How to Become a Math Teacher

Links to more information

Overview

To teach math at a public high school in California you need a California teaching Credential. A teaching credential is a license to teach. To earn a teaching credential you need to do the following.

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree at an accredited college or university.
  2. Pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)
  3. Satisfy the California State requirements for Subject Matter Preparation to show that your math knowledge is strong so that you are able to teach well in high school
  4. Complete an approved teacher education program including fieldwork to show you know enough about teaching to teach well.

Subject Matter Preparation

The best way to ensure that you are prepared to teach math is to complete an approved Subject Matter Preparation Program at an accredited college or university. The Mathematics Education Option in the Mathematics Major at California State University Dominguez Hills is an approved subject matter preparation program. You may earn your bachelor's degree and satisfy the requirements for subject matter preparation at the same time by completing the Mathematics Education Option of the math major at CSUDH with a grade of at least a C in every course. If you already hold bachelor's degrees in math or in another subject you may also satisfy the requirements for subject matter preparation by enrolling in a second baccalaureate program at CSUDH and completing the Math Education Option.

The Mathematics Department also offers a Master's Degree that is designed to strengthen the skills of faculty who are already teaching in California high schools and middle schools. For more information about our undergraduate Mathematics Education Option or the Master's Degree in the Teaching of Mathematics please see the Mathematics Section in the University Catalog, or contact the Mathematics Department to see an advisor.

If you already hold a bachelor's degree you have another option. Instead of completing an approved subject matter preparation program you may satisfy the subject matter requirement by passing the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET). The Mathematics Department does not recommend this option because we believe that the test does not (and cannot) cover the full range of mathematical knowledge that a good teacher needs to have. We owe it to our children to make sure that our teachers are strong so they can improve the quality of education in California. However if your mathematical background is strong you may elect to take the CSET test. For more information about the CSET see the link at the top of this page.

Teacher Credentials

At CSUDH the Mathematics Department is responsible for subject matter preparation and the Teacher Education department is responsible for instruction in pedagogy, fieldwork, and the teacher credential. Please refer to the Teacher Education Department website (see link at the top of this page) for more information about teacher credentials.