Among other responsibilities, the Commission on Teacher Preparation identifies the subject matter knowledge that prospective teachers must have before student teaching. Candidates for the Single Subject Credential have two options for satisfying this requirement. They can complete a Commission-approved undergraduate single subject matter preparation program (SMPP) or they can pass the appropriate Commission-adopted subject matter examination(s) (Education Code Sections 44280 and 44310). Because the program and the assessment must satisfy the same requirement, these two options are to be as aligned and congruent as possible. Candidates for the Multiple Subject Credential currently have one option for satisfying the subject matter competence requirement, passing the appropriate Commission-adopted subject matter examination. 

The Subject Matter Requirements (SMRs) are revised after the State Board of Education has adopted a new set of preK-12th grade content standards. During the revision process, the Commission convenes panels of content experts who are tasked with reviewing the current preK-12th grade student content standards against the new standards, identifying the teaching skills needed to be successful with the new curriculum, and changing the SMRs as appropriate. Following the panels' work, an agenda item is prepared to allow the Commission to review the proposed SMRs. Once they have been adopted by the Commission, the SMRs provide the content specifications for:

  • Developing test items for the statewide assessment system (CSET) in each subject matter area, and
  • Single Subject Matter Preparation Programs (SMPP) that operate like major or minor programs through which prospective teachers learn the subject matter content and learn to use the knowledge they will be teaching in pre K-12 grade classes.

Use CTC's Institutions of Higher Education application to find sponsors who offer specific subject matter preparation programs.

Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English/Literacy

At the June 13-14, 2013 Commission meeting, the Commission adopted the revised Subject Matter Requirements (SMRs) for the CSET: Multiple Subjects, Single Subject English and Single Subject Mathematics assessments to ensure alignment with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Single Subject Matter Preparation Programs are required to provide content that ensures that students who complete the SMPP have the same knowledge and skills as those who pass the statewide assessment. The SMP programs use the SMRs to develop course contents. Coursework will reflect the Common Core beginning Fall 2014. The aligned assessments will be in use beginning Fall 2014.

More information about the adoption of the revised SMRs is available in June 2013 Commission agenda Item 4C.

To assist SMPPs in aligning content to the CCSS subject matter requirements, alignment matrices containing the revised SMRs were posted on the SMPP webpage.

Deans of Schools of Education, and English and mathematics SMPP directors were notified that each program must submit a completed Alignment Matrix with information about the courses, assignments, or assessments in their programs that teach the CCSS content and provide opportunities for students to use the new content.

Additional memos of information were sent to the English and to the mathematics SMPP directors:

First Memo to English programs

First Memo to Mathematics programs

Second Memo to Mathematics programs

Candidates for the Multiple Subject Credential must pass the appropriate Commission-adopted subject matter examination(s) (Education Code Sections 44280 and 44310). Multiple Subject Programs may be offered by an institution of higher education to help candidates develop subject matter competence. The Commission has no authority over the Multiple Subject Matter Preparation Programs and cannot require that they complete the CCSS Alignment Matrix. In the event a Multiple Subject SMPP elects to align with the CCSS, a Multiple Subject Common Core State Standards Alignment Matrix was created and posted here.

The Review Process

Deans and SMPP directors were queried for recommendations for peer reviewers. A survey to identify reviewers is available to recommend a reviewer. All matrices will be reviewed by pairs of professional educators in mathematics or English. If every institution volunteers one reviewer for each matrix they submit, the review process will proceed quickly. Without volunteers from each institution, it may be difficult to complete the review of the matrices in a timely manner.

To be a reviewer, complete the following survey or contact and identify your willingness to serve in a matrix reviewer capacity. The survey asks for names of institutions that could create a conflict of interest if you were to review their matrix. A form that serves the same purpose will be emailed to you if you elect to inform the Commission via the Accreditation email.

Once you have received a response from the Commission, please complete the training and calibration activity at Reviewer Training and Calibration.

Once a reviewer has completed the Reviewer Training and Calibration, that individual will be contacted and provided the name and contact information of a peer reviewer. The reviewer pairs will be assigned two institutions' matrices to review. Completed matrices are available only by email from Commission staff and will be sent only to their assigned reviewers. As with all Commission document reviews, the identities of the reviewers will be confidential, as will any comments made by the reviewers about the documents. When the reviewers indicate that all sub-domains in the matrix addressed the required content, the institution will be approved for continued operation by the Commission. A copy of the reviewers' comments will be sent to the matrices' institutions. If reviewers requested more information, the institution will be able to submit additional information until the reviewers indicate that all sub-domains were met.

Reviewers will use Reviewer Rubrics to organize and record ratings of each matrix they were assigned

Mathematics Reviewer Rubric

Foundational-Level Mathematics Reviewer Rubric

English Reviewer Rubric

Completed Reviewer Rubrics will be returned to the Commission via

Updated March 20, 2017