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Career Exploration

Programs that can provide classroom experience.

The cornerstone of American democracy is an educated citizenry capable of making rational and informed decisions. To accomplish this goal, providing a high-quality teacher in every classroom and effective education leaders in our public school systems is imperative.” – Excerpt from Greatness by Design: Supporting Outstanding Teaching to Sustain a Golden State (GbD).

There are several resources in California that offer information for those interested in a career in the teaching profession, for high school students, those graduating from high school, and even adults who have been in another career. There is a huge demand for more qualified and trained teachers, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM); special education; and career technical education. Qualified mid-career professionals and former military personnel, in particular, bring a maturity, confidence, and perspective to the classroom that can benefit students.

The "Make the Switch: Become a Teacher" Campaign, created by the California Department of Education, highlights those who have switched to teaching after starting careers in other fields and encourages more mid-career professionals to consider becoming teachers. Additional information is available at the Teach California External link opens in new window or tab. website and through the California Center on Teaching Careers External link opens in new window or tab., which operates regional satellite centers dedicated to increasing the teacher workforce. Here are some resources on how to become a teacher in California.

CalStateTEACH External link opens in new window or tab.
A California State University teacher certification program for K-8 teachers. CalStateTEACH prepares candidates for a Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential with an embedded English Language Authorization and the Teacher Education Clear. These credentials qualify you to teach in self-contained general education classrooms in California.

EduCorps External link opens in new window or tab.
A California State University (CSU) program designed to significantly increase the number and diversity of students entering CSU’s teacher preparation programs, especially in high-need areas such as math, science, special education, and bilingual education, and to provide ongoing, high-quality support to members on their path to earning their teaching credentials.

CalTeach External link opens in new window or tab.
As a component of the University of California's Science and Math Initiative, CalTeach addresses the critical need for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate teacher preparation. Designed to address California's science and mathematics teacher shortage, this program recruits and prepares mathematics and science majors for future teaching careers by providing special coursework and field experiences in K–12 schools while they complete their undergraduate degrees.

Substitute Teaching External link opens in new window or tab.
Experience in the classroom is a factor that can affect entrance into a teacher preparation program. Substitute teaching is one way to demonstrate teaching experience. It is also a way to determine whether teaching is the right career for an individual. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing External link opens in new window or tab. sets the requirements for becoming a substitute teacher.

Teach for America External link opens in new window or tab.
Teach for America corps members are full-time teachers with the responsibility and opportunity for two years in the classroom. Many alumni choose to stay in the classroom or pursue careers in a variety of fields such as education, politics, entrepreneurship, law, and medicine.

Questions:   Teacher and Leader Policy Office | | 916-445-7331
Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 09, 2023
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