California Education Code, Section 44225(e) and Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 80499 allow a teacher to obtain an additional teaching credential without completing the full professional preparation program for that credential.

Individuals who hold a valid General or Standard basic teaching credential (issued under laws and regulations in effect prior to January 1, 1971) may obtain an additional multiple or single subject instruction authorization by verifying subject matter competence in the subject area sought.

Qualified applicants who have completed a fifth year of study beyond their bachelor’s degree may be granted a clear Multiple Subject or Single Subject Teaching Credential valid for five years. If a fifth year of study has not been completed, a five-year preliminary Multiple Subject or Single Subject Teaching Credential may be granted. If a preliminary credential is granted under this provision, the holder must complete a Commission-approved general education clear credential program or the fifth year and obtain a formal recommendation from a California college or university with a Commission-approved professional preparation program before the clear credential will be granted.

Subject Matter Competence

Holders of a General or Standard Teaching Credential authorizing service in a departmentalized classroom seeking a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential may verify elementary subject matter competency as outlined below:

  1. Achieve a passing score on the appropriate subject matter examination(s). Information regarding subject matter examination(s), including passing scores and  registration, can be found in Verifying Subject Matter Competence by Examination for Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials (CL-674M).
  2. Complete a Commission-approved subject-matter program or its equivalent and obtain verification of completion from the person authorized by the program sponsor. For a list of institutions, go to the Commission-approved subject matter programs page. 
  3. Successful completion of applicable coursework, as verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation that addresses each of the Commission-adopted domains in the content area of the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.
  4. Successful completion of a degree major from a regionally-accredited college or university in liberal studies or an interdisciplinary major that includes coursework in the content areas identified in subdivision (b) of California Education Code section 44282.
  5. Successful completion through a combination of coursework and examination options that meet or exceed the domains of the subject matter requirements. Such mixing of options may only be done by candidates enrolled in a Commission-approved preparation program.

Holders of a General or Standard Teaching Credential authorizing service in a departmentalized classroom seeking to obtain an additional content area may obtain a Single Subject Teaching Credential in that subject as outlined below:

  1. Achieve a passing score on the appropriate subject-matter examination(s). Information, including passing scores and registration, can be found in Verifying Subject-Matter Competence leaflet CL-674S.
  2. Complete a Commission-approved subject-matter program or its equivalent and obtain verification of completion from the person authorized by the program sponsor. For a list of institutions, go to the Commission-approved subject matter programs page.
  3. For Specialized Science subjects only, individuals may take and pass the appropriate subject matter examinations or obtain verification of completion of subject-matter course work from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Information, including requirements and procedures, can be found in Coded Correspondence 03-0010.[1]
  4. Successful completion of applicable coursework, as verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation that addresses each of the Commission-adopted domains in the content area of the Single Subject Teaching Credential.
  5. Successful completion of a degree major from a regionally-accredited college or university. The degree major must be in one of the subjects named in Education Code section 44257(a).
  6. Successful completion through a combination of coursework and examination options that meet or exceed the domains of the subject matter requirements. Such mixing of options may only be done by candidates enrolled in a Commission-approved preparation program.
Holders of a General or Standard Teaching Credential authorizing service in a self-contained classroom seeking a Single Subject Teaching Credential must verify specialty area subject matter competency, by one of the methods outlined below:
  1. Achieve a passing score on the appropriate subject-matter examination(s). Information, including passing scores and registration, can be found in Verifying Subject-Matter Competence leaflet CL-674S.
  2. Complete a Commission-approved subject-matter program or its equivalent and obtain verification of completion from the person authorized by the program sponsor. For a list of institutions, go to the Commission-approved subject matter programs page.
  3. For Specialized Science subjects only, individuals may take and pass the appropriate subject matter examinations or obtain verification of completion of subject-matter course work from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Information, including requirements and procedures, can be found in Coded Correspondence 03-0010. [1]
  4. Successful completion of applicable coursework, as verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation that addresses each of the Commission-adopted domains in the content area of the Single Subject Teaching Credential.
  5. Successful completion of a degree major from a regionally-accredited college or university. The degree major must be in one of the subjects named in Education Code section 44257(a).
  6. Successful completion through a combination of coursework and examination options that meet or exceed the domains of the subject matter requirements. Such mixing of options may only be done by candidates enrolled in a Commission-approved preparation program.

Note [1]: The last administration of the examinations in the Specialized Sciences was July 11, 2015. Applicants will have five years during which to use passing examination scores toward obtaining California certification. The last date to verify subject-matter equivalency by coursework for any of the Specialized Sciences was July 11, 2015. See Coded Correspondence 14-09.

 

The following statutory subjects are available for the Single Subject Teaching Credential:

Agriculture
Art
Biological Sciences (Specialized)
Business
Chemistry (Specialized)
Dance
English
Foundational-Level General Science
Foundational-Level Mathematics
Geosciences (Specialized)
Health Science
Home Economics
Industrial and Technology Education

Mathematics
Music
Physical Education
Physics (Specialized)
Science: Biological Sciences
Science: Chemistry
Science: Geosciences
Science: Physics
Social Science
Theater
World Languages-English Language Development
World Languages-Languages other than English(specify)

National Board Certification

Effective January 1, 2012, Senate Bill 941 (Chap. 348, Stats. 2011) authorized the Commission to issue an authorization for an additional subject or new credential type to the holder of a valid Multiple Subject or Single Subject Teaching Credential, or equivalent previously issued general education teaching credential, who has earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in an additional single subject content area or credential type (See National Board Certification—Subject Areas).

Holders of a General or Standard Teaching Credential authorizing service in a departmentalized classroom seeking a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential based on National Board Certification must meet subject matter competence with one of the following options:

  1. Pass the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subjects examination.
  2. Complete a Commission-approved subject matter program for Multiple Subjects.
  3. Complete coursework, as verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation that addresses each of the domains of the subject matter requirements for the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.
  4. Complete a degree major from a regionally-accredited college or university in liberal studies or an interdisciplinary major that includes coursework in the content areas identified in subdivision (b) of the California Education Code section 44282.
  5. Successful completion through a combination of coursework and examination options that meet or exceed the domains of the subject matter requirements. Such mixing of options may only be done by candidates enrolled in a Commission-approved preparation program.

How to Apply

Applications for added teaching or subject areas may be submitted to the Commission through your employing agency or directly to the Commission office and must include the following items:

  1. A completed application (form 41-4).
  2. Supporting documentation, such as transcripts and/or copies of test scores, National Board Certificate, etc., as applicable.
  3. Application processing fee.

National Board Certification—Subject Areas

Multiple Subject:

Early Childhood (ages 3 – 8)/Generalist
Middle Childhood (ages 7 – 12)/Generalist

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Single Subject:

National Board CertificationCalifornia Certification
  • Early and Middle Childhood Certificate in Art
  • Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood Certificate in Art
Single Subject Teaching Credential in Art
  • Early Adolescence Certificate in English Language Arts
  • Adolescence and Young Adulthood Certificate in English Language Arts
Single Subject Teaching Credential in English
  • Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood Certificate in Career and Technical Education
Single Subject Teaching Credential in Industrial and Technology Education
  • Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood Certificate in World Languages Other Than English
Single Subject Teaching Credential in World Languages Other Than English (specify language)
  • Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood in Health
Single Subject Teaching Credential in Health Science
  • Early Adolescence Certificate in Mathematics
  • Adolescence and Young Adulthood Certificate in Mathematics
Single Subject Teaching Credential in Mathematics
  • Early and Middle Childhood Certificate in Music
  • Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood Certificate in Music
Single Subject Teaching Credential in Music
  • Early and Middle Childhood Certificate in Physical Education
  • Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood Certificate in Physical Education
Single Subject Teaching Credential in Physical Education
  • Early Adolescence Certificate in Science
  • Adolescence and Young Adulthood Certificate in Science
Single Subject Teaching Credential in [2]
Foundational-Level General Science
Science: Biological Sciences
Science: Chemistry
Science: Geosciences
Science: Physics
  • Early Adolescence Certificate in Social Studies-History
  • Adolescence and Young Adulthood Certificate in Social Studies-History
Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Science

Note [2]: Teachers holding National Board Certification in the area of “Science” will be issued the specific California science authorization based upon submission one of the following items:

  1. an out-of-state credential with a matching subject;
  2. a copy of the individual’s NBPTS “My Profile” status page report which indicates the specific science certificate specialty area in which National Board certification was issued. A National Board score report will not meet this requirement; or
  3. official (original) transcripts from a regionally-accredited college or university showing a bachelor’s or higher degree major or 32 semester units of coursework in the appropriate Science subject.

The required documentation must be submitted with the photocopy of the individual’s National Board Certificate, along with all other supporting materials as noted above. Option 2 is only available to individuals who obtained National Board Certification in Adolescence and Young Adulthood in Science.

Teachers with out-of-state credentials issued in the subject area “Science” who hold National Board Certification in Science will be issued a California Single Subject Teaching Credential in Foundational-Level General Science unless a specific subject pathway is identified.

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CL-621  May 2021
Updated July 23, 2021