Department of Liberal Studies
How to become a teacher
Step 1: Which grade/s do you aspire to teach?
In California public schools, the two most common teaching credentials are the Multiple Subject (Elementary Education) credential, required to teach k-8 grades, Single Subject (Secondary Education) credential, required to teach high school, and Special Education credential, required to teach students with disabilities.
Step 2: Earn your bachelor's degree:
If your goal is to become a K-8 teacher, the undergraduate major that prepares students to enter a multi-subject teaching credential program is the Liberal Studies major. It is possible to major in other fields and become a teacher but this is the CSUMB major designed for future teachers. If your goal is to become a high school teacher, it is preferred that you major in the subject that you wish to teach in high school. For example, if you wish to become a high school biology teacher, the best preparation is to major in biology.
Before graduating with your bachelor's degree, you will want to have prepared for and passed two state exams:* the CBEST and the CSET Multiple Subjects exams. (More info below).
Step 3: Earn your teaching credential:
There are many different credential programs that each have their own nuances. Most programs include post-baccalaureate course work (taking classes) and student teaching (or co-teaching) and require 12-18 months to complete.
Though each credential program is different, most programs require students to have already passed the CBEST and CSET exams before admission. One important step in becoming a teacher is to recognize when the exams must be completed, then preparing for and passing the exams. CSUMB provides several different support mechanisms for students aiming to do this.