Preliminary Teacher Preparation Programs

Undergraduate and Graduate

The Teacher Preparation Programs at Mount Saint Mary’s University offer coursework and fieldwork leading to a California Preliminary Teaching Credential for Multiple Subjects, Single Subject or Education Specialist: mild/moderate disabilities. Students may already be teaching in their own classrooms in public or private schools, or be completing the program prior to employment as a teacher. The Elementary and Secondary Teacher Preparation Programs are open to undergraduate as well as graduate students. Coursework is grounded in the California Standards for the Teaching Profession and emphasizes a cycle of planning, teaching, and reflecting that provides students with an ever-deepening understanding of how to provide all students with rigorous academic learning. The programs prepare teachers who are committed to working with diverse student populations in urban settings. Theory and practice are infused throughout the coursework with discussions and readings augmenting early fieldwork experiences in exemplary teachers’ classrooms in Mount Saint Mary’s University associated schools. Courses and fieldwork provide essential knowledge and skills that students need to pass the California Teacher Performance Assessment and qualify for a Preliminary Teaching Credential. Other state and program requirements apply, and students are urged to maintain regular contact with their education program advisor.

Candidates accepted into a Preliminary Elementary or Secondary Teacher Preparation Program ,may apply to  earn a Certificate in Inclusive and Responsive Teaching (CIRT) concurrent with their credential program. This 12-unit certificate program, fully embedded within the preliminary teaching credential coursework, focuses on training teachers to provide an inclusive and responsive classroom environment for all learners, especially those with the most common disabilities found in schools. Candidates who complete an Education Specialist Teacher Preparation Program are not issued the CIRT.

The Education Specialist: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Preliminary Teaching Credential program is only available to graduate students.

Graduate students may complete a Master of Science degree in Education in conjunction with the teacher preparation coursework. All post-baccalaureate programs of study offered by the Education Department are graduate level programs, whether leading to a Masters degree or not (e.g., Elementary and Secondary Teacher Preparation Programs). As such, these programs are governed by policies and procedures for graduate degree programs in all applicable areas.

Admission to Teacher Preparation Programs

Undergraduate applicants for a Teacher Preparation Program apply directly to the Education Department for admission. Graduate applicants apply through the Graduate Division (See Graduate Degree Admissions Policies). Ongoing contact with education advisors is important, as teacher preparation requirements are subject to change.

Requirements for admission include:

  • completion of the appropriate application form
  • for graduate students, payment of application fee
  • an application essay
  • a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a four-point scale, documented by official transcripts.
  • two letters of recommendation indicating suitability for teaching and potential for success in the Teacher Preparation Program (Clear program candidates submit only one letter of recommendation.)
  • interview with an Education department advisor related to professional attitude, goals, and personal qualifications
  • a passing score on the California Basic Skills Test (CBEST)
  • for preliminary credential candidates, verification of current medical clearance for tuberculosis
  • for preliminary credential candidate, confirmation of application for the Certificate of Clearance
  • for graduate students, an official score report from at least one subtest of the appropriate CSET examination
  • for graduate students, official transcripts from all colleges attended. Must include a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Degrees earned outside the United States must be evaluated for equivalency by an agency approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The Graduate Division provides a list of approved agencies.
  • for students applying to a Clear program, a valid Preliminary teaching credential, verification of employment as a full-time teacher in a setting appropriate to the credential, and documentation that an approved induction program is not available
  • For students applying to the Instructional Leadership Program, verification of 2 years of teaching experience
  • For interns, passing score report on all requirement CSET exams, Certificate of Clearance, satisfactorily completion of U.S. constitution requirement, offer of employment, and verification of 120 hours of Preservice work as specified by the MSMU Intern Program.
  • Candidate Dispositions Statement.

The Education Specialist: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Preliminary Teaching Credential program has a separate set of application requirements. See DHH description section for details.

Applications are accepted three times a year. The application deadlines are published annually by the Graduate Admissions Office. Students may enroll in up to six units as a non-matriculating student prior to program acceptance.

Admission to a teacher preparation program does not guarantee that a credential will be granted. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to dismiss from a teacher preparation program a student who does not meet program standards. Dismissal from a Teacher Preparation Program takes place for failure to meet program requirements; dismissal, based on evaluation of any of the protocols used for candidate assessment and evaluation (including Candidate Dispositions) may occur at any time during the program.