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CTE Credentialing

All CTE teachers must hold an appropriate California credential to teach the CTE class they are assigned to teach.  One credential that may be appropriate for a CTE assignment is a Designated Subjects credentials granted by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.  When teachers qualify to teach CTE and have attained an employment offer, they may apply for their preliminary credential. Preliminary credential holders, known as credential candidates have three years to clear their preliminary credential and apply for the clear credential.


Qualifications for the three-year Preliminary Credential

● Three years work experience directly related to each industry sector named on the credential.  One year equals 1000 clock hours.  Experience may be full-time, part-time, paid or unpaid.

● High school diploma or equivalent.  Foreign equivalent of a high school diploma approved through the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

● Verification, signed by the Commission approved program sponsor (we recommend SDCOE LEA) that the credential candidate has been apprised of the requirements for both the preliminary and clear credentials, including the requirements of personalized preparation (credential program coursework required). SDCOE LEA requires candidates to sign an Intent and Acknowledgment Form.

● Completed application form 41-4.

● Completed Live Scan (fingerprinting) receipt.

● Application processing fees.

● Recommendation by a Commission approved CTE program sponsor.


Each credential candidate is assigned a mentor who acts as a coach for the entire preliminary credential period.  The non-evaluative mentor will have monthly contact (telephone calls, emails, google hang-outs, etc.) with new teachers and face-to-face observation visits a minimum of once each semester.  Mentors are district employees, former teachers, non-evaluative administrators who complete CTE mentor training in order to provide  candidates the tools and feedback necessary to excel in the teaching profession. 


It is up to each new teacher to complete their own paperwork and provide the necessary information to obtain a preliminary or clear credential.  Once the application materials are completed, make an appointment with the CTE Coordinator for review.
Designated Subjects CTE Application Links


When applying for the preliminary credential or the clear credential, check the link to our credentialing LEA for current fees.  


New teacher candidates are free to take their courses anywhere they like.  Please note that if you start your coursework at one educational program sponsor and then switch to another, the completed coursework credits may not transfer from one to another.  It is best to complete your coursework where you start it. We recommend you complete your coursework through our Local Education Agency (LEA) - San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) Designated Subjects credential program. SDCOE partners with UCSD to run the courses needed to meet the requirements of clearing the CTE Designated Subjects credential.  UCSD’s courses are online giving one the flexibility to study and complete assignments when and where it is convenient.  Always check you are enrolled in the right class before you pay for the class.


Coursework Flowchart for SDCOE LEA
Apply to Program and for the credential Advice and support from SDCOE Candidate sent Planned Course of StudyComplete Early Orientation within 30 daysProgram OrientationFoundation CourseCTE Emphasis CoursePortfolio Course.  Additionally, candidates must complete Health Education, CPR & U.S. Constitution exam.


Early Orientation
Each school district has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on file with SDCOE for their teachers to be part of their credential program.  Part of the MOU mandates each new teacher to complete online early orientation within the first 30 days of employment. Once your preliminary paperwork is accepted by SDCOE, the credential technician will send you a link and instructions how to enroll.

Early Orientation gives new CTE teachers fresh out of industry the tools they need to start their journey as classroom teachers.   After completing the online training, keep an electronic copy of the certificate of completion for your e-portfolio and send a copy to the CTE Coordinator at the district office. 


Single Subject Credential Holders
If you hold a clear multiple or single subject teaching credential, qualify to teach CTE and would like to apply for the Designated Subjects CTE credential, there is only one class you have to successfully complete.  Candidates in this course will explore learning concepts and developmental skills (including SDAIE and special needs) as they relate to the CTE classroom. 

The name of the course is CTE Core for Clear Single/Multiple Subject Teachers. 
UCSD Core for Clear SS/MS Teachers
Course Number: EDUC-31390   Credit: 4.5 units in Education

All paperwork must still be completed and all fees apply. As stated previously, make sure you are signed up for the correct class before you pay for it. If you do not currently hold a clear single subject or clear multiple subject teaching credential this course will not satisfy coursework requirements to earn a clear Designated Subjects CTE credential.


If one holds a Single Subject credential in Agriculture, Business, Home Economics, Industrial Arts or Industrial and Technical Education, they are authorized to teach in that subject area.   
SDCOE Credential Department Link


Clearing a Credential
Please follow the appropriate link below to find the Application Materials for your credential.  It’s important to remember to apply for your clear no earlier than one year from the expiration date of your preliminary, unless your employer gives you an incentive to clear early.

You may notice the paperwork looks familiar.  You will need to complete each of the CTE Clear Applications materials listed.  This is a new credential for you, as it’s a clear credential taking the place of a preliminary, so yes you do have to complete all forms and attain the application fees.  
Clearing the DS CTE Preliminary


Renewing a Clear Credential
It’s up to you to remember to renew your teaching credential.  Think of it as the same procedure as renewing your driver’s license.  This is solely your responsibility.  See the link below to guide you when it’s time to renew.


Commission on Teacher Credentialing Website


Renewal Information