Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements to be a part of the Cal Teach program?
In order to participate in Cal Teach, you need to have a math, science, or engineering major and a desire to explore the idea of pursuing a career in teaching math or science at the K-12 level.
How do I join the Cal Teach program?
Complete the online application and/or sign up for one of our courses. If you are a junior or transfer student, you may also be interested in the California Mathematics and Science Teaching Program (CMST). More information is available on the program's web site or you can email Harriette Stevens.
What courses should I take?
To begin the Cal Teach program, you start with a CaT 1 course. These are introductory courses with a field placement at a local school that will introduce you to a teaching career. Check out the courses listed on the courses page.
If you have already taken a CaT 1 course and are interested in pursuing a career in teaching further, you should sign up for the CaT 2 course. If you are a transfer students or an upperclassman, it is possible to take the CaT 2 course without having taken a CaT 1 course.
The final CaT 3 courses are still being developed and will be offered for the first time during the 2007-08 school year.
We also highly recommend that Cal Teach students complete the education minor.
Can I take the first course without committing to the entire program?
Yes. You can sign up for a CaT 1 course to explore the idea of teaching and to learn more about math and science education without having to commit to the whole program.
What do I need to do in order to get a teaching credential ?
You will need to complete a teacher credential program in order to get a teaching credential. There are many different options available. See this handout for more information.
Can I get my transcripts reviewed to verify subject matter competency?
No. UC Berkeley does not have an approved subject matter program for math or science. In order to verify your subject matter competency, you will need to take and pass the CSET exams. If you are a qualified Cal Teach student, you may be eligible to get a reimbursement for your examination fees.
How is the Cal Teach program different from Teach For America?
There are two main differences between Cal Teach and Teach For America. First, in the Cal Teach program you will do some of your teacher preparation work while you are getting your undergraduate degree instead of doing it all afterwards. Second, in the Cal Teach program you have control over your job placement. TFA places teachers according to program need; you are not sure to get the city, grade level, or subject of your choice. In Cal Teach, you know you will stay in California, and you will be in charge of your own job placement activities.
Do you have anything for science, engineering or mathematics graduate students who are thinking about K-12 teaching?
The best way to find out if teaching is for you is to get some experience in the classroom. We do not currently offer any graduate level courses as part of Cal Teach. However, there is a program through Community Resources for Science where you can volunteer as a scientist to develop and give hands-on presentations to students. This is a good way to get classroom experience to see if you like it.
How is being a mentor teacher different from being a master teacher?
Cal Teach students do not take over a whole class for a period of time as often happens during student teaching. Cal Teach students serve more as classroom assistants who observe, help with student groups, or work with individual students. Your role as a mentor teacher is to help them learn about the career of teaching and the basics of lesson planning and working with students, as well as giving them an idea of what goes on behind the scenes in a working classroom, although we do ask that you work with your Cal Teach student to help them prepare a lesson to teach during their placement.