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Public School Teaching and Service Credentials in the State of California are regulated by legislative actions that are subsequently interpreted by appropriate regulatory agencies. With guidance provided by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), the University has developed programs for candidates seeking credentials and certificates to serve in a variety of positions in public schools in California. Candidates for all credentials must meet the legal requirements in effect at the time of application for the credential regardless of when the program was started.
The mission of the Credential Office is to serve students by advising them effectively and by efficiently processing program and credential applications. This office is responsible for recommending qualified CSUN candidates to the State of California for state licensure. The Credential Office functions as the gatekeeper for access into and exit from CSUN’s credential and certificate programs. The Credential Office supports the College of Education Dean’s Office and departments in providing up-to-date information regarding state requirements.
CSUN currently offers certificate and credential programs housed in three colleges. Each of these programs is accredited by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The Michael D. Eisner College of Education received full reaccreditation from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing in March 2019.
There are three major categories of credentials available at CSUN: Teaching Credentials (Multiple Subject, Single Subject and Education Specialist), Specialist Credentials and Service Credentials. CSUN also offers Added Authorizations in a number of areas.
The Preliminary Multiple Subject (MS) Credential authorizes the holder to teach all subjects, grades K-12, in a self-contained classroom, as generally found in elementary and middle schools. This credential can be earned through a number of different pathways: Traditional, Intern, Accelerated Collaborative Teacher (ACT), and Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP)—Freshman option or Junior option.
Credential regulations require Multiple Subject candidates to verify their competency in their teaching field by passing the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subjects or by meeting the requirements of an Elementary Subject Matter Program (ESM) at a university with an approved program. Many CSUN students who are preparing to teach elementary school major in Liberal Studies. A Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies and the ESM is earned by students who complete the Freshman or Junior ITEP-option credential programs. Advisement on course requirements for the Liberal Studies major is available from the Department of Liberal Studies, which is located next to the Credential Office.
The Preliminary Single Subject (SS) Credential authorizes the holder to teach a specific academic subject, grades K-12, in a departmentalized classroom as generally found in junior high and senior high schools. This credential can be earned through a number of different pathways: Traditional, Intern, Accelerated Collaborative Teacher (ACT), Four-Year Integrated (FYI) or Junior-Year Integrated (JYI). JYI and FYI are specific to Subject Matter Programs in English or Mathematics.
The following Single Subject Credentials are offered at CSUN: Art; English; Foundational Level Mathematics; Health Sciences; Home Economics; Mathematics; Music; Physical Education; Sciences—Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geosciences or Physics; Social Science; and World Languages (WL)—American Sign Language (ASL), Mandarin, French, German, Korean and Spanish.
California regulations require Single Subject candidates to verify competency in their teaching field by passing the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) in their subject specific area or by meeting the requirements of a Subject Matter Program at a university with an approved program in that specific subject area. See the Subject Matter Programs section for approved programs offered at CSUN.
The Preliminary Education Specialist Credential (SPED) authorizes the holder to teach children in grades Pre-K and K-12 in a school setting in the following specialty areas: Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH), Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), Mild/Moderate Disability (MM) and Moderate/Severe Disability (MS).
Pathway options for the DHH, MM and MS credentials include: Traditional, Intern, and Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP)—Freshman or Junior option. The Accelerated Collaborative Teacher (ACT) pathway is available for MM. At this time, the ECSE credential can be earned only through the Traditional or Intern pathway. All programs include the Autism Spectrum Disorder authorization. Details specific to pathways follow below.
Credential regulations require Education Specialist candidates to verify their subject matter competency. Education Specialist candidates who will be teaching multiple subjects in a self-contained classroom must fulfill their subject matter requirement by passing the CSET: Multiple Subject or an ESM program, as do Multiple Subject Credential candidates (see above). Education Specialist candidates who will be teaching only one subject may fulfill their subject matter requirement by passing the appropriate subject area examination or by completing an approved subject matter program at a university in the areas of art, English, foreign language, mathematics (including foundational-level mathematics), music, social science or science, including foundational-level general science and specialized science.
Pathways for Obtaining a Multiple, Single or Education Specialist Credential
- Traditional: In the Traditional pathway to a credential, students attend full or part time and develop their own schedule. They can begin in either the Fall or Spring semesters.
- Accelerated Collaborative Teacher Preparation Program (ACT): ACT is a full-time, one-year, cohorted program. Fieldwork is required during the day, and courses are offered in the late afternoon or evening at CSUN.
- University Intern Program: The University Intern Program is a 2-year program designed for those candidates who are employed in a full-time position. Candidates attend classes part time while employed full time in the classroom. Candidates are expected to enroll each semester while holding an Intern Credential. Candidates may change to the Intern pathway from the Traditional pathway if employment is offered in an appropriate setting.
- Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP): This is a program for freshmen or juniors to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies, the Elementary Subject Matter and a Multiple Subject or Education Specialist Credential concurrently.
- Four-Year Integrated Preparation Program (FYI): Candidates earn a bachelor’s degree in English or Mathematics and a Single Subject Credential in English or Mathematics.
- Junior-Year Integrated Preparation Program (JYI): Candidates earn a bachelor’s degree in English or Mathematics and a Single Subject Credential in English or Mathematics.
To learn more about the Teaching Credential programs, it is highly recommended that applicants view an information session. The information session covers topics including the program application process, program options and pathways, subject matter competence requirements, student teaching requirements and costs.
Subject Matter Programs
The following Subject Matter Programs are active and accepting applicants as of the publishing of this Catalog: Art, Elementary, English, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Social Science: (History department or Chicano Studies department) and Spanish (Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures department). CSUN students who complete these approved programs will meet the subject matter requirement and waive the CSET requirement. Contact the specific department office for academic advisement relating to Subject Matter Programs. Note: The Subject Matter Program may have additional courses beyond the major.
Many specialists in the public schools must earn credentials or certificates that authorize service in the area of specialization. Some authorizations are dependent upon the applicant holding a prerequisite credential. These include Reading Literacy Leadership Specialist and Resource Specialist.
Note: Not all specialist credentials have the ability to add an authorization.
Individuals who provide certain school services, such as administration and pupil personnel, must hold a credential authorizing that service. Service Credentials offered are Administrative Services, Pupil Personnel Services (including Counseling and School Psychology) and Speech-Language Pathology Services. Some Service Credentials require a prerequisite credential. Review the specific program requirements.
The Teacher Induction Credential Program is a two-year, individualized, job-embedded system of mentoring, support and professional development beginning in the candidate’s first year of teaching. This program is designed for candidates who hold a valid Preliminary Teaching Credential. The Teacher Induction Program leads to a Clear Credential.
Key Definitions: Student Status
A distinction is made between an “applicant” and a “candidate.” An individual who applies to a program is considered an applicant, while an individual who is admitted to and enrolled in a program is considered a candidate. An “admission date” is the date documented in the candidate’s paper/electronic file that the members of the Selection, Admission and Retention Committee indicate their decision of applicant acceptance into a specific credential or certificate program. This date does not change and is linked only to this particular program. An “enrollment date” is the first day of the term to which an applicant has been admitted to a credential or certificate program. For an applicant to a CSUN University Intern Program, the first day of the term is the issuance date of the Intern Credential. For all others, enrollment begins the first day of the term to which the applicant was formally admitted by the Credential Office to a credential or certificate program. Students who do not meet enrollment requirements or choose not to enroll after acceptance may be subject to changes in admission and program requirements. See University/College policies related to credentials.
Requirements for Application
Prospective students should submit a complete online program application before the submission deadline date. The deadline date for the Fall term is July 1 and for the Spring term December 1.
Note: Credential and certificate program application requirements and deadline dates may change. The application is available online.
All credential program applicants must submit:
- An online program application along with a nonrefundable $50 application processing fee (an additional $1.45 service fee will be assessed at checkout).
- Official transcripts from all schools and institutions attended. Foreign transcripts must have a detailed evaluation from a CTC-approved agency. Contact the Credential Office for a list of approved agencies.
- University application. If an applicant is not currently enrolled as a CSUN graduate student, an application must be submitted online through Cal State Apply.
- Program-specific requirements. See below for additional requirements.
Additional Application Requirements for Preliminary Teaching Programs: Multiple Subject, Single Subject or Education Specialist
- Two recommendation forms.
- Self Reflection form (Education Specialist only).
- Tuberculosis clearance must be within the past 2 years.
- Statement of Objectives indicating career goals and plans as a teacher.
- Verification of Basic Skills requirement (see Credential Office website for additional information).
- Verification of Completion of Early Field Experience (within the past 5 years and in the age/specialization of the students the applicant plans to teach).
- Valid CTC-issued credential or certificate (this differs from employment fingerprint clearance).
- Program responsibilities acknowledgment.
- Proof of Subject Matter Competency—See Teaching Credential section for more information (not applicable to blended programs for admission or to ECSE).
- Additional for Interns: Passage of Basic Skills requirement, knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, bachelor’s degree, Intern Authorization for Employment form and Preservice Component form, in addition to above requirements.
- Additional for ACT: A separate application to the ACT office, in addition to above requirements.
Additional Application Requirements for the Teacher Induction Program
- Copy of valid Preliminary Teaching Credential
- Verification of Employment—must be currently employed as a general education or special education teacher.
Additional Application Requirements for Specialist Programs
Reading Literacy Leadership Specialist
- Verification of 1 year of full-time teaching experience (3 years needed to be recommended for the Authorization).
Note: Substitute teaching, tutoring or other experiences in which the applicant is not the teacher of record may not be used for experience.
- Copy of valid Teaching Credential.
Additional Application Requirements for Service Credentials
Preliminary Administrative Services Credential
- Two letters of recommendation from school administrators.
- Copy of valid California Teaching Credential with English Learner Authorization or appropriate alternate credential.
- Verification of a minimum of five years of successful full-time classroom teaching experience or services experience pursuant to the credential authorization.
- Verification that the Basic Skills requirement has been attempted or passed.
- Verification of department admission.
Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential
- Valid CTC-issued credential or certificate.
- Verification that the Basic Skills requirement has been attempted or passed.
- Verification of admission to the Master of Science in Communication Disorders program in Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences, College of Health and Human Development.
Pupil Personnel Services Credential: School Counseling or School Psychology
- Valid CTC-issued credential or certificate.
- Verification that the Basic Skills requirement has been attempted or passed.
- Verification of departmental admission.
Added Authorizations: CLAD/CTEL, Bilingual Authorization, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Resource Specialist
See application requirements on the Credential Office website.
Once a program application is submitted online, its content and its representation of the applicant will be evaluated on the basis of academic achievement, commitment to teaching and ability to communicate.
All applicants to a Teaching Credential program are required to complete a successful interview with the appropriate department representatives prior to admission. Admission to a credential program will not be granted without a completed Interview Assessment Form on file in the Credential Office. Applicants will be directed to the appropriate interview after submitting a complete online application.
Grade Point Averages (GPAs)
All applicants to a Teaching Credential program are expected to have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.67 in all baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate coursework or a GPA of at least 2.75 in the last 60 semester units attempted at the time of application submission. ITEP and FYI/JYI candidates are admitted using only the cumulative 2.67 GPA. All applicants to a Service or Specialist program are expected to have a GPA of at least 2.75 for their last 60 credits of coursework at the time of application submission.
When the members of the Selection, Admission and Retention Committee reach a decision, the applicant will be notified in writing by the Credential Office. If admitted, the applicant will be issued a letter by email indicating the decision. All official notifications from the Credential Office will be sent to the applicant’s CSUN email address.
If an applicant was previously enrolled in a credential program at a different institution, the applicant needs to submit a Letter of Good Standing from that institution. If the applicant is a current or former CSUN student, the applicant must be in good standing with the university for admission to the credential program.
An applicant who does not meet admission requirements due to a low GPA or not having passed the appropriate subject matter exams may be considered for exceptional admission. The CSU System Executive Order 1077 allows a very limited number of candidates to be admitted to Teaching Programs under exceptional admission. Exceptional admission is available only for the Fall term. Exceptional admission is not an option if the applicant’s overall GPA is lower than 2.50.
After an applicant is formally admitted to a program, the applicant becomes a credential candidate. The candidate may then enroll in the required courses in the professional education sequence applicable to the desired credential, certificate or authorization. An applicant who is not formally admitted to a program is strongly discouraged from taking courses believed to count toward a credential. State regulations and requirements may change with little or no notice. Without formal admission and enrollment, an applicant has no guarantee that courses taken will later apply to the desired credential program.
Admission to one term cannot be transferred or deferred to another term without formal written notification to and approval by the Credential Office. In this case, the applicant will be subject to a new “enrollment” date. If notification and approval have not transpired, the applicant must reapply (including all fees) for a future term during the appropriate filing period. Students choosing to defer enrollment will need to check with Admissions and Records for details regarding University enrollment deference.
For specific requirements, check the individual program for exams that are required for that program. Exam contact information is available on the website.
This requirement may be met in several ways.
- For those seeking a Multiple Subject Credential or an Education Specialist Credential who are planning to teach in grades K-6, the CSET Multiple Subject Exams (101, 214 and 103) combined with the writing exam (142) will satisfy the Basic Skills requirement.
- For those seeking a Single Subject Credential or a Service or Specialist Credential that requires the Basic Skills requirement to be met, the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is the exam most commonly used.
- For those who have passed a Basic Skills Exam in another state, a list is available in the Credential Office of those exams that are deemed equivalent.
- For additional options, visit the Credential Office website.
All Multiple Subject candidates and Education Specialist candidates who are planning to teach in grades K-6, and who will not be completing an Elementary Subject Matter Program must pass the CSET Multiple Subjects to satisfy the subject matter requirement.
Single Subject candidates and Education Specialist candidates who are planning to teach in a departmentalized setting, typically grades 7-12, and who will not be completing a Subject Matter Program must pass the CSET exams required for the subject area in which they plan to teach. Exam information specific to the subject is available in the Credential Office, as well as online at the CTC Exams website.
Important Note: All CSET exams have a 10-year validity period and must be used with a Credential recommendation during that time. Exams exceeding 10 years will require repeating prior to recommendation.
All Multiple Subject and Education Specialist candidates must pass the RICA requirement prior to being recommended for their credential (not required for ECSE).
Important Note: All RICA exams have a 10-year validity period and must be used with a Credential recommendation during that time. Exams exceeding 10 years will require repeating prior to recommendation.
Refer to specific department and Programs section of the catalog for detailed requirements of each program.
Generally, the policies upheld by the Credential Office parallel, supplement and complement those of the University. Currently, policies regarding fieldwork, student teaching, risk management, deferred admission, probation and academic disqualification, among others, are revised as needed to stay current with University policies. Check with the Credential Office and with department websites for specific information. In keeping with current practices at local public school districts, all credential candidates and students completing pre-credential courses that require fieldwork must obtain a Certificate of Clearance before they begin fieldwork. For information on how to obtain a Certificate of Clearance, visit the Credential Office–Forms website. Be aware that this may take a couple of weeks to be granted.
Candidates who are applying for credentials, authorizations and certificates must meet legal requirements and are governed by CSUN policies and regulations in effect since their most recent enrollment dates, regardless of when their programs were initially started. The enrollment date is defined as the first day of the term to which an applicant has been admitted. Due to the possibility of state changes in credential and certificate program requirements, students are encouraged to visit the Credential Office website regularly for the most recent program information.
A credential or certificate candidate who takes at least one course or attempts to complete at least one program requirement during at least one term per academic year and keeps the Credential Office informed of this progress with documented evidence is considered an “Active Candidate.” A credential or certificate candidate who appears to not be “active” for three consecutive terms is considered an “Inactive Candidate.” Once admitted to and enrolled in a credential, authorization or certificate program, a candidate in good standing may be CSUN inactive for two consecutive semesters without detriment or approval. If the candidate does not become both University and credential program active by the conclusion of the third consecutive semester, the candidate will be involuntarily withdrawn and disenrolled from the program. The candidate must reapply for admission to both the University and the Credential Office, including paying applicable fees. If admitted, the candidate has a new “enrollment” date and is subject to program requirements effective with the new “enrollment” date related to CTC timelines and requirements. Information is available at the Credential Office and its website. Applicants and candidates are responsible for keeping abreast of all requirements applicable to their desired credentials or certificates.
In the event that a program closes, the Credential Office will notify all candidates in the program pipeline and anyone who enrolled but did not complete the program and advise them of the program closure in addition to providing a timeline by which they need to complete the program. The program will provide the candidate with a teach out plan, which will include an individual transition plan for successful completion.
Academic Grievances and Grade Appeals
The University provides procedures for the orderly processing of grievances by students against members of the faculty and for the appeal of assigned grades. Established by the Faculty Senate, these procedures are contained in the Academic Grievance and Grade Appeals Board Bylaws. The Board is empowered to act on grievances and appeals that are properly filed.
Academic grievances may be filed when a student feels aggrieved in (non-grade) matters concerning an academic decision, action or judgment by a faculty member. A grade appeal may be filed when a student believes a grade is based on error, violation of University rule or policy, refusal by the instructor to report a grade, discrimination or other improper conduct toward the student. Grade appeals based wholly or in part on a subjective or qualitative judgment of an instructor will not be considered by the Board.
Students should attempt to resolve matters informally with the faculty member prior to filing an academic grievance or grade appeal. Students also should seek the review of the appropriate department chair and college dean or designee. If the matter cannot be resolved in this manner, the student may file a formal grievance or grade appeal. The grievance or appeal must be presented in writing before the end of the semester following the semester in which the matter occurred or the grade was assigned.
Information and forms for filing an academic grievance or grade appeal may be obtained on the Student Affairs–Forms website or by calling Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at (818) 677-2391.
Credential Candidate Expectations
Given appropriate information and materials related to requirements, regulations and policies, credential candidates will complete and submit program applications, make timely progress in their selected programs, and submit student teaching and credential requests before posted deadlines.
Maintaining Grade Point Average (GPA)
After admission, candidates must maintain an overall GPA of 2.75 for all coursework that is taken after enrollment, and they must maintain a 3.0 GPA for all professional education coursework. A minimum grade of “C” or better is required in all courses. Academic departments may have different minimum GPA requirements in subject matter areas. Check with the applicable department for any additional GPA requirements.
Students who fail to earn a grade of “C” or better in a credential program course may be eligible to retake the course with prior permission from the Credential Office. Refer to the Credential Office website for a Course Repeat Form.
Candidates enrolled in a post-baccalaureate credential program will be placed on academic probation at the end of the semester when their cumulative GPA falls below 2.75. Failure to raise their cumulative GPA to 2.75 in the following semester of enrollment will result in disqualification.
CSUN coursework more than 7 years old is considered expired unless a lesser time is specified by the applicable academic department. Professional education courses completed more than 7 years prior to the date the program was completed and regardless of attended postsecondary institution cannot be counted to meet any credential requirements.
Test scores do have a validity period. In other words, some test scores have expiration dates. It is the applicant’s and candidate’s responsibility to submit all required test scores to the Credential Office and to be aware of expiration dates. CSET and RICA have a 10-year validity period. CBEST does not expire at this time. Usage of the exam on a valid credential stops the expiration. An example of that would be an Intern Credential. Once applied to a credential, the score remains valid.
The Multiple Subject and Single Subject Programs can be completed in 1 year of full-time enrollment. Typically, candidates take three semesters to complete studies. The Education Specialist Programs can usually be completed in three to four semesters. With changes due to laws and regulations always possible, as well as exam score expirations, it is to a candidate’s advantage to complete the credential program in a timely fashion.
The Credential Office has the responsibility of processing all applications to credential and certificate programs and making all recommendations for state-issued credentials, authorizations and certificates. It is imperative that all deadlines are enforced and requirements are documented as fulfilled in a timely manner to ensure an efficient and effective process. Applicants and candidates are responsible for keeping abreast of all deadlines applicable to their desired credentials or certificates. Information is available in the Credential Office and its website. Important timely notifications of changes or deadlines are provided by email, as well as through postings on the Credential Office website.
Candidate Assessment, Evaluation and Teaching Performance Expectations
CSUN is committed to the concept that continuous screening, assessment and evaluation are necessary to ensure that candidates who complete credential, authorization and certificate programs are well prepared. All candidates should expect to be evaluated for possession of basic skills, personal qualifications, disposition and performance factors, in addition to successful completion of required courses. All candidates in the Multiple and Single Subject Preliminary Credential Programs, regardless of pathway, must successfully complete a Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) prior to recommendation of their credential.
In evaluating these factors, the Michael D. Eisner College of Education may determine that a particular candidate does not possess or exhibit these attributes in sufficient quantity/quality to permit the candidate to continue in the program. For example, unsuccessful student teaching assignments will be followed by a review of the candidate’s performance. A procedure exists by which a review of the candidate’s qualifications can be initiated and a decision made concerning involuntary withdrawal of the candidate. The rights of candidates are protected, including the right to examine all documentation presented in support of withdrawal and to confront witnesses who support the withdrawal. The decision of the College’s Selection, Admission and Retention Committee is final.
As a part of the admission process, applicants are advised that conviction records may prevent an applicant from being admitted to a program or being eligible to be recommended for a state document. Although a wide variety of convictions will not prevent admission or issuance of a credential or certificate, the Education Code does stipulate that certain conviction records will mandate the denial of a credential or certificate.
Applicants who do not already hold a valid CTC credential or certificate will be required to secure a Certificate of Clearance from the CTC prior to admission. Candidates who develop a conviction record during program matriculation must notify the Credential Office immediately, and they may be disqualified from their programs.
When to Apply: Candidates must submit a request for their credential or certificate to be processed during the first two or three weeks of the semester that they expect to complete their program. The Credential Request must be submitted online. Note: All requirements except coursework in progress must be completed prior to submitting the Credential Request.
Complete Credential Request
The Credential Office processes all applications. Requests are processed based on the date they are verified as “complete.” When submitting the online Credential Request form, applicable transcripts and any other item(s), a checklist is used by a credential analyst to verify that all required items (including passing scores of all required tests) have been submitted and completed appropriately. If something is missing or incomplete, the candidate will be notified by email. Note: The candidate’s file will not be evaluated for qualification for a credential or certificate recommendation at the time of request submission.
Once the Credential Request form is received, it is reviewed to determine that all requirements have been met for the requested credential. The length of time between verifying a “complete” file and generating an “electronic recommendation” depends upon the time of year and the volume of applications. Because of the time involved in processing a credential or certificate application from submission of request to credential recommendation, the Credential Office strongly encourages candidates to be aware of all deadlines. Credential requests are processed in the order that they are received. Early submissions of credential requests are highly encouraged.
Programs Leading to Licensure and Credentialing