About California Internship Teacher Preparation

Internship programs allow individuals to complete their teacher preparation coursework concurrent with their first year or two in a paid teaching position. These programs are led by colleges, universities and by school districts. To qualify for an internship program, an individual must have passed the CBEST, met the subject matter competence requirement, and obtained character and identification clearance. The program provides teacher preparation coursework and an organized system of support from college and district faculty. Completion of an internship program results in the same credential as is earned through a traditional teacher preparation program.

More than 20,000 teachers have received their teaching credentials through internship programs. For the 2004-2005 school year 75 internship programs have pledged to prepare an additional 9,100 teachers. For information on CSET exams go here.

For additional information on internship programs contact Dr. Michael McKibbin at mmckibbin@ctc.ca.gov or 916-445-4438.



Frequently Asked Questions About California’s Teacher Internship Program:

What are the entry requirements for Internship Programs?

What are the program elements of an intern program?

An internship is a fully paid position in a public school. The intern serves as teacher of record while simultaneously participating in a teacher preparation program. Internship programs may be one or two years long, depending on the intensity of the coursework offerings. These programs must meet the same or higher procedural and performance standards as other teacher preparation programs.

Once a candidate has met the entry requirements, candidates enter a program’s pre-service program, the preparation segment prior to becoming teacher of record. This usually occurs over a four to six week period in the summer prior to employment. Once employment has begun, interns continue to take coursework. These courses usually occur one or two evenings a week and are often taught in a seminar format with a cohort of interns simultaneously completing the requirements. Interns receive support from other certificated teachers in the schools where they are employed as well as additional support and supervision from the preparation program staff. Throughout the program, interns complete performance assessment tasks to demonstrate their competency. Upon successful completion of all coursework and performance assessments, the intern is recommended for a preliminary credential and becomes part of a teacher induction program for advanced preparation leading to a professional clear credential.

What types of intern programs are available?

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing issues three types of Internship Credentials: the University Internship; the District Internship and the Individualized Internship. All three have the same entry requirements. Each credential requires an instructional program based on the CCTC Standards of Program Quality and Effectiveness and requires participation in a support, supervision and performance assessment system. The Individualized Internship authorization is designed for those who have already completed some elements of their teacher preparation. Teaching internships are available for Multiple Subject, Single Subject and Education Specialist placements. (Internships are also available for other specialist and services credentials.)

What are the objectives of teaching internship programs?

  1. To expand the pool of qualified teachers by attracting persons into teaching who might not otherwise enter the classroom, and attract those who bring valuable attributes and experiences into teaching.
  2. To enable K-12 schools to respond immediately to pressing needs while providing professional preparation for interns that is as extensive and systematic as traditional programs, linking education theory with classroom practice throughout each intern’s preparation, and taking advantage of the experiences that interns bring with them.
  3. To provide an instructional program that is standards-based and performance-driven, which provides effective supervision and intensive support so each new intern’s learning can be targeted to her/his needs while the intern is employed in his/her own classroom.

Funding ($2,500 per capita) is available to California approved teacher preparation programs to carry out these objectives. Each January the CCTC issues a Competitive Grant Program to teacher preparation programs who want to prepare interns for California’s classrooms. In 2005-06, 8,400 interns will participate in funded internship programs.

What is the difference between a university and district intern program?

Both meet the same standards, have the same entry requirements, and result in the same credential recommendation. University intern programs result in academic course credit and require a higher level of collaboration with school districts. District intern programs are offered by local education agencies, do not usually result in university credit, and are more prescribed by statutory language.

What is an Individualized Intern Credential?

This is a credential authorization designed for persons who have met all entry requirements for an internship program, but, because they have completed some of their preparation, these candidates cause need a program specifically designed for them. For example, if a person has completed some or most of their pedagogical coursework, they are not suited to enter an intern cohort. These individuals with the agreement of their employing district and the university preparation program develop an instructional plan to complete the remaining coursework, field experiences and examinations. Both the university and the school district agree to provide support and supervision at the same level as given to other teacher preparation candidates.

What is the Early Completion Internship (aka, Expedited, SB 57, Fast Track) Option?

Education Code Section 44468 (SB 57, Scott) included a provision that allows persons who meet all intern prerequisites and pass the Teaching Foundations Examination (TFE) to be exempted from intern pedagogical coursework. If a candidate successfully passes this exam, has completed all internship entry requirements, and has an offer of employment from a school district, that person may proceed to the performance assessment phase of the intern program. For more information on this option see Credential Information Leaflet CL-840 [PDF].

TFEs are currently available in the Multiple Subject, Mathematics, English, and Science credential areas. Once exams are validated and passing scores are set, the Early Completion Internship Option will be available in the Social Science and Education Specialist credential areas.

What is a Provisional Intern Permit?

At the request of a school district a Provisional Intern Permit may be issued. It allows an employing agency to hire an individual who has not met subject matter competence. Individuals must hold bachelors degrees, have completed defined amounts of coursework in the subject they are to teach, passed CBEST and character identification. Participating employers must provide support to the Permit Holder and must provide assistance in achieving subject matter competence. This permit may be renewed one time for an additional year. For more information see CCTC Official Correspondence 05-0011.

What credential will an intern receive upon successful completion of their program?

A Preliminary Credential is issued. Individuals will have five years to complete a Professional Clear Credential. For multiple and single subject candidates this is usually completed through an induction program. For education specialist candidates, a Level II program provides advanced preparation leading to the Professional Clear Credential.

For more information on the credential requirements related to an internship see our intern credential requirements page.