Best Colleges in California for Teaching Degrees

The best colleges in California for teaching degrees can help you become a part of the ever-changing educational industry. With the need for experienced teachers growing across the United States, these programs are ideal. Not only will it be a life-changing career for you but your students as well.
This guide will explore five top teaching programs to consider in the state. Each of these schools meets the following criteria:

  • An average annual cost of no more than $21,000
  • A median starting salary no lower than $45,000
  • Accredited programs by recognized bodies

5 Best Colleges in California for Teaching Degrees

1. California State University – Fullerton

4 Year; Fullerton, CA
Average Annual Cost: $8,003
California State University – Fullerton is one of the best colleges in California for teaching degrees. The curriculum is rigorous and professionally designed, helping keep teachers apprised of the most relevant information in today’s educational industry. There are three main priorities the teaching program at this school looks to focus on:

  • Community engagement
  • Technology
  • Just Equitable and Inclusive Education (JEIE)

Before moving onto a graduate program to become a teacher, prospective students must first earn a teaching credential. At California State University – Fullerton, there are many credential programs educators can consider, including:

  • Special Education
  • Elementary & Bilingual Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Reading Education Specialist

Once you’ve earned your teaching credentials, you can move on to the master’s or doctoral programs at the school. Both graduate degree options will revolve around your chosen specialty, although there are additional specialties to consider. For example, teachers can begin their studies in Secondary Education with a specialty in Instructional Design & Technology for their master’s.

2. California State University – Long Beach

4 Year; Long Beach, CA
Average Annual Cost: $10,054
There are a few options when looking to become a teacher at California State University – Long Beach. Within the College of Education, students can choose from a few academic programs, including:

  • Bachelor’s Degrees
  • Teaching Credentials
  • Master’s & Advanced Credentials
  • Graduate Certificates
  • Educational Doctorates
  • Educational Specialist Degrees

The central premise of this program is to create a graduating class of well-rounded teaching professionals. You’ll gain the experience necessary to become educators and practitioners that ensure equity across the educational spectrum. 
The curriculum uses evidence-based practices and boasts innovative components that focus on advocacy, leadership, and collaboration.
You’ll explore many fundamental tenets of education while studying at California State University – Long Beach. You’ll be able to participate in clinical practice opportunities while focusing on research. Teachers will also try their hands at leadership in urban education and integrating technology into their lesson plans.

3. San Diego State University

4 Year; San Diego, CA
Average Annual Cost: $13,845
Students interested in becoming teachers will love the diverse opportunities available at San Diego State University. Their curriculum is designed to help teachers take their abilities to the next level, assisting students in developing fundamental skills and knowledge. 
Compared to other teaching degree programs, this is one of the more accommodating learning pathways.
Students can train at San Diego State University to become Pre-K to Grade 2 teachers. The program is inclusive, ensuring you take all necessary steps, including your California Preliminary Teaching Credential. There are two distinct pathways students can take to earn their teaching credentials.
You’ll have the ITEP 4-year undergraduate major plus program for the first pathway. With this program, you’ll have an integrated credential and bachelor’s degree curriculum. It includes general education, credential coursework, major coursework, and student teaching.
The second option is the fifth-year stand-alone credential. This option allows you to start by earning your bachelor’s degree. After your four-year program, you’ll then focus on your credential program. At the end of the fifth year, the course will equip you to begin your career as a teacher.

4. San Jose State University

4 Year; San Jose, CA
Average Annual Cost: $16,542
San Jose State University’s teaching program is a fantastic solution for prospective teachers looking to fill voids in the state’s educational system. Their teaching program is designed to help teachers in many areas of education, including:

  • Math
  • Science
  • Bilingual Education
  • Special Education

Like many other teaching programs in the state, San Jose State University focuses on inclusivity. Every teacher will graduate with a strong understanding of the importance of multiculturalism and diversity among students. You’ll acquire all of the fundamental skills to make school a well-rounded option for all types of students.
The teaching program at San Jose State University is designed to offer teaching credentials. The school currently provides certificates for elementary, secondary, and special education. This program offers prospective teachers some of the most versatile learning pathways.
Students can enroll in numerous learning pathways, including:

  • Multiple Subject Credential Program
  • Multiple Subject Credential Program with Spanish Bilingual Authorization
  • Multiple Subject Credential Program with Master of Arts in Teaching

5. California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo

4 Year; San Luis Obispo, CA
Average Annual Cost: $20,677
California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo has multiple learning pathways open to students interested in becoming teachers. You can focus on numerous programs, including:

  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Bilingual Authorization
  • Educational Leadership
  • Higher Education Counseling
  • Multiple Subject
  • Single Subject
  • Special Education

Compared to other teaching programs in the state, California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo is highly diverse. Each program has multiple specialties, helping you focus on the area of teaching best suited for your needs. Also, every program is unique, offering fantastic learning opportunities for prospective teachers.
You can guarantee there is an assortment of courses you’ll be expected to take during your time in school. Every program also has requirements for graduation, such as maintaining a 3.0 GPA to graduate. Some of the most common course options teaching students will explore include:

  • Learning to Teach K-8 Science with Diverse Populations
  • Multiple Subject Clinical Practice
  • Educating Individuals with Exceptional Needs
  • Learning to Teach K-8 Health and P.E. with Diverse Populations
  • Teaching Performance Assessment

California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo also has plenty of student benefits for you to consider. These include multiple scholarships that participants in the School of Education can consider. With these scholarships, you can save a significant amount of money on your post-secondary schooling.

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