CCSA Answers: Credentials Required for Teaching Electives

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January 23, 2016 Question: Do teachers need specialized credentials to teach electives during the school day?

Answer: That would depend on the grade level and whether or not the course is college preparatory. In general, most elective subjects are covered under another credential. For example, the Multiple Subject credential covers all elementary level subjects, including art, music, and performing arts. Most secondary electives are covered by one of the single subject credentials. A teacher who is only teaching the elective subject at the elementary level is not appropriately credentialed with a Multiple Subject credential. (This is true of a teacher teaching only one academic subject at the elementary level as well.) Charter schools have some flexibility in credentialing for courses that are non-core, non-college prep. For these courses, there is no credential requirement. If a course, such as dance, is earning a secondary student fine arts credit towards graduation, however, it may prove difficult to claim that the course is non-core, non-college prep. Any course that meets UC a-g requirements is, by definition, college prep and would need to be taught by a credentialed teacher.