Upon acceptance, incoming corps members work with the San Diego regional team to ensure that they are ready for the first day of school. Corps members must meet many California mandated requirements in order to teach, and Teach For America guides and supports them through this process.
How is Credentialling Structured?
The California Department of Education offers an intern credential program designed specifically to support individuals who enter the classroom on a nontraditional path. A preliminary credential can be obtained in approximately 14-18 months through our credentialing partner, National University.
All K-12 San Diego corps members must pass two state exams before the start of their credentialing coursework, and will complete a full-time course load of credentialing work as they teach, enrolling in evening and online courses.
While they are attending credentialing courses, they will work as the lead teacher on an intern credential work permit and receive additional TFA and NU supports as they pursue a preliminary teaching credential. Upon completion of their program, they will receive a preliminary credential, valid for five years in the state of CA.
Those who are interested may elect to enroll in additional courses after earning their preliminary credentials to work towards a graduate degree.
Upon accepting their offers to join Teach For America and the region, corps members will receive more information about their next steps. Though state requirements often change, the steps typically include studying for, taking, and passing certification exams such as the CBEST (basic skills), CSET (content area), and US Constitution Exam.
San Diego corps members must pass all required testing prior to Induction, which is typically the first week of June. Corps members will be responsible for paying for the tests out of pocket; total cost ranges from $300 to $500, excluding any necessary retakes.
Credential costs are dependent on the specific program in which a corps member is enrolled – costs can range from $17,000 to $24,000.
Contingent upon the renewal of Teach For America’s partnership with AmeriCorps and individual eligibility, corps members may choose apply their AmeriCorps education award to a portion of this tuition. AmeriCorps education awards are issued at the end of each school year, and corps members are responsible for any out-of-pocket credentialing expenses prior to receiving the award.
Centrally-located, the Normal Heights’ neighborhood of San Diego has ample foot traffic. Bookstores, salons, boutiques and shops, and a variety of bars and restaurants are within walking distance to residents of this area. Throughout the year, Adams Avenue also offers numerous street festivals, including the Adams Avenue Street Fair, Adams Avenue Unplugged, and Art Around Adams. University Heights offers similar attractions with fewer crowds.
Hillcrest is an eclectic and welcoming neighborhood that serves as the center of San Diego's LGBT community. The streets are full of unique stores, restaurants, and bars, and the Sunday Farmers Market is not to be missed. Hillcrest also sits next to Balboa Park, the city's best cultural attraction, and is a short distance from North Park.
Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, and Pacific Beach are right along the water and offer easy access to the ocean. During the day, locals enjoy swimming, cycling, kayaking, surfing, and exploring boutique shops. At night, a mix of casual and upscale restaurants and bars attract people from all over the city.
East County, located in the interior valleys outside of San Diego city, is comprised of several smaller cities: El Cajon, La Mesa, Santee, and Lemon Grove. East County is home to several community colleges, shopping malls, and festivals. East County’s diverse geography, which features valleys, mountains, and lakes, allows for ample opportunities to kayak, hike, bike, and more. East County neighborhoods tend to be warmer yet more affordable than areas in the city of San Diego.
Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI) is an after school program that works with San Diego families to encourage 100 percent of its students to enroll in college and provides the support to get them there. Incoming corps members meet with BLCI parents to learn what the ideal parent-teacher relationship looks like and work with BLCI students on an enrichment activity. We are thrilled to partner with BLCI and other organizations that have been doing great work for years in San Diego and continue to prove that more is possible for students' futures.
The Diamond Educational Excellence Partnership (DEEP) is a collaborative of community leaders and organizations committed to improving educational outcomes for children living in the Diamond Neighborhoods of San Diego, a cluster of high-needs communities in the heart of the city. Teach For America- San Diego staff and corps members partner with DEEP to plan and execute an annual summer book club that serves local elementary school students.