Preliminary Credential - Definition & Meaning

A Preliminary Credential is a type of teaching credential issued to individuals who have completed the initial requirements for teacher certification but have not yet fulfilled all the requirements for a full or clear teaching credential.

In many teacher credentialing systems, including California's, the process of becoming a fully credentialed teacher involves several stages:

Preliminary Credential: This is the first level of certification that allows individuals to teach in a classroom. It is typically issued after completing a teacher preparation program, which includes coursework and student teaching. The Preliminary Credential is valid for a specific period (usually five years in California) during which the credential holder must complete additional requirements to move to the next stage.

Clear Credential: To attain a Clear Credential, teachers typically need to complete a teacher induction program, receive positive evaluations, and demonstrate their teaching competence. Once they meet these requirements, their Preliminary Credential is upgraded to a Clear Credential, which is renewable and allows for a more extended teaching career.

The Preliminary Credential is an essential step for individuals aspiring to become certified teachers, as it allows them to gain classroom experience and work towards full certification.

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