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Elementary Subject Matter Preparation Certificate

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Course Description

The Elementary Subject Matter Preparation Certificate (ESMPC) provides another academic pathway to a career in K-8 teaching. This certificate allows students to choose a Major other than Liberal Studies, and still demonstrate K-8 subject matter coverage in their undergraduate training. Students may select and complete any Major offered at CSUSM, and concurrently complete the coursework for the certificate.

The ESMPC prescribes a particular pathway through most of the General Education requirements of the bachelor’s degree, and it prescribes additional coursework to ensure breadth of study across disciplines. In many cases, depending upon the Major selected by the student, the ESMPC and Major may be completed within the normal total of 120 units for the Bachelor of Arts degree. (Students should consult a Liberal Studies Advisor for specific guidance on how to combine the certificate with various Majors.)

Students who complete the ESMPC, like all prospective elementary level teachers, will still have to pass a state approved test (The CSET, The California Subject Examination for Teachers). The ESMPC helps students to strengthen their grasp of the core subject matter areas of the K-8 curriculum and prepare themselves to pass the CSET. The certificate confers formal recognition that the student has completed the full breadth of ESM coursework needed for effective elementary-level instruction. The certificate demonstrates that the student’s exposure in the subject matter areas extends beyond the minimum standard indicated by the passing of a standardized test.

The ESMPC is awarded at time of graduation to students who have completed all certificate coursework along with any Major degree program. All courses applied to the certificate must be completed with a grade C (2.0) or better. Coursework applied to the certificate may also be applied to fulfill major, minor, and GE requirements. Prospective elementary level teachers will still have to demonstrate subject matter competence by passing a state approved test (CSET) before admission to a credential program.


College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral & Social Sciences (CHABSS)