Multiple Subject Teaching Credential
Requirements for Individuals Prepared Out-of-State

California has a two-tier credential structure. A preliminary credential is the first document issued after an individual meets basic credential requirements. The preliminary credential is issued for a maximum of five years. A clear credential is issued when all credential requirements have been completed. If requirements for the clear credential are not completed before the expiration of the preliminary, the holder will be unable to teach in California’s public schools with that credential until those requirements are met and the document is renewed.

A Multiple Subject Teaching Credential authorizes the holder to teach in a self-contained classroom such as the classrooms in most elementary schools. However, a teacher authorized for multiple subject instruction may be assigned to teach in any self-contained classroom (preschool, K–12, inclusive, or in classes organized primarily for adults). In addition, the holder of a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential may serve in a core or team teaching setting.

Individuals Prepared Outside of the United States

Individuals who completed their teacher preparation program outside of the United States and do not hold a comparable teaching credential issued by a US state other than California should refer to Commission leaflet CL-871, entitled Multiple Subject Teaching Credential – Requirements for Individuals Prepared Outside of the United States.

Your Application Packet

California has three routes out-of-state prepared teachers may use to qualify for the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Individuals may determine which route best applies to their circumstances. Those who completed their professional preparation program outside of California may apply directly to the Commission for their initial credential by submitting an application packet by mail consisting of all of the following:

  1. Completed application (form 41-4), and, if not previously submitted to the Commission, a completed Live Scan receipt (form 41-LS). Out-of-state residents must submit two fingerprint cards (FD-258) in lieu of a Live Scan 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.

  2. Application processing fee.

  3. Official transcripts, letters of experience, verification of completion of the basic skills requirement (if applicable), photocopies of out-of-state credentials, and performance evaluations as applicable to the route used to earn the credential.

Route 1 – Less than Two Years of Out-of-State Teaching Experience
Requirements for the Five-Year Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

Individuals prepared outside of California who have less than two years of out-of-state full-time teaching experience (see Terms and Definitions) may qualify for a California teaching credential by documenting all of the following in their application packet:

  1. Baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally-accredited college or university.

  2. Basic Skills Requirement. Individuals may be issued a preliminary credential prior to satisfying the basic skills requirement but must meet the requirement within one year of their credential issue date. See Commission leaflet CL-667 entitled Basic Skills Requirement for additional information on acceptable scores and submitting score reports.

  3. Comparable teaching credential earned in a state or U.S. Territory other than California based upon completion of a professional preparation program (or alternative program) in elementary education, including student teaching, taken at a regionally-accredited institution
    • The credential does not have to be valid at the time of application.
    • A photocopy of the out-of-state credential is acceptable verification of this requirement (front and back as applicable).
    • The subject area listed on the out-of-state credential authorization must correspond to the subject area sought.
    • If the out-of-state credential is authorized for middle school service only, a preliminary credential may be issued but the individual will be required to meet California’s subject-matter requirements (see Terms and Definitions) before the clear credential may be issued.

     

Requirements for the Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential for Route 1

Individuals who qualify for the preliminary credential via Route 1 must complete all of the following to qualify for the clear credential:

  1. Meet subject-matter competence, if not met with the issuance of the preliminary, as explained in #3 above (see Terms and Definitions).             
  2. Complete a Commission-approved Teacher Induction Program (See Terms and Definitions).

  3. Earn an authorization to teach English learners by one of the following methods:
    1. Obtain 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-628C for more information.
    2. Submit a copy of an out-of-state credential verifying a full English learner authorization.

      Candidates completing a Teacher Induction program will have their applications for the clear credential submitted online by the program sponsor. 

Route 2 – Two or More Years of Out-of-State Teaching Experience
Requirements for the Five-Year Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

Individuals prepared outside of California who verify two or more years of out-of-state full-time teaching experience (see Terms and Definitions) may qualify for a California teaching credential by documenting all of the following in their application packet:

  1. Baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally-accredited college or university.

  2. Basic Skills Requirement. Individuals may be issued a preliminary credential prior to satisfying the basic skills requirement but must meet the requirement within one year of their credential issue date. See Commission leaflet CL-667 entitled Basic Skills Requirement for additional information on acceptable scores and submitting score reports.

  3. Comparable teaching credential earned in a state or U.S. Territory other than California based upon completion of a professional preparation program (or alternative program) in elementary education, including student teaching, taken at a regionally-accredited institution.
    • The credential does not have to be valid at the time of application.
    • A photocopy of the out-of-state credential is acceptable verification of this requirement (front and back as applicable).
    • The subject area listed on the out-of-state credential authorization must correspond to the subject area sought.
    • If the out-of-state credential is authorized for middle school service only, a preliminary credential may be issued but the individual will be required to meet California subject-matter requirements (see Terms and Definitions) before the clear credential may be issued.

  4. Letter from the out-of-state employer verifying at least two years of out-of-state full-time teaching experience accompanied by two satisfactory performance evaluations (see Terms and Definitions).

Requirements for the Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential for Route 2

Individuals may apply directly to the Commission for a clear teaching credential by submitting an application (form 41-4) and processing fee by mail with documentation of all of the following (including meeting all the requirements for the preliminary credential):

  1. Meet subject-matter competence, if not met with the issuance of the preliminary (see Terms and Definitions).

  2. Earn an authorization to teach English learners by one of the following methods:
    1. Obtain 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-628C for more information.
    2. Submit a copy of an out-of-state credential verifying a full English learner authorization.

If all requirements for the both the preliminary and clear credential are met with the initial application, the individual will be issued the clear credential and not the preliminary.

Route 3 - National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification

Teachers who are certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in one of the qualifying subjects listed below may be issued a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Individuals applying for their initial California credential under this route are exempt from the basic skills requirement and all other credential requirements except fingerprint clearance.

National Board Certification:

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

Individuals applying under this option may apply directly to the Commission for a clear teaching credential by submitting an application by mail that includes all the following:

  1. Photocopy of National Board Certification.

  2. Copy of a professional level credential from a state other than California.

  3. Completed application (form 41-4), and, if not previously submitted to the Commission, a completed Live Scan receipt (form 41-LS). Out-of-state residents must submit two fingerprint cards (FD-258) in lieu of a Live Scan receipt. If submitting fingerprint cards, the current fingerprint processing fee must accompany the application packet. Fingerprint cards may be ordered by sending an email to OutofStateFPs@ctc.ca.gov.

  4. Application processing fee.

Individuals who obtained National Board Certification in one of the qualifying subjects after obtaining their California Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential may be issued a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Individuals applying under this route are exempt from the basic skills requirement and all other credential requirements except fingerprint clearance.

Individuals holding a California preliminary or clear Single Subject Teaching Credential, or equivalent previously issued general education teaching credential, using National Board Certification to apply for the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential should consult credential leaflet CL-621A Adding a Teaching or Subject Area to Multiple and Single Subject Credentials for specific requirements.

Out-of-State Dual Certified Teachers
Out-of-state prepared individuals who have earned a Clear California Education Specialist Credential and also earned professional level certification from another state in elementary general education may apply for the Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential without first obtaining a preliminary credential, provided they have met the California English learner requirement. If the out-of-state-prepared educator holds a California Preliminary or Level I Education Specialist Credential and a comparable out-of-state elementary general education teaching credential and meets all other requirements, the Commission will issue a Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential.

If the individual has not completed the English learner requirement, the Commission will issue a Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential and the individual will need to complete the English learner requirement to earn the clear credential. See Credential Leaflet CL-628C for more information.

Transition Renewal Options for Out-of-State Prepared Teachers Issued a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Prior to January 1, 2007
Individuals who were issued Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials prior to January 1, 2007 on the basis of completion of an out-of-state teacher preparation program may use the transition option under Senate Bill 1209 to the current clear credential requirements. See Coded Correspondence 17-06 and Coded Correspondence 06-0027 for more information.

Private School Experience
Individuals who do not hold an out-of-state credential but have three or more years teaching experience in a regionally-accredited private school should refer to the information leaflet entitled Single Subject and Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials – Requirements for Teachers with Private School Experience (CL-834) for information on additional options to qualify for the credential.

Terms and definitions

Commission-approved Teacher Induction Program: A two year, job embedded program of mentoring, support and learning based in the California Standards for the Teaching Profession for the beginning teacher. A Verification of Induction Program Completion Form must be signed by the induction program director or designee. Individuals should contact their employing agency concerning enrollment in an induction program.

Full-time Teaching Experience: Teaching experience must be verified by an original letter on official letterhead of the district or districts where the teacher was employed, signed by the superintendent, assistant superintendent, or director of personnel or human resources. The letter must explicitly state the service performed was on a full-time basis and indicate all of the following:

  • Experience must be full-time teaching; no part-time or a combination of teaching and other school employment will be accepted. Full-time teaching is defined as a minimum of 4 hours per day for at least 75% of a school year. Beginning and ending dates of service should be clearly indicated.
  • All experience must be gained in regionally-accredited schools outside California. Teaching experience gained in California is not acceptable.
  • Teaching experience does not need to correspond with the type of certification requested and may be a combination of general education and special education.
  • Day-to-day substitute, Adult education, and Vocational/Career Technical education experience is not acceptable. 

Satisfactory Performance Evaluations
Originals or photocopies of the teacher’s performance evaluations for at least two years of teaching on which ratings of ‘satisfactory’ or better were received must be submitted by individuals applying via Route 2. The evaluations must be from the period of full-time service verified by the out-of-state employer. Applicants must submit summative teacher evaluations for continued employment. Classroom visits/observations or pre-observations, plans for professional growth, self-assessments, self-reflections, or personal reviews do not meet the criteria for performance evaluations and will not be accepted.

Individuals who were not evaluated or who cannot obtain photocopies of their evaluations may provide a supplemental evaluation letter(s) signed by their out-of-state principal or superintendent in lieu of actual performance evaluations. The supplemental letter must cover two separate years of full-time teaching and verify that the individual’s performance in at least the four following areas was “satisfactory” or better:

  1. The use of teaching strategies that motivate all students to engage in the learning process.
  2. The ability to establish and maintain high standards for student behavior.
  3. A demonstration of deep knowledge of the subject being taught and the use of appropriate instructional strategies that promote student understanding.
  4. An ability to plan and implement a sequence of appropriate instructional activities.

Each evaluation or performance letter must be completed, dated and signed by the appropriate school or school district administrator.

Subject-Matter Competence: The out-of-state credential authorization must correspond to a California subject area. If the subject(s) listed on the out-of-state credential is for middle school instruction only, a preliminary credential may be issued but the applicant will be required to meet California’s subject-matter requirement before the clear credential may be issued. Subject matter competence may be verified by one of the following methods:

  1. Achieve a passing score on the appropriate subject matter examination(s). Information regarding the appropriate subject matter examination(s), including passing scores and registration, can be found in Commission leaflet CL-674M [pdf], entitled Verifying Subject Matter Competence by Examination for Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials.
  2. Complete a Commission-approved elementary subject-matter program or its equivalent and obtain verification of completion from the authorized person in the education department of a California college or university with an accredited program.
  3. 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 areas of the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.
  4. Successful completion of a degree major from a regionally-accredited college or university. 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.
  5. 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 Multiple Subject Credential. Such mixing of options may only be done by candidates enrolled in a Commission-approved preparation program.

California participates in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement. Visit the NASDTEC website for more information.


Reference:
California Education Code, Sections 44252, 44253.3, 44257, 44274.2, 44279.1, 44280, 44281, and 44282, and Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 80413.3

CL-561  January, 2019
Updated November 19, 2021