Stage I is comprised of two prerequisites. Both prerequisites must be successfully completed before a prospective program sponsor may move forward with the Initial Institutional Approval process. When an institution is found to have met both prerequisites, the institution is sent an IIA Application to complete and submit. Once the application is received, the prospective program sponsor will be invoiced for cost recovery fees associated with the IIA process.  Cost recovery fees must be paid before the institution may move on to Stage II.

Prerequisite 1
Regional Accreditation and Academic Credit
Institutions interested in seeking Initial Institutional Approval must identify which of the following applies to their institution and will be required to do so when registering for Accreditation 101 (See Prerequisite 2).
Staff determination
  1. The institution is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or another of the six regional accrediting associations. A copy of a letter from the accrediting association must be hyperlinked as verification.
  1. The institution is a public school, school district or county office and has received approval of sponsorship from the agency's governing board. Verification must be submitted in the form of a letter or board minutes signed by the superintendent or CEO of the agency.
  1. The institution is neither of the above and is preparing to offer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs pursuant to SBX5 1 (Chap. 2, Stats. of 2010). Additional requirements are necessary for institutions applying under this category
Prerequisite 2 
Accreditation 101-Expectations and Responsibilities for Commission approved Institutions
Prior to accepting an application for initial institutional approval, the Commission requires that the institution send a team to Accreditation 101, a professional training that provides information regarding eligibility and outlines the expectations and responsibilities of Commission approved program sponsors including reporting requirements, applicable program standards, annual accreditation fees, credential recommendation, student record responsibilities, and other expectations for Commission approved institutions that sponsor educator preparation in California. All fees for attending Accreditation 101 are borne by the institution. To register for Accreditation 101 see: Accreditation 101 Registration Information
Staff determinationRequired attendees include:
  1. Unit Head
  2. Fiscal Officer
  3. Directors of Proposed Program(s)
  4. Partner Employing Organization or educational entity
  5. Other participants deemed necessary by the institution
Updated March 24, 2017