One-Year Teaching Credential Programs California

Mar 30, 2019

Completing a teaching credential program is a necessary part to becoming a licensed teacher in California. Many teachers obtain this credential as part of their teacher preparation program. For those who do not have this training but have a bachelor's degree, a one-year program is an alternative option to earn the credential. Read below to find out more.

California Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in California (2018)* $80,100 (Elementary School); $75,660 (Middle School); $80,510 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree required, master's degree optional
Certification Multiple subject credential (elementary school), single subject credential (middle and high school)
Testing Requirements CBEST, CSET Subject, RICA (elementary school exam for CA residents)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

One-Year Teaching Credential Program Overview

One-year programs in California generally require a combination of theoretical courses, curriculum courses, and fieldwork as a student teacher. You can choose from on-site, online, or blended programs, depending on your schedule. Prospective teachers who plan to teach at the elementary school level must earn the preliminary multiple subject teaching credential. Those interested in teaching at the middle or high school level must earn the preliminary single subject teaching credential in the subject they plan to teach. Each credential is good for five years. Some programs could lead to a Master of Science in Education, and other programs offer an additional bilingual authorization, such as Cantonese, Mandarin, and Spanish.


These programs typically require at least 36 units of coursework taken over a full year, usually including the summer months before and after the school year. Courses can cover topics such as teaching diverse populations, planning for inclusive classrooms, and use of computers and technology in a classroom setting. Other topics could include foundational theory, teaching methods, and curriculum development. Students in a single subject credential program will also learn methods of teaching their chosen subject.


A major part of the teaching credential program is the fieldwork component. Programs usually require that students gain experience in a real-world classroom setting as a student teacher. These internship opportunities can account for 12 credits and take up to a semester of full-time work. Some programs may also require students to complete a field observation component before they student-teach.

California Teacher Credential Resources

There are several resources to help you prepare for your licensing exams. See the list below for some good ways to practice and learn more.

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