Humboldt State University

School of Education

Tips for Credential Applicants

Click on the name of each topic to go to that section:

CPR Training

Your CPR training needs to take place at an in-person class, and it needs to cover adult, infant, and child CPR. Online CPR training will not be accepted. CPR cards need to be valid throughout the duration of your time at your placement school (approximately end of August through middle/end of June). You won’t need a CPR card until the credential program starts, so with this in mind, it’s usually wise to complete your CPR training in July prior to entering the program.

Depending on the company conducting your CPR training, your CPR card may be valid for one or two years. Red Cross CPR cards are good for one year from the date of training, and CPR cards through Medic One or the American Heart Association are good for two years. Locally, both the Humboldt Fire Department (707-445-4900 or and the Red Cross in Eureka (707-443-4521 or  frequently offer CPR training. You are not required to complete First Aid Training.
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Using College Placement Test Scores instead of CBEST

In 2009, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing approved a new option of meeting the Basic Skills Requirement. Previously, the only way Secondary Education applicants had to meet the requirement was through the CBEST. Now you can also use college placement test scores to meet the Basic SKills Requirement, which exempts you from taking CBEST.

That being said, we highly recommend taking the CBEST instead of using placement test scores for several reasons. First off, the CBEST is relatively inexpensive ($40), and is valid throughout your entire lifetime; you’ll never need to retake it. Secondly, before you’re hired as a teacher many schools will ask to see your CBEST passing certificate, so it’s easier to have that ready than to verify your test scores.

If you want to use college placement test scores instead, you will need to contact the program coordinator for advising beforehand to find out if you qualify. For Special Education, contact Peggy Kirkpatrick at 707-826-5795. For Elementary Education and Secondary Education, contact Bryn Coriell at 707-826-5108.

One important thing to note is that not all college placement exams qualify. You need to have passing scores on either the Early Assessment Program (EAP) Math and English sections or passing scores on the CSU system’s Entry Level Math (ELM) and English Placement Test (EPT). Please keep in mind that you can’t combine sections from different exams… You need to have passed both the English and Math components of EAP or both the ELM and EPT.

If you have questions about how to reorder test score reports, please see this document for more information. If you are having original score reports reprinted, we highly recommend ordering at least two copies, as you’ll be required to turn in one to the credential program and you should keep one for your own records.
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Certificate of Clearance

Please apply for your Certificate of Clearance early! We request that you have this completed by February 1st, prior to turning in your credential program application for SED or EED. A Certificate of Clearance can take a fair amount of time to process – sometimes 2 months or more – and if you have any prior arrests, it can take months longer. If your Certificate of Clearance has not been issued by the time the credential program begins, we cannot admit you.

Don’t forget to complete Step #2 of the Clearance Instructions (click on name to view) after you have your fingerprints scanned. If you forget that step, your Certificate of Clearance will never be processed. Also, be sure to check back online at the CTC’s website for the status of your Certificate of Clearance on a regular basis while it’s processing (directions are in Step #3 of the Clearance Instructions). Don’t just assume that your Certificate of Clearance is being processed…  Oftentimes the CTC will come across an issue that you will need to fix in order to be cleared (such as fingerprints that were scanned improperly), but the only way for you to find this out is to look up your status on their website. Be proactive about this.
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Meeting Computer Competency

If you’re interested in saving money, here are a few pointers… If you’re currently a full-time student here at HSU, take EDUC 285 before you graduate. That way you can complete the computer requirement without paying anything extra beyond full-time tuition. If you’re currently a student elsewhere, check with your college/university to see if they offer an equivalent course you can enroll in.  (Remember: any equivalent course must state that it meets Level 1 competency,  approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing – check with us if you’re not sure.)

If you’re not currently a student, an inexpensive route to meeting computer competency is taking EDUC 120 online at College of the Sequoias (; the cost is about $73. San Jose State University also offers a Technology Exam for around $65,  but you have to go to their campus to take it in person.

Taking both subtests of the CSET: Preliminary Educational Technology (PET) exam is another option; it costs $210 total. Keep in mind that if you are planning on taking the PET exam to meet computer competency, the PET exam is not offered on every test date, so you will need to check the CSET schedule and plan ahead.
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We highly recommend taking CBEST and CSET early. If you wait until the last test date and fail to pass these tests, we cannot admit you to the program. Also, if you start early on taking the CSET,  you may break up the subtests and take them on different dates; this allows you to make use of the entire testing period for one subtest. Be sure to hang on to your CBEST and CSET original score reports, which will be mailed to you. You will need to turn these in to the Credential Programs Office after you are accepted.
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Meeting the US Constitution Requirement

In order to receive a teaching credential, you will need to show proof of passing a college level exam or course that includes at least 2 semester units on the principals and provisions of the US Constitution.

Here at HSU, the qualifying US Constitution courses are: PSCI 110, PSCI 210, PSCI 359, and PSCI 410. At College of the Redwoods (our local community college), PSCI 10 is also an approved equivalent course. You may also take an equivalent course from another California community college or university.

If you haven’t taken a Constitution course as part of your undergraduate work, either taking a course at a community college or taking a US Constitution exam are very cost-effective routes. Many community colleges also offer an online Constitution course option.

You can contact HSU’s Testing Center at 707-826-3611 to sign up to take the Constitution exam here on campus. County Offices of Education throughout California also offer Constitution exams. The Humboldt County Office of Education can be reached at 707-445-7000. Notre Dam de Namur University also offers an approved online Constitution Exam at Currently, the cost is $85.

If you’re planning on meeting the Constitution requirement via exam, please plan ahead to ensure that the test date you’ve selected allows time for processing and grading of your exam. HSU’s Testing Center generally doesn’t offer the exam over the summer. Once you’ve passed the Constitution exam, you’ll need to turn in an official letter from the testing center verifying that you passed.
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Please note:

In order to receive your teaching credential, you will have to sign a statement agreeing to the following:

Oath or Affirmation of Loyalty to State – Nation and to be Disaster Service Workers

All certificated employees must affirm that they support the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitution of the State of California,  and the laws of the United States and the State of California. This oath or affirmation is a licensing requirement of Education Code 44334 and must be filed with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

All public employees are declared by law to be disaster service workers and thus shall take the oath or affirmation required for disaster workers before beginning employment with a district. In the event of natural, manmade or war-caused emergencies which result in conditions of disaster or extreme peril to life, property and resources, all district employees are subject to disaster service activities as assigned to them by their supervisors or by law. (Government Code 3100-3102)