FAQS

Cal Teach Program

What is Cal Teach at UCSC about?

What does STEM mean?

Can I participate in Cal Teach in any year as an undergraduate?

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

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

What is a Learning Assistant (LA)?

Courses & STEM Minor

How many courses are there in the Cal Teach sequence?

How many units are CaT1, CaT2, and CaT3?

Which courses count towards the math subject matter waiver?

Do Cal Teach courses count towards an education minor?

What courses do I need for the STEM minor?

Can I take the introductory CaT1 course in any quarter?

What exactly are Special Projects?

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

How do I participate?

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

Internship

Can I do the Cal Teach Internship if I am not a science, engingeering or math majorr?

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

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

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

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

Do I need a car to do the internship?

Can International and Non U.S. Citizens participate in the internship?

Financial Support

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

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

How do I get reimbursed?

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

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

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

Do all Cal Teach internships provide stipends? 

CBEST & CSET

What is the CBEST Exam?

What is the CSET Exam?

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

Can I waive the CBEST or CSET?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teaching Credential

What are the requirements for applying to a credential program?

What is a certificate of clearance?

When should I apply for credential programs?

Generally when are applications for credential programs due?

What are the differences between credential programs at a UC, Cal State, and private university?

How long are credential programs?

How do I become a strong applicant for a credential program?

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

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

What are some programs I can apply to?

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.

What does STEM mean? 
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Can I participate in Cal Teach 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 that will 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 Cal Teach 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, but 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.

What is a Learning Assistant (LA)?
A Learning Assistant is a Cal Teach intern who works with small groups of students on conceptual problems in introductory biology, chemistry, or physics active learning classroom at UCSC. LAs are simultaneously supported in pedagogy (how to teach) through a weekly  Cal Teach seminar (PBS 101) and content through weekly meetings with instructors.

How many courses does Cal Teach offer?
There are three seminar courses in the Cal Teach sequence: CaT1 (EDUC 50), CaT2 (EDUC 100), and CaT3 (EDUC 185). We also offer a independent study option for students who have completed at least CaT1: Special Projects. In addition, students may serve as Learning Assistants in UCSC undergraduate courses and enroll in the Learning Assistant Pedagogy seminar (PBS 101).

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 details see the UCSC Physical & Biological Sciences Undergraduate Affairs.

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 I 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 exactly are Special Projects?
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 in order to participate in a Cal Teach internship. UCSC undergraduates who are not STEM majors, but have completed introductory college-level science, engineering, or math coursework can participate.

How do I participate?
There are three ways to participate in Cal Teach for your first time: through CaT1, as a Learning Assistant or via the Intensive Internship. You must apply and be accepted to participate in any of these activities. Students who have been accepted will be provided with a permission code. Please see the Intern Tool Kit for applications to each of these activities.

Do Cal Teach courses count for Gen. Ed. Requirements?
CaT1 satisfies the PR-S (service learning) requirement.

Can I do the Cal Teach Internship if I am not a science, engineering or math 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 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. 

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. For Cal Teach Internships with associated coursework (EDUC 50, 100, or 185L), interns must enroll either at UCSC Extensions or UCSC Main Campus.

I missed the priority deadline... can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply after the priority deadline. However, completed applications received prior to deadline will be reviewed first. 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. 

Can International and non-U.S. Citizens participate in the internship?
Yes, you can participate. Please see the Cal Teach Tool Kit for more information.

What are all the available Cal Teach funding resources for UCSC MA/Credential Program?
Please view the financial page for all financial support opportunities. 

How can I fund my credential program? What are my options?
Veteran Cal Teach interns may apply for scholarships for UCSC MA/credential program and/or reimbursements for credential program application requirements. Please view the financial page for financial support opportunities.

How do I get reimbursed?
For reimbursements, see the reimbursement instructions on the financial page. If you do not have a Payee Setup form on file you will need to submit one before you can be reimbursed (see Cal Teach for more details about the Payee Setup form).

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 Cal Teach Grads Page for details on what you can get reimbursed for. You can get reimbursed by submitting the Request 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 be reimbursed (see Cal Teach for more details about the Payee Setup form).

Do all Cal Teach internships provide stipends? 
The Cal Teach internships provide scholarships to successful interns ($150-600) if 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). Scholarships are paid directly into students' MyUCSC account. 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. Please view the financial page for financial support opportunities.

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, and alternative mechanisms to document mastery of these basic education skills, is available from the California Educators Credentialing Exams website. Prospective teachers who completed a Cal Teach Internship at UCSC may be reimbursed for the CBEST.

What is the CSET Exam?
CSET is the acronym for the California Subject Examination for Teachers. 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. One of two required science CSET exams (215) covers all fields (life sciences, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and Earth sciences). The second science CSET is of your selected area of expertise(test code 217, 218, 219, or220). Prospective teachers who completed a Cal Teach Internship at UCSC may be reimbursed for CSET exams associated with math or science teaching.

What tests do I need to apply to a credential program?
Everyone must document they've met the basic educational requirement (CBEST or alternative) 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 California Educators Credentialing Exams website.

Can I waive the CBEST or CSET?
See if you qualify to waive the CBEST here. 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; test dates are published on the 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 for the CBEST and CSET if they have completed at least one Cal Teach internship and are preparing to apply for credential programs. 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. For reimbursements see the reimbursement instructions on the financial page.

What do I need to study to prepare for the CBEST exam?
Cal Teach has study books available for you to borrow. See online preparation materials here.

What do I need to study to prepare for the CSET subject matter exam?
Cal Teach has study books available for you to borrow. See online preparation materials here.

Do I need to take the GRE to apply to a credential program?
Mostly, no. But some programs do require it, so check early for programs you are interested in.

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. Cal Teach has prepared a summary of information about many credential programs in California, see it here.

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 I apply for credential programs? 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. Cal Teach has prepared a summary of information about many credential programs in California, see it here.

What are the differences between a credential program at a UC, Cal State, and private university?
There are many important differences. A few key differences to consider are cost, length of program, and type of credential/degree awarded. UC and Private Schools tend to offer both the credential and masters in education or teaching with their programs. Cal State programs tend to be shorter in length since they typically only provide a credential. Cost of attendance varies based on location, type of program, and type of school, but the base cost for CSU programs is always lower than for UC and private university programs. Also, some credential programs have a special emphasis (for example: USF's Urban Education & Social Justice Master's Program with Credential focuses on urban public school teaching.) See the following resource and the rest of the credential prep FAQs on this page so that you may get a broad understanding of Teacher Credentialing.

How long are credential programs?
Credential programs may be as short as two semesters or as long as two academic years depending on the type of credential program.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 for a credential program?
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 simple 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 requirements 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 (including UCSC) 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)

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 use these resources as a starting point for your credential program search. Please visit individual credential program school websites for the most up to date information.