Applying to the Credential Program

It is highly recommended that prospective applicants to the Single Subject Credential Program in English begin the application process several months in advance of the application deadline. Dr. Guise is happy to guide you through the application process, so please feel free to contact with your questions.

Below is a list of steps to guide you through the application process. 

  1. Take and pass the CBEST (link opens in new window) exam. 
  2. Apply for a Certificate of Clearance at the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education (link opens new window) that covers both employment in SLO County and the credential. 
  3. Fulfill the subject-matter competency requirement. The two options for fulfilling the subject-matter competency requirement include the following:
    • Coursework Option: Applicants may choose to complete a CTC-approved course of study, called the "waiver program," either at Cal Poly or at another California institution with an approved CTC subject-matter waiver program. At Cal Poly, this curriculum exists independently of the major in English or related fields. The Cal Poly waiver program was designed by an integrated expression of CTC requirements, the secondary school English standards in California, and the courses available at Cal Poly. Use the Self-Evaluation Sheet to see how to qualify for the waiver. Qualifying for the waiver takes careful course registration as an undergraduate, and it is important that you are in contact with Dr. Guise throughout your undergraduate career if you choose this option.
    • Examination Option: Competence may be demonstrated by successfully completing a subject-matter examination in English, the California Subject Examinations for Teacher (CSET). The CSET Web site is (link opens new window). This exam is given every two months and consists of four subtests: Subtest I - Literature and Literary Analysis; Subtest II - Linguistics and Literacy; Subtest III - Rhetoric and Composition; and Subtest IV - Creative Expression. All four subtests must be passed, but each may be re-taken as many times as necessary. The test period is five hours for all four subtests. Cost is $55 each for Subtests I and II and $56 each for Subtests III and IV ($222 for all four subtests). You may view, download, and print out a guide to the CSET: English Examination at (link opens new window). If choosing the examination option, it is the responsibility of each applicant to be aware of both the date of the exam and the date results are available.
  4. When you have successfully completed subject-matter competency or are near completion, you may then apply for admission to Cal Poly as a post-baccalaureate student, using the CSU Mentor (link opens new window) online application. Cal Poly undergraduates must apply as post-baccalaureate students.
    • Application Requirements: Cumulative higher education grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.67 at the time of application OR at least a 2.75 GPA for your last 60 semester or 90 quarter units. English applicants with a GPA lower than 2.67 should contact Dr. Guise for guidance.
    • Application Deadlines: Fall Quarter: April 1st; Winter Quarter: December 1st (quarter of prerequisites only); Spring Quarter: January 1st.
  5. Applicants are required to submit TWO letters of recommendation for admission to the program. These letters must be sent directly to the English Education Coordinator (Dr. Megan Guise, Department of English, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407). There is no form for these letters.
  6. Download the Professional Aptitude Interview Packet and be sure to complete and submit your cover letter to Dr. Guise at least 1 week prior to your interview. Visit the School of Education website for links to the application and more information.
  7. After the Admissions Office notifies Dr. Guise of receipt of your completed application (CSU Mentor application, two official transcripts if you are NOT a Cal Poly graduate, and payment of $55 fee), Dr. Guise will contact you to schedule a Professional Aptitude Interview.

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