In Episode 62 of the CSUSB Advising Podcast, Matt Markin chats with Arlena Allende, Program Admissions Advisor about the Single and Multiple Subject Credential Programs! What is the admissions process? What are the differences between the Single and Multiple Subject credentials? What are you learning within the program? Find out in this episode!
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Welcome to another episode of the CSUSB advising podcast. My name is Matt Markin and academic advisor here at Cal State San Bernardino. We've had many questions from students interested in becoming teachers and wanting to know more about the teaching credential. And we have Arlena Allende and a program Admissions Advisor in the College of Education here with us today to learn more about teacher credentials. Arlena, welcome.
Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your background in higher ed?
Sure. So I'm a Program Admissions Advisor for the Watson College of Education. And I've been doing this for quite a while I don't want to age myself, but it's been over a little over 18 years with CSUSB. And about 16 years I was 18 has been advising, specifically K 12. Education candidates. So yeah, it's been a while.
And I won't age us, but I will say that we've known each other for many years going way back.
How would you describe the single subject and multiple subject credential programs?
So the single subject credential is specific to a content area. It's usually for candidates who are interested in teaching seventh to 12th grade. However, if they're specifically interested in, let's say, PE or music, they could teach those subjects from kindergarten through 12th grade. But this is more of a secondary credential so that anyone interested in middle school high school, where the multiple subject credential is specifically for elementary candidates, so anyone interested in K through about sixth grade, you're in a self contained classroom teaching all subjects. If a middle school were to hire a multiple subject teacher candidate, they typically have to either combine teachers or have you as a candidate, and elementary or multiple subject, teacher candidate teach at least a minimum of two subjects. Now, you could always add one or the other. So anytime, a student decides you don't want to teach secondary and decide, well, I also want to have the option to teach elementary, I like to always let students know you actually have the option to add the other way out having to go through a whole credential program, again, by simply adding potentially a few classes. And a an examination will be called the CSET, of course, so that can easily happen. So no student is ever stuck in one area or the other, you have that flexibility between a multiple subject and a single subject credential. But of course, in California, everyone was holding a credential to teach in our public school system.
And I guess, you know, for students, sometimes students, you know, might be pursuing a certain bachelor's degree. And then later on, they kind of decide, oh, now I want to teach. So does a student have to have like a specific bachelor degree in the subject that are pursuing their credential for?
You know, it's ideal if someone came in already pursuing a teaching profession, and they knew that's what they wanted to do, of course, we always advise to consider a bachelor's degree in that subject, whether it's a secondary, then we typically advise, consider maybe teaching in that, or I'm sorry to gain a bachelor's degree in that subject. So for instance, anyone who's interested in becoming a math teacher, well, then you might want to consider a math degree. Or if you're interested in teaching elementary, you might want to consider the Liberal Studies major, right? But that's not necessary. So in the state of California, you don't necessarily have to have a bachelor's degree in the subject you wish to, you know, earn the credential. However, you do have to prove to the state that you're proficient in that subject. So you don't want me becoming a math teacher because I can't do it. But I do want it, we want to make sure that any candidate who wants to teach that specific subject can prove right that they're competent in that subject. So that's the only catch to that. So in California, you just have to prove that and typically, is this not to a degree than it would be by taking the CSET. And that's the California State subject exam. So that way you can do that you're right.
And what would the admissions process look like for a student that might be looking to want to do a single or multiple subject credential?
So the process is quite similar. However, there are a few differences in the admissions process. So I always advise students if they're interested to attend an information session specific to that credential. But I would say there are two major requirements right? In the state of California to meet or to at least earn a credential in the state. So of course, we are all trying to meet the state standards. So a lot of that students might feel overwhelmed by the admissions process for credential but I want one and understand that we're all trying to meet those state standards. A credential is not issued to you by Cal State San Bernardino. It is issued to you by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. So we're all striving to meet those and meet those rules or regulations and those standards set by the state. And so one of those or one of those requirements would be basic skills. So how is the candidate able to meet the basic skills. There are eight options to meet the basic skills, right. So you have eight options to meet that. And so one of those, I should say two of those have actually come through Assembly Bill 130. And that's probably been about two years, I would say that now we're allowing students to use coursework to meet the basics, because instead of having to take the C best, but you know, student could also use SATs ACT scores. So there are many options to meet the requirements. And for subject matter, as I mentioned earlier, how do you prove that you're proficient or competent in the subject? Well, like I said, you either have a degree or you you take the CSET. And along with those other those two requirements, I would say my comm prerequisites depending on what credential you're considering, fingerprinting, of course, because you're gonna be working with K 12 students, recommendation. So there is a process, and I don't want to overwhelm students, but we are there to help you, I am there to help students through this admissions process. And so I do hold information sessions twice a month, for multiple and single subject to really go through the admissions process into detail, and then go through what the track options look like. So students are aware of you know, what to expect in the program, are they committed to teaching so teaching is a calling, of course. And so if you're willing to go through this admissions process, and, you know, I think, you know, we have great candidates coming out of the College of Education, so we're proud of that. But it is sometimes a task, right to get make sure that you're meeting all state standards. So we're here to help. But that in a nutshell, kind of covers our admissions process.
And of course, to those students will ask us or, you know, as I'm an undergraduate working towards a bachelor's degree, and I want to do the credential program, is there a certain GPA requirement that I have to get? Or is that factored in depending on test scores?
That's a good question. So we do have a 2.67 accumulative GPA requirement. But we also can look at the last 60 semester units a 2.75. So the evaluators will do both, if one does have the one will look at the other. Now, if a student falls below that, let's say a 2.5, above, but not quite the minimum, there is a way then to make a request to see if they can make an exception. So there are a few times that we can make that exception, but anything below a 2.5. And we would suggest maybe considering taking classes at a community college, bring up that GPA, maybe considering taking courses specific to the content area, they are interested in teaching or even in education, just to see that there's, you know, there's improvement in that area.
Now, when a student applies, they get in sciences will get the question of well, what am I actually learning or doing when I'm in the credential program?
Yeah, so I do get a lot of those questions. And, and it's pedagogy uses the art of teaching, right? So I think many students have the misunderstanding that it's content knowledge, you're going to learn math, you're going to learn science, or that's not the case. So the credential is designed to really help students learn the method for how to teach. So it's really theory. And practice, of course, so you're really assessing how students learn. And then try to find ways to to really find and diversify your teaching methods, and to be an effective teacher. So you're really you know, learning different methods, and then assessing, and then probably changing a few of your methods just to make sure that students are learning. And of course, we have students with many different backgrounds. So making sure that all students are learning and understanding the material that a teacher is delivering. So really, it's about the different methods of teaching that's really with the with the credentials, design and question on classroom management, and all that good stuff. And then you get the student teaching portion and the internship or internship that allows the candidate to really get the hands on training. And so that is really important in this process, and a big part of the program. And so this really gives the students the opportunity to kind of grow in that process. And until they earn that credential, we hope that they're ready to take on the classroom. And it's a challenge, but it's definitely for someone who's up to that talent. So, yeah, that's what the credential program is designed for. It's not to go into content knowledge that say we expect candidates to come in with that knowledge already.
And let's say so, yes, listen to this, and they're like, you know, I'm excited. I am very interested in maybe applying for the single subject or the multiple subject credential. Teaching has been something that that I've wanted to do, but maybe I'm on the fence of if I should do it or not? I know it's a general question to ask. But is there any advice that you would have for students to kind of make a decision whether they should or should not apply for a credential program?
Yeah, and I think we get a lot of candidates, a lot of students who are like, we're not sure about this, I, you know, I really do encourage students, if they're not quite sure, maybe substitute teaching is a good way to consider if teaching is really for them. It gives them the opportunity to kind of see what the classroom is like, not accept as a teacher course. But it kind of just gives them that opportunity to see, we have candidates who go through the program and find out Whoa, this is not for me. So we really do encourage students to either observe volunteer, the subbing is a good way to make little money and also have the flexibility, while you're also you know, getting those hours in the classroom, in one of our programs, or multiple subjects does require hours. So it's, it's also a good way to kind of get those hours before starting the program. And, of course, the info sessions again, so I'm going to really emphasize on those sessions. And I think it's important just to sit through those sessions, it is a lot of information that I do share in those sessions, but it's just to make students understand the full process of a credential, but also understand what's expected of them and see if it's something that fits their schedule. You know, we have students who are working adults, families, and we know that that's can be a challenge at times. But again, there are different options, as they will want to make sure that students understand those that that those options in the process, of course, to be credentialed.
And you were mentioned earlier about, like a misconception with with students may think about credential in terms of its you know, they might think it's learning more content, it's like, no, it's the how the how to have a teaching. Are there any other misconceptions that students might have about the either the single or multiple subject credential?
I think sometimes there isn't that there's no clear understanding of what these credentials can do. So some might think, Oh, it's a multiple, so I can teach all the subjects and it covers everything. Of course, that's not the case, right? For multiple subject, it's for elementary, and then a single subject is for secondary education. There's also I think, a misconception about how teachers do in terms of salaries. I think, in general, I think we don't make enough money. And I have to say, according to the Department of Ed, last time I checked, a mid range teacher annual salary is about 80,000. So that's, that's the state of California, of course, but they don't know they made pretty good money I have. Not too bad. But yes, and the other thing, I would say you don't need a degree in teaching a related degree, if you want to consider as I said earlier, you can all we have a lot of career changers, says this is always an option for anyone who wants to consider so we've had, for instance, retired engineers who may want to come back into a credential and teaching math or science related and that is an option because again, you don't necessarily have to have a degree in the subject. If you can take and pass the CSET, then you can pursue a teaching career.
Awesome. And last question, are there any resources for students that your college or department might offer?
So under the College of Education, we have student services, and we do have several services that we offer resources to our students. So for instance, if you a student needs help with the application, Cal State apply workshops. So we do offer those workshops throughout the year. And of course, we go step by step through calci to apply to CES, any students who's having any technical problems or just to simply understand the process or applications completely, online is through Cal State apply, and we use what they call the fourth quadrant and we label that as program material. So we really go into that and help students through that process. We also have our placement office staff who will assist students once you're admitted to their credential program, there is a process for student teaching placements. So students do have to complete a number of hours like I mentioned earlier within the program. So there are a staff available to assist students in finding the right district for them. Students have the option to choose what three districts they would prefer to be placed on. So there's they're working with our students and districts to ensure that they're being placed or if someone is interested in an internship, so there's the option state of California to work while you're also completing a credential as an insurance. So this we have staff available to assist in that process. We also of course, have our credential processing office within students services to assist with the recommendation. As I mentioned earlier, the recommendation there's a recommendation process where you're earning the credential at the very end of the credential program because the credential comes to you from the state. We have staff available to assist in that process. We also have a program now called a senior to teaching which allows a single subject candidate. So I should say anyone who's interested in pursuing a single subject credential, but as a senior here at CSUSB, you actually have the option to take up to three credential courses. As a senior through this room, in your scheduling, you meet the right GPA, there are a few extra requirements where we may need to ask for like your recommendations, we need to also ask for your clearance and your TV because you will be placed in the classroom within those three courses. But that is an option for seniors here, we also have a new option called Project impact. This is for minority male, trying to increase the numbers of minority males in the classroom. And so this is a program to offer more mentoring and support as to that process. It's almost like you're part of a club. So anytime you need help, or you just need, you know, buddy to call, or minority male teachers, or candidates, you know, have that that support and also tuition support. So with that project impact, so you can sign up as long as you're in the program, you sign up. And then you have Dr. James Huff, who is constantly reaching out to those candidates and meeting with them on a monthly basis just to see how they're doing. So we want to make sure that our minority male candidates are successful in the process, of course, financial aid. So I just want to mention, you know, Golden State Teacher grant can award you up to 20,000. And then our teacher parent can award a candidate up to 4000 each year for up to two years. There's a commitment, of course to service but most of our districts are considering that low income bracket. So most students don't need to pay this money back. So that's just a few resources that students can tap into.
Wow, that's a lot of great resources, especially with regarding like the like the money that that might be available and what your your college offers and a lot of use for information about like the admission process and kind of addressing some of those misconceptions about the single multiple, multiple subject credential, but Arlena thank you so much for being on the podcast today. We'll make sure to include a lot of those links and information in our show notes. But thank you again for being part of this.
Thank you so much for having me anytime. I'm here. Thank you. It's great seeing you too.
You as well.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai