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Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Requirements for Teachers Prepared in California

The Multiple Subject Teaching Credential authorizes the holder to teach all subjects in a self-contained classroom, such as the classrooms in most elementary schools, in grades preschool, K–12, or in classes organized primarily for adults. In addition, the holder of a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential may serve in a core or team teaching setting.

Requirements for the Preliminary Credential

The preliminary credential is issued for a maximum of five years. If requirements for the clear credential are not completed before the expiration of the preliminary, the holder will be unable to teach in California’s public schools with that credential until those requirements are met and the document is renewed.

Applicants must satisfy all of the following requirements for the Five - Year Preliminary Teaching Credential:

  1. Complete a baccalaureate or higher degree, except in professional education, from a regionally - accredited college or university
  2. Satisfy the basic skills requirement. See Commission leaflet CL-667, entitled Basic Skills Requirement for additional information.
  3. Verify subject matter competence by one of the following two methods:
    1. Achieve a passing score on the appropriate subject matter examination(s).  Information regarding the appropriate subject matter examination(s), including passing scores and registration, can be found in Commission leaflet CL-674 M [pdf], entitled Verifying Subject Matter Competence by Examination for Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials.
    2. Complete a Commission - Approved elementary subject - matter program or its equivalent and obtain verification of completion from the authorized person in the education department of a California college or university with an accredited program.  This option is only available to those individuals who completed the subject matter program and enrolled in a teacher preparation program prior to July 1, 2004.  For individuals enrolled in blended programs, candidates must be continuously enrolled and have completed either a Ryan blended program by December 31, 2008 or an SB 2042 blended program by June 30, 2009
  4. Complete a multiple subject teacher preparation program including successful student teaching, and obtain a formal recommendation for the credential by the California college or university where the program was completed
  5. Pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA). Individuals who hold a valid California teaching credential which was issued based upon completion of a teacher preparation program including student teaching, are exempt from this requirement.  Visit the Commission’s website or the National Evaluation Systems (NES) website for more information.
  6. Satisfy the Developing English Language Skills, including Reading requirement by completing a comprehensive reading instruction course that includes the following: the systematic study of phonemic awareness, phonics, and decoding; literature, language and comprehension; and diagnostic and early intervention techniques
  7. Complete a course (two semester units or three quarter units) in the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution or pass an examination given by a regionally - accredited college or university
  8. Complete foundational computer technology course work that includes general and specialized skills in the use of computers in educational settings

All program forms can be found on the Forms & Applications page.  

Ryan program completion dates have passed, including reasonable time for those who were granted extensions to complete the programs. The final issuance date for an initial Ryan Preliminary Multiple or Single Subject Teaching Credential for
California prepared teachers was January 1, 2012. The sunset date includes all routes for an extension by appeal.

Requirements for the Clear Credential

Individuals who complete a teacher preparation program and receive a five-year preliminary credential must earn a clear credential by completing one of the following three options:

Option 1

Complete a Commission-approved General Education Induction Program and submit their application for the clear credential through the Induction Program sponsor.

Option 2

Complete a Commission - approved General Education Clear credential program completed at a California college or university, securing that institution’s formal recommendation for the clear credential,
submitting their application through the Clear Credential program sponsor.  

Option 2 is available to holders of SB 2042 preliminary credentials issued prior to August 30, 2004, or to holders of SB 2042 preliminary credentials issued on or after August 30, 2004 if a Commission - approved General Education Induction program is not available, with submission of form CL-855 Verification of Unavailability of a Commission - Approved Induction Program.

Note: The final issuance date for an initial Ryan Clear Multiple or Single Subject Teaching Credential for California, out - of- state and out - of - country prepared teachers will be January 1, 2018.  Applications from individuals who do not obtain Ryan clear teaching credentials by January 1, 2018 will be evaluated on a case - by - case basis under the program standards, statute, and regulations in effect at the time. See Coded Correspondence 11-02 for more information.

Option 3

Teachers who are certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards in one of the qualifying subjects listed below after obtaining the California Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential will be issued a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.

National Board Certification:

  • Early Childhood (ages 3 – 8)/Generalist
  • Middle Childhood (ages 7 – 12)/Generalist

Individuals applying for the clear credential under Option 3 may apply directly to the Commission by submitting an application by mail including all of the following:

  1. Photocopy of National Board Certification
  2. Completed application (form 41-4)
  3. Application processing fee

Private School Experience

Individuals who have three or more years teaching experience in a private school should refer to the information leaflet entitled Single Subject and Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials – Requirements for Teachers with
Private School Experience (CL-834) for information on additional ways to qualify.

Reference: California Education Code, Sections 44251, 44252, 44259, 44280, 44281, 44283, 44310, and 44335; and Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Sections 80413 and 80424