Enrollment Process

As a teacher residency, accepted candidates have specific enrollment tasks that they must complete for both Alder Graduate School of Education and the TK-12 partner they will be placed in. This includes many action items connected to being a teacher in the state of California like the Certificate of Clearance (Livescan/Background Check), Negative TB Test and California testing requirements. 

Please read below on what you can get started on now. Once you are enrolled, you will receive more detailed information from our Enrollment Team. Send any questions to admissions@aldergse.edu. For more information on the costs associated with these items, please review the Enrollment and Credentialing Fees.

Complete Prior to Start of Program
Certificate of Clearance (COC)

When to Apply? 

As soon as possible. The Clearance is required for any teaching role in public schools in California and is valid for 5 years. The Certificate of Clearance is due prior to starting the Alder program.

The COC can take one week to 6 months or more to process depending on your response to the professional fitness questions. We recommend those who know they want to teach complete the process as soon as possible to avoid delays in your program.

What is a Certificate of Clearance (COC)?

The Certificate of Clearance (COC) is issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to candidates who have passed the Department of Justice and FBI background checks. It is valid for 5 years and is required before starting Alder Summer coursework. If you have been fingerprinted in the past for your school district or another job using their form, you will still need to get fingerprinted again for the CTC using the CTC Livescan form

Note: Candidates with a valid CTC sub permit or teaching credential do not need to apply for the Certificate of Clearance.

How to get a Certificate of Clearance (COC)?

  1. Get Livescan fingerprinted using the CTC form. Here is a searchable list of Livescan locations by county (California only)
  2. Create an Educator Account on the CTC website (“Create Educator Account” )
  3. Apply for the Certificate of Clearance through the CTC website (for detailed instructions click here)
  4. Cost of the COC is $52.65. Cost for fingerprinting varies by Livescan location but expect approximately $65-$85.

Reach out to admissions@aldergse.edu with questions or to set up a meeting with Credentials Support particularly if you review the professional fitness questions and have to answer “yes” to any of them, or if you are located outside of California and cannot complete a Livescan.

Negative TB Test

When to Complete?

Up to one year prior to starting the program. 

What is a Negative TB Test?

California law requires that school staff and volunteers working with children and community college students be free of tuberculosis (TB). Alder GSE requires proof of negative TB prior to the start of Summer term.

How to get a TB test?

The TB assessment must be administered within the last year prior to starting summer coursework. A skin test, a blood test, or a Risk Assessment Questionnaire administered by a health care provider are all acceptable. 

Complete Prior to Fall Term
Subject Matter

When to Complete?

All candidates should plan to have this requirement met before starting the program if possible, or, if needed, complete over the first summer term. Since the summer term is very busy, past residents have strongly recommended meeting CSET before starting the summer. 

You can meet Subject Matter as soon as you confirm what subject or credential type you will be pursuing and that it is confirmed by your residency partner. Candidates will not be able to register for Spring semester if the subject matter requirement is not complete by then.

What is Subject Matter?

California Education Code requires that all candidates for a teaching credential must demonstrate they are proficient in the subject matter area of their intended credential.

How can I meet Subject Matter?

The various ways to meet Subject Matter are summarized on this brochure. They include:

  • Degree Major (check chart here) or
  • Exam (CSET) or
  • Coursework evaluation (undergrad or grad, community college) or
  • Combination of Coursework evaluation and CSET

CSET scores expire after 10 years. To register to take the CSET, click here. Coursework does not have an expiration date. Coursework evaluations for subject matter must be conducted by Alder GSE, but candidates may self-review using these resources. If you self-review and find there are subtests you won’t meet with coursework, register and take the CSET as soon as possible. 

Sub Permit

When to Complete?

If you already hold a sub permit, ensure it remains valid and renew if necessary so you are covered for the duration of the program. If you do not already hold a valid 30 Emergency sub permit, Alder or your TK-12 partner will support you in obtaining one once you are enrolled.

What is a Sub Permit?

The 30 Day Emergency sub permit authorizes you to be the substitute teacher in any TK-12 classroom for up to 30 days for one individual teacher. Alder requires all residents to obtain a sub permit by Fall term so you can be the teacher of record when your mentor teacher is off-site. The sub permit is valid for 1 year but may be renewed. A regionally accredited Bachelor’s degree or higher and a completed background check or Certificate of Clearance is required. Candidates who apply for a Sub Permit after July 1, 2024 will also have to meet Basic Skills.

How do I get a Sub Permit?

Alder or your TK-12 partner will assist you to apply for the sub permit once you have provided an official transcript with your degree, Certificate of Clearance, and proof of Basic Skills (if applicable). The cost of the sub permit is $102.65. Please reach out to admissions@aldergse.edu with questions.

CPR Certification

When to Complete?

Certification must be taken while enrolled in the Alder GSE Teacher Residency and/or be valid at the date of recommendation for the Preliminary credential. Alder recommends completing this requirement during your summer term.

What is CPR certification?

CPR Certification in Adult, Infant, and Child (also called Adult/Pediatric) is required for the Preliminary credential. CPR certification expires after 2 years. 

How do I get CPR certified?

Any certification that meets the American Heart Association or Red Cross standard and includes Adult, Infant, and Child CPR is acceptable. Classes may be online or in person.

U.S. Constitution Requirement

When to Complete?

Because the majority of candidates have undergraduate coursework that meets this requirement, Alder GSE will review all candidates for US Constitution during the summer term. Candidates will be notified whether they have met the requirement or not. If not, candidates are advised to complete the requirement by October 31.

What is the US Constitution requirement?

California Education Code requires teaching candidates to complete a course (two semester units or three quarter units) in the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution or pass an examination given by a regionally-accredited college or university.

How do I complete the US Constitution requirement?

The U.S. Constitution requirement can be met by:

  • C or higher on approved undergraduate course or
  • Undergraduate degree from any CSU or
  • Testing: Certificate of Completion of U.S. Constitution exam at www.usconstitutionexam.com or AP Test Scores if college credit earned

There is no expiration date for the exam or coursework.

Complete During Spring Term

When to Complete?

During spring semester of the Alder GSE Teacher Residency.

What is the edTPA?

The Education Teaching Performance Assessment is a performance-based, subject-specific assessment you will prepare during your Spring seminar and submit in April. All programs (Multiple Subjects, Single Subject, and Education Specialist) take edTPA.

How do I complete the edTPA?

Candidates will be supported to complete and submit the edTPA through Spring semester courses.


When to Complete?

Candidates in the Multiple Subjects and Education Specialist programs should plan to take RICA between November and January to ensure passing scores by the end of the program.

What is the RICA?

The Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) is a three subtest exam designed to ensure that candidates for the California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential and Education Specialist Instruction Credential possess the knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective reading instruction.

How do I complete the RICA?

Alder GSE coursework in Summer and Fall terms includes important content regarding teaching literacy which will help candidates be successful on RICA. Register for the RICA here

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

When to Complete?

The IDP is completed during Spring semester, near the end of the program.

What is the IDP?

IDP stands for Individual Development Plan. Every candidate for the Preliminary credential must exit their program with an IDP that identifies the candidate’s strengths and areas of growth as they enter the teaching profession.

How do I complete the IDP?

The IDP is a form that is completed after the final classroom observation, and is a collaboration between the candidate, the mentor teacher, and the TK-12 partner director.