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Q: There are two Options in the Liberal Studies major for future teachers; how is the Integrated Credential Program (ICP) Option different from the Elementary Subject Matter (ESM) Option?

A: The ICP combines all the upper-division coursework required for the B.A. in Liberal Studies with the pedagogy courses required for the post-baccalaureate Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; the ESM consists only of the coursework for the B.A. in Liberal Studies. During the semester that ICP students learn the content for a particular subject (such as math, science, or literature), they take the credential courses to learn how to teach that subject matter. In addition, students in the ICP have the opportunity to be involved in the teaching profession while earning their BA degree.  Also, the ICP uses a cohort model, which is a learning community of students who go through all semesters of the program together. The ICP is taught in 5 themed semesters (Language, Culture & Learning; Mathematics; Science; Community; and Clinical Practice) and students take the appropriate California State Examinations at the completion of each semester. During the Math and Community semesters, students apply the pedagogy they have learned to a supervised elementary school classroom setting; this provides the opportunity for teaching skills to be developed and seasoned while in the ICP itself.

Q: How do I apply for the ICP?

A: Complete the one-page ICP Application. Current CSUSM students should make an appointment with the ICP Advisor during their sophomore year if interested in the ICP Option. Transfer students will turn in their application when they attend a Transfer Orientation after being accepted to the University as a Liberal Studies Major.

Q: What is the timeline for finishing with both my B.A. and Teaching Credential?

A: The ICP is an upper-division program consisting of a prerequisite semester and 5 themed semesters. Students may enter the program when the lower-division requirements for the Liberal Studies major and the Language Other Than English (LOTER) requirement are within 2-3 classes of completion. In sum, students can expect to have their B.A. in Liberal Studies and their Multiple Subject Teaching Credential five semesters after completing their prerequisite semester.

Q: Is it possible to take summer classes in the ICP?

A: Yes, students may take Liberal Studies lower division requirements and Non-Core upper-division Liberal Studies courses during the summer if available.

Q: When will I be able to have classroom experience in the ICP in comparison to the ESM Option?

A: You will have 2 field practica and 2 Clinical Practice classroom experiences in the ICP program. 

ICP Program

ESM Program

Semesters 2 and 4:  you will be placed at a school and work directly with students and a master teacher.  You will deliver 3 lessons that you and the master teacher design based on your knowledge in the content areas.

Clinical Practice I and II:  you are placed at a school and will complete CP I during the first 8 weeks of the semester and CP II the second 8 weeks of the semester.  CP I and CP II are completed in one semester.

There is no field practicum in the ESM Option. Once you finish your BA and are admitted to one of CSUSM's credential programs, then you will have 16 weeks of Clinical Practice as part of the program.

Q: I understand the ICP Core courses are pre-designated for each semester.  How do I register to ensure I will be able to take these courses?

A: Each semester, the course registration numbers (CRNs) for ICP Core courses are sent to ICP students via email by the ICP Advisor prior to the start of priority registration for the next semester. Core courses in the ICP include subject matter courses that are paired with the appropriate teaching methods course within a themed semester (e.g. math, science, etc.). The Core courses are reserved for ICP students and are not visible in the on-line class schedule. ICP students will also enroll in Non-Core courses required for the Liberal Studies major, which they will register for around the schedule for their Core courses.

Q: I understand there are exams/assessments that I must pass to become a teacher. Is there a system in place that will allow me to take these exams/assessments in a logical order? 

A: You will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that lists the exams/assessments and which semester they should be taken and passed.  These assessments are in conjunction with your course work:

  • Pre Requisite semester: Basic Skills Exam
  • Semester I:  CSET Subtest #1
  • Semester II:  RICA and CSET Subtest #3
  • Semester III:  Teacher Performance Assessment 1 and CSET Subtest #2
  • Semester IV:  Teacher Performance Assessment 2
  • Semester V:  Teacher Performance Assessment 3 and 4.  The TPE Portfolio will be completed in CP I and II.
Q: Can you explain what it means when you say I will be in a cohort? 

A: A cohort is a learning community consisting of the same classmates for all your ICP Core courses throughout the program.

Q: Is it possible to work while being in the ICP?  

A: It is recommended that college students allow enough time in their weekly schedule to study. Each unit of course work requires approximately 2 hours of study time. Students in the ICP take 15-16 units per semester equaling a total of 45-48 hours per week needed for class and study time to be successful in the program.

Q: How do I enroll in the ICP if I am a transfer student? 

A: You will apply for acceptance into the University as a Liberal Studies Major. After being accepted to the University, you will attend a Transfer Orientation where you will be able to apply to the ICP Option. At Orientation, ICP applicants will receive advising and registration assistance.

Q: What is the best way to receive information about the ICP?

A: You can refer to the ICP website, view the Mediasite videos, and talk to the ICP Advisor or the ICP Faculty Coordinators.

Q: Are there advising sessions I can attend to learn more about the ICP?

A: The School of Education holds advising sessions for all credential programs including the ICP. 

Q: How are post-baccalaureate units determined for the ICP and how are they noted on my transcript? 

A: Your transcript will appear the same as that for all teacher candidates who graduate with a California Teaching Credential.  Undergraduate and post-baccalaureate units are separated on the transcript. 

Q: How do school districts decide where I am placed on the pay scale when I start teaching?  If I feel I am not placed on the pay scale at the appropriate level, what do I do? 

A: All school districts place first year teachers on the pay scale according to their district rules and regulations.  If you feel the district requires information regarding the ICP, you may contact the Director of the Educational Services Center for an explanatory letter.