The Commission is authorized to grant an Eminence Credential (teaching or services) to an individual who is eminent in a specific endeavor and is recognized as such beyond the boundaries of his or her community, having demonstrably advanced his or her field, and has been acknowledged by his or her peers beyond the norm for others in the specific endeavor.

Eminence credentials are only available at the recommendation of an employing agency. The employing agency must demonstrate how the eminent individual will enrich the educational quality of the employing agency. The employing agency’s employment needs will not be considered as evidence for eminence. The candidate is required to attend the Commission meeting when his or her Eminence Credential is being considered.
Individuals may not apply directly to the Commission for an Eminence Credential.

Requirements For The Eminence Credential

Consideration of an Eminence Credential will be based upon submission of all of the following by the employing agency:

  1. Recommendation from the governing board of the employing agency, verified on form CL-226, entitled Recommendation for a Person of Eminence.

  2. Verification of employment by the employing agency.

  3. Verification of the individual’s eminence qualifications (see requirements below).

  4. A letter from the employing agency stating how this individual will enrich the educational experience of the school district.

  5. Completed application (form 41-4), and, if not previously submitted to the Commission, a completed LiveScan receipt (form 41-LS). Out-of-state residents must submit two fingerprint cards in lieu of a LiveScan receipt. If submitting fingerprint cards, current fingerprint processing fees must accompany the application packet in addition to the application processing fee. Fingerprint cards may be ordered by sending an email to the Commission at OutofStateFPs@ctc.ca.gov.

  6. Application processing fees
    The basic skills requirement is not required of Eminence Credential applicants.

The Application Process

Commission staff will initially review the application to determine if an individual meets the definition of eminence. If staff concludes that the individual meets the definition, staff will then forward the application to the Commission for review and action at the next available Commission meeting. Staff submission of an eminence application that appears to meet the guidelines does not ensure Commission approval.

If staff concludes the individual does not meet the definition of eminence, staff will deny the application. Upon denial of an application, the employing school district may request that staff reconsider its decision. The employing agency must submit new evidentiary material that was not available at the time of initial application relevant to the reason(s) for denial. If staff determines that the new information supports the definition of eminence, staff will forward the application to the Commission for review and action at the next available Commission meeting. If the new evidence does not provide additional support of eminence, the application will be placed on the Commission’s consent calendar with a recommendation for denial.

Documentation Requirements for Verifying Eminence

  1. Evidence must be presented in each of the following areas:
    1. Recognized as eminent beyond the boundaries of his or her community
      The individual's professional reputation, expertise, and influence will be considered in the review
      process and must extend beyond the boundaries of the local community. To meet this
      requirement the individual must be renown outside of the individual's geographic community.
      More merit will be placed on international and interstate recognition in their area of endeavor
      than exposure within the individual's state or residence. Recognition beyond local boundaries
      does not include residential moves from state to state or country to country.

    2. Demonstrably advanced his or her field
      A person with exceptional knowledge in a particular field is not necessarily eminent in that field. To demonstrate advancement of the field the applicant must provide documentation of advanced degrees, distinguished employment within the endeavor, including evidence of research and authorship activities substantially contributing to their field of endeavor and indicate a high level of expertise. For example, when the eminence is for work in the arts, distinguished employment must be verified with evidence that the individual received top billings in films, productions, televised events or exhibitions, as applicable.

    3. Acknowledge by his her peers beyond the norm for others in the specific endeavor.
      To meet this requirement the employing agency must submit all of the following documentation:
      1. Letters from former employers, professional colleagues and other experts in the field, relating to the individual's recognized expertise or position of prominence within the specific field.

      2. Documents evidencing an extraordinary ability worthy of distinction, such as written advisory opinions from a peer group, national or international organization representing the field.

      3. Evidence of a major, nationally or internationally recognized award. These awards should be of the type recognizing uncommon achievement in and advancement of a particular field of endeavor.

      4. Evidence of any extremely significant contribution made to their field.

      5. Authorship of a new or unusually successful method of educating children or members of the public in the individual's field of endeavor.

      6. Extraordinary success in their field (commercial or humanitarian).

  2. Documentation used in support of an application for eminence, as outlined in the above criteria, must be from (but are not limited to) the following:
    1. Professional associations and organizations.
    2. Former and current employers.
    3. Professional colleagues (beyond those he or she currently works with).
    4. Other (individuals or groups whose evaluations would support eminence).

  3. Documentation may include (but is not limited to) the following:
    1. Advanced degrees (required for academic authorizations).
    2. Distinguished employment or performance in the specific field or endeavor.
    3. Related study or experience.
    4. Publications and/or articles published in established trade or professional journals.
    5. Evidence of leadership in state or national professional organizations.
    6. Awards or honors attained for contributions to his or her field of endeavor.

  4. A letter from the candidate describing his or her accomplishments that support a claim of eminence.

Period of Validity

The first Eminence Credential is valid for two years. The second issuance is valid for three years. During the first five years of the Eminence Credential, the holder is restricted to service in the employing agency that requested the Eminence Credential. After the five-year period, the holder will qualify for a clear credential that is valid throughout California upon submission of an application (form 41-4) and application processing fee.

Renewal for the Second Issuance For the Remainder of the Preliminary

After the completion of two years of service on the Eminence Credential the employing school district may request a renewal for the remaining three years of the five-year preliminary period with submission of the following:

  1. Recommendation from the governing board of the employing agency for continued employment verified on form CL-226, entitled Recommendation for a Person of Eminence.

  2. A letter from the employing agency stating this individual continues to enrich the educational experience of the students in the school district.

  3. Completed application (form 41-4) and Application processing fees.

Renewal for the Issuance of a Clear Eminence Credential

After completion of five years of service on a Preliminary Eminence Credential the employer may request a Clear Eminence Credential with submission of the following:

  1. Recommendation from the governing board of the employing agency for the Clear Eminence Credential based on successful employment on the Eminence Credential verified on form CL-226, entitled Recommendation for a Person of Eminence.

  2. A letter from the employing agency stating this individual enriched the educational experience of the students in the school district.

  3. Completed application (form 41-4) and Application processing fees.

References:
California Education Code, Sections 44262 and Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 80043 - 80045.

CL-504  May, 2012
Updated September 22, 2021