What is considered “qualifying” coursework?

For coursework to be eligible for the BSR: the candidate must:

  • Candidate must have taken the course at a regionally accredited institution of higher education
  • Candidate must have achieved a grade of B- or better, Pass, or Credit
  • Course must have been the equivalent of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units
  • Course must be degree applicable.
    • Degree applicable means that the course is non-remedial and could be applied towards the undergraduate requirements of a Bachelor’s degree or for an Associates degree, or is transferred to a four-year institution. This can include community college coursework (whether used for transfer or not).

Can a candidate use the same course to meet both the Reading and Writing requirements?

Yes. To qualify, the individual will need to get a letter from the registrar or the relevant department academic chair where the course was completed confirming that the course includes the study of reading and writing as outlined in the criteria. Most likely, the department chair letter would come from the English Department, as that subject generally includes content in both reading and writing.

Can a candidate apply directly to the Commission when mixing and matching CBEST subtest results and coursework, or does a Commission-approved preparation program need to submit the application?

A candidate may apply directly to the Commission or through a Commission-approved preparation program for a credential or permit when using the mixing and matching option. The option to mix and match coursework and examination subtests can only be verified by a Commission-approved preparation program or the Commission. Note that out-of-state examination subtests cannot be used as a mix-and-match option.

Can an LEA submit an application where the educator is using coursework to meet the Basic Skills Requirement?

An application where the educator is attempting to meet the BSR by coursework can be submitted by an LEA, Commission-approved preparation program sponsor, or the applicant directly. However, any applications submitted using this option that do not come from a Commission-approved preparation program will be evaluated for BSR by Commission staff.

If I already have an application waiting to be reviewed, will the Commission check my transcripts to see if I meet the requirement under this new option?

Yes, the new option will apply to all applications regardless of when they were received by the Commission. Additionally, individuals who were issued credentials and still must meet the Basic Skills Requirement may submit an application, processing fee, and transcripts if they wish to be evaluated under this new option.

Can a candidate who took courses at a college or university outside of the United States use those courses to meet the Basic Skills Requirement?

Yes, as long as the candidate has obtained an evaluation from a Commission-approved foreign transcript evaluating agency showing that the coursework is equivalent to courses taken at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States. Additionally, courses covering the reading and writing components must demonstrate proficiency in the English language.

Can courses completed with “Pass” or “Credit” be used toward meeting this requirement?

Yes, courses in which “Pass” or “Credit” was earned in lieu of a letter grade may be used toward meeting the Basic Skills Requirement.

If an educator completed a course that is less than three semester units or four quarter units, can they combine two courses to meet the unit requirement?

Yes. If a course was less than three semester units or four quarter units then an educator can still meet the requirement by completing a second course to make up for the missing units.

Are Community College faculty and Teacher Education Coordinators authorized to sign form 41-BSR – Verification of Basic Skills Requirement?

Only the authorized submitter(s) for a Commission-approved preparation program are able to sign form 41-BSR to show that the basic skills requirement has been verified by the program. However, the form can be used by other LEAs and be included in an application as a guide for Commission staff to help with the academic evaluation of how the candidate is meeting the BSR. When the form is submitted and signed by an authorized submitter of a Commission-approved preparation program, the Commission will not conduct a review for the BSR and will consider the program to have cleared that requirement. If the form is submitted by another LEA that is not a Commission-approved preparation program or is signed by anyone other than an authorized submitter, the Commission will only use it as a guide and staff will conduct their own coursework review for the BSR. Note: Only Commission-approved preparation programs or the Commission can evaluate the mix-and-match coursework and examination subtests option.

An authorized submitter is doing a BSR mix and match evaluation with two CBEST scores. When they are doing this evaluation, is the minimum acceptable score for each subtest 41, or can the score be as low as 37?

The minimum score for a subtest that will be used to mix and match BSR requirements is 41. The option to satisfy BSR with a subtest score as low as 37 is only available when candidates have taken all three CBEST subtests to meet the BSR and the total CBEST score for all three subtests combined is a minimum of 123.

An LEA or applicant is applying directly to the Commission and wishes to use coursework and/or coursework and exam combination. What should the applicant do with Form CL-130 or 41-BSR?

When submitting an application through your program sponsor, employer or directly to the Commission, it is highly recommended that you obtain a copy of the document that was used to verify BSR- either CL-130 or 41-BSR, to keep for your records. 

How can Commission-approved preparation programs determine if the basic skills requirement has been satisfied?

Program sponsors may ask the applicant for a copy of CL-130 or 41-BSR and can also email credentials@ctc.ca.gov for assistance. 
Updated December 16, 2021