Important Dates

  WINTER 2021
Cal State Apply Application November 1, 2020
Professional Aptitude Interview TBA
MSTEP Application October 12, 2020


Multiple Subject Credential Program FAQ's

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions


Where do I go to get my Certificate of Clearance application (and get fingerprinted)?

(a) We highly recommend that you can go to the SLO County Office of Education (opposite Cuesta College on Hwy 1).

(b) Within California, go to any county office of education or agency that does LIVESCAN fingerprinting.

If I’ve been fingerprinted before, does it count or do I need to be fingerprinted again?

The answer is “quite likely.” In your career as a teacher, you will only be fingerprinted once for credentialing or certification purposes, but for employment purposes with several different employers, it’s likely that you will be fingerprinted several times.

Regarding the application for a Certificate of Clearance, if I’ve been fingerprinted already by a school district where I’ve been a substitute teacher, do I need to be fingerprinted again?

If you hold an emergency 30-day Substitute permit in San Luis Obispo, then you will not need to be fingerprinted again, otherwise if you want to substitute in San Luis Obispo County you will need to be fingerprinted again. Also, you must be sure your emergency 30-day Substitute permit stays valid throughout your teacher prep program.

If I took adult, infant, and child cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training while I was in high school or community college, do I need to take it again?

Yes. If you take the appropriate CPR workshop during your classes for teacher preparation (prerequisites and methods), submit it to our office, and if it expires before you complete the program, we will still accept it.

Where can I get CPR training?

Local sites include the American Heart Association, 805-544-1505; American Red Cross, 805-543-0696; Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, 805-489-4261; Sierra Vista Hospital, 805-546-7600; Twin Cities Hospital, 805-237-8492; Cal Poly Kinesiology Course PE 280-First Aid & CPR; Cuesta Community College Health Education Course HE 4-Standard First Aid & CPR.  See the School of Education website for more sites, .

Can I do CPR training on-line?

No, on-line CPR training is not valid and cannot be used to meet the requirement for CPR certification.

Will I need a car to travel to field assignments in the MSTEP?

The answer here is “yes,” although a motorcycle would also work. Typically, one of your clinical practice assignments will be a 20- to 60-mile ride (one-way), and this distance may occur in both of your assignments.

In which school districts do most candidates do their clinical practice?  Traveling from San Luis Obispo (the city), how long does it take to get to these school districts?

Most of our candidates complete clinical practice I, II and III in:

San Luis Coastal School District (10 minutes)

Paso Robles (45 minutes)

Lucia Mar (Arroyo Grande 25 minutes)

Santa Maria-Bonita (45 minutes)

Atascadero (25 minutes)

Orcutt (50 minutes)

At Cal Poly, do I have any say regarding the grade(s) I will student teach in?

All Multiple Subject candidates have one clinical practice assignment in a grade K-3 classroom and a second assignment in a grade 4-6 classroom. Typically, our teacher candidates can request the part of San Luis Obispo (SLO) or Santa Barbara County they would like to student teach in (e.g., “I would prefer to do my clinical practice in northern SLO County: Atascadero, Paso Robles, San Miguel, Shandon”), but teacher candidates do not specify a grade level, specific teacher, or specific school.

Does Cal Poly arrange for clinical practice assignments during summer quarter?

At the present time the answer is “No, we don’t.”

Do post-baccalaureate students pay higher tuition fees?

Credential candidates pay less than masters’ candidates. Cal Poly’s fees are listed at

If I think I may be able to substitute one or more of the prerequisite courses, when do I submit my paperwork? Do I have to wait until I’ve been admitted to Cal Poly to pursue a Multiple Subject credential?

You can submit documents to the Credential Office after you have attended a Multiple Subject Information Meeting. After the meeting, you should talk with the information presenter about courses you may try to substitute for EDUC 207, EDUC 300, EDUC 427 and/or EDUC 428.

May I take prerequisite courses before I’ve been admitted to the University?

Yes, you can enroll in prerequisite courses after being admitted to the university as a post-baccalaureate candidate or you can attempt to enroll prior to admission to the university through the Open University (call 805-756-2053 or see for more information). Undergraduate candidates currently enrolled in the university also can enroll in these courses through the regular enrollment process. In addition, you are eligible to seek enrollment in KINE 443.

What is required to add a Single Subject (SS) credential when you hold an MS credential?

This is an “Added Authorization.” You need to show Subject Matter Competency (by the appropriate CSET(s) examinations or coursework) and complete a 3 SEMESTER OR 4 QUARTER UNIT course in a content specific METHODOLOGY directly related to teaching in a departmental setting (see page 15).

Can I take EDUC 429, 431, 435 or 436 prior to being admitted to the MSTEP (MSTEP I)?

No! You become eligible to take 429, 431, 435 or 436 after you have been admitted to MSTEP I (admission to the MSTEP Program).

As a post-baccalaureate candidate, do I need to complete all my credential work within 1 year?

No, you can take longer, but please note that there is a time limit for some “qualifying” exams like the CSET Exam, which is valid for 5 years.

Do I have to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?


Must I take the CSET to be admitted to the MSTEP?

Yes, you must pass the CSET before applying for MSTEP I. Also note that it is difficult to take all parts at the same time, and more difficult to pass if you don’t review the sample questions.

As a Cal Poly graduate (or current student), do I have to request transcripts from Cal Poly?

No. You only request transcripts from other colleges and universities that you have attended.

What is the edTPA and how does it affect me in this program?

Cal Poly has adopted the national Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) system as part of the validation of each new teacher.  The teaching performance assessment consists of Embedded Signature Assignments (ESAs) and a Teaching Event.  Together the Embedded Signature Assignments and the Teaching Event measure all thirteen Teacher Performance Expectations (TPEs).  The Teaching Event must be passed prior to being recommended for your credential.

Campus Contacts

Cal Poly Financial Aid Office: 805-756-2927; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Financial Aid Office (01/212), 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

Cal Poly Admissions Office: 805-756-2311. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Admissions Office (01/206), 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

School of Education Credential Office: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Credential Office (02/120),

1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, TEL 805-756-2126; FAX 805-756-5682;     

Related Content

School of Education
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407