The Credentials Office is dedicated to supporting the KSOE community by providing information and updates regarding the credentialing process. We hope our overview of Credential Requirements, Credential Documents, and Frequently Asked Questions instills confidence in your journey to the credential.
For any additional questions, the Credentials Office may be contacted Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM–4:00 PM at email@example.com or at (925) 631-5051.
Frequently Asked Questions
Individuals may meet the SMCR through the following options:
1) Completion of a CTC-approved subject matter preparation program.
2) Passage of the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) in the appropriate subject area.
3) Successful completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with the following, as applicable:
For single subject credentials, a major in one of the subject areas in which the commission credentials candidates (PSA 21-10).
- Social Science
- World Language (in any of the languages for which there is a credential)
- Health Science
- Physical Education
- Science (including Biology, Chemistry, Geoscience or Earth and Space Science, and Physics)
Also acceptable: Applied majors (e.g., Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics) and exact majors in one of the single subject areas that may have additional modifiers (e.g., Biology: Environmental Biology; Art: Art History; and Physical Education: Kinesiology).
For Social Science, the BA/BS degree must say literally, exactly “BA/BS Social Science” in order to fulfill this requirement. Majors in History, Economics, Geography, Anthropology, Psychology, or Political Science, among others, do not completely fulfill the subject matter requirement for Social Science.
- For multiple subject credentials, a liberal studies major or other degree that includes coursework in the content areas pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 44282 (PSA 21-10), this includes the Saint Mary’s College BA in Justice, Community and Leadership, Multiple Subjects Credential Preparation (JCL + MSTE) program.
- For education specialist credentials, either a major in one of the subject areas in which the commission credentials candidates or a liberal studies or other major that includes coursework in the content areas pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 44282 (PSA 21-10), this includes the Saint Mary’s College BA in Justice, Community and Leadership, Multiple Subjects Credential Preparation (JCL + MSTE) program.
4) Coursework evaluation according to the Subject Matter Domains conducted by a CTC accredited educator preparation program.
5) Through a combination of coursework and CSET exams that meets or exceeds the subject matter domains.
Subject to change based on CTC guidelines. For more information on the CTC’s SMCR guidelines, please visit Subject Matter Requirements.
Candidates may only apply for their credential after necessary requirements, including coursework, fieldwork components, assessments, and exams, have been completed. Documentation showing that credential requirements have been fulfilled must be submitted to the Credential Document Upload Form.
After all credential documents have been accepted by the Credentials Office, candidates may apply for their credential by completing the Credential Application Form. Please allow at least ten business days for the Credentials Office to submit credential recommendations to the CTC. It is the candidate’s responsibility to complete necessary payment and background questions within 45 days of the credential recommendation in order for the credential to be granted. Once the CTC receives a candidate’s credential recommendation from SMC, the processing time can range from ten days to several weeks, depending on whether or not additional information is requested.
More information about specific credential requirements can be found on the credential webpage for your program.
Authorizations vary depending on the credential. The following list indicates authorizations that will be added when the credential recommendation is submitted. For more information, please go to www.ctc.ca.gov.
Education Specialist Instruction Credential
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Mild/Moderate Disabilities
- English Learner
Multiple Subject Teaching Credential
- English Learner
- General Subjects
Single Subject Teaching Credential
- English Learner
- Authorization in the candidate's single subject credential area
PPS-School Counseling Credential
- School Counseling
PPS-School Psychology Credential
- School Psychology
Administrative Services Credential
- Administrative Services (or Certificate of Eligibility)
A Preliminary Credential is the initial credential that a candidate receives in the state of California after completing all of their requirements in any of the following programs: Education Specialist, Multiple Subject, Single Subject, or Administrative Services. The Preliminary Credential is valid for five years and cannot be renewed.
An Internship Credential is a credential that a student may receive in the state of California in order to be employed as a teacher, school counselor, or school psychologist while they continue to complete their credential program. The Internship Credential is valid for a maximum of two years under the conditions that the candidate has a valid offer of employment for a position as a teacher, school counselor, or school psychologist and is currently enrolled in a SMC credential program. This means that the Internship Credential will be cancelled after a student completes their credential program. It is important that Internship Credential holders complete all of their credential requirements before completing their programs so they can apply for the Preliminary Credential, or else they may risk losing their employment without a valid credential. It is the responsibility of the student to understand the timeframe in which all of their credential requirements must be completed.
A Certificate of Eligibility is for candidates who completed the Administrative Services program, but are not yet employed as a school administrator. Certificates of Eligibility do not expire.
A Clear Credential is a credential that a Preliminary Credential holder will receive after completing a CTC-approved induction program and two years of experience as a full-time teacher or school administrator. If a Preliminary Credential holder is in a situation where induction is not available, other options will apply. For School Counseling and School Psychology candidates, the Clear Credential is the credential earned after all program and credential requirements are completed. Clear Credentials are valid for five years and may be renewed.
For information about the period of validity for credentials, please consult CTC leaflets CL-561C, CL-560C, CL-402A, and CL-574C.
Preliminary Credential holders are responsible for completing requirements such as a CTC-approved induction program, two years of experience as a full-time teacher or school administrator, and any other new requirements that have been added by CA state laws before they are able to convert their credential to a Clear Credential. If a Preliminary Credential expires before the educator is able to complete the requirements for the Clear Credential, the educator will no longer be able to use their Preliminary Credential as an authorization for employment in the public school system. If a Preliminary Credential holder is in a situation where induction is not available, other options will apply.
For information about clearing your credential, please consult the CTC leaflets CL-561C, CL-560C, and CL-574C.
Teaching credential candidates are required to demonstrate knowledge of the United States Constitution by completing a college level course, or a college level examination. The Constitution requirement can be met by one of the following:
Completion of a college-level course that covers the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution with a grade of C- or better. The course must be taken from a regionally accredited college or university and be at least two semester units or three quarter units.
Pass an examination on the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution offered by a regionally accredited college or university.
It is the student's responsibility to order an official transcript from the institution at which the Constitution course was taken or to provide an official exam result to the Credential Office before applying for the credential. Documentation can be submitted to the Credentials Office through the Credential Documents Form.
Candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree at Saint Mary’s College in Justice Community and Leadership (JCL), or a Bachelor’s degree from any of the Cal State University (CSU) campuses, have completed the U.S. Constitution requirement through their coursework.
Previously completed college-level coursework is acceptable. Alternatively, candidates may complete coursework at Saint Mary’s College or a community college to fulfill the requirement. Courses that are taken online through a regionally accredited college or university are acceptable.
Candidates may fulfill the Constitution requirement by passing one of the following online exams:
UCSD Extension: US Constitution Preparation Course and Examination
For more information about the U.S. Constitution requirement, please visit the CTC’s CC 11-01.
Due to FERPA laws, Saint Mary’s cannot release credential documents or any information regarding student records to another entity. It is the student’s responsibility to retrieve credential documents from the original party (university, testing company, etc.) and send them to the party that is requesting them.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request completion of any forms relating to Verification of Program Completion or Teaching License Recommendations. Please attach the requested forms, with your personal information already completed (date of birth, social security number, former last name(s), addresses, etc.), with your email to the Credentials Office as a PDF attachment along with your current contact information including your name, personal email address, and phone number.
SMC does not provide this evaluation service at this time, but will consider evaluations conducted by another CTC accredited institution.
SMC does not provide this evaluation service at this time but will consider evaluations conducted by another CTC accredited institution.