Education Code section 44225(e) and Title 5, California Code of Regulations, section 80499 allow a teacher to obtain an additional general education teaching credential without completing the full professional preparation program for that credential. The information in this leaflet reflects changes in regulation effective January 1, 2014.

Qualified applicants (those who hold a valid basic general education teaching credential as defined in Education Code section 44203[e][1]) may obtain an additional credential, either multiple subject or single subject, or add an additional single subject content area, when the requirements listed in the following scenarios are completed. All course work must be completed with a grade of “C” or better, “pass,” or “credit.”

  1. I am the holder of a valid Clear or Life Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking a Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential. Complete all of the following:
    1. Content area subject-matter competence (See Terms and Definitions).
    2. A three-semester-unit or four-quarter-unit course in methodology directly related to teaching in a departmentalized setting in the specific content area sought (See Terms and Definitions).
    3. Possession of an English learner authorization issued by the Commission authorizing service in English Language Development (ELD) and Specially Designed Academic Instruction delivered in English (SDAIE). See Credential Leaflet CL-622 for more information.
    4. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

  2. I am the holder of a valid Clear or Life Single Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Complete of all of the following:
    1. Elementary subject-matter competence (See Terms and Definitions).
    2. A three-semester-unit or four-quarter-unit course directly related to teaching in a self-contained classroom, excluding the methods of teaching reading.
    3. Coursework in developing English language skills for beginning readers.
    4. Passage of the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA).
    5. Possession of an English learner authorization issued by the Commission authorizing service in English Language Development (ELD) and Specially Designed Academic Instruction delivered in English (SDAIE). See Credential Leaflet CL-622 for more information.
    6. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

  3. I am the holder of a valid Clear or Life Single Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking to add another single subject content area. Complete of all of the following:
    1. Content area subject-matter competence (See Terms and Definitions).
    2. A three-semester-unit or four-quarter-unit course in methodology directly related to teaching in a departmentalized setting in the specific content area sought (See Terms and Definitions).
    3. Possession of an English learner authorization issued by the Commission authorizing service in English Language Development (ELD) and Specially Designed Academic Instruction delivered in English (SDAIE). See Credential Leaflet CL-622 for more information.
    4. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

  4. I am the holder of a valid Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking a Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential. Complete of all of the following:
    1. Content area subject-matter competence (See Terms and Definitions).
    2. A three-semester-unit or four-quarter-unit course in methodology directly related to teaching in a departmentalized setting in the specific content area sought (See Terms and Definitions).
    3. Course work in developing English language skills, including reading (If this was satisfied for the Multiple Subject Credential, it does not need to be retaken for the Single Subject Credential).
    4. Demonstration of a knowledge of the principles and provisions of the Constitution of the United States by coursework (two semester units or three quarter units) or examination (unless this requirement was previously satisfied for another teaching credential issued by the Commission).
    5. Possession of an English learner authorization issued by the Commission authorizing service in English Language Development (ELD) and Specially Designed Academic Instruction delivered in English (SDAIE). See Credential Leaflet CL-622 for more information.
    6. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

  5. I am the holder of a valid Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking a Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Complete of all of the following:
    1. Elementary subject-matter competence (See Terms and Definitions).
    2. A three-semester-unit or four-quarter-unit course in methodology directly related to teaching in a self-contained classroom, excluding the methods of teaching reading.
    3. Coursework in developing English language skills for beginning readers.
    4. Passage of the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA).
    5. Demonstration of a knowledge of the principles and provisions of the Constitution of the United States by coursework (two semester units or three quarter units) or examination (unless this requirement was previously satisfied for another teaching credential issued by the Commission).
    6. Possession of an English learner authorization issued by the Commission authorizing service in English Language Development (ELD) and Specially Designed Academic Instruction delivered in English (SDAIE). See Credential Leaflet CL-622 for more information.
    7. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

  6. I am the holder of a valid Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking to add another single subject content area. Complete of all of the following:
    1. Content area subject-matter competence in the additional content area (See Terms and Definitions).
    2. A three-semester-unit or four-quarter-unit course in methodology directly related to teaching in a departmentalized setting in the specific content area sought (See Terms and Definitions).
    3. Coursework in developing English language skills, including reading (unless this requirement was previously satisfied for another teaching credential issued by the Commission).
    4. Demonstration of a knowledge of the principles and provisions of the Constitution of the United States by coursework (two semester units or three quarter units) or examination (unless this requirement was previously satisfied for another teaching credential issued by the Commission).
    5. Possession of an English learner authorization issued by the Commission authorizing service in English Language Development (ELD) and Specially Designed Academic Instruction delivered in English (SDAIE). See Credential Leaflet CL-622 for more information.
    6. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

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National Board Certification

Senate Bill 941 (Chap. 348, Stats. 2011) authorizes the Commission to issue an authorization for an additional content area or new credential type to the holder of a valid Multiple Subject or Single Subject 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 Terms and Definitions).

  1. I am the holder of a valid Clear or Life Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking a Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential based on National Board certification. Complete of all of the following:
    1. Possession of National Board Certification in a departmentalized content area that is comparable to a content area specified in Education Code section 44257 (See Terms and Definitions).
    2. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

  2. I am the holder of a valid Clear or Life Single Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential based on National Board certification. Complete of all of the following:
    1. Possession of National Board Certification in the area of Early Childhood (ages 3-8)/Generalist or Middle Childhood (ages 7-12)/Generalist.
    2. Content area subject-matter competence (See Terms and Definitions).
    3. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

  3. I am the holder of a valid Clear or Life Single Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking an additional single subject content area based on National Board certification Complete of all of the following:
    1. Possession of National Board Certification in a departmentalized content area that is comparable to a content area specified in Education Code section 44257 (See Terms and Definitions).
    2. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

  4. I am the holder of a valid Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking a Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential based on National Board certification Complete of all of the following:
    1. Possession of National Board Certification in a departmentalized content area that is comparable to a content area specified in Education Code section 44257 (See Terms and Definitions).
    2. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

  5. I am the holder of a valid Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking a Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential based on National Board certification Complete of all of the following:
    1. Possession of National Board Certification in the area of Early Childhood (ages 3-8)/Generalist or Middle Childhood (ages 7-12)/Generalist.
    2. Content area subject-matter competence (See Terms and Definitions).
    3. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

  6. I am the holder of a valid Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking an additional single subject content area based on National Board certification Complete of all of the following:
    1. Possession of National Board Certification in a departmentalized content area that is comparable to a content area specified in Education Code section 44257 (See Terms and Definitions).
    2. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

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Out-of-State Credentials

Individuals holding a California Multiple or Single Subject Credential may also use a full teaching certification from another U.S. state or territory to obtain an additional credential type or content area.

  1. I am the holder of a valid Clear or Life Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking a Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential based on possession of an out-of-state credential. Complete of all of the following:
    1. A professional level teaching credential issued by another state or U.S. Territory with a departmentalized classroom teaching authorization that is comparable to an authorization specified in Education Code section 44257 (See Terms and Definitions).
    2. Possession of an English learner authorization issued by the Commission authorizing service in English Language Development (ELD) and Specially Designed Academic Instruction delivered in English (SDAIE). See Credential Leaflet CL-622 for more information.
    3. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

  2. I am the holder of a valid Clear or Life Single Subject Teaching Credential and am seeking a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential based on possession of an out-of-state credential. Complete of all of the following:
    1. A professional level teaching credential issued by another state or U.S. Territory with an elementary education or self-contained classroom teaching authorization, and
    2. Possession of an English learner authorization issued by the Commission authorizing service  English Language Development (ELD) and Specially  Designed Academic Instruction delivered in English (SDAIE). See Credential Leaflet CL-622 for more information.
    3. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

  3. I am the holder of a valid Clear or Life Single Subject Teaching Credential seeking to obtain an additional content area based on possession of an out-of-state credential. Complete of all of the following:
    1. A professional level teaching credential issued by another state or U.S. Territory with a departmentalized classroom teaching authorization that is comparable to an authorization specified in Education Code section 44257 (Terms and Definitions).
    2. Possession of an English learner authorization issued by the Commission authorizing service in English Language Development (ELD) and Specially Designed Academic Instruction delivered in English (SDAIE). See Credential Leaflet CL-622 for more information.
    3. Completed application and processing fee (See How to Apply).

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How to Apply

Applications for added teaching or content areas may be submitted to the Commission by mail including the following items:

  1. A completed application (form 41-4).
  2. Supporting documentation, such as official transcripts, copies of test scores, National Board certificate, out-of-state credential, as applicable.
  3. Application processing fee.

Terms and Definitions

Methodology in the Specific Content Area

A pedagogy (methods of teaching) course must be completed when an individual is adding a new credential type or single subject content area to an existing credential when seeking both the Multiple Subject and Single Subject Credential. The pedagogy course must align with the specific content area sought. A non-specific or generic secondary methods course is not acceptable.

Pedagogy Chart

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing has prepared a chart to assist individuals, colleges, universities and employers in locating institutions that offer standalone courses an individual can complete to satisfy the pedagogy requirement when adding an authorization to a credential or obtaining a new credential type under the provisions of California Code of Regulations, Title 5 §80499. See the pedagogy course chart for more information.

Commission-approved program sponsors may grant equivalency for coursework completed at their institution for candidates seeking to meet the pedagogy requirement to avoid any potential redundancy in satisfying this requirement as long as the institution has the appropriate teacher preparation program for the credential type or content area sought. For verification of equivalency, educators must submit with their application and transcripts an original, signed letter on the institution’s letterhead indicating that the coursework completed meets the subject specific pedagogy requirement. A letter from an institution of higher education must be signed by the director of teacher education.

Exceptions

Individuals holding a Single Subject Credential seeking to add a new subject that falls within the same broad content area would not need to complete additional pedagogy coursework. Applicants adding the following content areas need not complete additional pedagogy coursework to meet this requirement:

  1. adding a Science content area to an existing Science credential (includes Foundational-Level General Science);
  2. upgrading a Foundational-Level Mathematics credential to the full Mathematics content area; or
  3. adding a World Language (WL)/LOTE (Language other than English) content area, other than English Language Development (ELD), to an existing WL/LOTE credential in any content area other than ELD.

The following are examples of exception #3:

  1. Holder of a Single Subject Credential in WL: ELD adding a new WL/LOTE area such as Spanish or French must complete a WL/LOTE pedagogy course. The course may be in any LOTE area other than ELD due to the specialized preparation and pedagogy required for WL: ELD.
  2. Holder of a Single Subject Credential in French seeks to add Mandarin—it is not necessary to complete a Mandarin pedagogy course. This educator has already met the WL/LOTE pedagogy requirement. See PSA 14-01 Subject Specific Pedagogy for additional information.
  3. Holder of a Single Subject Credential in any content area except WL/LOTE seeking to add a WL/LOTE content area must take a WL/LOTE pedagogy course. However, the course can be completed at an institution that is approved to offer any WL/LOTE single subject program even though the pedagogy course is not focused on a specific language. For example, a Single Subject Credential holder in Social Studies seeking to add Mandarin as a new single subject content area may complete a WL/LOTE pedagogy course at an institution approved to offer any WL/LOTE single subject program and the course need not be focused on Mandarin.

While Commission-approved program sponsors may grant equivalency by verifying that coursework completed at their institution fulfills the pedagogy requirement, regulations do not allow program sponsors to grant equivalency for anything other than coursework, including teaching experience. The completion of a minimum of three semester units or four quarter units of pedagogy coursework directly related to the credential type or content area sought must be completed in all cases and verified with the submission of official transcripts.

Letter of Clarification

At times the course title shown on a transcript or the course description of a pedagogy course may not clearly identify that the course content meets the subject specific pedagogy requirement. In such a case, the applicant may ask the university to provide a letter of clarification (not equivalency) on the university letterhead signed by a person authorized from the credentials office verifying that the course includes the subject specific content area pedagogy as set out in Title 5 section 80499. The original letter must be included with the application. Refer to PSA 14-01 for additional information.

Out-of-State Pedagogy Courses

Pedagogy courses from states outside of California may be accepted toward meeting this requirement only if these courses were completed at a regionally-accredited institution with a state-approved professional teacher preparation program. See Coded Correspondence 13-17 for more information.

Subject-Matter Competence

Subject-matter competence may be verified by one of the following methods:
  1. Achieve a passing score on the appropriate subject-matter examination(s). Examination information, including passing scores and registration, can be found in Verifying Subject-Matter Competence by Examination leaflets, CL-674S for Single Subject or CL-674M for Multiple Subject.
  2. Complete a Commission-approved subject-matter program and obtain verification of completion from the authorized person in the education department of a California college or university with an approved subject matter program.
  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 verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation. Coursework must be completed at a regionally-accredited institution and addresses each of the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the Commission in the content area of the Single or Multiple Subject Credential.
  5. Successful completion of a degree major from a regionally-accredited college or university. For a Single Subject Teaching Credential, the degree major must be in one of the statutory single subjects available as listed below. For a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, the degree must be in liberal studies or an interdisciplinary major that includes coursework in the content areas identified in subdivision (b) of California Education Code section 44282.
  6. Successful completion through a combination of coursework and examination options that meet or exceed the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the Commission in the content area of the Single or Multiple Subject Credential. 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:

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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

 

National Board Certification-Content Areas

Multiple Subject:

Early Childhood (ages 3 - 8)/ Generalist; Middle Childhood (ages 7 - 12)/ Generalist.

National Board Certification-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 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 [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 a Single Subject Credential in the specific science content area based upon:

  1. an out-of-state credential with a matching content area;
  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 content area.

The required documentation must be submitted with the photocopy of the individual’s National Board Certificate and all other supporting materials. Item 2 above is an option only for individuals who obtained National Board Certification in Adolescence and Young Adulthood in Science.

Teachers with out-of-state credentials issued in the general 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-621A  May 2021
Updated July 23, 2021