Frequently Asked Questions - Credentialing

A district is interested in hiring me as an intern - what are my next steps?
Contact the School of Education, Education Services Center at 760-750-4277 and make sure that we have a valid internship agreement with your district.

Make sure you are eligible. For specific eligibility requirements, see Program Brochures.

I am eligible, how do I apply for my intern credential?
If you have been selected by both the school district and California State University San Marcos to participate in an internship program, please complete the credential request form and submit with the $25.00 fee to the School of Education, Education Services Center. The internship credential will be processed through CSUSM.

I have completed the credential program, how do I apply for my credential?
If you are currently enrolled in the last semester of your credential program, you will be invited to a credential information meeting before you begin Clinical Practice II. An announcement of the day and location of the meeting will be emailed or mailed to you soon after the final semester begins.  A sample agenda of the credential meeting is:

  • Application materials
  • Online Recommendations
  • Second Language Learner Authorizations
  • Technology Requirement
  • Clear Credential Requirements/Renewals
  • Supplementary Authorizations/Subject Matter Authorizations
  • Added Authorizations
  • The latest on NCLB

What if I can't attend the finishing meeting?
The meeting is mandatory, however, in the event of an emergency, please call 760-750-4277 for further instructions.

What happens after I turn in my credential application? 
A credential analyst will review your file and write to you, within six to eight weeks after the finishing meeting, if you are missing anything.  If you do not hear from our office within that time, you can assume that your file is complete.  Please note: You are responsible to make sure your email address is current so that correspondence happens in a timely manner.

Could you explain the new online credential application process?

  1. When we receive your application packet, we will review your file to make sure all requirements have been met.  After our verification that requirements have been met, CSUSM recommends you for your credential via the web.  Since grades are not available until a few weeks after the end of the semester, we cannot verify program completion until that time.
  2. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) will then email you, notifying you that you have been recommended for your credential.  CCTC will send you a link to use where you will then provide your legal name, permanent address and other required identification.  At this point, you will apply and pay fees via the web through CCTC.  Payment by MasterCard or VISA debit/credit card is the only option for on-line recommendation.  CCTC notifies CSUSM when all fees have been paid and notifies you, that a credential will be issued.
  3. Your credential is issued by CCTC and is available for viewing online.

When can I expect to receive my actual credential?
Your credential is issued by CCTC and mailed directly to you.  You should receive the document much sooner than the paper submission.

I was a teacher in another state, what are the requirements to be eligible for a California credential?
The most up-to-date information can be found on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) website.  Effective January 1, 2007 there are three options for teachers that completed credential programs out-of-state, depending on the number of years of teaching experience in another state.

If you qualified for a preliminary California credential before 01/11/07, you may wish to transition to the new requirements.

I completed a teaching program in another state, how do I apply for a credential in California?
The CCTC website has on-line applications.  If you are seeking employment in San Diego County, the San Diego County Office of Education can assist.  If you are seeking employment in Orange County, the Orange County Department of Education can assist.  If you are seeking employment in Riverside County, the Riverside County Office of Education can assist.

I completed a teaching program in an institution outside the United States.  What do I need to do to get a California credential?
Step one is to have your transcripts evaluated by a state-approved foreign evaluation agency.

What if I need help understanding the process and requirements of credentialing in California, or need a university recommendation for a professional clear credential?
California credentialing can be complex, and Cal State San Marcos would be happy to assist you if you feel you could benefit from an individual appointment.  If you are required to have a university recommendation for the professional clear credential, you will need to contact the School of Education, Education Services Center at 760-750-4277 for further information or to schedule an individual appointment.