FAQs

What are the types of credentials?

A Multiple Subject Credential authorizes teaching in a self-contained classroom in which the same educator teaches a variety of subjects to the same group of students. These classrooms are usually, but not always, in elementary schools.

A Single Subject Credential authorizes teaching in departmentalized classrooms in the subject area in which the educator specialized, teaching that subject only. Single subjects are usually taught at the secondary level, but a few subjects may be taught by a single subject teacher at the elementary level (e.g., art, music, and physical education).

An Education Specialist Credential authorizes the teacher to serve students who have special learning or emotional needs. The credential may be used in K-12 resource rooms, special day classes, or alternative settings. CSU, Chico offers a variety of special education options, including earning a Educational Specialist credential concurrently with a Multiple or a Single Subject credential.

A Bilingual pathway prepares the candidate for a Multiple or Single Subject Preliminary Credential with BCLAD Emphasis. These teachers work in bilingual/crosscultural classrooms and in a variety of educational settings with students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Get additional information about credential pathways (pdf).

What must I do before applying to a credential program?

There are a number of requirements to satisfy before applying to a credential program. The most important requirements are the prerequisite courses and the credential exams. Please review our online admission guide (pdf) for more thorough information.

Can you send me an application form?

In order to assure that the application you fill out and the instructions are the very latest and correct versions, we ask you to use the applications on the School of Education website. Credential applications are available under the “Teaching Credential Options” pop-up tab. If you have problems printing any of the forms, please notify our office.

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

Yes. Apply to Graduate Studies online. These applications are due by March 1 for starting in the fall term and September 15 for starting in the spring term. For any questions about this process, contact the Office of Graduate Studies at 530-898-6880.

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

Submit an application to the Office of Graduate Studies if:

  • You are a current undergraduate at CSU, Chico who will be awarded a degree at the end of the this semester, or
  • You have a baccalaureate degree from any institution, including CSU, Chico, and are not currently (this semester) enrolled at CSU, Chico.
  • If you have any questions about your student status, contact Student Evaluations (530-898-5957) or the Office of Graduate Studies (530-898-6880).

Is graduate student status required for acceptance into the credential program?

Graduate status is strongly recommended, but not required. You must be a regularly admitted student to the University, whether as an undergraduate or graduate student.

When do I need to take the credential exams (CSET and/or CBEST)?

All exams must be passed before applying to a credential program.

Which exams are required for admission to the credential program to which I intend to apply?

The specific exams you will need to take depend on your situation and the credential you are pursuing. Please review our online admission guide for more information on which exams you must take: http://www.csuchico.edu/soe/documents/gettingstarted.pdf.

When I took the CSET and/or CBEST exam(s), I indicated that the scores should be sent to CSU, Chico. Do I still need to submit my results?

No, if you had your scores sent directly to the University we do not need a copy of your results. However, if you did not have your exam scores sent directly to the University we will require official verification of your passing status; official, sealed results may be obtained from the testing company.

What is a Certificate of Clearance?

A Certificate of Clearance is a document issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing after your fingerprints have been successfully processed and cleared by the FBI and DOJ. This document is required before you can visit a school site (e.g. begin student teaching). This process normally takes several weeks, and can take months if you have a record, so plan accordingly if you think there might be a delay in the issuance of your Certificate. The School of Education has no influence over who receives a Certificate of Clearance or when; this process is completed entirely at the state level.

What happens if I 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 documents, 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 eager to accept highly qualified credential candidates. Priority is given to complete applications, especially with regard to the exams. 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 versus the number of available openings will affect the outcome.

For more detailed information about this process and help in planning your own individual career possibilities, call 530-898-6421 to speak with a pre-program adviser. Plan to discuss application matters with an advisor at least four weeks before applications are due.

What is the application review process?

Credential applications must be submitted by the deadline: March 1 or October 1. Each application is checked for completeness and a student file is created. An acknowledgement email is sent to each applicant, at which time applicants must sign up for an interview with program faculty. Once interviews are complete the applicant files are forwarded to program faculty for evaluation. The program coordinator collects the files and evaluations and determines admittance status for each applicant. Notification is sent to each candidate regarding 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. However, candidates who have met all requirements are given priority. In some cases, it is possible to be conditionally accepted and continue to work on completing testing requirements. The student teaching component must be delayed if all requirements have not been met.

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

Get more information about required examinations.

What happens if I am not accepted into a credential program?  Can I apply again later?

You are welcome to apply again to the credential program at no additional cost. You should notify your chosen program that you are re-applying and also update your application materials.

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 list of steps for that process will be provided if you are considered a candidate for the appeal.

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

You can apply to a program to teach a subject that was not your major as long as you have subject matter competence in that subject.  Subject matter competence can be verified by passing the CSET test in that area. Get more nformation about teaching a subject that isn't your major.

Can I obtain more than one credential?

For educators who hold a Multiple or Single Subject credential or are currently in a credential program, there is an option for adding additional credentials without completing a second credential program. Holders of Education Specialist credentials wishing to obtain a general education credential, or vice versa, must complete an entire second credential program. Please email Andrew Nichols at acnichols@csuchico.edu for more information on earning a second credential.

Can I meet with an adviser?

Yes. Please call the School of Education office for more information: 530-898-6421, or email Andrew Nichols at acnichols@csuchico.edu.

Is an online credential program available through CSU, Chico?

No, the programs all require attendance on campus. However, some programs do provide more opportunities for online courses than others. Many prerequisite courses are online and most other courses include online elements, but face-to-face classes have been chosen as a part of the effective instructional practice of our faculty.

What is the U.S. Constitution requirement for a credential?

California requires every credential candidate to satisfy a U.S. Constitution exam or course prior to earning a credential. Normally this requirement is satisfied by an undergraduate American government course (POLS 155 or equivalent). However, for graduates of non-CSU universities, or those who did not pass the course with a C- or higher, the requirement can be satisfied by taking an online exam: http://www.usconstitutionexam.com

What is the speech requirement for a credential?

Before you can obtain a preliminary credential we must verify that you are proficient at public speaking. Normally this requirement is satisfied by an undergraduate public speaking course (CMST 131, CMST 132, or equivalent). However, for graduates of non-CSU universities, or those who did not pass the course with a C- or higher, the requirement can be waived by obtaining verification of your public speaking abilities. Please email Andrew Nichols at acnichols@csuchico.edu for more information.