The teacher intern pathway page provides resources for all Commission-approved teacher intern credential programs. For weekly updates on accreditation-related topics and activities, program sponsors are encouraged to subscribe to the PSD E-news.
Commission-approved teacher intern programs are a path to the preliminary teaching credential that allows a candidate the ability to complete their teacher preparation program while concurrently serving as teacher of record in a classroom. Approved teacher intern programs are sponsored by colleges, universities, school districts, or county offices of education. 

To qualify for teacher intern program participation, an individual must

The teacher intern program provides teacher preparation coursework and an organized system of support and supervision from both the preparation program and the employer. Completion of a teacher intern program results in the same preliminary teaching credential as is earned through completion of a traditional teacher preparation program.

University and district intern teaching credentials are employer-restricted documents. School districts that are unable to fill a teaching position with a fully credentialed teacher may request to employ as the teacher of record an individual who holds a teaching intern credential. Pursuant to California Education Code, districts must demonstrate to the Commission that they have made reasonable efforts to staff the classroom with a fully certified candidate prior to employing an intern. This is often referred to as the hiring “hierarchy” (Reference: Education Code Section 44225.7). Interns may not serve in private schools.

There are two types of teacher intern programs: 
  • University Internship Credential Programs (CL-402A) are one- to two-year programs approved by the Commission and administered by regionally accredited colleges and universities in partnership with local employing agencies. These programs are designed to provide participants with classroom experience as well as support and supervision while they complete coursework and clinical requirements for the preliminary credential.
  • District Intern Credential Programs (CL-707b) are similar to the University Intern Credential Programs but are administered by school districts and county offices of education. 

Teacher Intern Program Requirements

Preconditions specify requirements for program compliance and are based on either statute, regulations, or Commission policy. The Preconditions for the Multiple Subject and Single Subject, and the Education Specialist preparation programs can be found on the Commission’s Preconditions webpage. Institutions with intern pathways must respond to both the program-specific preconditions and intern preconditions for the preliminary programs they offer. Intern programs must structure their programs in alignment with the respective Program Standards, which may be found on the Standards: Educator Preparation webpage

Of particular note are preconditions three (3) and five (5), which describe the pre-service and support and supervision requirements for interns.

Precondition 3 addresses the preservice coursework that all intern candidates must complete BEFORE they are eligible for the intern document.  Prior to being issued an intern credential, candidates must complete a required 120 hours of preservice preparation to ensure that they have the basic knowledge and skills needed to assume responsibility as teacher of record. 

  • MS/SS and Education Specialist Intern Precondition 3: Each MS/SS and Education Specialist teacher intern program must include a minimum of 120 clock hour (or the semester or quarter unit equivalent) pre-service component which includes instruction in 1) foundational preparation in general pedagogy including classroom management and planning, 2) reading/language arts, 3) subject-specific (MS/SS) or specialty-specific (Education Specialist) pedagogy, 4) human development, and 5) specific content regarding the teaching of English Learners. (Reference: California Code of Regulations §80033.)  
  • PK-3 Intern Precondition 3: – Each PK-3 ECE Specialist Instruction credential Intern program must include a minimum 120-clock hour (or the semester or quarter unit equivalent) preservice component which includes foundational content in 1) state adopted student content standards and frameworks for early childhood education grades PK-3, 2) general pedagogical strategies for PK-3 children, including classroom management and planning, 3) subject-specific pedagogy, as appropriate to content areas for children in PK-3settings, 4) effective developmentally appropriate strategies in literacy and mathematics development for children in grades PK-3, and 5) instruction in English Language Development for multilingual and English learner students. 

Precondition 5 details the kind and amount of support that is required WHILE the candidate is serving on an intern document. 

Commission Resources for Teacher Intern Programs

  • Adding an intern pathway to an already approved teaching credential program - Commission-approved teacher preparation programs may receive approval to add an intern pathway to their existing Multiple Subject and Single Subject, Education Specialist, or ECE Specialist Instruction teacher preparation programs by completing the Initial Program Review (IPR) process. Upon determination that the program is aligned with all required preconditions and standards, the proposed intern program is brought forward to the Committee on Accreditation for its review and approval.   
  • Early Completion Option (ECO) - This option is intended to provide individuals who have requisite skills and knowledge an opportunity to challenge the coursework portion of a Multiple Subject or Single Subject Intern Program and demonstrate pedagogical skills through a performance assessment while in a Commission-approved intern program. All Commission-approved intern programs (both university and district) must offer early completion options to qualified candidates. ECO candidates must remain enrolled in the program coursework and continue to receive clinical support and supervision until all required assessments have been successfully completed. For more information, see the Early Completion Intern Option webpage. The Early Completion Option is not available for the Education Specialist or ECE Specialist Instruction intern teacher preparation program at this time.
  • Program sponsors can access additional information in the intern-related Credential Information Alerts located in the Credential Information Guide (CIG).

Teacher Intern Program-Related Forms and Processes

Questions related to any of the forms or processes described below should be sent to the Certifications Division at:

  • Applying for an Intern Credential – Approved programs can apply for candidates’ intern credentials by submitting an online recommendation. Information on the recommendation process can be found on the Commission’s Apply for a New Document webpage. This online service is only available to approved programs’ authorized submitters. 
  • Withdrawal From Intern Program – Programs must notify the Commission when an individual has been dropped or has withdrawn from an approved professional preparation program being delivered through an intern model. The notification must be submitted  within 90 days of the program exit date using the Withdrawal from Intern Program Form on the Program Sponsor Forms webpage.
  • Intern Credential Extensions – Individuals holding an Intern Credential (district and university) are eligible for a one-time extension by appeal. Intern credential extension requests must be submitted by the program, not the employer or the educator. For more information, please see the RGA-20 appeal process located on the Extension by Appeal for Credentials and Permits (AL-3) webpage.
  • Reinstatement of Intern Credentials - Program Sponsors can submit an application through the mail to apply for reinstatement of a withdrawn intern credential. Program sponsors: see CIA 10-17 in the Credential Information Guide for more information about intern credential reinstatements.  
  • Change of Restriction – Intern credentials are restricted documents which can only be used at the site listed on the document. If a document holder wishes to move to another employer, the restriction must be changed. Changes of restriction can only be submitted by the Intern program, not the employer or the educator, and they must be submitted with a paper application. For more information, program sponsors should see the document changes guide in the Credential Information Guide. 

Office Hours for Program Sponsors - The Professional Services Division holds office hours for program sponsors. These are intended to serve as a forum for a conversation among programs and Commission staff providing information as needed. Please see the Accreditation Technical Assistance Webpage for more information.

Interested parties can find data on the number of teaching interns, permits, and waivers issued in the last five years on the Teacher Supply: Interns, Permits and Waivers webpage. 

Answers to frequently asked intern-related questions

Link to an intern FAQ document coming soon.

Updated June 03, 2024