FAQ--Becoming a Teacher

Frequently Asked Questions

Which courses at UCLA satisfy the U.S. Constitution requirement? Poli Sci 40 and History 13A. You can also meet the requirement by exam or coursework at another university. View additional information here.

Are there any courses at UCLA that may count towards a teaching credential program?
The Computers in Education Process course under the Education Minor at UCLA may transfer as might the TESL methodology focused courses (AL/TESL C210: Methodology for Second/Foreign Language Education). Contact each credentialing program separately to verify. 

I completed my degree outside of the United States but want to teach in California? What steps do I need to take to take? 
Anyone who has completed coursework outside the United States must submit a detailed foreign transcripts evaluation to an evaluation agency approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. View list of agencies.

What is a Multiple Subject Credential?          
The teacher with a Multiple Subject Credential is authorized to teach many subjects (e.g. Math, Science, Mandarin) to one fixed group of students who stay in the same classroom throughout the day, most often found in elementary school settings. Individuals with this credential are usually employed in elementary schools, but may be assigned to teach in any self-contained classroom (preschool, K-12, adults). View credential requirements for elementary teaching (mulitple subject) as outlined by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. 

What is a Single Subject Credential?   
Single Suject Credential enables an individual to teach a specific academic subject (e.g. Mandarin, Science, Math, Art) most often in departmentalized classes such as typically found in most middle and high schools. In secondary schools students change classrooms and teachers as they change periods and subject matter. While most holders of this credential are usually employed in middle and high schools, you may be assigned to teach the subject(s) at any grade level. View credential requirements for secondary teaching (single subject) as outlined by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. 

What is the difference between a 'Preliminary Credential' and a 'Clear Credential'
The preliminary credential is valid for a maximum of five years. Individuals must attain his or her clear credential within the allowed 5-year time period in order to continue teaching in the CA public school system. View requirements for the preliminary credential and the clear credential (multiple subject andsingle subject).

What is the CBEST? When is the test offered? How can I register for the test?
As a Mandarin candidate both credentials (the single and the multiple subject credentials) require that you pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). The CBEST assesses basic knowledge of reading, math and English writing proficiency. View test dates and test sites. Dowload practice testRegister now.

What is the CSET? When is the test offered? How can I register for the test?
As a Mandarin candidate both credentials (the single and the multiple subject credentials) require that you pass the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) in your subject matter area(s). The CSET evaluates specific knowledge of a certain field (e.g. Mathematics or Mandarin Chinese). The CSET Mandarin for foreign language teaching is comprised of three parts: general linguistics, literary and cultural texts and traditions, and language and communication (listening, speaking, reading and writing). See test dates and test sites for CSET Languages Other Than English (LOTE) - Mandarin Subtests I, II and III. See Mandarin test guideRegister now.

What CBEST and CSET preparation workshops offered in the area? 
The Teacher Preparation Advising Center and Impact Teach Program at Cal State Long Beach sponsors a three-hour workshop for each of the areas on the CBEST.  These workshops are free of charge, but you need to register in advance by sending an email to cedinfo@csulb.edu.  For more information on the workshops, please click hereA number of other institutions occasionally offer prep classes for passing the CBEST and CSET exams. 

What is the BCLAD? 
The BCLAD stands for Bilingual, Cross-cultural, Language and Academic Development (BCLAD).  The BCLAD certificate authorizes the teacher to instruct students in English and the target language – Mandarin. The BCLAD certification can be obtained by completing a BCLAD program (Cal State Asian BCLAD consortium program) or by BCLAD exam (CSET Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Mandarin: subtests III, IV and V).

What if I have majored in Math or Science at UCLA? Can I still become a credentialed Mandarin teacher in the public school system in California?
Yes, you can. In fact, you do not have to have a B.A. in Chinese to become a Mandarin teacher. Since there is currently a major shortage of science and math teachers in the public schools, you might consider the following option: pass the CSET in your subject area (Math or Science, for example) and get teaching experience at a high school while at the same working on getting your Mandarin Single Subject credential by passing the CSET Mandarin subtests I, II and III and taking a methodology course designed for the specific subject.

Can I add a multiple subject authorization to an existing single subject credential? 
Yes. You would need to: 1) Pass the CSET for MS 2) Complete a general methodology course and 3) Pass RICA

Can I add a single subject authorization to an existing Multiple Subject credential? 
Yes. You would need to 1) Pass the CSET in the subject area and 2) Compelete methodology courses designed for the specific subject.

Who can I contact to find out more about teaching credentialing programs with Mandarin emphasis in the southern California area?

California State Long Beach (CSULB)
Single Subject Credentialing Program
Program contact: Dr. Jean-Jacques Jura, Coordinator/Advisor for Languages Other Than English (including Mandarin)
tel: 562-985-2200 
Subject Matter Advisors: Mandarin Chinese: Dr. Tim Xie; (562) 985-5278
Multiple Subject Credentialing Program
Program contact: email: mscp@csulb.edu; tel: 562-985-9259

Cal State Los Angeles
Single Subject Credentialing Program
Multiple Subject Credentialing Program
Program contact: Dr. Gay Yuen.

Loyola Marymount University:
Chinese Bilingual Teacher Education Program (CBTE) providing a single or multiple subject credential and an M.A. degree in Bilingual Elementary or Secondary Education 
Program contact: Dr. Magaly Lavadenz , Director, Bilingual and Biliteracy Program

California State University BCLAD Consortium
Program contact: Dr. Fay Shin, Coordinator of CSU's Asian BCLAD Consortium program (including Mandarin)
tel: 562-985-9303 

Who is currently hiring Mandarin teachers?
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the 2nd largest school district in the United States, hires Mandarin at the primary and secondary levels. Candidates with a California preliminary or clear credential in foreign language Mandarin are encouraged to apply. For those who do not hold a credential, you may apply under alternative certification. Minimum requirements include: a BA/BS, passage of the CBEST, and 18 semester units of Mandarin (the CSET single subject Mandarin exam may be used instead of the units).  Click here to visit LAUSD's Human Resources site.

What online resources are available for teachers?

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC)
CBEST Website
Chinese Language Teachers Association (CTLA)
CSET Website
Startalk