CALIFORNIA: TOP 10 BACHELOR’S PROGRAMS

California is home to dozens of colleges of education. This means that anyone hoping to become a licensed California teacher has many options. The challenge is choosing the right school. To help you narrow your search, ToBecomeATeacher.org has ranked California’s top 10 bachelor of education programs. Every single one of these programs has a lot to offer. Which school you choose, will depend on your own priorities. To get started, explore the following detailed program descriptions, ranking data and statistics. Next, explore our educator licensing page to find out more about California’s required degrees and exams for educators. Finally, make a decision about which school is the right place for you to start building a future career in education.

1.California State University-Long Beach

The College of Education at CSU-Long Beach is a hub of pedagogical innovation and a state leader in teacher training. The College of Education at CSU-Long Beach offers four programs for students hoping to certify as teachers: the multiple subject credential program (MSCP) for candidates hoping to teach at the elementary level; the single subject credential program (SSCP) for candidates hoping to teach at the middle or high-school levels; the special education credential program (ESCP) for aspiring special education teachers; and the urban dual credential program (UDCP) for anyone hoping to teach elementary and/or middle school students in an urban setting. The college also has a great reputation for placing graduates in great teaching jobs across California.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 24960
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 15775
  • Average state starting salary$ 41259
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 22 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 9.5
  • Acceptance Rate Score 8.4
  • Graduation Rate Score 6.65
  • ROI/Value Score 8.9
  • Student to Faculty Score 2.3

2.California State University-Fullerton

At California State University-Fullerton, the College of Education offers credential programs in elementary and bilingual education; secondary education; special education; and reading education. The college also offers credential-based programs for school administrators. The only university teacher preparation institution in Orange County that is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), California State University-Fullerton is a top choice for aspiring teachers in the Fullerton area and statewide.  One of the programs biggest draws is its commitment to placing its students in jobs upon graduation, and its Center for Careers in Teaching is dedicated to this very task.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 24744
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 14718
  • Average state starting salary$ 41259
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 24 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 9.7
  • Acceptance Rate Score 6.9
  • Graduation Rate Score 5.95
  • ROI/Value Score 9.7
  • Student to Faculty Score 0.91

3.California State University-Fresno

At California State University-Fresno, aspiring teachers enroll in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development. The school offers credential-based programs for aspiring K-8 teachers as well as programs for single subject teachers working with students in grades 7-12. The school also offers credentials in special education, including one in deaf education. The Kremen School of Education and Human Development also partners with CalStateTeach—a flexible program designed to help teachers acquire additional credentials and non-certified teachers credentialize without returning to school on a full-time basis. With its outstanding faculty, innovative approach to teacher training and track record for job placement, California State University-Fresno ranks as one of the state’s top destinations for aspiring teachers.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 25148
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 16500
  • Average state starting salary$ 41259
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 22 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 9.3
  • Acceptance Rate Score 5.6
  • Graduation Rate Score 5.49
  • ROI/Value Score 7.5
  • Student to Faculty Score 2.3

4.California State University-Dominguez Hills

If you’re looking for a high-quality place to carry out your teacher training in California, don’t overlook California State University-Dominguez Hills. In addition to offering programs in educational students (for aspiring researchers in the field of education), CSU-Dominguez Hills College of Education offers several programs leading to teacher certification, including a single subject, multiple subject and special education programs. Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the College of Education is highly regarded statewide as a leader in the teacher-training field and for this reason, it has an outstanding reputation with students and California employers.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 24400
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 17201.5
  • Average state starting salary$ 41259
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 23 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 9.9
  • Acceptance Rate Score 5.7
  • Graduation Rate Score 3.23
  • ROI/Value Score 6.9
  • Student to Faculty Score 2.1

5.San Diego State University

The College of Education at San Diego State University has a longstanding tradition to producing some of the state’s top talent in the teaching field. A key part of San Diego State University’s program is its flexibility. The College of Education offers credential programs for aspiring teachers, as well as several programs designed to help teachers already in the classroom obtain the qualifications needed to teach an additional classroom subject or work in an area of specialization (e.g., special education). With a strong push to offer bilingual education in southern California schools, SDSU has also long been a leader in credentializing teachers to work in bilingual and dual-language classrooms.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 27064
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 16460
  • Average state starting salary$ 41259
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 25 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 7.6
  • Acceptance Rate Score 8.3
  • Graduation Rate Score 7.51
  • ROI/Value Score 8.1
  • Student to Faculty Score 0.71

6.California State University-Channel Islands

The School of Education at California State University-Channel Islands is another top destination for California’s aspiring teachers. Among other options, would-be teachers can select to enroll in the School of Education’s multiple subject, special education or single subject programs. For those hoping to teach at the middle to high school levels, single subject credentialization is available in English, mathematics, science (Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, or Physics), and social science/history. With a reputation for great mentorship, rigorous course work and rewarding field placements, the School of Education at California State University-Channel Islands is a highly recommended option for anyone hoping to become a licensed teacher in California and land a job.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 25884
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 16000
  • Average state starting salary$ 41259
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 20 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 8.5
  • Acceptance Rate Score 5
  • Graduation Rate Score 5.83
  • ROI/Value Score 8.7
  • Student to Faculty Score 4

7.California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

The College of Education and Integrative Studies at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona is a great option for anyone hoping to gain the credentials required to teach in a California classroom. Basic or initial credential programs include elementary, secondary and special education. Added authorization programs also exist for aspiring school principals, adapted physical education teachers, bilingual teachers (in both Spanish and Chinese). Located in a polytechnic, the College of Education also naturally has a strong STEM focus. Local research centers, such as The School Robotics Initiative, are based at the college, opening up especially rich opportunities for future STEM teachers to put theory into praxis on their pathway to finding a great teaching job in California.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 25400
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 18001
  • Average state starting salary$ 41259
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 28 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 8.9
  • Acceptance Rate Score 6.2
  • Graduation Rate Score 5.86
  • ROI/Value Score 6.1
  • Student to Faculty Score 0.1

8.San Francisco State University

At San Francisco State University, the Graduate College of Education has two departments dedicated to teacher certification: the Department of Elementary Education and the Department of Secondary Education. In the Department of Elementary Education, candidates can earn a multiple subject credential to teach at the elementary level and in the Department of Secondary Education, candidates can earn a single subject credential to teach students in grades 7 through 12. Also a well-established center of educational research, the Graduate College of Education also offers master of arts and doctoral degrees to students engaged in advanced research endeavors. A highly politicized campus, San Francisco State University has long been a center of conflict and progress on diversity issues and its College of Education is no exception. Several faculty members’ research programs focus on equity and diversity issues in education. Best of all, San Francisco State University has a great reputation among local employers.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 25800
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 17775
  • Average state starting salary$ 41259
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 22 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 8.7
  • Acceptance Rate Score 5.1
  • Graduation Rate Score 5.26
  • ROI/Value Score 6.3
  • Student to Faculty Score 2.3

9.California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo is another state leader in teacher training. The College of Education offers both single and multiple subject credentials and credentials for candidates hoping to work in bilingual education, special education or as a school administrator. Among the programs strengths are its commitment to small class sizes, outstanding mentorship and diversity. The College of Education at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo also has a strong reputation for ensuring all its teacher candidates have an opportunity to acquire engaging experiences working in local schools.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 34896
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 19500
  • Average state starting salary$ 41259
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 21 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 6
  • Acceptance Rate Score 8.3
  • Graduation Rate Score 8.05
  • ROI/Value Score 4.8
  • Student to Faculty Score 3.4

10.California State University-Northridge

The Northridge campus of California State University is another highly recommended option for aspiring California teachers. At California State University-Northridge all three major teacher-credentialing categories are covered, including teaching, services, and specialist categories, and all credential programs are accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This means that whether you’re looking to become an elementary teacher or to teach a single subject at the high school level or to work as a reading and literacy leadership specialist, California State University-Northridge College of Education is a great option. The university is also a favorite among local employers.

Program Facts

  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 26100
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 15000
  • Average state starting salary$ 41259
  • Student to Faculty Ratio 24 :1

Program Rankings

  • Expense Score 8.1
  • Acceptance Rate Score 6.8
  • Graduation Rate Score 5.32
  • ROI/Value Score 9.3
  • Student to Faculty Score 0.91
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