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Introductory Subject Matter Authorization (ISMA)

What is the ISMA and what does it allow you to do?

An Introductory Subject Matter Authorization (ISMA) may be added to a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Introductory subjects authorize the holder to teach the subject matter content typically included in curriculum guidelines and textbooks approved for study in grades 9 and below. An employer may assign a teacher with an introductory authorization to teach a class in which the curriculum is for grades 9 and below but the students in the class may be in grades 10-12.

What subjects are available to add as an ISMA?

  • Introductory Art
  • Introductory English
  • Introductory Language Other than English
  • Introductory Mathematics
  • Introductory Music
  • Introductory Science
  • Introductory Social Science

How do I get started?

We recommend that you start as soon as possible. Our Liberal studies curriculum with 20 units of concenration can be aligned to cover the academic requirements as part of your undergraduate degree. In many cases the course in our major, GE support and emphasis come 1 or 2 courses short for an ISMA. Many of our ISMA have been worked with faculty of different department and we have recommendation listed for the students. A candidate may request the Multiple Subject Credential and the authorization at the same time.

What courses should I take?

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) requires 48-quarter units in college-level, non-remedial courses passed with a grade of C or better. In those 48 units there are some specific content requirements.

What is the difference between a Supplementary Authorization and an Introductory Subject Matter Authorization?

The ISMA requires 48 units of quarter credit and makes the holder “Highly Qualified” under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation in the state of California. The Supplementary Authorization requires only 30 units but it is not NCLB compliant

Where do I get more information?

Come to the Liberal Studies office or see an advisor.

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