Frequently Asked Questions

It will be helpful to read these FAQs to get some background information.  Then go the CDEA or CETA weblinks,  Contact your local Community College or 4 year institution and find out if they will be offering dance or theatre education classes.

It is possible the first students could enter a dance or theatre credential program in Academic Year 2021, but not sooner.

  • Credential programs should start the course approval process for the necessary methods courses to be included in their programs.
  • Undergraduate programs and community college partners should reading the new standards and determining how their education courses align with them.

The Commission for Teacher Credentialing (CTC) is doing all the technical work needed to get the credentials activated.

Maybe.  (They are called CSET tests.)  If you receive a bachelor’s degree from a “waiver” undergraduate program then no.  If you already have a dance or theatre degree then yes.  The requirements for waiver programs have not been established yet, that is part of the technical work being done by the CTC.  In the past it has been a lengthy bureaucratic process but the CTC has discussed making the requirements easier.

Not yet, the tests are still under development.  However, it would be helpful to be familiar with the new California Arts Standards since the material on the CSETs must be drawn from the standards.

According to the Legislation (SB 916) you can continue to teach dance and theatre.  However, you will not automatically receive a dance or theatre credential.  If you want to add a dance or theatre credential, you will need to take a one semester methods course in a teaching credential program AND pass the CSETs. 

There is no way of guessing.  An HR Department may value experience over all else, or they may need to be educated that your PE or English credential allows you to teach dance or theatre.  Most California counties have a large teacher shortage now and in the foreseeable future.

These are still the designated programs for dance and theatre, so they will allow you to teach in dance or theatre.  Some people recommend that your job prospects are improved if you hold two credentials because a school district can hire you to teach PE and dance or English and theatre while you build your arts program.  This likely to be true in smaller or rural districts.  In order to add a second credential, you will need to take the CSET in the other content area.

No.  Credentialed teachers in California must have gone through a credential program.  Having a BA, BFA, MA, MFA, PhD, or DFA does not count.  Teaching artists are often excellent teachers, but Education Code requires that teachers also have training in Special Education, Emergent Bilinguals, Education Code, Educational Foundations, etc.  The only possible exception is if you have been teaching dance or theatre in a private school for six or more years.  More information is at

Salaries vary county to county.  Education websites state beginning California teacher salaries in the neighborhood of $45,000 to $50,000.  But benefits and salary vary widely.  For more information see

The new standards are based on the National Core Arts Standards   Media Arts is included as the fifth arts discipline.  There are eleven Anchor Standards that are divided into four categories: Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Responding, and Connecting. 

Yes, it is currently being written at the California Department of Education.  Information about the process can be found at  . It is a transparent process and public input is welcome.

The California Department of Education regulates all pk-12 public schools in California.  It is responsible for writing standards and Frameworks.  It is headed by an elected State Superintendent (currently Tony Thurmond) and an appointed State Board of Education. 

The CTC is a state agency and must obey protocols and statutes.  These include time for comment, approvals, meetings, reliability testing for exams, checking for bias, etc.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.  It is the state agency that licenses all public school pk-12 teachers in California and accredits all teacher credentialing programs.  It is a separate agency from the CDE.

The California State University (CSU) system is around $10,000 in tuition and fees for a one year program.  The UC and private institutions will cost more.

It’s a long story.  They’re back and that’s what’s important.