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Subject Matter Authorizations

What is a subject matter authorization?

Subject matter authorizations may be issued to holders of Multiple Subject, Single Subject, Standard Elementary, Standard Secondary, and some Special Secondary Teaching Credentials. There are two types of subject matter authorizations; introductory and specific. Subject matter authorizations are limited only to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) core academic subject areas: English, reading/language arts, math, science, foreign language, civics/government, economics, arts, history, and geography and are NCLB compliant One major difference between the supplementary authorizations and subject matter authorizations is the option of adding the specific subject matter authorizations to both single and multiple subject credentials whereas specific supplementary authorizations may only be added to single subject credentials. Introductory subject matter authorizations authorize the holder to teach the subject matter content typically included in curriculum guidelines and textbooks approved for study in grades 9 and below. This allows an employer to assign a teacher with an introductory subject matter authorization to teach a class in which the curriculum is for grades 9 and below but the students in the class may be in grades K-12. Specific subject matter authorizations authorize the holder to teach the specific subject in grades preschool, K-12, and classes organized primarily for adults.

Can you look at my course work and tell me whether it will be accepted for a subject matter authorization before I send my application?

No. You must submit an application, application processing fee [PDF] , and a complete set of transcripts showing the course work you would like us to consider for the subject matter authorization(s) for which you are applying.

In lieu of an evaluation, the Commission can offer you the following general information:

A course in the subject area requested would be appropriate for the subject matter authorization if it meets the following criteria:

  • must be bachelor's degree applicable or higher

  • must be completed at a regionally-accredited college or university

  • must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher (pass, credit, and satisfactory grades meet this requirement)

  • must be from the department of the subject area sought

  • must be granted regular quarter or semester unit credit

  • remedial, professional development, and continuing education course work will not be considered

  • course work completed in the Education Department cannot be accepted without a letter from the chair of the department of the subject area sought, stating that the course is equivalent to a course offered in that department

  • junior or community college course work, extension course work, and correspondence course work is acceptable if it meets all of the criteria above

  • advanced placement units must meet the criteria listed above and require written verification from an appropriate college or university official stating that the units were used towards a bachelor's degree and are in the subject category of the requested subject matter authorization


Adding a Subject Matter Authorization to a Valid Credential [PDF]

Worksheet for Subject Matter Authorizations [PDF]

Subject Matter Authorization Guideline Book [PDF]

What type of credential must I hold to add a subject matter authorization?

Introductory subject matter authorizations may be added to a Single Subject, Multiple Subject, Standard Elementary, Standard Secondary, and Special Secondary (in academic subjects only) Teaching Credential. The introductory subjects authorize the holder to teach the subject matter content typically included in curriculum guidelines and textbooks approved for study in grades 9 and below. This allows an employer to assign a teacher with an introductory authorization to teach a class in which the curriculum is for grades 9 and below but the students in the class may be in grades K-12.

Specific subject matter authorizations may be added to Single Subject, Multiple Subject, Standard Elementary, Standard Secondary, and Special Secondary (in academic subjects only) Teaching Credentials and authorize the holder to teach the specific subject in grades preschool, kindergarten-12, and classes organized primarily for adults.

On both elementary and secondary credentials, the subjects are identified as introductory subjects. For the specific subject matter authorizations, only the specific subject area will be listed on the document.

Subject Matter Authorizations May Not Be Added To:

  • General Kindergarten-Primary, Elementary, Junior High, or Secondary Credential

  • District Intern Credential

  • Special Temporary Certificate

  • Provisional Internship Permit

  • Short-Term Staff Permit

  • Special Secondary Credential in a Non-Academic Subject
    Non-academic subjects include: Aviation, Blind, Deaf, Lip Reading, Nursing Education, Partially Sighted Child, Public Safety and Accident Prevention Including Driver Education and Driver Training, Sciences Basic to Medicine, Correction of Speech Defects, and Mentally Retarded

  • Special Education Credential

  • Adult or Vocational Credential


Adding a Subject Matter Authorization to a Valid Credential [PDF]

Worksheet for Subject Matter Authorizations [PDF]

Subject Matter Authorization Guideline Book [PDF]

What does non-remedial mean?

Non-remedial coursework is defined as coursework that is applicable toward a bachelor's degree or a higher degree at a regionally accredited college or university.

Which box do I check on the application [PDF] ?

There is a box in section 2, at the bottom of the third column, titled 'Subject Matter Authorizations'. Enter the requested subject matter authorization(s) in the space provided. If you need additional writing space, please write your request in any available blank space in section 2 of the application.

Other
__ Limited Assignment
Specify____________________
__ Supplementary Authorization(s)
Specify____________________
or
X Intro/Specific Subject Matter
Authorization(s)
Specify__ INTRO-ENGLISH
& SPECIFIC-MATH_

Will course work taken at a junior or community college be accepted?

Yes, as long as it meets the following criteria:

  • must be bachelor's degree applicable or higher

  • must be completed at a regionally-accredited college or university

  • must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher (pass, credit, and satisfactory grades meet this requirement)

  • must be from the department of the subject area sought

  • must be granted regular quarter or semester unit credit


Other types of course work:

  • remedial, professional development, and continuing education course work will not be considered

  • course work completed in the Education Department cannot be accepted without a letter from the chair of the department of the subject area sought, stating that the course is equivalent to a course offered in that department

  • advanced placement units must meet the criteria listed above and require written verification from an appropriate college or university official stating that the units were used towards a bachelor's degree and are in the subject category of the requested subject matter authorization


Adding a Subject Matter Authorization to a Valid Credential [PDF]

Worksheet for Subject Matter Authorizations [PDF]

Subject Matter Authorization Guideline Book [PDF]

Can I use professional development, continuing education or advanced placement course work?


  • remedial, professional development, and continuing education course work will not be considered

  • course work completed in the Education Department cannot be accepted without a letter from the chair of the department of the subject area sought, stating that the course is equivalent to a course offered in that department

  • advanced placement units must meet the criteria listed above and require written verification from an appropriate college or university official stating that the units were used towards a bachelor's degree and are in the subject category of the requested subject matter authorization

  • must be bachelor's degree applicable or higher

  • must be completed at a regionally-accredited college or university

  • must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher (pass, credit, and satisfactory grades meet this requirement)

  • must be from the department of the subject area sought

  • must be granted regular quarter or semester unit credit


Adding a Subject Matter Authorization to a Valid Credential [PDF]

Worksheet for Subject Matter Authorizations [PDF]

Subject Matter Authorization Guideline Book [PDF]

What is the difference between a supplementary & subject matter authorization?

Supplementary authorizations are subjects added to Multiple Subject, Standard Elementary, Single Subject, Standard Secondary, and some Special Secondary Teaching Credentials on the basis of 20 semester units (or 10 upper division or graduate units) in the subject. There are two types of supplementary authorizations: introductory and specific. Introductory supplementary authorizations may be added to both Multiple and Single Subject Teaching Credentials and authorize the holder to teach in the subject area named on the credential in departmentalized classrooms in grades 9 and below. Specific supplementary authorizations may only be added to Single Subject Teaching Credentials and authorize teaching the specific subject named on the credential at any grade level including K-12 inclusive, preschool, and classrooms organized primarily for adults.

Subject matter authorizations may be issued to holders of Multiple Subject, Single Subject, Standard Elementary, Standard Secondary, and some Special Secondary Teaching Credentials. There are two types of subject matter authorizations; introductory and specific. Subject matter authorizations are limited only to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) core academic subject areas: English, reading/language arts, math, science, foreign language, civics/government, economics, arts, history, and geography and are NCLB compliant. One major difference between the supplementary authorizations and subject matter authorizations is the option of adding the specific subject matter authorizations to both single and multiple subject credentials whereas specific supplementary authorizations may only be added to single subject credentials. Introductory subject matter authorizations authorize the holder to teach the subject matter content typically included in curriculum guidelines and textbooks approved for study in grades 9 and below. This allows an employer to assign a teacher with an introductory subject matter authorization to teach a class in which the curriculum is for grades 9 and below but the students in the class may be in grades K-12. Specific subject matter authorizations authorize the holder to teach the specific subject in grades preschool, K-12, and classes organized primarily for adults.

Adding a Subject Matter Authorization to a Valid Credential [PDF]

Worksheet for Subject Matter Authorizations [PDF]

Subject Matter Authorization Guideline Book [PDF]

I'm not sure what I qualify for. Will you evaluate my transcripts and give me the highest authorization?

Yes. If you submit an application [PDF] , processing fee [PDF] , and a complete set of transcripts for a supplementary authorization, we automatically evaluate your application for the higher subject matter authorization, even if you don't request it. If you qualify for the higher authorization, we will add it to your document.

Adding a Subject Matter Authorization to a Valid Credential [PDF]

Worksheet for Subject Matter Authorizations [PDF]

Subject Matter Authorization Guideline Book [PDF]

Are subject matter authorizations No Child Left Behind (NCLB) compliant?

Yes.

Adding a Subject Matter Authorization to a Valid Credential [PDF]

Worksheet for Subject Matter Authorizations [PDF]

Subject Matter Authorization Guideline Book [PDF]

Does my credential have to be valid in order to add an authorization?

Yes. Your credential must be valid at the time of application for the subject matter authorization(s).

Adding a Subject Matter Authorization to a Valid Credential [PDF]

Worksheet for Subject Matter Authorizations [PDF]

Subject Matter Authorization Guideline Book [PDF]

Do I need to submit official transcripts?

Yes. We will accept photocopies of your official transcripts if you file your application through an employing agency.

Adding a Subject Matter Authorization to a Valid Credential [PDF]

Worksheet for Subject Matter Authorizations [PDF]

Subject Matter Authorization Guideline Book [PDF]

Does it matter whether my course work was completed in quarter or semester units?

You may use course work that was earned in quarter units; however, your course work must be converted to semester units when counting them towards the units required for the supplementary authorization. One quarter unit is equal to 2/3 semester units.

Adding a Subject Matter Authorization to a Valid Credential [PDF]

Worksheet for Subject Matter Authorizations [PDF]

Subject Matter Authorization Guideline Book [PDF]

What does 'regionally-accredited' mean?

The Commission can only accept course work and degrees completed at regionally accredited institutions. Degrees and course work must have been completed while the institution was regionally accredited in order for the Commission to consider them for credentialing purposes. Course work completed in other states is acceptable as long as the institution holds regional accreditation through one of the accrediting bodies listed below. Course work and degrees completed outside of the United States must be evaluated by a Commission-approved foreign transcript evaluation agency [PDF] before it may be used for credentialing purposes.

To determine the accreditation status of any college or university, the Commission uses a publication entitled Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education (AIPE) to verify accreditation. To obtain a copy, please visit the AIPE website. This publication is revised and published annually. This book also contains institutions accredited by agencies that are NOT approved by the Commission for credentialing purposes in California.

The acceptable regional accrediting bodies are:

Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA)

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) (formerly Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges or NASC )

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc./Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE)

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges (SACS-CC)

Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College (WASC-Jr.)

Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC-Sr.)

How do I apply for a subject matter authorization?

To apply for a subject matter authorization, you must submit all of the following:

  • A completed application [PDF]

  • A complete set of official transcripts showing the course work you would like us to consider for the authorization you are requesting. The Commission will accept photocopies of transcripts if the application is filed through an employing agency.

  • Application processing fee [PDF]

How do I renew my subject matter authorization?

Since subject matter authorizations are added to your existing teaching credential, they will automatically renew when you renew your teaching credential and do not require a separate application and fee.

Click the button on our home page to renew your credential online.

Why doesn't the Commission issue subject matter authorizations in subject areas such as business, physical education, or home economics?

Subject matter authorizations are limited only to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) core academic subject areas: English, reading/language arts, math, science, foreign language, civics/government, economics, arts, history, and geography.

Where can I find more information on subject matter authorizations?

Adding a Subject Matter Authorization to a Valid Credential [PDF]

Worksheet for Subject Matter Authorizations [PDF]

Subject Matter Authorization Guideline Book [PDF]




Updated August 21, 2012