Guide for Elementary Teaching

Are you a Sonoma State Undergraduate interested in Elementary Teaching? 

Most elementary teachers hold a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.  It authorizes you to teach in a self-contained classroom at the pre-school through twelfth-grade level. A self-contained classroom is one in which a variety of subjects are taught to the same group of students by the same teacher. Many middle-school teachers also hold this credential.

Elementary teachers can major in anything In any major you will learn content that will help you teach subjects including math, science, reading/language arts, social studies, health, art, PE, and more. In order to begin a credential program, you must demonstrate competence* in a wide range of subject you are likely to teach.

Some SSU majors are particularly well aligned with the Multiple Subject Credential program enabling students to complete program prerequisites and study topics that are intentionally aligned with preparing you to demonstrate subject matter competence*.

*There are multiple options to demonstrate subject matter competence for the Multiple Subject Credential. 1) Passing sections I, II, and III of the CSET: Multiple Subjects exam. 2) Completing an approved Elementary Subject Matter Waiver program. 3) BA major in Liberal Studies.

Three Great Options: 

1. Any Major from an Accredited Institution: 

  • Consider prerequisites and subject matter preparation courses as electives! Some are even GE courses!

2. SSU Majors Recommended for Elementary Teaching:

3. Hutchins Liberal Studies Blended Program (Track III):

  • B.A. & Credential in 4 years. That includes:
    • Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies
    • Elementary Subject Matter Waiver OR CSET: Multiple Subjects exam preparation 
    • Multiple Subject Credential courses, seminars, and student teaching
  • Apply to the Credential Program during sophomore year.
  • Take teaching methods in junior and senior years.
  • Finish your BA in 3.5 years.
  • Complete final semester full-time student teaching and teaching methods courses as a post-BA student.
  • *Only first semester freshmen are eligible.

We encourage you to complete the following during your undergraduate program:

Contact your major advisor regarding prerequisite & subject matter preparation courses.

Take Multiple Subject prerequisites. MS Program prerequisites: 

  • EDUC *417 or LIBS 312
  • EDMS **419 
  • *Covers a GE area. 

Meet the Basic Skills Requirement. There are many ways to meet the Basic Skills requirement.  More information can be found on the CTC website or contact the School of Education Student Services Office. Many students do so via the CSET Writing Section OR the CBEST exam*. *Blended program candidates MUST complete the Basic Skills requirement prior to admission to the credential program.

Demonstrate Subject Matter Competence. *Blended program candidates need to meet this requirement prior to full time student teaching.  All others must meet it before admission into the Credential Program.

Obtain 45 hours of pre-program field experience working or volunteering in an elementary classroom &/or group of children within the age group. Some SSU courses offer early field experience for example: EDUC 250EDEC 220EDEC 437.

Apply during senior year (or any time after) completing BA/BS Degree. Some of elements may be in-progress when you submit your application, but they must be completed by the time you begin the credential program.  Applications are typical due at the end of September for Spring admissions and at the end of February for Fall admissions. Please note: The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) is currently implementing significant changes to teacher preparation programs. Please check back regularly.

Questions? Contact the School of Education Student Services Office