Rural Teacher Residency Multiple Subject or Education Specialist Credential and M.A.
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Academic Path
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Academic Path

The Rural Teacher Residency offers participants an alternative route to a career in education, providing them the training and instruction necessary to help them become exceptional teachers.

Rural Teacher Residents earn a Master’s in Education with a multiple subject or education specialist preliminary credential.

MA in Education

This MA in Education pathway requires 30 units. Residents will complete the MA pathway with a culminating activity (EDMA 696P) to demonstrate their mastery of the discipline as well as their ability to integrate the learning from multiple courses.

Required Courses

The RTR graduate level courses that make up the 30 units for the MA in Education degree and follow graduate level grading expectations are:
  • EDMA 600 Foundations of Democratic Education (3 units)
  • EDMA 610 Introduction to Inquiry in Education (3 units)
  • EDMA 611 Research Seminar in Education (3 units)
  • EDMA 696P MA Professional Paper/Exam (3 units)
  • EDTE/SPED 660 A/B Teaching English Learners (2 units) - for Multiple Subject Credential
  • EDTE 663/SPED 663 Literacy Development and Assessment (4 units)
  • EDTE 664 A/B/C Pedagogy and Assessment (3 units) - for Multiple Subject Credential
  • EDTE/SPED 665 Teaching Residency II (6 units)
  • SPED 680 Advanced Methods/Curriculum for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder - for Education Specialist Credential
  • SPED 672 Curriculum and Instruction: Mild/Moderate Disabilities - for Education Specialist Credential 
  • SPED 692 Classroom Management for Individuals with Exceptional Needs (3 units) - for Education Specialist Credential
  • SPED 691 Collaboration in Education (3 units) 

Culminating Activity

The Graduate School offers options for the culminating activity to earn the MA in Education.  The recommended option for individuals in the RTR program is the Scholarly Paper with Comprehensive Exam option through enrollment in EDMA 696P. This Scholarly Paper consists of a review of an educational topic and the findings from an action research study conducted during the teaching residency.  A written and/or oral comprehensive examination will assess master’s level competencies.  A Guide To Graduate Studies: Policies, Procedures, and Format

Credential Options

  • Multiple Subject Option

    (Elementary School Teacher for grades K-6)


  • Education Specialist Option
    (Special Education Teacher Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Highly Qualified for grades K-6)

Special and General Education Focuses

Both the current literature in education and the needs of rural school districts lead to new conclusions about the roles of general and special educators in the schools: it is no longer considered effective practice for special educators to withdraw, along with their students, into secure, self-contained classrooms.

Likewise, it is no longer considered effective practice for general educators to view special needs students as outside their charge. Both students and teachers are encouraged to interact in inclusive schools within early intervention and prevention service models.

Besides demonstrating subject matter competency, both general and special education teachers of this state’s multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual student population need to possess sophisticated pedagogical skills and must be able to differentiate instruction to address a wide range of learning styles.

Together, special and general educators must be prepared to offer culturally appropriate diagnostics and instruction, act as classroom managers sensitive to the special socio-emotional needs of each child, function as behavioral and academic consultants, work collaboratively with parents and other professionals, and become informed decision-makers and active researchers.

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Program Plan for Multiple Subject Candidates

Program Plan for Education Specialist Candidates

These are the program plans for 2014/2015.  Please contact the School of Education for information and requirements for 2015/2016.

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Completing the Program

During the RTR program, Residents will be evaluated for progress toward earning a teaching credential and Master’s degree. Successful completion of courses, teaching practices, and teacher performance assessments, along with verification of passing the Reading Instructional Competence Assessment (RICA), result in a recommendation to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing for a Preliminary SB2042 Teaching Credential. In addition, successful completion of courses and a culminating thesis or project results in recommendation for a Master’s degree.

Teacher Performance Assessments

Resident progress is monitored through a variety of assessments, including the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT), which consists of two parts. Residents complete the Content Area Tasks (CATs) during Practicum I, and the Performance Assessment of California Teachers (PACT) during Practicum II. These carefully designed tasks verify that Residents meet California Teaching Performance Expectations (TPE) for new teachers, and the tasks must be passed as part of the Program requirements for recommendation of each Resident to CCTC for a credential.

Education Specialist Teaching Portfolio

A portfolio outline is provided to each Resident Education Specialist at the beginning of the Program to assist in the collection of critical evaluative data. This ongoing portfolio process provides multiple performance measures of Program progress and demonstrates the Resident’s teaching knowledge and skills. The portfolio design is based upon the CCTC TPEs and special education competencies and addresses the need to provide Residents with feedback from program faculty about their progress at multiple points in the program. The portfolio is the summative evaluation of a Resident’s professional competency and must be successfully completed before a credential may be recommended.

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Photo Credits: Cris Guenter