Eligibility to Submit a New Educator Preparation Program First Requires Initial Institutional Approval if the institution is not yet Commission-approved.

*Note: Institutions seeking to propose a new Preliminary Education Specialist program should prepare their submission in alignment with the Preliminary Education Specialist standards adopted in 2018. Transition to the new Education Specialist standards (2018) is scheduled for Summer/Fall 2022. Institutions seeking to offer a program beginning in Summer/Fall 2022 must write to the new standards (2018) for Initial Program Review. If your institution is considering proposing a new Preliminary Education Specialist program, please contact IPR@ctc.ca.gov.

Initial Program Approval Process for new Educator Preparation Programs

A new Educator Preparation Program must seek Initial Program Approval through the Initial Program Review (IPR) process.

The Initial Program Review process can take 6-12 months, or more, to complete depending on various factors including, but not limited to, availability of reviewers and Committee on Accreditation scheduled meetings.

Effective October 1, 2020, all Initial Program Review (IPR) submissions must be submitted on the institution’s accreditation website and follow the process below. The Professional Services Division no longer accepts IPR submissions through email attachments. The submission must be accessible through the institution’s accreditation website—simply uploading an inaccessible Word or PDF document to a website will not be accepted. If you have any questions about formatting your submission, please contact IPR@ctc.ca.gov before submitting.

Steps to Follow when Submitting a Program Proposal:

  1. IPR Intent to Submit: Complete the IPR Intent to Submit Form. This link will direct you to an online form regarding the proposed program which you must complete to begin the IPR process.
  2. Signed IPR Institutional Verification Form: Once IPR staff receives an institution’s IPR Intent to Submit Form, a confirmation email will be sent to the program contact(s) provided on the IPR Intent to Submit Form along with an IPR Institutional Verification Form. The IPR Institutional Verification Form must be signed by the Unit Head*.

    *The Unit Head is an individual whom the institution has granted the authority to manage the human and fiscal resources needed to meet all educator preparation program goals. The Unit Head is usually, but not always, limited to the dean at an IHE, or an associate superintendent/director of a local education agency.
  3. Prepare IPR submission which will consist of the following:
    1. Preconditions:
      a. Initial Program Preconditions
      b. Program-Specific Preconditions
    2. Initial Program Common Standards Response (this link opens to a Word Template that an institution may use to structure its response). During Initial Program Review, institutions are required to submit an Initial Program Common Standards response demonstrating how the proposed program will integrate into the existing education unit. Please note that the template includes some, but not all, of the elements from the full Common Standards.
    3. Exhibits and Elements – The proposed program must address the full language of the program standards. Program Standards can be found on the Commission’s Program Standards webpage. Provide the required exhibits and elements addressing the full language of the Program Standards for the proposed program using the following instructions:
      1. Initial Program Review Submission Instructions for Proposed Preliminary and Initial Education Preparation Programs or
      2. Initial Program Review Submission Instructions for Proposed Induction Programs

4. Submitting the required Preconditions, Common Standards Response, and Exhibits and Elements - Submit the URL to the institution’s accreditation website housing the IPR submission and any access instructions to IPR@ctc.ca.gov.

5. Submit payment of Cost Recovery fees.* Any questions regarding fees should be sent accreditationfees@ctc.ca.gov.  

*Note: As of July 1, 2021, Cost Recovery fees have been suspended through June 30, 2022. Review PSA 21-06for more information.

If you have any questions about the IPR process, please contact IPR staff at IPR@ctc.ca.gov.

Review and Approval Process

After the program proposal is received, Commission staff will review the Preconditions and the Initial Program Common Standards Response and qualified volunteers readers will review the program submission and supporting documentation. These volunteers are your colleagues in the field who have participated in activities to ensure a calibrated understanding of the program standards. If the reviewers have questions, or need additional information, staff will contact the program sponsor for more information. 

The review process can be quite lengthy, especially for lower incidence programs, as the review process depends entirely on the participation of volunteer experts from the field. As noted above, the typical time for programs to go through review and be approved can take at least 6-12 months from the time we receive your submission. The Commission asks that each institution, when completing the Intent to Submit form, identify one faculty member for each proposed program to participate in the review of an IPR submission to keep the review process moving as quickly as possible. It is highly recommended that institutions interested in the IPR process have their staff volunteer to review a submission prior to submission of their own proposal in order to gain the most in-depth understanding of the entire IPR process.  

Once the review process is completed, formal action will be taken by the Committee on Accreditation (COA) at their next regularly scheduled public meeting to approve or deny the program. The proposed program must receive Initial Program Approval from the COA to begin operation. During the COA meeting for which an institution’s program is placed on the agenda for approval, an institutional representative or representatives must be available (via technology) to answer any questions the COA members may have. The final program submission and all feedback provided to the institution during the IPR process must be accessible from the institution’s website as it will be linked in the COA item.


For Commission-approved institutions that are seeking to add an intern pathway to an already existing program, please review the following information: Adding an Intern Pathway. You may contact IPR@ctc.ca.gov and Intern@ctc.ca.gov for any questions related to this process.

All correspondence and submissions must be emailed to IPR@ctc.ca.gov. Questions related to specific programs will be routed to the appropriate staff.  

Updated October 18, 2021