Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get my Masters along with a Teaching Credential through the TEP?

Yes. An optional Master's Degree is offered concurrently with the credential. During the credential program, M.Ed. candidates are enrolled in a seminar course throughout the year where they learn to design a classroom-based research project, collect and analyze data, and compose the theoretical framework for their work.

M.Ed. candidates will give a formal presentation of their M.Ed. project to a panel of university and school-based educators, as well as community members and senate faculty. Teacher Candidates can opt to complete the M.Ed. degree the summer following the end of the credential program or they can do so within three years of graduating from the program (i.e. all degree requirements must be completed within four years of admission to the TEP).

Why should I attend the TEP?

Please see the Reasons to Apply page for the top reasons to choose our program, along with our Graduate Values and Outcomes, and alumni perspectives.

To schedule an appointment to discuss your questions specific to each of our three credentials programs (ESC, MST, SST) please email the cohort coordinators.

The TEP office staff can also assist you with general program questions and all application questions during office hours: Monday-Friday 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm.  

How much does the TEP cost?

Please visit the Financial Assistance page for a California resident tuition and campus-based fee estimate of the TEP. The tuition estimates assume that a student is completing both the credential and the M.Ed. degree (two summer sessions and three academic quarters). A student that is only completing the credential would not complete, and therefore not be charged tuition and fees, for the second summer session.

For the TEP, there are additional application and test fees, as listed in the Application Handbooks.

What financial assistance is available?

There are many different types of financial aid loans, grants, and private fellowships available for students in the TEP. Please take a look at the Financial Assistance page for more details.

How long does it take to complete the TEP?

Our program is a 13-month, full-time program that begins in summer and ends the following June (if you are only obtaining a credential) or July (if you are also pursuing the M.Ed. degree).

What does a typical week in the TEP look like?

The summer is different than the school year, but as soon as the first day of K-12 school begins, you will be in your student teaching classrooms in the morning and at UCSB in the afternoons and evenings. We follow the K-12 calendar rather than the UCSB calendar.

During fall quarter you spend 3-4 mornings in the classrooms and take courses at UCSB in the afternoons and evenings. For approximately 3 nights a week, courses run until 7 PM and until 2-3 PM the other two days. In winter and spring, the time in spent in the classrooms increases and the time spent in courses at UCSB decreases.

Will I need a car for transportation to my student teaching placement?

Yes, we strongly and highly recommend a car, as you will commute between your home, your school placement site, and the UCSB campus daily. You will have other TEP students at your school site and we always encourage carpooling if possible.

Will I be able to work outside the TEP?

Because the TEP is a 13-month, full-time, intensive program, there is little opportunity for students to work during this year. Sometimes, flexible, short term positions (over holidays or during the weekend) are feasible for some students. However, our alumni do not recommend it.

After completion of the TEP, what is the likelihood of getting a job?

Our graduates are highly sought after. We have school districts calling often to recruit each spring, and some visit us to meet with our Teacher Candidates. Likewise, alumni forward to us various openings at their school sites located throughout California.

Students wishing to work in declining enrollment areas (such as Santa Barbara) will have a more difficult time securing a position, as these districts often do not make final decisions until August (and sometimes even after school has begun!).

When you graduate, you will join an alumni group of successful teachers that are well prepared for their first year and who give UCSB's TEP the reputation of excellence it enjoys.

How many students are in the TEP cohorts each year?

The TEP has around 100 total students each year: up to 12 in the ESC-Special Ed cohort, up to 50 in the MST-Elementary cohort, and up to 50 in the SST-Secondary cohort (10-12 students in each content area of English, History/Social Science, Math, Science, and World Language). 

Who do you partner with for student teacher placements?

A unique feature of the program is our partnership with local schools, which provide teacher candidates with opportunities to become involved in all aspects of the school life. Our partner schools share a vision of excellence for students from diverse, ethnic, linguistic academic and economic backgrounds.

Students are placed in classrooms, where they are closely supervised, for the full academic year so they learn about practice in practice. University supervisors are assigned to a school campus and work closely with cooperating teachers to mentor teacher candidates. 

How should I prepare for the TEP?

The following are some things you should think about no matter where you are in the process of thinking of becoming a teacher:

1. Find the right program for you:  Choosing your teacher preparation program is a very important decision and not as easy as one might think. There are many different models to choose from and you need to know what to look for and what questions to ask in order to find the best program for you. We discuss your options in our Information Meetings.

2. Visit our Program:  You are always welcome to talk with our faculty, visit our classrooms, and discuss your options. Please contact the Cohort Coordinator for the cohort you are interested in applying to (ESC, MST, SST) to schedule a visit. 

3. Read through our Application Handbook and FAQ pages:  We encourage you to download the Application Handbook for the subject area you plan to apply and teach in (ESC, MST, SST) and refer to it for your application requirement needs. Our application and program FAQ pages are also a great resource for the most frequently asked questions.  

4. Take state tests ASAP:  California applicants to a teaching credential program must pass a basic skills test (CBEST) and subject matter tests (CSET subtests) in the content area they are planning to teach. Do not wait to take these exams! State tests are offered only four times in an application cycle for the TEP and many candidates need to retake portions of these tests. Allow yourself enough time so that lack of a passing score on these tests does not hamper your potential admission to the program. The Application Handbooks provide detailed information about these state test requirements.

5. Complete your Pre-professional Experience:  Applicants must complete a minimum of 45 pre-professional hours prior to the start of the program. 15 of the hours are due by the application deadline, and the remaining 30 are due by July 1st. Some students already have this experience and simply need it documented. Others need a placement for this. In both cases, please see UCSB's Pre-professional Program for more information.

6. If possible, work on Program Required Courses:  Students will have the opportunity to complete the courses below during their first summer session of the TEP. However, if students complete these courses in advance, they will have a lighter course load during their first summer session. 

If you are not a UCSB undergraduate, please contact the TEP office staff to discuss equivalent courses at your campus.

If you are a UCSB undergraduate, the following courses can be part of your undergraduate course of study:

All prospective students:  Health Education (at UCSB: ED 191W)
For prospective ESC-Special Ed students only:  Human Development (at UCSB: ED 111 or Psych 105)