Guidance for Credential Programs in Response to COVID-19

PSA 21-05 provides information on action taken by the Commission to extend Preliminary Multiple Subject and Single Subject Program Flexibilities into 2021-2022 due to the continued impact of COVID-19. In August 2020, the Commission approved specific flexibilities related to the implementation of the preliminary multiple subject and single subject credential program standards for the 2020- 2021 academic year. At the Commission’s June 2021 meeting, the Commission approved the continuation of these flexibilities through the academic year 2021-2022 when warranted due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As in-person instruction is expected to resume more fully during the 2021-22 academic year, the Commission expects programs to use these flexibilities on a more limited basis, as appropriate, for situations in which a candidate’s progress continues to be impacted by the pandemic.

 

Department of Teaching and Learning

Preliminary Credential Applicants (Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021)

This information is for all students who have completed student teaching or a teaching internship during Spring 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021. 

Executive Order Background

In August 2020 the Commission took action to create flexibilities related to the program standards for preliminary multiple subject and single subject credential programs impacted by COVID-19, particularly standards related to clinical practice. The proposals for flexibility were included in Agenda Item 4A from the August 2020 meeting were approved by the Commission. Subsequently, Commission staff communicated this information to the field through PSA 20-10.

The Commission heard from program personnel and a wide variety of stakeholders about the need to continue these flexibilities through the 2021-22 academic year in light of anticipated continuing challenges. Numerous examples were provided of situations that are highly possible such as localized COVID outbreaks within classrooms that require a temporary return to distance learning as teachers and students are quarantined, candidates who experience their own health challenges, difficulties with student teaching placements, lack of availability of ongoing support and supervision from veteran teachers due to the shortage of available substitute teachers and additional pressures, and limitations on the number of people who can be present in person in a classroom. During the 2020-21 academic year, the need for these flexibilities was widespread due to state of the pandemic.

It is anticipated that during the 2021-22 academic year, as most schools return to in-person instruction, the need for programs to use these flexibilities will likely be more limited and that programs will use the flexibilities judiciously as situations require. As always, where the conditions allow for normal operations, programs should be implementing the standards with fidelity. 

What Teacher Candidates Need to Do

These steps are for teacher candidates who completed student teaching or an internship during Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021.

Please review all credential requirements to confirm which requirements you have or have not met.

CTC has provided the following flowchart to guide candidates on who is and is not eligible for the Preliminary Credential per EO-N-66-20. This flowchart applies to candidates enrolled in fieldwork during the 2020-2021 school year as well.

We have determined that the majority of our candidates have been able to meet most credential requirements but have been highly impacted in completing the RICA exam and the TPA exams due to COVID-19. Please see the information below based on the specific credential requirement you have been unable to meet:

I have completed all credential requirements EXCEPT for the RICA exam. (Multiple Subject or Education Specialist candidates)

If between March 19, 2020 - August 31, 2021 you were unable to complete the RICA exam due to COVID-19 related testing center closures, you are eligible for the Preliminary Credential based on CTC action and EO N-66-20 and SB 820. You can submit a credential application to the Office of Student Success for review. 

 

I have completed all credential requirements EXCEPT for the TPA exam(s). (Multiple Subject or Single Subject candidates)

In order to be eligible for the Preliminary Credential based on CTC action and EO N-66-20, you must also satisfy all of the following conditions during the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 academic year:  

  1. Was placed or employed in a local educational agency impacted by COVID-19 related school site closures;
  2. Was in the process of completing the TPA;
  3. Was unable to complete the TPA due solely to school closures; AND
  4. Successfully completed all other preliminary teaching credential requirements.

 

If you meet ALL of the conditions, submit a credential application.

If you do not meet ALL of the conditions, EO-N-66-20 and SB 820 does not apply to you.

 

I have completed all credential requirements EXCEPT for the RICA exam and the TPA exam(s). (Multiple Subject candidates)

In order to be eligible for the Preliminary Credential based on CTC action and EO N-66-20 and SB 820, you must also satisfy the following conditions during the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 academic year:

  1. Was placed or employed in a local educational agency impacted by COVID-19 related school site closures;
  2. Was in the process of completing the TPA;
  3. Was unable to complete the TPA due solely to school closures; AND
  4. Successfully completed all other preliminary teaching credential requirements.

 

If you meet ALL of the conditions, submit a credential application.

If you do not meet ALL of the conditions, EO-N-66-20 and SB 820 does not apply to you.

Spring 2022 Internship Applicants

This information is for teacher candidates interested in applying to be intern eligible for Spring 2022.

The Executive Order flexibilities for internship credential recommendations will expire August 31, 2021 and will therefore no longer be in effect for Spring 2022 internship applicants. This means that all candidates interested in applying for internship eligibility must meet all internship eligibility requirements, including subject matter competency

See the deadline to confirm a spring internship. 

Questions

OSS Guidance

The Office of Student Success continually provides updated information to all School of Education students during COVID-19. Teacher candidates are encouraged to attend Group Advising sessions to hear the latest updates. 

Teacher candidates can book an appointment with their advisor if they need additional help. 

CalTPA Exam Questions

If teacher candidates were unable to complete their CalTPA exams during Spring 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021 and have questions regarding the CalTPAs exams, they can contact Dr. Greg Hamilton, CalTPA Coordinator

See more on the CalTPA exams. 

Trailer Bill AB 130

See more on Subject Matter Competency and find the steps to have your transcripts/academic major reviewed by an OSS advisor. 

We were excited to learn about Governor Newson signing TK Education Trailer Bill (AB 130) and the new opportunities for students to meet the Subject Matter Competency and Basic Skills requirements. Research has shown that standardized exams are not always an indicator of content knowledge. For that reason, we know that these exams can be a real challenge and act as potential barriers for many of our students. We are pleased that the State has created additional routes for students to meet requirements. 

Teacher prep programs at colleges and universities statewide are working to fully understand this new bill and how these changes will be implemented into our programs. School of Education staff and faculty have already met to discuss implications and will be looking to CTC and external partners for further guidance. We will continue to keep students updated as we know more. Please know that we are working diligently to iron out the details. You should anticipate a communication with further guidance in the coming months.

Here are some important things for you to know at this time:

  • The Basic Skills requirement remains a requirement to earn the preliminary credential.
  • The CBEST exam has not gone away and will continue to be an option for students to meet the Basic Skills requirement. 
  • The Subject Matter competency requirement remains a requirement to earn the preliminary credential.
  • The CSET exams have not gone away and will continue to be an option for students to meet the subject matter competency requirement.
  • The bill has introduced new ways for teacher candidates to meet the basic skills and subject competency requirements by using qualified coursework.

We encourage you to read through the press release from CTC regarding the bill and their recent coded correspondence. 

July 9, 2021 - Press Release from CTC

July 22, 2021 - Coded Correspondence from CTC 

August 9, 2021 - CTC's Webinar on New Options Available for Candidates to Demonstrate Basic Skills

September 3, 2021 - Program Sponsor Alert from CTC: Implementation of New Options for Meeting the Statutory Subject Matter Competence Requirement 

 

See more on Subject Matter Competency and find the steps to have your transcripts/academic major reviewed by an OSS advisor.