Teaching Elementary School

Teacher Education - Elementary

What should I major in?
As an elementary school teacher, you will teach many subjects, including Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Music, Art, and Physical Education. There are many possible majors, but it is best to major in a subject that will covers all of these areas, such as Liberal Studies. However, other majors such as Child Development, Human Services, or Psychology are also excellent pathways for elementary school teaching. See a counselor for help with major selection.

What is required to teach elementary school?
Students interested in teaching at the elementary school level must obtain a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. This credential authorizes the holder to teach in a self-contained classroom the teacher instructs all subjects to the same students on a daily basis.

Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Requirements:

  1. Complete a bachelors degree or higher from a regionally-accredited college or university.
  2. Satisfy the basic skills requirement [PDF]
  3. Verify subject matter competence. This requirement can be met in one of two ways:
    a. Passing the CSET: Multiple Subjects exam
    b. Completing an Elementary Subject Matter program
  4. Pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA).
  5. Complete a course covering the Provisions and Principles of the U.S. Constitution (PSCI G180 at GWC) or pass an examination.
  6. Complete a multiple subject teacher preparation program, including student teaching. Obtain a formal recommendation for the credential by the program sponsor.
  7. Submit the appropriate paperwork along with fingerprints to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).

How long does it take?
A bachelors degree is between 120-124 units (typically 4-5 years to complete).In addition, a teaching credential program takes approximately 1-2 years to complete.

To schedule an appointment with a Teacher Preparation Pathway counselor, please call the Counseling Office at(714) 895-8799 or visit the Counseling website.