Credential Program

Subject Matter Competency

Subject Matter Competency (SMC) is required by credential programs statewide, private and public, for all disciplines. The Subject Matter Program in English is designed for students who wish to pursue a career teaching English in secondary schools, grades 7 through 12. SMC can be attained in two ways: it can be granted by accredited colleges and universities through completion of approved course programs with certain GPA requirements; it can also be attained through state-sanctioned standardized tests.

Method 1: SMC Verification by Accredited Institutions
Subject Matter Competency can be granted by colleges and universities which have been accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Fresno State is an accredited institution, and requires prospective teachers to establish subject matter competency before they can be granted a Single Suject Credential in English. Completion of SMC may be completed by the following options:

Option A: The B.A. in English-Education is designed to include G.E. courses and the required courses to complete both a bachelors degree and establish subject matter competency. Completion of the English Department's Subject Matter Program with a GPA of 2.90 or better constitutes subject matter proficiency. Thus, this option allows students to meet the State's mandated requirements for the Single Subject Credential in English by attaining a Bachelor of Arts in English-Credential option.

  • taken and passed all Core course requirements
  • taken and passed all Breadth course requirements in one of the four options: Literature, the English as a second Language, Drama, or Speech
  • earned a Cumulative GPA of 2.90 or better

Option B: If you need SMC but have already completed a BA, MA, PhD (to include but not limited to a degree in English) click here for the Subject Matter Program course list.

Once attained, subject matter competence clearance guarantees that no credential program can require extra coursework in English.

Method 2: SMC Verification by Examination
Students who have already attained a Bachelor of Arts and wish to establish subject matter competency in English, but do not want to take any more classes can establish subject matter competency by passing the CSET exams. Information about these exams can be found at the Kreman School of Education and Human Development or the university'sTesting Services.

California's teacher credentialing body has determined that standardized testing is another means of assessing subject matter competency. Beginning in January 2003, the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) will be used to determine SMC by examination. Visit the National Evaluations Systems website to find out more about test. A portable-document-format (pdf) version of the Subject Matter Requirements which are covered by the CSET English test is also available.

The Single Subject Credential Program is directed under the Kreman School of Education and Human Development.