Preliminary Education Specialist Teaching Credentials Terms and Definitions

Welcome to Preliminary Education Specialist Teaching Credentials Terms and Definitions

Below is a quick list of terms and processes that are specific to the Preliminary Education Specialist Teaching Credentials Program

Your TB test must have been administered within four years of the end of your fieldwork placement (the last day of the semester). For example, if the semester ends on December 12, 2020, your TB test would need to have been administered after December 12, 2016. A medical expiration date is different than what the college considers current.

You must provide your Certificate of Clearance (COC) document number issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The clearance must be valid throughout the program and recommendation process. COC is valid for five years and can be renewed online through the CTC website. A prior valid teaching credential or a valid 30‐day permit can also be used to verify this requirement. The online display includes the document number, document title, and issuance date. You must provide the document number to verify your COC.

Commission on Teacher Credentialing

All teacher credentialing candidates must meet the Basic Skills Requirement before taking final fieldwork and earning a credential.

  • Completing full‐credit, college‐level coursework with a letter grade of B or higher in the subject areas of reading (including courses in critical thinking, literature, philosophy, reading, rhetoric, or textual analysis), writing (including courses in composition, English, rhetoric, written communications, or writing), and mathematics (including courses in geometry, mathematics, quantitative reasoning, or statistics). Courses from closely related subject areas may also be used in this manner.

Inquire with the Office of Student Services for more information on subject‐relevant coursework that meets Basic Skills equivalency.

  • Passing the CSET: Multiple Subjects Plus Writing Skills Examination;
  • Passing the CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU placement examinations;
  • Achieving a qualifying score on the SAT or ACT; Achieving a qualifying score on the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations; or
  • Passing a Basic Skills Examination from another state 

Basic Skill Requirements Form

All education specialist teacher candidates are required to demonstrate competency in the subject matter before taking final fieldwork and earning a credential.  The College of Education allows for the demonstration of subject matter proficiency through one of the following options:

  1. Completion of an Approved Subject Matter Program: Applicants can meet the subject matter requirement by completing a program approved by the Commission.
  2. Passage of a Subject Matter Examination: Another pathway to meet this requirement is by passing a subject matter examination, such as the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET).
  3. Successful Completion of Coursework: Candidates can demonstrate subject matter proficiency by completing coursework at one or more regionally accredited institutions of higher education. This coursework should address each of the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the commission in the content area of the credential, as verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation.
  4. Successful Completion of a Baccalaureate or Higher Degree: For this option, applicants must hold a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with specific qualifications depending on the type of credential:

a) For single subject credentials, applicants should have a major in one of the subject areas in which the commission credentials candidates.

b) For multiple subject credentials, a liberal studies major or another degree including coursework in the content areas is required, as per subdivision (b) of Section 44282.

c) For education specialist credentials, applicants must either have a major in one of the subject areas in which the commission credentials candidates or a liberal studies or other major including coursework in the content areas under subdivision (b) of Section 44282.

Demonstrating Subject Matter Competency:

Applicants can use a combination of methods outlined in clauses (1), (2), and (3) to demonstrate their proficiency in each of the subject matter requirement domains required for their specific credential. The specific requirements are outlined in Section 44282 for multiple and single subject credentials and Section 44265 for education specialist credentials.

Subject Matter Competency Reviews:

Throughout the program, subject matter competency reviews are conducted by professional credential staff members. When a credentialed student requests verification of subject matter competency online, the review process is completed within 10 business days. The request must align with one of the five approved options for demonstrating subject matter competency, as mentioned above.

Guidance and Support:

Information on how students can request subject matter verification and details on meeting subject matter competency are available throughout the credential program. This support and information are provided at various stages, including in the following activities:  

• Recruitment Specialist Prospective Student Information Sessions

• New Credential Student Orientations

• EDSP 4001

• Credential Advisor Program Plan Advisement Meeting

• Online Credential Public Forum via Canvas | Information Resources Page

• Directed-Teaching Orientation

Inquire with the Office of Student Services for more information on subject‐relevant coursework that meets subject matter equivalency.

Subject‐Matter Competence for the Education Specialist Credential



Students applying to fieldwork while completing prerequisite courses must submit a Grade Verification Form to the Division Office at [email protected] with the subject “Grade Verification”. Please include ONLY the prerequisite courses currently in progress.

Grade Verification Form

Candidates for the Early Childhood Special Education credential make home visits as prescribed by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing standards. Candidates enrolled in a fieldwork course are required to purchase liability insurance.

The Student Liability Insurance can be purchased with the Cashier’s Office for $20.00 and will only be valid through the end of the fiscal year (June 30th). For students applying to fieldwork that requires Liability Insurance, coverage must be valid for the entire semester they are enrolled in fieldwork.

How to purchase Student Liability Insurance online:

  1. Log in to GET and click “Make a Payment” on the Student Center page
  2. Select “Make a Payment” and locate the “View all items” button near the bottom of the page
  3. Select “Student Liability Insurance”
  4. Under “Items” select “Student Liability Insurance Coverage Dates: July 1 – June 30” and click “Add to Payment”
  5. You will be given the option to pay now or add more to your basket before checking out

Save your receipt as a PDF to submit as proof of Liability Insurance

You don’t need an updated program plan. You can submit the original program plan that has all the signatures. The office will be double-checking the grades to clear students for fieldwork.

The site administrator must sign the Site Supervisor Approval Form and upload it to the application as a PDF. This form is used to verify that your site administrator has approved and agreed to assist you and the university in demonstrating your instructional competencies at your school site.

Site Supervisor Approval Form (Link Pending)

The Autism and Transition fieldwork course requires that the student has applied for the certificate program.

The student must have met with an advisor for the certificate program plan. 

Autism Program Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Symon Transition Program Advisor: Dr. Christina Kimm

Fieldwork for a Certificate in Autism or Transition Application (Link Pending)

You should apply online for your Preliminary Credential by the 5th week of the semester in which you are enrolled in your last/ final fieldwork course. Please do so at: Credential Evaluation Forms If you do not apply, you will not be processed for the Cal State LA recommendation for the credential.

An intern program allows credential candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and subject matter competency to be employed in a classroom while completing a credential program. This type of program is a cooperative effort between a local school district or county office of education and Cal State LA.

Intern program inquiries and questions can be sent to Jennifer Revilla at: [email protected]

Emergency Teaching and Services permits allow qualified individuals who have completed some or most of their credential requirements to be employed while completing the remaining requirements for their prospective credentials. These are designed to 1) fill a vacancy when no suitable, fully qualified educator can be recruited, and 2) provide a pathway for prospective educators to enter the workforce. Education Code, §44300

Students should look into working under the Intern program if the candidate has a bachelor’s and subject matter competency requirements met. Please inquire with Jennifer Revilla regarding Cal State LA’s intern program.

Student participation in program activity takes place in a K‐12 setting, but during which the candidate does not assume responsibility for daily student teaching. These are experiences in a professional preparation program that expose credential candidates to a variety of instructional activities. These might include classrooms, resource rooms, and other settings where instructional activities occur. Candidates may participate in fieldwork before they have passed the basic skills test and fulfilled the subject matter requirement.

Induction is an integrated, standards‐based system of support and assessment that provides an effective transition for first and second year educators in California. Preliminary credential holders in the public schools are required to participate in this two‐year professional program of situated learning as a requirement for earning a clear credential. Individuals should contact their employing agency concerning enrollment in an induction program.

A Preliminary Credential is a teaching or service credential that is valid for five years. Preliminary credentials require the holder to complete a bachelor's degree, an approved educator preparation program, basic skills, subject matter competence, and additional specific requirements. Out‐of‐state prepared applicants may be issued a five‐year preliminary credential. Additional academic requirements must be completed to qualify for the clear credential.

The holder of an Emergency 30‐Day Substitute Teaching Permit may serve and are authorized to serve as day‐to‐day substitutes.

A single designated appropriately certificated permanent teacher contractually responsible for the instruction of the pupils in the classroom and the maintenance of the school record/register as defined in Education Code section 44809. Substitutes cannot act as teachers of record.

Education Code, §44809

A credential that authorizes an individual to teach in the California public schools. Each credential authorization specifies the subject matter and settings where the individual is eligible to teach.

The TPA is a performance‐based assessment based on the Teaching Performance Expectations that all multiple, single-subject, and Education Specialist teacher candidates are required to pass to qualify for an SB 2042 preliminary teaching credential.

The Teaching Performance Expectations represent the range of knowledge, skills, and abilities that beginning teachers should know and be able to demonstrate. Teaching performance expectations describe teaching tasks that fall into six broad domains:

  1.  Making subject matter comprehensible to students
  2.  Assessing student learning
  3. Engaging and supporting students in learning
  4.  Planning instruction and designing learning experiences for students
  5.  Creating and maintaining effective environments for student learning
  6.  Developing as a professional educator