Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Cal Teach Program

 

What is Cal Teach at UCSC about?


Cal Teach is primarily an internship program with associated academic coursework to support students in exploring and preparing for math and science teaching careers. Cal Teach provides ongoing academic and career advising and financial support for its interns as they pursue teaching credentials and into their early teaching careers. For more information please see the Cal Teach Program. You may also view the following:

Cal Teach Pamphlet

Cal Teach Presentation for Prospective Interns

What does STEM mean?


STEM is an acronym for science, technology, mathematics, and engineering.

Can I participate in CalTeach in any year as an undergraduate?


Yes, students may start with Cal Teach in any academic year. However, we generally do not take students in their first quarter at UCSC, to ensure they have time to adjust to the campus and its academic calendar. With that exception, we encourage students to begin Cal Teach involvement as early as possible to allow time before graduation to complete follow-up internships for those who decide they like teaching or to explore other career avenues for those who decide they don't like teaching.

Do I need to take all Cal Teach classes to have access to resources to help me become a teacher?


Cal Teach provides academic and career information to anyone who is interested in math or science teaching in California's K-12 schools. Those who complete either the intensive internship or the academic year internships are considered "Cal Teach interns" and have access to financial resources and may be considered for special internships and scholarships.

Can I participate in CalTeach if I am not a science or math major?


The goal of Cal Teach is to recruit and educate more math and science teachers with strong academic preparation in STEM fields -- typically this means a STEM major or minor. However, UCSC undergraduates who are not STEM majors, who have completed introductory college-level science, engineering, or math coursework, and who are committed to further STEM coursework, will be considered for Cal Teach internships.

 

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Courses & STEM Minor

 

How many courses are there in the Cal Teach sequence?


There are three seminar courses in the Cal Teach sequence: CaT1, CaT2, and CaT3. We also offer two independent study options: Cal Teach: Special Projects for students who have completed at least CaT1, and CaT4 for students who have completed CaT1, CaT2, and CaT3.

How many courses does Cal Teach offer?


There are three seminar courses in the Cal Teach sequence: CaT1, CaT2, and CaT3. We also offer two independent study options: Cal Teach: Special Projects for students who have completed at least CaT1, and CaT4 for students who have completed CaT1, CaT2, and CaT3.

How many units are CaT1, CaT2, and CaT3?


CaT1 and CaT2 are both 2-unit classes. CaT3 is a 3-unit class.

Which courses count towards the math subject matter waiver?


CaT1 and CaT2 substitute for Math 188 in the math subject matter waiver. For more detils see the UCSC Physical & Biological Sciences Undergraguate Affairs. You can also download the printable checklist for the current academic year.

Do Cal Teach courses count towards an education minor?


CaT1, CaT2, and CaT3 count toward the STEM Education minor. They do not count toward the regular Education minor.

What courses do you need for the STEM minor?


See the UCSC Education Department for the full list.

Can I take the introductory CaT1 course in any quarter?


The introductory CaT1 course is offered only in fall and winter quarters; it is not offered in spring.

What is the difference between the CaT4 course and Special Projects?


CaT4 is an independent study for the most advanced Cal Teach students based on some aspect of educational theory, complemented by a classroom internship placement. Special Projects are internships and service opportunities in non-traditional education settings for students with some Cal Teach experience.

Do I have to sign up for the STEM minor to participate in Cal Teach?


No, you do not have to sign up for the STEM Education minor, or any other major or minor to participate in Cal Teach.

How do I enroll?


To enroll in Cal Teach, you must apply and be accepted for CaT1. Students who have been accepted will be provided with a permission code. Please see the CaT1 Internship for the application.

Do Cal Teach courses count for Gen. Ed. Requirements?


CaT1 counts for the PR-S (service learning) requirement.

 

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Internship

 

Can I do the Cal Teach Internship if I am not a STEM major?


UCSC Undergraduates who are not majoring in a science, math, or engineering may participate if they have successfully completed suitable undergraduate coursework in science, math, or engineering. This happens most commonly with environmental studies and economics majors.

Do I need to be a UCSC student to do the Intensive Internship?


Incoming UCSC transfer students from partner campuses* and college graduates with academic or professional training in science, mathematics, or engineering are welcome to apply for the Intensive Internship and may be asked to interview prior to acceptance.
*Partners: Cabrillo, Cañada, Foothill, Gavilan, Hartnell, Ohlone, and San José City Colleges

I am changing careers. Can I still participate in the Cal Teach internships?


College graduates with academic or professional training in science, mathematics, or engineering are welcome to apply and may be asked to interview prior to acceptance.

I missed the priority deadline for the can I still apply?


Yes, you can still apply after the priority deadline. However, it is best to arrange the internship details before the end of the preceding quarter. The priority deadline is set during pre-registration in the quarter prior to the internship to facilitate student schedule planning and to allow time for required TB testing, fingerprinting, and an initial meeting with the host teacher before the internship quarter begins. If there is still space in a Cal Teach class and you will be able to complete the required preparatory work quickly, you can apply up to the first day of class.

I am a senior and I just found out about Cal Teach. Can I still do the Cal Teach internship?


Seniors may participate in CaT1 in fall or winter quarter and continue with CaT2 in winter or spring quarter. A senior who starts with CaT1 in fall can complete CaT2 and CaT3 before graduating in spring. To be a stronger candidate to credential-year scholarships, it is better to start sooner.

Do I need a car to do the internship?


No. However, you must be willing to travel by bike and/or bus to a school that may be several miles from campus. We work individually with students to identify internship placements that fit their travel and schedule constraints.

What is a possible timelines for taking Cal Teach as a freshman with a STEM Education Minor?




What is a possible timelines for taking Cal Teach as a sophomore with a STEM Education Minor?




What is a possible timelines for taking Cal Teach as a junior with preparation for credential application?




What is a possible timelines for taking Cal Teach as a senior?




 

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Financial Support

 

What are all the available Cal Teach funding resources for UCSC MA/Credential Program?


Please view the financial support chart for all financial support opportunities.

How can I fund my credential program? What are my options?


You can view the fundging opportunities chart for a few options.

How do I get reimbursed?


For reimbursements see the reimbursement instructions. If you don't have a Payee Setup Form on file please submit it to Cal Teach to gurantee reimbursement.

Payee Setup for Students
Payee Setup for Others

What is the difference between the Noyce and the Bruce Scholarships?


The merit-based selection criteria are the same for both scholarships, and they both require successful Cal Teach participation before the candidate will be considered. Depending on the number of qualified applicants, financial need, and availability of funding, students may be awarded one or both scholarships.

Noyce Scholarships are funded by the National Science Foundation and are only for STEM majors or STEM professionals who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents. The Noyce Scholarships require two years of teaching service in a partner district or any other "high-need" district in the U.S. after completing the credential.

Mark Bruce Fellowships are funded by private donor Stephen Bruce in honor of his late brother Mark; they do not have a service obligation and applicants with only a STEM minor may be awarded them.

Can I get the Noyce or Bruce Scholarship if I attend a credential program other than UCSC?


You cannot get a Bruce Fellowship or UCSC's Noyce Scholarship if you attend a credential program at another institution. However, the National Science Foundation funds Noyce Teacher Scholars programs at many universities around the country, each with their own application procedures and criteria for selection. If you are applying to other credential programs, you should check the national Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program website to see if they have a Noyce program.

I am a first year teacher. What can I get reimbursed for and how?


Please see the Early Career Teacher Support Page for details on what you can get reimbursed for. You can get reimbursed by submitting the Early Career Teacher Support Form along with your original receipts. If you do not have a Payee Setup form on file you will need to submit one before you can get reimbursed.

Do all Cal Teach internships provide stipends?


Cal Teach internships provide small scholarships to successful interns ($150-600) if donor funds are available, with the amount increasing with the more advanced internships. CaT1 internships provide scholarships only for students with documented financial need (based on the FAFSA). Students whose financial need is already "fully met" by other Financial Aid grants are asked to decline the Cal Teach scholarship, rather than simply replacing one grant with another one, to conserve precious donor funds.

 

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CBEST & CSET

 

What is the CBEST Exam?


CBEST is the acronym for the California Basic Educational Skills Test, a required exam in reading comprehension, basic mathematics, and writing for California teachers (and even substitutes). Detailed information about the test is available from the California Educators Credentialing Exams website. Prospective teachers who completed CaT1 at UCSC may be reimbursed for the CBEST.

What is the CSET Exam?


CSET is the acronym for the California Subject Examination for Teachers, described on the California Educators Credentialing Exams website. Prospective teachers in California must document their "subject matter competence," typically by passing a subject-specific CSET examination or by completing a program of university coursework (subject matter program) which leads to a waiver of the exam. At UCSC, a subject matter program exists in mathematics, but not yet in the sciences. The science CSET covers all fields (life sciences, chemistry, physics, astronomy, Earth sciences) with emphasis on one selected area. The science (specialized) CSET covers only one field.

What tests do I need to apply to a credential program?


Everyone needs to pass the CBEST to enter a credential program, and most programs want the score reported with the application materials. Those who are not completing a subject matter waiver program need also to take the CSET for the field they plan to teach. Prospective California teachers also need to document their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. More information on these and other requirements for obtaining a single subject teaching credential can be found on the website of the California Commision on Teacher Credentialing.

Can I waive the CBEST or CSET?


You cannot waive the CBEST if you are pursuing your first teaching credential in California. You can waive the CSET if you complete appropriate course work at a university with an approved subject matter waiver program.

At UCSC, what subjects are waived in the CSET exam?


UCSC offers a subject matter waiver program in mathematics.

I am a math major. Does that mean I automatically waive the CSET exam?


No, the subject matter waiver program in mathematics includes all courses in the education concentration of the mathematics major plus several additional courses.

By when do I need to take the CBEST and the CSET?


Most credential programs prefer that applicants take these exams before applying; some may want the scores reported by the application deadline; others may accept scores up to the time student teaching begins. Cal Teach advises its students to take the CBEST as soon as you know you may want to apply to credential programs in California; it is a relatively easy test and should be scheduled at a convenient time before starting the senior year (test dates are published on the CTC website: CTC Website). Cal Teach advises taking the CSET as soon as most or all relevant coursework has been completed; this may be as late as fall or winter of the senior year for undergraduates. Because the CSET has several subtests, it can make sense to take one or more subtests sooner than the others, depending on the timing of coursework.

Can I get reimbursed for the exams? How many times?


Assuming donor funds are available (as they have been since 2007), Cal Teach will reimburse interns who have completed CaT1 for the CBEST and those who have completed CaT2 for as many subsets of the CSET as are relevant to teaching science and math to high-need students. Interns who don't pass an exam may still be reimbursed; however, to be reimbursed a second time for the same tests an intern must consult with Cal Teach to ensure he or she is likely to be successful with the re-test. See Reimbursements

I want to carpool to take the exams how do I do this?


Email calteach@ucsc.edu with the date and location of the exam you are taking, and explain you'd like to join (or can offer rides in) a carpool. The more lead time you give, the more likely Cal Teach can help.

What do I need to study to prepare for the CBEST exam?


Email calteach@ucsc.edu with the date of the exam you are taking, and explain you'd like to join a study group. The more lead time you give, the more likely Cal Teach can help.

What do I need to study to prepare for the CSET subject matter exam?


Email calteach@ucsc.edu with the date and specific exams (subtests) you are taking, and explain you'd like to join a study group. The more lead time you give, the more likely Cal Teach can help.

Do you need to take the GRE to apply to a credential program?


Mostly, no. But some do require it, so check early for programs you are interested in.

 

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Teaching Credential

 

What are the requirements for applying to a credential program?


Please note that each program has its own requirements. Be sure to view the website of the program you wish to attend to guarantee you have the full list of requirements. Here you can find a general list of basic requirements for most programs.

Credential Info. Night Presentation

General Requirements

What is a certificate of clearance?


From the website of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing: "The Certificate of Clearance is a document issued by the Commission to an individual who has completed the Commission's fingerprint and character and identification process, whose moral and professional fitness has been shown to meet the standards as established by law.... An individual enrolled in a California educator preparation program must obtain a Certificate of Clearance prior to beginning their student teaching or practicum. "

The Certificate of Clearance must be requested through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Prior fingerprinting for Cal Teach internships or other employment will not meet the requirement. With this fingerprinting and background check, the California Department of Justice and the FBI will certify that you do not have a criminal record for specific crimes established by the California Education Code. Cal Teach has observed that if you have any sort of previous record, even if it has been expunged, the clearance process may be slowed by several weeks or more.

When should you apply for credential programs?


In most cases, you need to submit an application 3-8 months before a credential program begins. University of California credential programs typically have application deadlines in late fall or early winter for programs starting the next summer or fall. Many California State University credential programs have deadlines in late winter to spring for programs beginning in fall. Some programs have rolling deadlines up to the beginning of the semester you want to begin, and some programs allow a student teacher to start in the second semester, but these are not the norm. For combined MA/credential programs at some CSUs, there are two application processes, one for the graduate program and one for the concurrent credential program.

Generally when are applications for credential programs due?


In most cases, you need to submit an application 3-8 months before a credential program begins. University of California credential programs typically have application deadlines in late fall or early winter for programs starting the next summer or fall. Many California State University credential programs have deadlines in late winter to spring for programs beginning in fall. Some programs have rolling deadlines up to the beginning of the semester you want to begin, and some programs allow a student teacher to start in the second semester, but these are not the norm. For combined MA/credential programs at some CSUs, there are two application processes, one for the graduate program and one for the concurrent credential program.

What is the difference between a credential program at a UC, Cal State, or private university?


There are many important differences. A few key differences to consider are cost, length of program, and types of credential programs. UC and Private Schools tend to offer both the credential and masters in education with their programs. Cal States tend to be shorter in length since they typically only provide a credential. Cost of attendance vary based on location, type of program, and type of school. Also, some credential programs have an emphasis. (For example: UCLA's Masters in Urban Teaching Program focuses on urban public school teaching.) See the following resources so that you may get a broad understanding of prices, deadlines, and other features.

Private School Credential Programs

CSU Credential Programs

UC Credential Programs

How long are credential programs?


Credential programs may be as short as 2 semesters or, when combined with a master's degree as short as two semesters or as long as two academic years. UCSC's MA/credential program is 12 months, starting in mid July, and ending 52 weeks later, in mid July.

How do I become a strong applicant?


To become a strong applicant for a credential program, develop a strong background in the subject you want to teach and get as much experience as possible working with the age group you want to teach, especially in classrooms. Do your best to help both academic instructors and classroom mentors know you and know your goals so that they can write effective letters of recommendation.

What if I want to teach outside of California? Can I still get a credential in the state of California?


Many states have reciprocal agreements that allow a fairly simply transfer of credential status from one state to another, and most states accept California credentials. However, the details vary widely, with each state making individual agreements with each other state. You should research credential rules in the states you are likely to move to.

Can I get a masters in my STEM field of study and a credential?


Yes, but not at UCSC. Most UC's and private schools that offer both a credential and a masters degree offer the masters in education. Some universities do offer a master's degree in math or a science field that can be earned while working toward a teaching credential. (For example: UCI's Masters of Science in Chem with Teacher Credential and Master of Science in Math with Teacher Credential )

Do you need to take the GRE to apply to a credential program?


Mostly, no. But some do require it, so check early for programs you are interested in. (For example: Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) requires the GRE)

What are some programs I can apply to?


Here are a few resources for you to get a sense of what types of programs are available. Feel free to uses these resources as a starting point for your credential program search. Please visit school website for the most up to date information.

Private School Credential Programs

CSU Credential Programs

UC Credential Programs

 

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