CA credential/tests - is it worth the money, time and hassle?

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by rapple, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. rapple

    rapple Rookie

    Oct 19, 2012
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    Sep 22, 2013

    As a private school teacher with 14 years experience, I began subbing in a California public school district two years ago. After the principal encouraged me to begin a credentialing program for a possible job position at the high school, I began a local credentialing program.

    I began my single subject credential in Math last January and I have become utterly frustrated with all that this state requires for a credential. I passed the CBEST years ago but now I'm facing even more difficult tasks: CSET tests for math, 3 TPAs and more.

    Some of the students in my cohort have more than $20k in debt just for their SS credential...I am over $10k and not half way completed. NONE of my fellow students have passed all the required CSETs and quite a few are in the process of redoing TPA 1 as their first score was too low. {Just to clarify: the examples of failed TPAs/CSETs reflect a CalState credentialing program and a private college credentialing program in my area}.

    Current California teachers tell me they could not or would not go through all that this state now requires to earn a fact, I've only met one high school math teacher who took/passed the math CSETs (about ten years ago) - most teachers earned a BS in Math to bypass the tests. Unfortunately, many school districts will not accept the degree as a waiver and insist on the CSETs test.

    I'm really wondering if all the $$, time, stress and hassle is really worth the $38k pay?
  3. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Feb 7, 2011
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    Sep 22, 2013

    The $38k pay is at a public school? That seems very low. I guess it depends on your area of the state, though, and I assume you would be getting paid as a first year teacher since they would not count private school experience, correct?

    I have a multiple subject credential, so I am not knowledgeable about the secondary CSETs. For my credential, I had to take the CBEST, CSET, and RICA. I had to complete the 4 TPAs. I'm now in BTSA. California has a LOT of hoops to jump through. Is it worth it? Yes. My dream was to teach in a public school, and those are the hoops I had to jump through to accomplish this dream. I'm teaching in a public charter school, and I love it. Was every little thing I had to do beneficial? Of course not. Was it expensive? Yes. But in the end, it was all worth it because I have the credential and I'm teaching in the environment I wanted to be in.

    If you feel you would be just as happy staying at your private school, then go for it. It's a very personal decision.

    I haven't heard of that many people failing the TPAs before. I think one person out of my credential cohort of 26 people failed the first one on the first try. We had a lot of support, though. If you follow the examples on the TPA website, you can really get a good idea of what is required for passing, and you really should be ok.

    I have two secondary teacher friends, and they did bypass the CSET by getting their degree in the subject they teach. I've heard the secondary CSETs can be extremely challenging, but I'm sure they are not impossible to pass.

    Best of luck to you with whatever you decide!
  4. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

    Jun 20, 2011
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    Sep 29, 2013

    I am credentialed to teach math in California and qualified by taking the CSETs. I took them one at a time, and passed them each the first time. I also passed my TPAs without much problem, and am starting year 2 of BTSA. Most people with full math credentials find jobs. If you want to teach math in a California public school, that is the route I would recommend. My credential program was relatively inexpensive. I would not recommend a private university program, even though they are often excellent. I see people graduating from them with tens of thousands of dollars of debt, then struggling to even find a job.

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