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Community College Teaching

SRJC PATHWAYS TO TEACHING IN CALIFORNIA Early Childhood Teaching Elementary School Teaching Middle/High School Teaching Career & Technical Teaching Special Education Teaching

California Community College Teacher Preparation

In California, the Board of Governors for the California Community Colleges adopts a list of minimum qualifications by discipline for instructors based on a recommendation from the statewide Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges. The most current document can be found at the statewide Academic Senate Web site (PDF).

The system of minimum qualifications replaced a credentialing system that was in place until 1990. No credential is now necessary to teach at a California community college; however, those holding a lifetime credential may continue to have the right to teach in the areas identified in the credential. Other states may have different requirements for community college teaching.

Disciplines Requiring a Master’s Degree in California

  • Degrees and credits must be from accredited institutions
  • An occupational license or certificate is required in certain instances.
  • A district may hire a person who possesses qualifications different from, but equivalent to those listed in the Academic Senate disciplines list, according to criteria and procedures agreed upon by the governing board and the academic senate.
  • Generally speaking, a master’s degree is required for disciplines that are intended to fulfill the lower division general education or majors requirements to a four-year college or university.

When A Master’s Degree Is Not Generally Expected or Available

In California, the minimum qualifications for disciplines that do not require a master’s degree, often career and technical disciplines, require a bachelor’s degree and two years of experience, or any associate degree and six years of experience.


University Teaching

Teaching at a four-year colleges and universities most often requires a doctorate degree. Some exceptions exist, such as requiring only a Master’s degree for lower division instruction or for non-tenure track. If you are considering teaching at this level, contact a Counselor for advice.