I’m interrupting my first series to quickly provide a rough timeline for getting your stuff ready for a CA teaching credential. The government and state college sites can be pretty confusing…
A Basic List of Requirements
- CBEST test (P/NP) – (super easy: you probably won’t need to study)
- CSET test (P/NP) (Multiple Subject: 3 parts – I studied a book about 1-2 nights before each test (super last minute) .. but ended up passing all of them on my first try. I would recommend that you study though – because the subjects are all pretty random.)
- For state colleges, anywhere from 40-50 hours of in-class experience. You need the experience from the area that you plan to earn your credential (ie: an elementary school classroom for Multiple Subject, an English classroom for Single Subject English). The experience is also probably required in a title I type of school and can be gained from volunteering, working, or substituting.
- 3 letters of rec. (1 from your in-class experience teacher or supervisor)
- Short Personal Statement
Basically, these requirements are pretty standard for any state college where you’re applying for their education credential and M.A. program. The private and UC colleges can sometimes require a standard GRE and a longer personal statement.
What I would suggest is that you take your CBEST as soon as you can since it’s easy, you can get it out of the way, and the scores don’t expire. Also, if you pass your CBEST, you can potentially work as a substitute teacher as well (if you have your Bachelor’s degree).
Then, I’d suggest, for the CSET, that you plan to only take it once. Take the test with the goal to PASS. Study for it! Take the practice tests offered in books and on their website. You don’t need to hardcore study, but at least review what you don’t know. I ended up staying up late into the night the night before my CSET. It wasn’t fun. Stress levels were high. I passed (by God’s grace). I took my CSET parts II and III first because I felt those would be the hardest, then I took part I in the next session. Do these soon too because most State schools now require you to have all tests finished BEFORE you apply.
You should also go visit the school info session if you can, AND call/email them with any application questions. They are very helpful!
Let me know if you have questions!