CCSA Answers: How to Get "Highly Qualified" Under NCLB

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May 8, 2015

Question: I have four experienced teachers with multiple subject teaching credentials teaching single-subject courses at the middle school level. How can I get them "highly qualified" under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB)?

Answer: When a teacher is teaching outside of their subject area or outside of what their credential allows, and wants to become a highly qualified teacher under NCLB, the teacher must first obtain an "appropriate credential" to teach the subject matter in the setting. There are two options available. One option is to apply for an Introductory or Subject Matter Authorization, which is aligned with the NCLB requirements and can be attached to any credential. The second option is for the teacher to obtain a second credential.

To obtain a Subject Matter Authorization, a teacher must do one of two things:
a. complete 32 semester units (48 quarter units) of non-remedial course work (exception: the subject of History requires a minimum of 16 semester units in both world history and U.S. history)
or
b. earn a degree major from a regionally-accredited college or university in a subject directly related to the subject to be listed on the credential

To obtain a second credential, the teacher must:
1. Demonstrate subject matter knowledge/competency by either:
a. Passing all sections of the appropriate CSET exam
or
b. Completing 32 semester units (48 quarter units) of non-remedial course work (exception: the subject of History requires a minimum of 16 semester units in both world history and U.S. history)
or
c. Holding/earning a degree major from a regionally-accredited college or university in a subject directly related to the subject to be listed on the credential
and
2. Have completed appropriate pedagogy coursework (High School for Single Subject, K-8 for Multiple Subject)

For more details about the Introductory and Subject Matter Authorizations and how to apply, please visit: http://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/leaflets/cl852.pdf.

For more information about adding a teaching or subject area to an existing credential and how to apply, please visit: http://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/leaflets/cl621a.pdf.