Greetings, artists, arts educators and arts educators to be!

Before we even start let’s get some of the big questions out of the way.

  1. Can I teach if I don’t have a degree?
    1. Yes! There is a shortage of arts educators, so California is trying to make it as easy as possible for qualified artists like you to start teaching. Keep reading!
  2. Does it take a long time to get approved/credentialed to become an arts educator if I don’t have a degree?
    1. No! There is a credential path called CTE (Career Technical Education) that will allow you to use your existing experience to start teaching immediately and get credentialed while you’re working. It can take as little as three weeks to get started, so keep reading!
  3. Will I need to pay a lot of money out of pocket to become a teacher?
    1. No! There may be some small expenses, but there is a massive shortage of arts educators. Generally speaking, schools are motivated to help on-board you including covering the expenses and there are numerous programs available that may completely subsidize your journey to become a credentialed arts educator.
  4. Can I become a teacher if I have a criminal record?
    1. The short answer is yes. Most misdemeanor offenses will not prevent you from becoming a teacher. As you might expect, felonies (especially those that are violent and/or involve children) may disqualify you. This is not legal advice, so you should consult an attorney if you have any specific questions.
  5. Are there good paying jobs as arts educators?
    1. Yes! The average income is approx $60,0000 plus benefits and paid vacation with some jobs reaching into six figures. So, keep reading!

If you’re contemplating an arts education career in California, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the required steps. Fear not, for we have compiled comprehensive information to guide you through the process.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) plays a pivotal role in establishing the criteria for artists and arts educators within the state. This regulatory body offers both conventional and alternative pathways towards attaining certified status.

There are two paths to becoming an arts educator in California:

  1. Traditional Credential Path (requires a bachelors degree)
    1. Multiple Subject Teaching Credential: This credential is designed for educators aspiring to instruct across all subjects in a self-contained classroom. Those holding this credential are deemed qualified to teach in elementary (K-6) classrooms or specialized multiple subject programs at the secondary level.
    2. Single Subject Credential: Geared towards individuals wishing to teach high school or middle school students, the Single Subject Credential authorizes educators to specialize in one subject. Typically employed at the high school or middle school (secondary) levels, recipients of this credential at Chapman University can choose from English, Mathematics, Science, Social Science, and Music.
    3. Education Specialist Credential: Catering specifically to special education teachers, this credential encompasses the instruction of K-12 students who require additional support.
    Acquiring teaching credentials in California follows a two-tiered process. Commencing with the preliminary credential obtained through a university program educators subsequently clear their credential by participating in an induction program upon securing employment within a school or school district.This structured approach ensures a systematic progression from initial credential attainment to its subsequent validation through practical experience in the educational field.Crucially, the key to securing California an traditional arts teacher certification lies in completing a program endorsed by the CTC and accredited by regional agencies. You can find a complete list of CTC-approved institutions and programs right here.
  2. Career Technical Education (CTE) Credential Path (does not require bachelors degree)
    1. Demonstrate you are a professional in your field by providing proof of the following:
      1. You have worked 1,000 hours a year in your field for no less than 3 years (total of 3,000 hours)
      2. You can provide references, documentation, original work and other supporting documentation of your expertise
    2. The school at which you’re applying will review this documentation and make the recommendation to the state for your CTE credential
    3. This process can take as little as 3 weeks after you’re hired
    4. How is a CTE credential different from a traditional credential? The only difference is that a CTE credential is not valid to teach elementary core curriculum(this may be changing soon so stay tuned). This will exclude you from “JZ to find the proper title fore CORE arts teacher”
    5. Read a more detailed explanation of the Career Technical Education (CTE) teaching credential right here

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