Certifying Subject Area Competency in English

Certifying Subject Area Competency in English

to the Single Subject Credential Option degree program in English. This Guide
is intended for students seeking certification of subject area competency in
English. Our goal is to help you successfully complete your program and, should
you pursue a teaching credential, become an excellent English teacher. To that end, we have prepared this Guide to
help you through the process.

Should you have additional questions, please contact the
English Education Coordinator or schedule an appointment with the English
Department Advisor.

Purpose and Overview

The purpose of this program is to certify subject area
competency in English. Certification of subject area competency is mandated by
the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) for all students who
intend to pursue a single subject credential and teach in a secondary school.

To demonstrate subject area competency, you need to

  • take the required courses as described by the
    catalog and the program provided by your Department Advisor;
  • maintain a 2.83 GPA in your degree program with
    no grade below C;
  • complete 24 hours of field experience (to be
    deducted from the 45 hours required in EDCI 300);
  • submit a passing
    portfolio to the English Education Coordinator at the end of your program.

You must successfully complete the
above program prior to beginning your directed teaching which is supervised by
the Charter College of Education. An
alternative way of demonstrating subject area competency is to pass the California
Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET). (Currently, the CSET is not a requirement for
the credential, although some schools require it as a condition of employment.)


  • Declare your major in a meeting with an English Department Advisor.
  • Visit
    TPAC Office to apply for Certificate of Clearance.
  • Visit
    English Department Advisor regularly (approximately twice a year or as
  • Keep
    copies of graded papers from each class you take for your portfolio, and take
    notes on teaching strategies.
  • Take
    English 310 and complete 12 hours of field experience.
  • Take
    English 494 and complete 12 hours of field experience.
  • Submit
    portfolio at the end of the program to the English Education Coordinator.
  • Apply
    to the Charter College of Education Credential Program. See King Hall D2069 for deadlines and
    application criteria.

TPAC and Field Experience

As soon as you declare your major
in the Single Subject Credential Option in English, please visit the TPAC
(Teacher Preparation Advisement Center) office to apply for a Certificate of
Clearance. Because this multi-step process can take several weeks and because you
need a Certificate of Clearance to begin your field experience, we urge you to
begin this process as soon as possible. The TPAC office is located in Library South (Palmer Wing), 1040A, and
their phone number is (323) 343-5434. Information
about this process is also available in the English Advisement Office or from
the English Education Coordinator or Department Advisor.

two courses that require field experience are English 310 and English 494. For each course, you need to complete 12
hours of field experience, with five hours at a middle school, five hours at a
high school, and two hours at either one. The TPAC Office will work with you to arrange and coordinate these
hours, so please meet with TPAC staff early in the quarters you are enrolled in
English 310 andĀ 494.

We strongly suggest that you take English 310 early in your
program (ideally, after completing English 200A, B, and C) and that you take
English 494 in the last quarter of your program. The English Education Coordinator collects
the portfolios at the end of the program, so you should have completed all the
requirements for the portfolio by then.

Portfolio Information

The portfolio is a collection of artifacts that demonstrates
subject area competency in four domains:

  • Literature and Textual Analysis
  • Language, Linguistics, and Literacy
  • Composition and Rhetoric
  • Communications: Speech, Media, and Creative Performance

To demonstrate competency, you need
to submit a 5-10 page analysis of and reflection upon your program and field
work and four graded assignments from classes that indicate your competency in
these four domains. For more information
on the portfolio, its contents, and the rubric, please pick up the handout
"Checklist for Teaching Portfolio Contents" from your Department Advisor or
from the English Education Coordinator. You can also get a description of these four domains from the English
Education Coordinator. Successful
portfolios will be complete, thoughtful, and reflective.

hope that you will become more conscious of how
your professors teach, as well as understand what they teach. To that
end, we suggest that you keep all of your class notes. Organize them in any way that makes sense to
you (by author, text, historical period, etc.). Note when professors give assignments and class activities that are
particularly effective. Note the ways in
which the professor is modeling pedagogy for you. What works very well? What could you adapt to your own teaching
style? What could be better? How and why?

We also urge you to keep copies of all of your graded essays
and assignments, including any graded responses to oral presentations. You will be including some of these in your

The English Education Coordinator and/or the Department
Advisor will inform students of any deficiencies, including inadequate GPA,
incomplete or non-passing portfolio, or incomplete field experience. Students
may resolve these deficiencies by retaking courses, revising and resubmitting
portfolios, or by finishing field experience.

Good luck. We wish
you well!

For More Information

Department Advisor

Engineering and Technology A638

(323) 343-4140

Education Coordinator

Engineering and Technology A638

(323) 343-4140

TPAC Office

Library South 1040A

(323) 343-5434

For more information on the Department of English at the
California State University, Los Angeles, visit us online at