Univ of Southern California
University of Southern California
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Credential Programs

A credential is a license issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) to persons wishing to legally teach or perform certain other professional services in California’s public schools. USC is one of several institutions authorized to recommend qualified persons to the CCTC for receipt of credentials.

There are two categories of credentials offered in the Rossier School: teaching and service. Requirements for these credentials may be obtained by calling the appropriate phone number listed below. Credential requirements may change due to state law. Students are advised to consult periodically with the Rossier School of Education for current credential requirements.

Teaching Credentials

California has a two-tier credential structure. A five-year preliminary credential is the first credential issued after an individual meets basic credential requirements. A clear credential is issued when all credential requirements have been completed.

Multiple Subject Teaching (MST) authorizes the holder to teach in a self-contained classroom such as the classrooms in most elementary schools. A teacher authorized for multiple subject instruction may be assigned to teach in any self-contained classroom (preschool, grades K-12 or many subjects within a self-contained classroom). This classroom situation is generally found in preschool and elementary grades or in classes organized primarily for adults. In addition, the holder of a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential may serve in a core or team teaching setting.

Single Subject Teaching (SST) authorizes the holder to teach a specific subject(s) named on the credential in departmentalized classes such as those in most middle schools academic area. This classroom situation is generally found in middle and senior high schools. A teacher authorized for single subject instruction may be assigned to teach any subject on his or her authorized fields at any grade level: preschool, grades K-12 or in classes organized primarily for adults.

Multiple and Single Subject Teaching with a Bilingual Emphasis in Spanish (BCLAD) authorizes the holder with bilingual capabilities to teach to a bilingual student population.

Both credentials authorize instruction to English learners.

Teacher certification rules and requirements vary greatly by state. Completion of a CCTC-approved program does not guarantee certification or licensure in another state. Prospective teacher candidates are strongly advised to learn about their state’s requirements and to review the following accreditation statements:

Accredited in Indiana by the Indiana Commission on Proprietary Education (CPE).

The University of Southern California is registered as a private institution with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Registration does not mean that credits earned at the institution can be transferred to all other institutions.

USC is authorized by the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) and meets the requirements and minimum educational standards established for degree-granting institutions under the Degree-Granting Institutions Act. This authorization is subject to periodic review and authorizes USC to advertise, recruit and offer a student teaching component for the following degree program: Master of Arts in Teaching. Authorization by the HECB does not carry with it an endorsement by the board of the institution or its programs. Any person desiring information about the requirements of the act or the applicability of those requirements to the institution may contact the HECB at P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-3430.

Prospective Washington state students are advised to contact the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction at (360) 725-6320 or profed@k12.wa.us to determine whether this education program is approved for teacher certification or endorsements in Washington state. In addition, teachers are advised to contact their individual school district as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

USC is approved by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education to deliver its online program to residents.

USC is authorized by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. This authorization must be renewed each year and is based on an evaluation by minimum standards concerning quality of education, ethical business practices, health and safety, and fiscal responsibility.

If a complaint is not settled at the institutional level, the student may contact the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Nashville, TN 37243-0830, (615) 741-5293. If the institution uses a mediation clause in its enrollment agreement, the catalogue must describe the steps required of the student and/or the institution to initiate the mediation process.

For inquiries, contact the MAT@USC office at (213) 743-2127.

Services Credentials

The Administrative Services Credential authorizes the holder to provide a variety of services in grades 12 and below, including preschool, and in classes organized primarily for adults. USC recommends candidates for the Clear Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. A prerequisite for admission to this program is admission to the Ed.D. program.

For inquiries, contact the Ed.D. Program Office, (213) 740-9323.

The Pupil Personnel Services: School Counseling Credential allows the holder to provide the following services:

  • Techniques for facilitating individual growth and development to achieve academic success
  • Human assessments
  • Problem prevention and early intervention
  • Consultation services
  • Psychological education
  • Coordination and development of school services
  • Legal enablement and constraints
  • Referral and utilization of services

USC recommends candidates for the School Counseling Credential that also authorizes the holder to perform the following duties:

  • Develop, plan, implement and evaluate a school counseling and guidance program that includes academic, career, personal and social development.
  • Advocate for the high academic achievement and social development of all students.
  • Provide schoolwide prevention and intervention strategies and counseling services.
  • Provide consultation, training and staff development to teachers and parents regarding students’ needs.
  • Supervise a district-approved advisory program as described in California Education Code, Section 40600.

For inquiries, contact the Master’s Program Office, (213) 740-3255.