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

CalTPA & RICA Exam Flexibilities

This information is for candidates who have completed student teaching or a teaching internship during Spring 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021. All candidates in fieldwork Fall 2021 and on should refer to the Preliminary Credential Requirements for all requirements they must meet. 

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.

During the 2021-22 academic year, as most schools have returned and remain with in-person, the need for programs to use these flexibilities is 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. 

In December 2021 through PSA 21-13, COVID flexibilities were extended to August 31, 2022. CTC remindes us that candidates are strongly encouraged to take the RICA examination while they are receiving support and assistance from their preliminary program. Delaying this exam may be necessary for a limited number of candidates under extraordinary circumstances where they are unable to access the exam, but the vast majority of candidates in preliminary programs should take the RICA exam during their preliminary program. Likewise, given that nearly all schools in the state are back to in-person learning, candidates in preliminary programs should complete the TPA in their preliminary program clinical placements in order to utilize the robust supports that their preliminary programs provide.

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 who were completing fieldwork in Spring 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021 have been able to meet most credential requirements but have been highly impacted in completing the RICA exam and the CalTPA 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, 2022 you were unable to complete the RICA exam due to COVID-19 related testing center closures or capcity issues, 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.

Trailer Bill AB 130 & Subject Matter Competency

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. 

Here are some important things for you to know:

  • 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 releases 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. 

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.