Common Standards reflect aspects of program quality that are the same for all credential programs, regardless of type of program. The institution/program sponsor must respond to each Common Standard by providing information and/or supporting documentation about the individual programs to be offered by the institution/program sponsor.
Italicized language in the Common Standards represents language that has been defined in the Common Standards Glossary.
The full Common Standards & Glossary document is also available: Common Standards & Glossary (Adopted in 2015. Updated in August 2022 to replace the use of the word stakeholder with constituent and clarify definitions of Authority, Site-Based Supervisor, and Unit Leadership.)
For additional resources on preparing for the Common Standards Review submission, please visit Common Standards Review.
Standard 1: Institutional Infrastructure to Support Educator Preparation
Each Commission-approved institution has the infrastructure in place to operate effective educator preparation programs. Within this overall infrastructure:
- The institution and education unit create and articulate a research-based vision of teaching and learning that fosters coherence among, and is clearly represented in all educator preparation programs. This vision is consistent with preparing educators for California public schools and the effective implementation of California’s adopted standards and curricular frameworks.
- The institution actively involves faculty, instructional personnel, and relevant constituencies in the organization, coordination, and decision making for all educator preparation programs.
- The education unit ensures that faculty and instructional personnel regularly and systematically collaborate with colleagues in P-12 settings, college and university units and members of the broader educational community to improve educator preparation.
- The institution provides the unit with sufficient resources for the effective operation of each educator preparation program, including, but not limited to, coordination, admission, advisement, curriculum, professional development/instruction, field based supervision and clinical experiences.
- The Unit Leadership has the authority and institutional support required to address the needs of all educator preparation programs and considers the interests of each program within the institution.
- Recruitment and faculty development efforts support hiring and retention of faculty who represent and support diversity and excellence.
- The institution employs, assigns and retains only qualified persons to teach courses, provide professional development, and supervise field-based and clinical experiences. Qualifications of faculty and other instructional personnel must include, but are not limited to: a) current knowledge of the content; b) knowledge of the current context of public schooling including the California adopted P-12 content standards, frameworks, and accountability systems; c) knowledge of diversity in society, including diverse abilities, culture, language, ethnicity, and gender orientation; and d) demonstration of effective professional practices in teaching and learning, scholarship, and service.
- The education unit monitors a credential recommendation process that ensures that candidates recommended for a credential have met all requirements.
Standard 2: Candidate Recruitment and Support
Candidates are recruited and supported in all educator preparation programs to ensure their success.
- The education unit accepts applicants for its educator preparation programs based on clear criteria that include multiple measures of candidate qualifications.
- The education unit purposefully recruits and admits candidates to diversify the educator pool in California and provides the support, advice, and assistance to promote their successful entry and retention in the profession.
- Appropriate information and personnel are clearly identified and accessible to guide each candidate’s attainment of program requirements.
- Evidence regarding progress in meeting competency and performance expectations is consistently used to guide advisement and candidate support efforts. A clearly defined process is in place to identify and support candidates who need additional assistance to meet competencies.
Standard 3: Course of Study, Fieldwork and Clinical Practice
The unit designs and implements a planned sequence of coursework and clinical experiences for candidates to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills to educate and support P-12 students in meeting state-adopted content standards.
The unit and its programs offer a high-quality course of study focused on the knowledge and skills expected of beginning educators and grounded in current research on effective practice. Coursework is integrated closely with field experiences to provide candidates with a cohesive and comprehensive program that allows candidates to learn, practice, and demonstrate competencies required of the credential they seek.
The unit and all programs collaborate with their partners regarding the criteria and selection of clinical personnel, site-based supervisors and school sites, as appropriate to the program.
- Through site-based work and clinical experiences, programs offered by the unit provide candidates with opportunities to both experience issues of diversity that affect school climate and to effectively implement research-based strategies for improving teaching and student learning.
- Site-based supervisors must be certified and experienced in teaching the specified content or performing the services authorized by the credential.
- The process and criteria result in the selection of site-based supervisors who provide effective and knowledgeable support for candidates.
- Site-based supervisors are trained in supervision, oriented to the supervisory role, evaluated and recognized in a systematic manner.
- All programs effectively implement and evaluate fieldwork and clinical practice.
- For each program the unit offers, candidates have significant experience in California public schools with diverse student populations and the opportunity to work with the range of students identified in the program standards.
Standard 4: Continuous Improvement
The education unit develops and implements a comprehensive continuous improvement process at both the unit level and within each of its programs that identifies program and unit effectiveness and makes appropriate modifications based on findings.
- The education unit and its programs regularly assess their effectiveness in relation to the course of study offered, fieldwork and clinical practice, and support services for candidates.
- Both the unit and its programs regularly and systematically collect, analyze, and use candidate and program completer data as well as data reflecting the effectiveness of unit operations to improve programs and their services.
- The continuous improvement process includes multiple sources of data including 1) the extent to which candidates are prepared to enter professional practice; and 2) feedback from key constituencies such as employers and community partners about the quality of the preparation.
Standard 5: Program Impact
The institution ensures that candidates preparing to serve as professional school personnel know and demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary to educate and support effectively all students in meeting state adopted academic standards. Assessments indicate that candidates meet the Commission adopted competency requirements as specified in the program standards.
The unit and its programs evaluate and demonstrate that they are having a positive impact on candidate learning and competence and on teaching and learning in schools that serve California’s students.
Common Standards Glossary
An individual or individuals to whom the institution has granted the power to manage the human and fiscal resources needed to meet all educator preparation program goals. The unit authority is typically the dean at an IHE or an associate superintendent/director of a local education agency. (See also Unit Leadership) Unit authority is rarely the program director unless that individual serves in a unit leadership role as well.
Broader Educational Community
Refers to agencies, institutions, and others external to the program sponsor that are also involved with education, such as educational services, advocates, P-12 schools, IHEs, district offices, specialists, SELPAs, special education program managers, local business and industry, counseling
California Public Schools
Refers to public schools, charter schools, and non-public schools serving students with special needs; Public schools are assigned a CDS code from the California Department of Education (Does
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An individual participating in a credential program, including for both teaching credentials and services credentials, whether for an initial or second-tier credential or authorization.
Refers to a California educator holding a valid credential appropriate to his/her role and/or responsibility.
Refers to student teaching, internships, and/or clinical practice that provide candidates with an intensive and extensive culminating activity. Synonymous with Field Work. Within the field- based/clinical experiences, candidates are immersed in the learning community and are provided opportunities to develop and demonstrate competence in the professional roles for which they are preparing. Field-based experiences are provided to the candidate under the supervision or guidance of an experienced individual who has the knowledge and skills the candidate is working to attain.
P–12 school personnel and/or professional education faculty responsible for instruction, supervision, support, and/or assessment of candidates during field experiences and clinical practice. (See also Clinical Experiences and Field Work)
To assess candidate knowledge, skills, and performance for the purposes of helping the candidate satisfy the relevant program competency requirements. Does not include evaluation for employment purposes.
Refers to academic and professional achievement of a high caliber that exemplifies exceptional professional ethics and a strong commitment to highest quality of educator preparation.
Refers to individuals employed by a college, university, school district, county office of education, including graduate teaching assistants, and/or by a Commission-approved partnering entity, who teach one or more courses in education, provide services to candidates (e.g., advising, support), provide professional development, supervise clinical experiences, and/or administer some aspect
Refers to supervisory activities undertaken to evaluate a candidate’s competence by a qualified person designated to assist a candidate in mastering the required knowledge, skills and abilities expected of the candidate, and/or to support the candidate during clinical/field-based activities. (see also Supervision)
Refers to student teaching, internships, and/or clinical practice that provide candidates with an intensive and extensive culminating activity. Synonymous with Clinical Experiences. Within the field- based/clinical experiences, candidates are immersed in the learning community and are provided opportunities to develop and demonstrate competence in the professional roles for which they are preparing. Field-based experiences are provided to the candidate under the supervision or guidance of an experienced individual who has the knowledge and skills the candidate is working to attain. (See also Clinical Experiences)
The university, college, school district, county office of education, program sponsor or other entity approved by the Commission to offer educator preparation programs. An institution may be a regionally accredited institution of higher education (IHE) or a local educational agency (LEA) approved to sponsor educator preparation program(s).
Individuals employed by a college or university, school district, county office of education or other approved entity who may teach one or more courses to candidates, provide services to candidates such as advising, provide professional development, supervise clinical experiences, and/or administer some aspect of the unit.
Refers to those having a particular interest and/or involvement in the operation and/or outcomes of the educator preparation program, and who are also impacted by and/or have a professional interest in an educator preparation program or institution, such as candidates, parents, community members, local business/industry, school employers, district/county offices, and community special education services providers. (See also Constituent)
Refers to multiple sources of information used to determine whether an applicant possesses the requisite characteristics, knowledge, skills and abilities required for the credential, including knowledge of and sensitivity to California’s diverse population, communication skills, academic knowledge and skills in the area of the credential, and prior experiences that help document a
Refers to the entire range of grades in which preschool, elementary and secondary students are enrolled, including preschool through 12th grade.
Refers to students enrolled in preschool through 12th grade.
Refers to agencies, institutions and others who enter into a voluntary collaborative arrangement to provide services to educator candidates (for example, academic and/or credential preparation departments of colleges/universities, schools, county offices of education, and school districts).
Positive Impact on
Refers to having a beneficial effect on student achievement, including academic, social and/or behavioral impacts.
Refers to learning opportunities for individuals to attain and develop new knowledge and skills such as in-service education, conference attendance, intra- and inter-institutional visits, fellowships, collegial work, and work in P–12 schools.
Refers to a planned sequence of courses and/or experiences for the purpose of preparing teachers and other school professionals to work in prekindergarten through twelfth grade settings, and
An individual who has completed a credential program.
Individuals whose background and experience are appropriate for the role to which they are assigned and who receive initial and ongoing professional development consistent with their assigned responsibilities.
Range of Students
Refers to a group of students as identified within specific program standards.
Refers to the range of supports for programs, including financial support, information resources, technology, qualified staff, building space and materials.
Refers to a process of systematic inquiry into the areas related to teaching, learning, and the education of teachers and other school professionals, including but not limited to traditional research and publication, the systematic study of pedagogy, action research, and the application of
Refers to faculty contributions to college or university activities, P-12 settings, communities and
Refers to an extensive amount of activities, field work and/or clinical practice provided to a candidate working with the range of students in California schools relevant to the credential sought.
An individual from a Commission-approved program or employing district assigned to provide supervision and/or to assess candidates during field experiences and clinical practice. For teacher and administrator induction programs ‘site-based supervisors’ are mentors/coaches assigned to educators in the program to provide support, guidance, and assistance pursuant to requirements in program standards.
Any individual or institution such as a college, university, or school district that is impacted by and/or that has a professional interest in an educator preparation program or institution. (See also Key Constituents)
Refers to an individual enrolled in a district or county office of education preschool, kindergarten through 12th grade, or adult education program.
Refers to guiding, directing, and/or evaluating candidates in a credential program. (This activity does not apply to evaluation for employment purposes)
An individual from a Commission-approved program and/or employing district assigned to provide supervision and support and/or to assess candidates during field experiences and clinical practice. (see also Site-Based Supervisor)
Activities undertaken to evaluate a candidate’s competence by a qualified person designed to assist a candidate in mastering the required knowledge, skills and abilities expected of the candidate. (see also Field-Based Supervision)
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Refers to professional guidance provided by a qualified individual acting as a mentor and/or coach to a candidate in his/her early teaching or service that includes collecting and analyzing evidence relating to the candidate’s competence for the purpose of helping the candidate satisfy knowledge and skill requirements. (These individuals do not supervise or evaluate the candidate.)
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Refers to the college, school, department, or other administrative body in colleges, universities, school districts, county offices of education, or other organizations with the responsibility for managing and coordinating all aspects of Commission-approved educator preparation programs offered for the initial or advanced preparation of educators, regardless of where these programs
Refers to individuals designated by the institution to be responsible for administering aspects of all the Commission-approved educator preparation programs offered by the institution, and who have been granted by the institution the authority to manage the human and fiscal resources needed to meet all educator preparation program goals. The unit authority is typically the dean at an IHE, or a director of teacher education, district superintendent or County Office of Education Superintendent or designee. (See also Authority) It is rarely the program director unless that individual serves in a unit leadership role.