What is Career Technical Education?
Career Technical Education (CTE) is defined by the California Department of Education as a program of study that involves a multiyear sequence of courses that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide students with a pathway to post-secondary education and careers.
What is the Designate Subjects Career Technical Education Teaching Credential?
The Commission on Teacher Credentialing defines the CTE credentials as follows:
The Preliminary Designated Subjects CTE Teaching Credential authorizes the holder to teach in the subject or subjects named on the credential in grades twelve and below and in classes organized primarily for adults, in career technical, trade or vocational courses. The Clear Designated Subjects CTE Teaching Credential authorizes the holder to teach in the subject or subjects named on the credential in grades twelve and below and in classes organized primarily for adults, including services to English learners in Specially Designed Academic Instruction Delivered in English (SDAIE) in career technical, trade or vocational courses.
Qualifying candidates are first granted the preliminary CTE credential as part of the application process. Then they have three years from the date it is issued to complete the clear CTE credential requirements to apply for the clear CTE requirements, which includes coursework, and either teaching or advanced preparation.
May I apply for CTE credential directly with the Commission on Teaching Credentialing?
No. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing requires that you apply through an approved program sponsor. So, you have come to the right place. The Alameda County Office of Education is a Commission on Teacher Credentialing-approved program sponsor accredited to offer a clear CTE teacher education credentialing program.
When candidates apply for admittance to ACOE’s program, they are also simultaneously applying for the Preliminary Designated Subjects Career Technical Education Teaching Credential.
In order to be admitted into ACOE’s Clear CTE Teacher Credentialing program, candidates must apply by paying a program fee, completing application forms, and providing verification of work experience and high school graduation.
If a candidate qualifies, they will be given instructions on how to obtain a fingerprint clearance and be issued a Certificate of Clearance from the Commission if necessary. Upon a candidate receiving the Certificate of Clearance, ACOE will ask for a tuition deposit.
Once the deposit is paid, ACOE will recommend the candidate to the Commission for the Preliminary Designated Subjects CTE Teaching Credential. There is an additional fee to the Commission for processing the credential. ACOE will admit the candidate into the program when the Commission grants the credential.
Do I need to CTE teaching position or job offer to begin taking coursework?
Yes. In order to enroll in our coursework, candidates must have a job offer for a position requiring their CTE industry sector authorization. The candidate must provide a letter from their principal or school district’s human resources department verifying their work status.
May I teach as soon as I am granted the preliminary CTE credential?
Yes. Once a candidate is granted the preliminary CTE credential by the Commission, they are authorized to teach in any public school in California.
What is offered in ACOE’s program?
Candidates who hold a clear multiple-subject, single-subject or educational specialist credential are considered existing credential-holders. They take course CTE 103 Foundations of CTE for All students. This course immerses candidates in the foundational standards of career technical education. It is an 8-week all-online asynchronous course that includes readings, discussion, and written work.
Candidates who do not possess an existing clear credential are considered first-time credential-holders. They take the following course sequence of 8-week courses in the fall, winter, and spring:
CTE 101 CTE 101 Preparing to Teach All Students
CTE 102 A Learning and Instruction for All Students
CTE 102 B Differentiated Instruction and Technology Integration
In addition to coursework, first-time credential-holders receive beginning teacher support and advisement. We coordinate with candidates’ employers to ensure that they are receiving advisory support. New teachers working at a public school in Alameda County will receive a support advisor from ACOE. For candidates working outside of Alameda County, we coordinate with their employer to ensure they are receiving beginning teacher support.
Candidates who are interested in a program of advanced personalized preparation in lieu of completing two years of successful teaching on the basis of a Preliminary CTE Teaching Credential take course CTE 104. This is currently scheduled to be offered in Summer 2024. Whether it will be offered in Summer 2025 is yet to be determined.
What are the Commission’s requirements for the preliminary CTE credential?
Prospective candidates must provide evidence that they have worked a sufficient amount of time in the industry sector they wish to get an authorization for on their preliminary CTE teaching credential, and show proof of a high school diploma.
The subtleties are somewhat complicated. Here is a breakdown of the Commission’s requirements.
Recent Industry Work Requirement
You must be able to demonstrate you have had enough recent work in the industry sector you wish to get an authorization sector for on your preliminary CTE credential. Recent is defined as at least 1 year full time or 1,000 hours part time in the last 5 years, or, 2 years full time or 2,000 hours part time in the last 10 years. This must be documented on a work verification letter(s).
Teaching can not be used to satisfy the recent industry work requirement with the exception of those who are applying for the Education, Child Development and Family Services industry sector authorization.
3-Year Work Overall Requirement
If your work verification letter(s) show that you have satisfied both the recent industry work requirement and show three or more years of industry work in total, no further work verification is required.
You may add on to your recent work to achieve a combination equivalent of three years. None of the following ways to fulfill the 3-Year work requirement can be used to satisfy the recent industry work requirement. That must be satisfied first with work verification letters.
Up to 2 Years for post-secondary units related to the industry sector authorization applied for.
48 units= 2 years, 24 units= 1 year, etc. An official transcript is required.
One year of full time P-12 public school teaching of any subject
Just one year counts (e.g. 1 year of full time teaching= 1 year; 5 years= 1year)
A letter from the human resources office of the school district is required.
1-2 Years for an advanced industry certificate
The original certificate must be provided. The program director will determine if it qualifies as an advanced industry certificate and how many years it may count as.
1 year of related industry work in the last 5 years (recent work requirement met)
1 year of full time P-12 public school teaching
1 year of post-secondary industry-related units (24 units)
1+1+1=3 years (overall 3-year work requirement met)
High School Diploma Requirement
Possess a high school diploma
- Possess a diploma based on passage of the GED Test
- Official, unopened college transcripts verifying a degree above high school
- Possess the foreign equivalent of a high school diploma.
- Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by CTC approved organizations only. See this CTC approved list of foreign transcript evaluators.
What are the procedures for applying to ACOE’s CTE Credentialing program?
Prospective candidates should follow our 3 Steps to Apply.
See if you qualify and get to know our program.
Read this program overview in full. If you are not sure that you would qualify, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a consultation.
Review the application instructions and submit your materials.
Make sure you have followed the application instructions. Any items missing from your application will delay the admissions process.
Do not send a transcript until you have paid the program fee AND submitted your application. We create a file to store transcripts once an application has been submitted.
What happens after I apply?
We will determine if the candidate qualifies. If the application is incomplete, we will explain what items need to be submitted. If a candidate qualifies, we will determine whether they need to obtain fingerprinting and apply for a Certificate of Clearance. The Commission requires that either you have a valid Commission-granted permit, Certificate of Clearance, or credential. Please do not get fingerprinted until we have determined it is necessary. We have the correct forms to use so that the information is routed properly.
Upon a candidate receiving the Certificate of Clearance, ACOE will ask for a tuition deposit. Once the deposit is paid ACOE will recommend the candidate to the Commission for the Preliminary Designated Subjects CTE Teaching Credential.
ACOE will admit the candidate into the program when the Commission grants the credential. The candidate can then start teaching CTE classes in the industry sector they are authorized to teach and will be pre-registered for the next available, appropriate ACOE clear CTE teacher credentialing course. As mentioned earlier, having a CTE job offer or position is required for course enrollment.
What are the requirements for receiving the clear CTE credential?
First-time Credential Holder
- Possess a Preliminary CTE Teaching Credential.
- Successfully complete the following courses:
CTE 101 Preparing to Teach All Students
CTE 102 Learning and Instructions for All Students
- a) Document two (2) years of successful CTE teaching experience while holding the preliminary Credential, or
- b) Successfully complete CTE 104: Advanced CTE Curriculum Integration for All Students, or its equivalent
- Health Education for Teachers Course
- U.S. Constitution Course or Exam
- CPR Certification
Existing Credential Holder
- Possessing a clear multiple-subject, single subject or education specialist credential with an authorization to teach English learners and at least one year of teaching experience while holding the credential.
- Possess a Preliminary CTE Teaching Credential.
- ACOE College of Education course CTE 103: Foundations of CTE for All Students
- Document one (1) year of successful CTE teaching experience while holding the preliminary credential, or
- Successfully complete course CTE 104: Advanced CTE Curriculum Integration for All Students, or its equivalent
How much does the program cost?
See our Cost of Program page. The program cost for 2024-2025 is subject to change and may reflect different costs based on whether the candidate has a job position at a public school in or outside of Alameda County.
Does the Commission charge for granting the credential?
Yes. They charge $100 plus a convenience fee. If you need to be granted a Certificate of Clearance first, they will break up the payment into two $50 pieces. If a Certificate of Clearance is not necessary, they will charge $100 all at once.