • Subject-matter competency often fulfilled by the CSET exam
  • A series of prerequisite coursework depending on program
  • A certificate of clearance or background check with the California Commission on teacher credentialing
  • Completion of the early field experience requirement
  • A negative result from a TB test taken within the last four years

And a complete set of applications which include items such as your personal statement essay, short video, letters of recommendation, ect.

Requirements to Focus On: Exams (7:20)

The first requirement that we recommend focusing on for admission to our credential programs are the state-written exams. These include the CBEST and CSET exams.

The California Basic Educational Skills Test or the CBEST is written to be the equivalent of a high school exit exam. It includes sections in Reading, Mathematics and Writing.

Once the CBEST is taken and passed these scores do not expire.

The California Subject Examinations for Teachers or the CSET exams are individual subject exams written to be the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in that subject area.

Once the CSET is taken and passed these scores are valid for 10 years.

If you were part of a specific single subject bachelor’s degree “waiver” program, you may not need to take the CSET exam. Check in with our office if you think this may be the case for you.
Passing results for both exams must be submitted to the admissions team by early April in order to be considered for the following fall cohort.

It is important to note that SDSU credential programs do not require the GRE, as they are not master’s programs.

San Diego County Office of Education: CSET Prep

Requirements to Focus On: Prerequisite Coursework (8:42)

Depending on which preliminary credential program you are considering, there is a series of prerequisite course work that must be taken prior to entering the program.

These courses must be completed within the past seven years with a grade of C or better or Credit/Pass.

Prerequisite courses can be in progress all the way up to beginning the credential program, but must be completed before the program starts in August.

Please check your program’s specific website for which prerequisite courses are needed.

These courses can be taken at SDSU or can be an approved equivalent course if applicable.

If you think that you have taken an equivalent course not found on the pre-approved list there is an opportunity for department review.  Just reach out to our office for additional details.

Please note, some of the prerequisite courses for the Bilingual and Special Education Credentials must be taken at San Diego State University.

Open University

Requirements to Focus On: Certificate Of Clearance (9:49)

Program admission requires a background check with the CTC called the Certificate of Clearance.

Typically, fingerprinting and background checks from other employment cannot be used for this purpose as the databases do not share info.

We recommend completing this clearance at the San Diego County of Education since they are familiar with the process and allow for convenient appointments. If you complete your fingerprinting with a different agency, be sure to complete the correct form. All forms are linked on the credential admissions webpage.

If you are currently substitute teaching at a California public school and have an Emergency 30-day Substitute Teaching Permit, this is also accepted.

A valid Certificate of Clearance or Emergency 30-day Substitute Teaching Permit must be issued by early April to be considered for the following fall cohort.

Requirements to Focus On: Early Field Experience (10:46)

An Early Field Experience or EFE within the past 7 years is required prior to admission to the SDSU Credential Program. This requirement can be fulfilled through coursework or an independent experience.

This requirement is in place to make sure that you have seen, with recency, the classroom environment in which you will be earning a credential to teach prior to beginning a program.

Courses that meet the EFE requirement are located on the Credential Admissions website.

If you will be completing the requirement independently, you will need between 30 and 45 hours (depending on program) of paid or volunteer fieldwork in a California public school in your credential area.  For example, if you are applying for the multiple subject credential program, you will need 45 hours of paid or volunteer experience in a California public elementary school.

Bilingual school

These independent experiences are verified by having the teacher in your classroom complete the EFE Verification Form (located on the credential admission website).

Please note that no additional EFE is required for the SPED Credential programs.

Financial Aid & Scholarships (12:05)

At this time the cost of the credential program is approximately $4,300 per semester.  The most updated costs can always be found on SDSU’s Student Account Services website.

There are financial aid opportunities for credential students that can be found on SDSU’s Office of Financial Aid Website.

An additional aid opportunity to consider is the federal TEACH Grant. SDSU is currently offering the TEACH Grant only to admitted credential students. This grant provides up to $4,000 per year to credential students in high need fields if they commit to working in a low-income school for four years within an 8  year period once earning their credential. 

COE Office for Student Success (12:57)

Thank you so much for taking the time to review the credential programs at SDSU.  We are excited that you are considering entering the teaching profession and look forward to assisting you throughout your admissions process.

Now that you have reviewed this general presentation, please feel free to contact our Office for Student Success with your additional and specific questions.

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