Frequently Asked Questions – Single and Multiple Subject Teaching and Education Specialist Credential Programs
What credential is required to teach in elementary schools?
A Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential is required to teach in elementary schools. The credential authorizes teaching within a self-contained classroom, such as those typically found in elementary schools. The credential may also used in some middle schools up to grade 8.
What credential is required to teach in middle and high schools?
A Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential is required to teach in middle and high schools. A Single Subject credential authorizes teaching of one subject to multiple cohorts of students, as is typically practiced in middle and high schools.
What credential is required to teach special education?
A Preliminary Education Specialist Teaching credential in one or more of four specialization areas is required to teach special education. The four specialization areas are Mild-Moderate, Moderate-Severe, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Early Childhood. Alliant currently offers the Mild-Moderate specialization only.
For how long is my preliminary teaching credential valid?
Preliminary teaching credentials are valid for five years from the date of issuance. At that point, teachers must earn their Clear teaching credential through either a BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment) program at their school district of employment or through university program.
What is the difference between the Intern Teaching and Student Teaching program tracks?
The primary differences are a) unpaid vs. paid position, b) level of teaching responsibility, and c) study and preparation time prior to assuming classroom teaching responsibilities.
The Intern Teaching program tracks require a paid position where the intern teacher serves as teacher-of-record (meaning full teaching responsibility and liability) in his or her own classroom while completing his or her credential program. Intern teachers typically begin an intern program with a teaching position secured, and therefore begin teaching concurrently with beginning his or her credential work.
The Student Teaching program track requires an unpaid position assisting a master teacher/teacher-of-record in his or her classroom. Student teachers complete coursework, seminars, and in-classroom teaching observations before ultimately entering the classroom to complete the 18-week student teaching position. Student teachers must gain experience in at least two grade levels, eventually taking full classroom control and teaching responsibility for a minimum of two weeks.
What is the difference between the Standard Intern and Early Completion Option Intern teaching program tracks (Multiple and Single Subjects only)?
The primary differences are a) length of completion and, b) level of prior teaching experience.
The Standard Intern program track is designed to be completed in 6-8 terms (which can include the summer term).The Standard Intern program is designed for beginning teachers with little to no experience, and offers the most support for intern teachers as they prepare to take on the role as teacher-of-record in the classroom.
The Early Completion Option (ECO) program track is an accelerated program designed to be completed in four terms. It is ideally suited for those who have previous teaching experience but no credential. To qualify for the program, ECO candidates must successfully complete assessment examinations approved and mandated by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) that allow 12 units of required coursework to be waived. Because the exams assume prior teaching experience, the ECO program is ideally designed for experienced classroom teachers who have not yet earned a Preliminary teaching credential. The required exams are as follows:
- Verification of passing the NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge (APK) in Elementary (Multiple Subject) or Secondary (Single Subject)– Use these links to review candidate study guides and other materials, as well as to register for the assessment.
- Passing score on California Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) 1 – Candidates may make only one attempt to pass this assessment. If a candidate does not pass, then the candidate must choose either the Standard Intern or Student Teaching options. Using this link, consult the Candidate Handbook, Chapter 3, Appendix B – “Subject-Specific Pedagogy” for instructions on how to complete the TPA1. Rubrics for evaluating the TPA1 are available under “Tasks and Rubrics” section of the same link. The TPA1 is subject-area specific, so please review requirements for your intended subject area. The TPA1 is submitted to Alliant (after a corresponding program application has been received) and is evaluated anonymously by an Alliant TPA reviewer.
Do I have to have an internship position/job before I can be admitted to Alliant’s intern teaching program?
You do not need to have an internship secured to be admitted to Alliant’s intern teaching program. However, there is limited progress that one can make in the program before an internship position is required.
Does Alliant set up teaching internships for students?
Candidates must find and establish their own teaching internship. As these are salaried positions, Alliant does not offer placements. Alliant maintains agreements and partnerships with many school districts that allow intern teachers to work within their schools, but Alliant does not arrange internship positions for candidates.
How can I secure an internship position/job without a teaching credential?
The majority of school districts will hire intern teachers – teachers working under an Intern Teaching Credential. Intern candidates are responsible for procuring an intern teaching position. As these are salaried positions, Alliant does not offer placements. We encourage candidates to network within public school districts and charter schools, as well as to research openings on school/district websites and through edjoin.org. Alliant can support your internship with most any public or charter school with whom you are able to secure a position. Please note that private schools are not approved by the state for intern teachers.
After completing your admissions application and initial credential requirements, Alliant will coordinate with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for an intern credential to be issued under which you may work. You will work under your intern credential until you complete the credential program, at which point Alliant will issue a recommendation to the CTC to issue your preliminary credential.
Am I able to waive the 120-hour pre-service course requirement for Intern Teaching based upon prior teaching experience?
To waive the pre-service requirement, a candidate MUST have served as a classroom K-12 teacher-of-record for a minimum of two years and have a school administrator who can sign off on that experience relevant to specific categories of instruction covered in the pre-service course. Substitute teaching and other teaching experience not as a K-12 teacher-of-record are not acceptable.
Can I be an intern teacher at a private school?
The California Commission for Teaching Credentialing (CTC) does not allow intern teachers to work at private schools. Intern teachers may only work at public or non-public schools. The difference between a private and non-public school is the funding sources. Non-public schools receive some public funding whereas private schools are completely privately funded, which means that the CTC has no authority over what happens in a private school so cannot support intern teachers there.
I am a teacher at a private school and wish to earn my credential. Can I pursue the Intern Teaching track and keep my current teaching job?
There are ways to use private school teaching experience towards a Preliminary Teaching Credential without going through a university program, more information can be found at this link:http://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/leaflets/cl834.pdf.
Am I able to waive taking the CSET exam if my undergraduate major was in the subject I plan to teach?
The CSET exam requirement for intern teachers can be waived (for Single Subject intern credential) if that undergraduate institution is approved by the CTC for that subject matter program and if that undergraduate institution issues a CSET waiver letter. Here is the CTC list of universities approved for different subject matter programs. Please note again that this applies only to Single Subject intern credentials.
Can I do my student teaching placement at a school of my choice?
Alliant places our student teachers in schools where we have relationships and partnerships. These can be schools throughout the Bay Area and Los Angeles, depending upon your campus of choice. The program coordinator will work with each student to establish a placement that best meet the needs of the student. If a candidate has a relationship with a school where s/he would like to do student teaching, and there are appropriate and qualified Master Teachers with whom to be paired, then Alliant can work to accommodate the student’s request, including establishing a partnership with the school if one did not previously exist. Please note: we do not routinely support student teaching placements in private schools.
I previously completed a Preliminary Teaching Credential through Alliant. Can I return to complete my master’s?
Alumni who completed a credential with Alliant may be eligible for readmission to the university to complete the additional coursework required for the master’s degree. Those interested should contact an admissions representative.
I have a bachelor’s degree from a non-US college or university. Can I still become a teacher and can I enroll in a credentialing program at Alliant?
Yes. Foreign-born individuals who have since obtained US citizenship are eligible to pursue a California teaching credential. Any bachelor’s degree from a non-US based institution must be translated and evaluated by a CTC-approved agency. Please review this document from the CTC on foreign transcript evaluations and requirements (PDF).
How much does the program cost?
Program costs vary by program total units, choice of teacher credentialing track, and optional dual enrollment in our online master’s program. Total units for each program and it’s various options are available on our program pages. Current tuition rates can be found here.
How can I pay tuition? Can I make payment arrangements for tuition? When is tuition due?
Tuition payment deadlines and information about potential payment arrangement can be found through our Student Business Services webpage.
When will I get my financial aid award/refund?
What financial aid am I eligible for as a teacher credentialing candidate?
Teacher credentialing candidate are eligible for a host of financial aid opportunities, including both federal loans and those from outside lenders (Wells Fargo, Discover, Salliemae, etc.). Applicants and potential applicants should first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and then contact our Financial Aid Department to discuss options. The Alliant Federal Code is 011117.
An important consideration for credentialing candidates in regard to federal unsubsidized financial aid is that candidates enrolled in a credential-only program are considered fifth-year undergraduate students, and are therefore subject to the same unsubsidized federal aid lifetime maximum that may have been fully or partially exhausted during their undergraduate tenure. As a result, we often encourage candidates exploring financial aid options to consider dual enrollment in our online Master of Arts in Education with Teaching Emphasis program. Dual enrollment in this program qualifies teaching credential candidates as graduate students, opening up new potential avenues for federal unsubsidized financial aid.
Candidates dually enrolled in our MA program may receive up to $20,500 in unsubsidized federal loans for the academic year. Candidates enrolled in a credential-only program may receive up to $12,500 in unsubsidized federal loans for the academic year.
Candidates may also wish to explore TEACH Grants. A TEACH Grant is federal student aid that can help you to pay for your teaching credential if you plan to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area. Find out more details and requirements about the federal TEACH Grant program and review this TEACH Grant Fact Sheet (PDF).
What constitutes half-time or full-time enrollment? How does half-time or full-time enrollment impact financial aid?
Half-time enrollment is a minimum of 5 units a term for students dually enrolled in a credential + master’s program, and 6 units for credential-only students. Full-time enrollment is a minimum of 8 units a term. A candidate must be enrolled at least half-time to qualify for full financial aid award.