Meaning, Quality, and Integrity of a Teaching Credential from Cal Poly Pomona

The Department of Education within the College of Education and Integrative Studies is a professional learning community focused on serving the present and future needs of diverse students in our region. We prepare students to become highly qualified educators and leaders in our society. We are committed to the principles of diversity, ethics, and life-long learning. Central to our “polytechnic mission” are innovative and integrative thinking, reflective practice, collaboration, and learning by doing. We seek social justice through actions that promote equity, access, advocacy, and inclusion in the educational process.


Expectations for Incoming Credential Students 

The Department of Education prepares and recommends students for the following California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) preliminary and specialist credentials and added authorizations.

  • Multiple Subject Credential (Elementary Teacher)
  • Single Subject Credential (Secondary Teacher)
  • Education Specialist Mild/Moderate Credential (Special Education Teacher)
  • Education Specialist Moderate/Severe Credential (Special Education Teacher)
  • Administrative Services Credential (Principals, District Office Personnel, Teacher Leaders)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Added Authorization
  • Adapted Physical Education (APE) Added Authorization
  • Bilingual Added Authorization (Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese).
  • Agriculture Specialist

All Incoming students must hold a Bachelor’s degree and be admitted to the university’s graduate school through CSU Mentor. Applicants for the teaching credential program must attend a program orientation, complete the prerequisite coursework and fieldwork requirement, have a GPA of at least a 2.67 in all baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate coursework or a GPA of at least 2.75 in the last 90 quarter units attempted, and meet the state Basic Skills and Subject Matter Competency requirements. Applicants for the administrative services credential program must provide three letters of recommendation documenting his/her leadership potential, copies of valid teaching credentials, proof of CBEST passage, verification of a minimum of five years of successful fulltime teaching, and a transcript documenting a 3.0 GPA for the student’s most recent 90 units of university/college work.

All students must possess the advanced skills needed to succeed at the post-baccalaureate level and in p-12 schools, including: excellent written and verbal communication, critical thinking, professional dispositions relevant to an education career, a passion for teaching and continuous learning, and a commitment to inclusive educational practices.

Future for Credential Candidates

The Department’s learn-by-doing approach prepares each credential candidate for success by integrating theory and practice in diverse p-12 schools and classrooms. Courses and field and clinical experiences prepare students to work collaboratively with members of school communities to respect, cultivate, develop and inspire all students to meet their full potential regardless of their academic achievement, intellectual potential, social maturity, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic, cultural or racial background. As members of our professional learning community, students engage in systematic inquiry by observing, planning, applying, and reflecting on practice and sharing and utilizing data to inform and enhance their work. The credential program prepares responsible educators for beginning leadership roles in their schools and communities and offers a credential to MA pathway for students interested in pursuing their master’s degree in education

Knowledge and Skills upon Graduation

Students that complete their Preliminary Credential Program at Cal Poly Pomona meet all of California Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs) or California Administrator Performance Expectations (CAPEs) and related California Administrator Content Expectations (CACEs) and are prepared for successful careers in education. Additionally, the Department of Education has established four learning outcomes for credential students. These competencies, once mastered, will allow graduates to be LEADers in the field.

Students demonstrate leadership by communicating, collaborating, and demonstrating actions that influence others to promote educational policies, pedagogies, and practices that support all students.
Cal Poly Pomona’s “learn by doing” ethos is evident in the ways in which the Department of Education prepares students to provide leadership in educational organizations in their communities. Through learning opportunities in courses and in field placements, candidates engage with educational policies, pedagogies and practices centered on educational equity and access for our region’s diverse K-12 students and their families. Students are continually encouraged to challenge the definition of leadership in k-12 school settings. Leadership goes beyond hierarchal positions in an organization.  We challenge our students to view leadership in the classroom as an opportunity to work with colleagues to promote professional development, facilitate student learning, and facilitate the improvement of education settings.  Students practice and demonstrate teacher leadership by facilitating student learning and using evidence-based practices. Faculty leads by example as they model culturally relevant and student-centered pedagogies and practices in the prerequisite and core courses. Faculty communicates to students the importance of implementing and promoting socially-just practices. Students are held to the professional standards of the teaching profession and are expected to communicate, collaborate and behave in a manner that reflects these core values and beliefs. These expectations are particularly evident during the clinical practice portion of the program.
Students demonstrate Expertise by engaging in the reflective study, application, synthesis, and evaluation of educational theories, pedagogical practices, and technologies to develop an informed, problem-solving perspective.
Students are provided with a plethora of opportunities to demonstrate their expertise using a sociocultural approach to teaching and learning.  The program supports teacher candidates to develop and document progress toward a comprehensive and robust vision of professional practice that includes, at its core, inquiry and reflection.  Students are challenged to enhance their learning through fieldwork experiences, reflective essays, video analyses of teaching, and by reading and analyzing current research and theory related to teaching and learning in k-12 classrooms. Students learn relevant theories and associated pedagogies and practices in coursework prior to clinical practice.
Coursework is sequenced and designed to increase depth of understanding through application, reflective study, and evaluation. The fieldwork components of courses including early (Novice) and standard clinical practice immerse students in authentic instructional settings so they can develop informed, problem-solving perspectives. Technology is integrated throughout the program and is strongly emphasized in methods courses.
Students demonstrate Application of knowledge by integrating theory, research, data, appropriate technologies, and reflective practice to render informed professional judgments and decisions that enhance the quality of teaching and learning.
Fieldwork is an embedded feature of courses throughout the program allowing students to apply the theories, pedagogies and technologies learned in class to authentic settings. Knowledge and skills build as students engage with research-based concepts, and practices and deepening levels of complexity. Students apply knowledge most intensively during clinical practice, the culminating portion of the program.  Student success in fieldwork requires professional judgement and decision-making that is based on clear knowledge of research-based practices. Students develop expertise through guidance from a cooperating teacher (mentor teacher) and the supportive assessment and feedback of a university supervisor.
Diversity, equity, & global consciousness
Students demonstrate Diversity, equity, & global consciousness by continuing to learn about the world in the context of rapidly emerging social and technological change in order to make informed decisions to cultivate, develop, and celebrate human potential in all its diverse forms
Students learn and practice culturally relevant and student-centered pedagogies and practices throughout the program. The theme of teaching for social justice is introduced in the prerequisite courses and is carried into the core courses and clinical practice. Students are held to the professional standards of the teaching profession throughout the program and are expected to become and remained informed about the world as it relates to the lives of their diverse students. They are expected to have high expectations of all students and to see diversity in all its forms as a resource for developing effective, enriching learning environments.


The quality of our Cal Poly Pomona Credential Programs is ensured through ongoing collaboration with dedicated stakeholders, including full and part-time faculty, university field supervisors, staff, students, alumni, and public school teachers and administrators, many whom serve as active members of our program advisory board. 
Cal Poly Pomona’s “learn by doing” ethos is evident in the ways in which the Department of Education prepares students to provide leadership in educational organizations in the region. Courses are student-centered professional learning communities where faculty and students work together to co-construct, refine, and advance knowledge and skills. They share best practices, resources, and new technologies and apply knowledge to influence, inspire and transform schools and classrooms.
Throughout coursework, faculty models best practices for implementing curriculum, instruction and assessment and creating positive, inclusive environments to support diverse learners. In foundation courses, faculty engages students in deep analysis and synthesis of the historical, cultural and psych-social foundations of schooling in our diverse democratic society to develop a comprehensive and robust philosophy of education to guide their work in schools and communities. During core courses, faculty explicitly connects theory and research to practice through concrete examples, video analyses of teaching and fieldwork activities so students can observe and apply the pedagogies and technologies they learn in class in authentic settings. At the end of the program, students competent in their field or subject- matter expertise, apply, deepen, and refine their knowledge and skills through clinical practice or field placements at partnership sites. Our clinical shared leadership model, engages students in cycles of co-planning, co-teaching/administrating, reflecting and assessing, and collaborative action planning with a supportive master teacher or administrative leader and a university supervisor.
Hallmarks of our credential program include: a) specialized knowledge of advances in educational theory, research and practice; b) knowledge of best practices to support diverse students and close the achievement gap; c) analytical and ethical reasoning; d) professional communication and collaboration, and e) innovative and integrative thinking and problem-solving. Students exit our program highly prepared to enter the profession, knowing their strengths and needs, ready to advance their training and clear their credential through induction.


Achievement of Student Learning Outcomes

Students are provided multiple opportunities to develop and hone their knowledge and skills through course papers, projects, individual and group presentations, fieldwork activities and clinical practice. As students complete foundation and core coursework, faculty provides them with extensive support and ongoing feedback on these assignments. Students also reflect on their progress through various self-and peer assessments. Master teacher or administrative leaders and university supervisors evaluate students’ performance at the middle and end of their fieldwork or clinical practice placement to ensure they meet all California Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs) or California Administrator Performance Expectations (CAPEs) and related California Administrator Content Expectations (CACEs) and are prepared for successful careers in education. Throughout the program, students work closely with faculty advisors and credential analysts to ensure they have met all of the state requirements to be recommended for their credential.

Continuous Program Improvement

Faculty systematically monitors student success through direct and indirect measures in a biennial cycle. In year 1 faculty reviews the course anchor assignments that provide formative feedback on state and department learning outcomes along with student admissions and exit survey data. In year 2, faculty reviews student culminating experience data including their final evaluations from their university and school fieldwork/clinical practice supervisors along with alumni and employer survey data. Results are shared with our program advisory board to identify strengths and weaknesses and determine next goals to target for continuous Credential Program improvements. 


Our credential programs are fully accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing ( Program assessment follows the 7-year CTC accreditation cycle.

  • Biennial reports (every 2 years) review program effectiveness through 4-6 key assessments including direct (candidate achievement) and indirect (survey) measures.
  • Program Assessments (every 4 years) reviews program alignment with state credential standards and student performance expectations (TPEs and CAEPs and CACEs)