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Teaching Degrees in California

  • 16 teaching programs in California accredited by CAEP
  • Consider an Online Bachelors, as there are 0 CAEP-accredited Bachelor's degrees
  • 3 CAEP-accredited Master's degrees in California

California has special requirements for its teachers depending on what grade levels the individual wishes to teach. Those teaching elementary, secondary and special education all need at least a bachelor’s degree; however, elementary and secondary teachers also must complete a teacher preparation program.

Elementary school teachers need a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; secondary school teachers need a Single Subject Teaching Credential and special education teachers need the Education Specialist Instruction Credential.

California teaching requirements require a Bachelors Degree or higher from an accredited university, completion of a student teaching or approved teacher preparation program, the passing of the CSET test, completion of a U.S. Constitution Course, and there is a Clear Credential option that allows you to renew your credentials by completing a couple of programs and meeting national board certification. Read on for more detail information about teacher certification in California and the different Masters in Education programs in California.

California Teaching Degree Programs

Bachelor’s in Education Programs in California

California State University in Sacramento (Sac State) offers several education programs, including Bachelor of Arts programs in the following areas: American sign language and deaf studies; elementary education; social and community settings; integrated pre-credential subject matter; and an individual concentration. The College of Continuing Education at Sac State offers a weekend Bachelor of Science in Career and Technical Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Early Development, Care and Education program.

Pacific Oaks College (PAC) has a bachelor degree programs in childhood education; childhood education with dual credential and childhood education with preliminary multiple subject credential. Students in the dual credential program will be able to teach general education students in various subjects as well as mild or moderately disabled students k-12. The University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education offers a Master of Arts in Teaching – TESOL; a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology. California State University in Los Angeles (Cal State) has bachelor degree programs in urban learning and in rehabilitation services.

Master’s in Education Programs in California

Sac State has Master of Art degrees in the following areas of concentration: child development; multicultural education; special education; counselor education; educational leadership and policy; rehabilitation and school psychology; teacher education – curriculum & instruction; language & literacy; educational technology and gender equity. There is also a Master of Science in Career Counseling.

PAC offers a Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in preliminary education specialist credential and a Master of Arts in Education in preliminary multiple subject credential. Both requiring field work experiences, these MA programs can be completed in 2.5 years with the multiple subject program also being available online.

SCU offers a Master of Arts in Teaching+Teaching Credential program for students who want to earn multiple subject credits as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching in Interdisciplinary Education. These programs can be completed in one to two years full time or slightly longer part time. Cal State has Master of Arts programs with concentrations in education, educational administration and special education with several areas of concentration within each track.

What does it take to earn a M.Ed. in California?

Earning a Masters Degree in Education will require time, effort, planning, and a lot of critical thinking. Achieving this level of degree is not just impressive from the level of the degree but because you will likely have a part in shaping the education of the future of America.

The California education system is no different and the requirements for teachers at different levels are constantly changing. Earning a masters level degree in education can be an instrumental part of satisfying those requirements and can also help make you more versatile in different roles within education.

What to Expect in a Masters in Education Program in California

There are several variations of master’s degrees that you can choose from within California. Each one will offer its own unique approach to the layout of the degree and educational goals they put forward.

Diverse course settings

Berkeley states that their Development Teacher Education Graduate Studies degree will focus on how the teach can improve the classroom. They try to show you (as a future educator) how to handle a cultural and even linguistically diverse setting. They also mention that many of those that complete the DTE graduate program go onto trying to find employment within San Francisco (not surprising due to location proximity of the campus).

Courses on organizational structure

UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies prides themselves on being the only global public research university that began as a teachers college. Their M.A. in Higher Education and Organizational Change is one that will focus it’s degree around showing graduates how to transform the organizational structure of a teaching institution.

Teachings focused around how to share the future

You will see that many of the programs in California will have a deep focus around teaching their graduates the history behind teaching to better understand how the future can be shaped. As there are multiple philosophies behind teaching, these institutions will try to highlight those in an effort to help the master’s graduate form their own opinions and approach.

California Masters Degree Curriculum and Course Work

Each institution will likely have a different curriculum from the next (especially when you look at different master’s specialties) but we wanted to try and highlight a few common classes. This doesn’t mean that every master’s program in California will have this course in their curriculum but rather give you an idea of what you might learn in the various programs.

  • Elementary Classroom Leadership and Management: You might expect this class to focus around teaching core concepts of leading a classroom the different ways of doing so. It will likely focus on which leadership methodologies can provide the greatest environment for learning depending on the situation.
  • Education in a Diverse Society: The US has several cultures that melt within the country. You might expect this class to look at those different cultures and try to prepare you to handle those differences in an effective manner.
  • Curriculum Theory: Depending on the subject you end up teaching, this course will likely look at the different ways you can structure and institute subject curriculum. Mapping the curriculum out and pairing it with relevant subject matters could be one of the focal points of this course.

These are just examples of a few courses you might see in a Master’s Degree but don’t be surprised if you don’t see one of these in your own. Each school and their programs are different. As you begin to look at specialty options within the graduate program, you will see the courses typically cater more closely to that specialty subject matter. You should also be aware that many graduate programs may have online components and could be expected to see a lot of the work be done online.

Certifications & Specializations in California

In addition to the various degree programs offered at Sac State, students can also choose minors in American sign language and deaf studies: teaching, equity and engagement, child development, and counseling. PAC offers a 52-unit teacher credentialing program that can be taken online or on campus. The program can also be taken on its own strictly for certification or can be taken with another degree programs.

SCU offers a certificate in alternative and correctional education for individuals that want to teach in correctional or alternative programs. SCU also has a 12-unit clear teaching credential program for Catholic school teachers that want to teach multiple subjects. USC has certificate programs in school business management and in leadership in enrollment management. Cal State has certificate programs in TESOL, online teaching and learning, educational technology and special education.

California Teacher Careers

We’ve pulled BLS data regarding a variety of levels of different teacher salary and career information. All of the data is unique to California but doesn’t indicate any kind of guarantee as different areas will have different cost of living, etc. This data is pulled from BLS data and http://nces.ed.gov/

  • Average Elementary School Teacher Salary: $72,360
  • Average Secondary School Teacher Salary: $74,770
  • Employment Per 1,000: 6.28

As each city in California will vary greatly on the cost of living, you will need to take that into account when evaluating the average salaries for the state mentioned above. You can also look to these averages when trying to decide between an elementary school teacher career or secondary school teaching. Averages might be indicators but are no guarantee that one will make more than the other.