Teaching Career Overview
Preparing to become a teacher

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Kids raising their hands in class.

There are various types of teaching credentials offered by the state of California that students can receive. Students interested in teaching at the elementary school level will be obtaining a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential. The Multiple Subject Teaching Credential authorizes the holder to teach in a “self-contained” classroom. The student teaches all subjects to the same students all day.

Students interested in teaching any subject at the middle school or high school level will be obtaining a Single Subject Credential. The Single Subject Credential authorizes the holder to teach the specific subject(s) named on the credential in departmentalized classes, such as those in most middle schools and high schools.

DURATION: A Bachelor’s degree is between 120-124 units (typically 4-5 years to complete). In addition, a Teaching Credential program takes approximately one year to complete.

Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential Requirements

  • EDUCATION: A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited college or university. 
  • Professional Teacher Preparation:  Complete a multiple subject teacher preparation program including student teaching.
  • BASIC SKILLS REQUIREMENT: This requirement can be satisfied by passing the California Basic Skills Test (CBEST) or by a CCTC-approved alternative option.
  • SUBJECT MATTER COMPETENCE: Pass all sections of the California Subject Examination for Teachers; Multiple Subjects (CSET) to establish subject matter competency or complete a program that offers a waiver, such as those offered through CSULB and many other CSU schools.
Note: the CSET Multiple Subjects Exam may be taken with the CSET Writing Skills Exam to obtain subject matter competency and fulfill the basic skills requirement.

College Majors for Teaching

Elementary Teachers

This pathway focuses on students interested in becoming an elementary school teacher (TK-6) and earning a Multiple Subject Credential. As an elementary teacher, you will need to teach many subjects including language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, visual and performing arts, physical education, and human development. There are many possible majors but it is best to major in a subject that will encompass all of these areas, such as Liberal Studies. However, other majors such as child development, human development, human services, or psychology are also excellent pathways for elementary teaching.

See a counselor for help with selecting a major.

Secondary Teachers

This pathway focuses on students interested in teaching at the middle school or high school level in any subject area. Courses provide observation time and hands-on fieldwork opportunities in secondary school classrooms.

LBCC students in this pathway typically major in the subject that they want to teach and transfer to a university of their choice, or earn an Associate Degree for Transfer and transfer into the CSU system. For example, a future high school math teacher would major in mathematics.

See a counselor for help with selecting a major.

Educational Certificates

Students interested in a career in education should consider earning an Educational Aide certificate. These certificates add value to your resume (certificates look great to employers!), and develop the skills needed to be successful in an education career.

Certificate of Achievement, Educational Aide I

The Certificate of Achievement in Educational Aide I is designed to prepare students for a variety of entry-level positions in today’s education industry such as teacher assistants, instructional aides, and tutors.  Upon completion, students will have developed knowledge of the teaching profession, qualities of effective teachers, tutors, and teaching assistants, foundations of the American education system, and critical issues in diverse contemporary classrooms in accordance with the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. 

Certificate of Achievement, Educational Aide II

This certificate builds on the knowledge and skills learned through completion of the Educational Aide I Certificate of Achievement and allows for deeper understanding and contextualization of TK-12 state content standards such as Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards in English and mathematics, and technology standards. The Certificate of Achievement Educational Aide II is designed to prepare students for a variety of entry-level positions in today’s education industry such as teacher assistants, instructional aides, after-school program assistants, and tutors.

Basic Recommendations

  • Take GE courses at LBCC that cover subject matter areas required for elementary teaching and cover CSET preparation. One effective pathway is an Associate Degree for Transfer degree (AA-T) Elementary Teacher Education.
  • Obtain as much early fieldwork experience in elementary classrooms as you can.  You are strongly encouraged to sign up for EDUC 20, Intro to Elementary Classroom Teaching or EDUC 130 Intro to Secondary Classroom Teaching to get some of this experience.
  • Consider taking an elective course to gain educational technology skills for classroom use, such as EDUC 40, Introduction to Educational Technology (offered in the 2021-2022 school year) as well as attending workshops in education test preparation such as the CBEST Exam.
  • Seek advisement from the Counseling Department since teacher education requirements may vary at each college and university. You can contact a counselor in the School of Language Arts & Communication for more information.
  • Earn good grades.  Most credential programs require a minimum of 2.7 to 3.0 GPA.
  • Join the Future Teachers Club at LBCC and follow us on social media.
  • Complete our Interest Form for more information.
  • Visit TEACH California for more information on how to become a teacher in California.