Rural Teacher Residency Multiple Subject or Education Specialist Credential and M.A.
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Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible for the Rural Teacher Residency Program through CSU, Chico?

The Rural Teacher Residency seeks applicants who express a strong interest in the learning process either in their professional and/or academic endeavors. Applicants may be career changers, college graduates, paraprofessionals, or other educators seeking to become a credentialed classroom teacher.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Rural Teacher Residency?

You are required to hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree and have a Grade Point Average of 2.75 for your last 60 semester units and 3.0 for your last 30 semester units in order to be accepted for admission.

Can I become a Teacher Resident if I already hold a teaching credential or a teaching license from another state?

No, the Rural Teacher Residency is designed for individuals who aspire to become a teacher and do not currently hold a credential or teaching license. Applicants who currently hold a teaching credential/license from another state may contact the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to learn how to apply for a California teaching credential.

Do I have to be a California resident to be eligible for the Rural Teacher Residency?

No, the program does not have any state residency requirements and will accept applicants from all 50 states.

What if I find the Rural Teacher Residency is not a good fit for me and does not meet my needs?

The School of Education at California State University, Chico offers many alternative routes to becoming a teacher. Contact the School of Education for complete details.

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Application Process

How do I apply and can you send me an application?

The Rural Teacher Residency Application is available here on our website. Print and complete the application, follow the instructions on the checklist, and submit your application by the stated deadline.

Do I need an official transcript from CSU, Chico?

No, an unofficial transcript from Student Records or an unofficial transcript downloaded from the Portal will suffice as a record of your CSUC coursework. All other transcripts must be sealed, official transcripts.

Is my credential program application separate from the Graduate Studies application?

Yes. View complete instructions for the admission process at the Office of Graduate Studies. For any questions about this process, call 530-898-6880.

If I am currently a CSU, Chico student, do I need to apply to Graduate Studies?

Submit an application to Graduate Studies if:

  • You are a current undergrad at CSU, Chico who will be awarded a degree at the end of spring semester, or
  • You have a baccalaureate degree from any institution, including CSU, Chico, and are not currently enrolled at CSU, Chico

If you have any questions about your student status, contact Student Evaluations or Graduate Studies.

Is graduate student status required for acceptance into the Rural Teacher Residency program?

Yes, but you must be a regularly admitted student to the University, whether as an undergraduate or graduate student.

When I took the CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test) exam, I indicated that the scores should be sent to CSU, Chico. Do I still need to submit an official scoresheet?

Yes. Please provide a photocopy of your individual official CBEST scoresheet sent to you for the records of the Department of Education. The same is true of other required exams (e.g. CSET). You may keep the original; a photocopy is needed for your file.

What happens if I try but cannot obtain some of the documents required for the application?

Submit your application on or before the due date with everything you have at that time. You may include a written explanation of any deficiencies with the dates you expect to be able to complete the application. As you obtain the missing pieces, please bring or send these items to the School of Education office as soon as possible. A complete application is best, so start early to obtain everything needed.

What are my chances of being accepted into the credential program?

Each application is carefully considered – we are looking to accept highly qualified future teachers. 

Standards for admission as well as comparative strengths and weaknesses of candidates are evaluated. Many factors are weighed, and of course the number of applicants vs. available openings will affect the outcome. For more detailed information about this process and help in planning your own individual career possibilities, make an appointment to talk to a Rural Teacher Residency Program Recruitment Coordinator. Appointments to discuss application matters should be at least two weeks before applications are due.

What is the application process?

The deadline for applications each year is March 1, or the next business day if March 1 falls on the weekend.  Late applications may be considered depending on space availability. Complete application details are available at Rural Teacher Residency Application Process.

Each application is checked for completeness and an acknowledgement letter is sent to each applicant. Program faculty evaluate the applications, then the program coordinator reviews the evaluations and determines admittance status for each applicant. Follow-up interviews are conducted, and a letter is sent to each candidate with notice of acceptance or non-acceptance and follow-up procedures. The process usually takes 4-6 weeks.

Can I apply if I have not taken and/or passed the required exams?

Credential applicants may submit an application even if all requirements have not been met. In some cases, it is possible to be conditionally accepted to a program and take credential courses while completing testing requirements. The student teaching component will be delayed if all requirements have not been met.

Where can I obtain information about and help with the required examinations - CBEST, CSET, RICA?

Information may be obtained online by visiting the following sites:

What happens if I am not accepted into the Rural Teacher Residency program? Can I apply again later?

You are welcome to apply again to the Rural Teacher Residency program in subsequent years. You may submit an application for a fee waiver so there is no additional cost. You should also update your file at the time of re-application.

What should I do if I know my GPA is below the admission standards?

If your GPA is below admission standards you may still apply. If you are considered a highly qualified applicant in all other respects, you may be conditionally accepted and asked to complete a GPA appeal process. The steps of the process will be mailed to you with your conditional acceptance.

Can I apply to a program to teach a subject that was not my major?

Yes, as long as you have subject matter competence in that subject. Subject matter competence can be obtained by taking the CSET test in that area. Information is available online at on the CSET website.

Do I need to take the GRE or the GMAT?

No, Rural Teacher Residency applicants are not required to take the GRE or GMAT.

Can I get more than one credential?

Yes. Single Subject ‘Adding a Second Credential’ courses are available during summer session after completion of the RTR program.

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Financial Information

What is the cost of the M.A./Credential Rural Teacher Residency Program from CSU, Chico?

Residents cover application fees, books, and other student fees for the M.A. from CSU, Chico. Fees and associated school costs for the eighteen-month residency program are approximately $15,500. This does not include living and personal expenses.

Additionally, there are some initial costs associated with applying to and being accepted into the program. Below are different costs you should expect to assume should you decide to apply and if you are accepted into the program. Please note that this is an estimate only and is not to be considered an exact calculation of the costs associated with the Rural Teacher Residency.

Initial Application Expenses
RTR Application Fee - $75
CSU, Chico Graduate School Fee - $55
Additional Program Expenses
CCTC Certificate of Clearance - $27

Is there financial compensation during the Residency year?

Yes, Residents may request to apply for a $11,000 living wage stipend from the RTR Program, in exchange for future service.

Is it possible to receive a budget increase through the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office?

  • A financial aid advisor has the ability to work with a student to calculate other educational expenses that may not be included in the standard budget for each academic year. The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office may be able to increase your budget by expenses such as childcare, non-reimbursed medical costs, required travel, car repair, the cost of a computer, and other educationally related costs not included in the standard budget. These expenses usually need to be documented by receipts. Usually these requested increases result in additional loan.
  • If you have extraordinary expenses and wish to have your budget increased, you will need to submit an Exceptional Circumstances Appeal to the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office. For more information regarding exceptional circumstance appeals, visit Appeals.

What if I have financial aid questions?

Please feel free to make an appointment with an advisor at the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office (530-898-6451) or e-mail if you have any questions. Phone appointments are available.

What is the potential salary for a teacher after the Residency year is completed?

Residents who successfully complete the residency year can earn a starting annual salary of approximately $36,000 - $41,000 with the ability to earn up to $8,000 in bonuses for achieving student growth objectives and continued professional development. The average salary for teachers in California is $59,825.

Do Residents have access to health care?

Yes, Residents can access health care through CSU, Chico. Visit Student Health Service for information.

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Program Overview

How long is the program?

The Rural Teacher Residency program is an eighteen-month program.

What grades can Residents teach?

During the residency year, Residents will be partnered with a Mentor Teacher matching the area of certification each Resident pursues. Residents pursuing a multiple subject credential will be partnered with a Mentor Teacher in grades Kindergarten - 6. Residents pursuing an Education Specialist credential will be partnered with a special education teacher in grades Kindergarten - 8.

The project will specifically be targeting the content areas of math and science in Years 3-5.

What does a typical week look like in the life of a Resident?

Four days a week are spent in an RTR partner school, learning and teaching alongside a Mentor Teacher. One full day a week is spent with fellow Residents participating in the CSU, Chico seminar. Additionally, up to one or two Saturdays per month are spent in the seminar on the CSU, Chico campus.

What are the Rural Teacher Residency partner school sites?

Partner school sites are the high-needs schools within the Rural Teacher Residency partnership.

How are Residents and Mentor Teachers matched?

The Rural Teacher Residency partnership of University faculty and public school partners are responsible for matching Residents with Mentor Teachers, and are committed to successful partnerships. Before pairing decisions are made, Residents and Mentor Teachers have the opportunity to meet and interact in order to help us make the best possible matches.

What type of teaching credential will I receive?

Upon successful program completion, Residents will receive a preliminary teaching credential in the area for which they received training. Visit Credential Options for details. Once they obtain full-time teaching positions, Residents will work to earn a professional credential by participating in induction activities and expectations for new-teacher effectiveness and development through their employing school district or county.

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Which public school districts are partners in the Project?

Which colleges on campus are partners in the Project?

Photo Credits: Cris Guenter