CSET -- California Subject Examination for Teachers
This exam is a gateway into a Teacher Preparation Program Credential Program.  It assesses content knowledge but not knowledge of pedagogy. This exam will be developed by a panel of experts in partnership with Pearson.

ETS Theatre PRAXIS -- The Praxis® tests measure the academic skills and subject-specific content knowledge needed for teaching. The Praxis tests are taken by individuals entering the teaching profession as part of the certification process required by many states and professional licensing organizations.

SMR -- Subject Matter Requirements
Developed by the CTC and a panel of content-specific experts, based on the content-specific teaching standards as dictated by Ed. Code, used by undergrad programs to prepare students to become candidates for credential programs.

TPE -- Teaching Performance Expectations
Developed by CTC and panel of experts, used by credential programs to guide teacher preparation and prepare students for successful internships and the Teaching Performance Assessment. Coursework toward satisfying the TPEs includes topics such as content-specific pedagogy, working with English Learners, assessment, social-emotional development, special needs students, lesson planning, parent engagement, and other such skills necessary to be a successful teacher in CA public schools.

TPA -- Teaching Performance Assessment
An evaluation that happens toward the end of a candidate's time in a teacher preparation program that assesses their ability to teach content standards and confirm that they have met TPEs.

CDEA -- California Educational Dance Association

What is in the new California Arts Standards adopted in 2019?
The new standards are based on the National Core Arts Standards   Media Arts is included as a fifth arts discipline.  There are eleven Anchor Standards that are divided into four categories: Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Responding, and Connecting.

Will there be a California Arts Standards Framework?
Yes, it is currently being written at the California Department of Education.  Information about the process can be found at It is a transparent process and public input is welcome. The Framework should be completed in early 2020.

Why does the process of activating credentials take so long?
The CTC is a state agency and must obey protocols and statutes.  These include time for comment, approvals, meetings, reliability testing for exams, checking for bias, etc.

What is a realistic timeframe for it?
It is possible the first students could enter a dance or theatre credential program in Academic Year 2021, but not sooner.

What should I be doing in the meantime?
Credential programs should start the course approval process for the necessary methods courses to be included in their programs.
Undergraduate programs and community college partners should reading the new standards and determining how their education courses align with them.

How easy will it be to have a waiver program?
In the past, it has been a lengthy bureaucratic process but the CTC has discussed making the requirements easier.

If I am teaching dance or theatre under a PE or English credential, what should I do?  Will I automatically receive a dance or theatre credential?

According to the Legislation (SB 916) you can continue to teach theatre or dance until you retire. We are currently working with the CTC to add this authorization to your credential. You will not need to apply for the new credential. For those who still want this specific credential in hand, we are looking into options for you to be able receive this credential. At this moment you will need to take a one semester methods course in a teaching credential program AND pass the applicable CSET unless you receive a waiver for previously approved course work (i.e you have an undergrad degree in theatre from an accredited university).

Will not having a theatre or dance credential affect my chances at getting a new job, should I want to leave my current position?
If you currently hold an English Credential and are teaching theatre, you will always be authorized to teach theatre until retirement. We are anticipating having to educator district decision makers when theatre openings occur. This includes making sure that they are aware that any English credential in hand prior to January of 2023 includes authorization to tech theatre.  We are working on educating our districts and working with the CTC to ensure that theatre is listed on your current credential so that there is no question regarding your ability to teach theatre.

I have been a teaching artist in schools.  Can I be grandfathered in and receive a credential?
No.  Credentialed teachers in California must have gone through a credential program.  Having a BA, BFA, MA, MFA, PhD, or DFA does not count. Teaching artists are often excellent teachers, but Education Code requires that teachers also have training in Special Education, Emergent Bilinguals, Education Code, Educational Foundations, etc.  The only possible exception is if you have been teaching dance or theatre in a private school for six or more years. More information is at

What are teachers paid?
Salaries vary county to county.  Education websites state beginning California teacher salaries in the neighborhood of $45,000 to $50,000, but benefits and salary vary widely.  For more information see

How much does it cost to become a teacher?
The California State University (CSU) system costs around $10,000 in tuition and fees for a one-year program.  The UC and private institutions will cost more.