Bard's core objective is to provide our committed and visionary graduate students with broad preparation for a dynamic career in education, including roles that may or may not require specific state-issued credentials. Candidates who have clearly identified public school teaching as central to that career should meet early with a Bard MAT advisor to consider the costs, merit, and benefits of various short or long-term credentialing pathways offered outside of our program.
The Bard curriculum shares priorities promoted by our state's teacher credentialing commission and includes coursework and assignments modeled on many of the California standards for the teacher profession. However, in response to the growing teacher shortage and proliferation of alternative pathways into the teaching profession, Bard MAT is not currently configured to recommend graduates for single subject credential. (The multiple subject music credential continues to be offered through programming organized under the Longy School of Music of Bard College).
The California teacher shortage has, nonetheless, significantly expanded options for candidates who wish to contribute immediately addressing this pressing need for educators. The current circumstances may prove ideal for such candidates now seeking relevant work but who remain unsure about what credential(s) best align with future career direction.
Preliminary Credentials and the Teaching Shortage
Prospective students interested in Bard's unique graduate program and MAT degree who have made a clear determination to pursue a multiple subject (elementary) or single subject (secondary) credential should consult with our advising office to consider options. For example, candidates may wish to meet some or all credential requirements through an expedited online credentialing program before or after completing the Bard MAT program. In some circumstances, co-enrollment in an ongoing credentialing program may prove beneficial and feasible. Some Bard students can also begin teaching in high need schools under short-term permits or through intern programs that ultimately lead to a preliminary credential.
Our advising office offers limited logistical support to admitted students seeking teaching employment, concurrently or after completing the Bard MAT program through a Provisional Internship Permit (PIP), Short Term Staff Permit (STSP), District Intern Program, or University Intern Program. Many of these employment opportunities and credentialing pathways are coordinated by hiring principals or districts that formally apply for difficult-to-staff status schools. Candidates for employment in these schools do not require an immediate preliminary credential but must still meet several eligibility requirements, including passing a basic skills test and demonstrating subject matter proficiency.
Moreover, several online intern programs offer the most efficient and cost-effective way to obtain a preliminary credential. For example, Brandman and Alliant offers both standard and early completion intern programs that can be completed in as little as 8 months while a candidate is fully employed. In some cases, applicants to these and other abbrieviated intern programs may be able to transfer relevant course and fieldwork credit from Bard.
For more information about credentialing during the teacher shortage see our Teacher Shortage Memorandum or Credential Option Questionaire or the CTC Administrator's Assignment Manual.