Steps to Earning Your Credential

The SOLES' Credential Analyst is responsible for assuring that candidates have completed all legal requirements for the credential prior to completion.

*Indicates steps requiring a fee.

Step l: Admission*
Apply and be admitted to the credential** program in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences. Students are required to have a baccalaureate and a GPA minimum of 2.75. 

  • **Applicants for the Education Specialists credential are advised: Currently, applicants with a baccalaureate in professional education are ineligible for the Services Credential for Education Specialist from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. If you plan to pursue becoming an education specialist in California and have a baccalaureate degree in Education, please contact the office of admissions and outreach for further information.

Step 2: Basic Skills Requirement*
The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is a basic skills test required upon admission to a credential program. The test consists of 3 parts including reading, writing, and mathematics. The CTC also offers alternative options to meet the Basic Skills Requirement. 

Step 3: Transcripts and Transfer Coursework
Submit official transfer transcripts to the Credential Analyst. If asking for credit for education coursework from another university for the credential program, complete “Petition for Approval of Credential Coursework” form.

Step 4: Pre-Credential meeting
Candidates meet with the Credential Analyst to complete the Contract for Preparing to be a Teacher. The Credential Analyst reviews the contract and provides materials for the certificate of clearance, exams and other state requirements required prior to admission to student teaching and issuance of the California credential.

Step 5: Certificate of Clearance*
A Livescan fingerprint clearance and background check through the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) are required upon admission to the credential program. Forms and information are available from the Credential Analyst. Follow the instructions and complete the process at the San Diego County Office of Education - Request for Livescan Service.

  • Submit verification to the Credential Analyst. If you hold a California credential, such as an emergency or sub permit, submit a copy to the Credential Analyst. The certificate of clearance must be posted on the CTC web site prior to fieldwork.

Step 6: U.S. Constitution*
A course or examination in the U.S. Constitution is required for all Multiple and Single Subject and Education Specialist credentials. Candidates with Advanced Placement credit must supply the credential analyst with a copy of AP results from the USD Registrar’s Office.

Step 7: CSET Examinations* and Subject Matter Competency Requirement

The California Subject Examinations for Teachers® (CSET®) have been developed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for prospective teachers to meet specific requirements for certification.

The CSET: Multiple Subject subtests I, II and III are required of all candidates for the Multiple Subject credential. Single Subject candidates must pass all of the subtests of the CSET exam in the appropriate subject area or complete an approved program if available. (Mathematics is the only USD subject area approved program.) Education Specialist candidates may meet either of the options above.

  • The CSET must have been passed within 5 years and a copy of passing verification submitted to the Credential Analyst prior to clearance for student teaching.

Step 8: RICA* (Multiple Subject/Mild-Moderate)  

The Reading Instruction Competency Exam (RICA) is required of all candidates for the initial Multiple Subject and/or Level I Education Specialist credentials. The RICA exam tests the competencies taught in the Methods for Language and Literacy course and should be taken upon the completion of EDTE 301P/501P.

Step 9: Degree Conferred & Final Grades

  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree posted on the transcript.
  • Final Grades: Final grades, including grades for student teaching and seminar, posted on the transcript. Incompletes: All incompletes cleared on the transcript. Official (sealed) transcripts submitted to the Credential Analyst for U.S. Constitution results.

Step 10: Final Semester of Credential Coursework

USD uses the CalTPA exam as its final Teacher Performance Assessment.  Multiple Subject and Single Subject candidates must pass the CalTPA prior to being recommended for the credential.

Contact the SOLES Credential Analyst:

James McCarty
(619) 260-4821
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, 101D


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