In July 2021, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved new and more accessible ways for incoming teachers to pursue the teaching profession.

All teacher credentialing candidates must meet the Basic Skills Requirement prior to beginning a teacher preparation program. Aspiring teachers can now use relevant collegiate-level coursework to meet the Basic Skills requirement in lieu of the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST).

The coursework for satisfying the Basic Skills Requirement must meet the following criteria:

  • Earned a grade B/B- or better in each of the following subject areas:
    • Reading – including courses in critical thinking, literature, philosophy, reading, rhetoric, or textual analysis
    • Writing – including courses in composition, English, rhetoric, written communications, or writing
    • Mathematics – including courses in geometry, mathematics, quantitative reasoning, or statistics
  • Taken at a regionally accredited college or university
  • 3 semester units (or quarter unit equivalent)
  • Taken for academic credit (earned units)
  • Applied toward the requirements of an associate's, baccalaureate, or higher degree

The following coursework is NOT acceptable:

  • Professional development or continuing education units
  • In-service training or workshops
  • Courses where credits do not apply toward the requirements for an associate’s degree, baccalaureate degree, or higher degree


The bill also allows the following:

  • Commission-approved preparation programs can accept other courses if the registrar or relevant department chair provides written documentation.
    • You can use a single course to meet both the reading and writing requirements if you’re able to obtain a letter from the issuing English department chair that confirms the single course includes significant content in both reading and writing.
  • Commission-approved programs can use a mix-and-match from available options for candidates.
    • For example, if you pass the CBEST subtests in reading and writing but not math, then you can use the two subtests and coursework that meets the math criteria as satisfying the above rules.

For prospective teachers completing a California preparation program, the program sponsor may verify the completion of basic skills via this option. To complete a credential recommendation, each program will need to indicate how the applicant has fulfilled the Basic Skills Requirement.

Programs should attach the new form 41-BSR to any credential recommendation where the candidate has met BSR by coursework or a combination of coursework and exams. View Leaflet CL-667 for more information. 

For more information, you can read TK-12 Education Trailer Bill here.