Distinctives: What makes BTEP unique?
Q: Among the many options for entering teaching, what makes Berkeley’s teacher education program distinctive?
A: BTEP is at a moment of monumental change in Berkeley’s GSE where we are bringing to life the commitments and principles in our BTEP Identity Statement. We invite you to courageously participate in our efforts toward collective social justice, continually transforming who we are in BTEP and who we are in solidarity with students, families, and communities. We are a community where we interrogate our positionality and act from a deliberate awareness of how we have internalized and are embedded in systems of oppression. How will you channel your righteous indignation about the injustices against peoples across the world and against the earth itself with the fortitude of dialogue, humility, and hope to transform schools in the Bay Area?
Q: What is involved in the Masters of Arts component of BTEP?
A: Currently, all students enrolled in BTEP pursue both a teaching credential (Multiple Subject, English, History/Social Science, Math, or Science) and a Masters of Arts in Education from UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education. In the program's 15 months (Summer, Fall, Spring, Summer), BTEP students complete all requirements for receiving a California teaching credential, including coursework and student-teaching. Along the way, BTEP students also learn valuable practices and stances for teacher inquiry and research. They use these as they complete a MA project in which they are doing research on their own teaching and classrooms. Along with earning an MA, BTEP students learn to pursue evidence-based inquiry on their teaching that is vital to their continued professional growth and leadership.
Q: How does BTEP make the most of Berkeley’s location in the Bay Area?
A: The Bay Area is a population center and hub of diversity, innovation, and social change. Like many urban centers, it is also a region whose schools often reflect the inequities and systemic injustices of what some have called “the Opportunity Gap” (Carter & Welner, 2013) in education. Respecting the educational debt owed to indigenous, minoritized, migrant, and marginalized communities, BTEP's Identity Statement calls for us to cultivate teachers who “strive to fulfill ongoing struggles for education that are genuinely for the public good” and that confront the “oppression, colonization, and dehumanization” that schools have been part of, even as we imagine education as “avenues for liberation, transformation, and justice.” And for the economic, political, and cultural futures of our Bay Area communities, we strive to “create spaces that build on students’ intuitions, creativity, and capacity for joint meaning making to develop their agency as historians, mathematicians, scientists, readers, and writers. We integrate the arts, humanities, and social theory as we teach young people who imaginatively navigate and meld diverse social and digital spaces as democratic agents in an increasingly pluralistic society.”
Experience: What is the BTEP teacher preparation experience like?
Q: What is a routine day like for a student in the BTEP program?
BTEP students experience a gradual immersion into teaching. On most school days, BTEP teacher candidates start their day at the local school site of their Cooperating Teacher, the mentor who supports their student-teaching field placement. Depending on the stage of the field placement, candidates might be observing, co-teaching, or lead-teaching classes of students in the grade level or subject area for which they pursue a credential. As student teachers, BTEP candidates make gradual and guided transitions from working with individuals and small groups to whole-class instruction. Supported by a Field Supervisor, these teacher candidates integrate theory and refine teaching praxis from their BTEP coursework and practicum support, their Cooperating Teacher and host school's curriculum and instructional resources, and their own emerging professional practice and reflection.
Then, on most afternoons, BTEP teacher candidates come to the Graduate School of Education at 2121 Berkeley Way with other BTEP MA+credential students, learning under professors and faculty who merge research-based theory and applied practice to prepare teachers who embody equity and excellence. BTEP courses prepare teaching candidates with the proficiencies and dispositions to be critical social justice educators for their students and subject areas, meeting California's rigorous credentialing requirements while addressing central questions of justice, access, and learning at the heart of identity.
Q: What is the BTEP credential year schedule?
A: BTEP cohorts begin in June for BTEP Summer Sessions courses that launch the uniquely-designed BTEP experience of teacher preparation. These summer experiences extend to mid-August, when teachers begin their student teaching placements and their Fall coursework. In Fall and Spring, BTEP courses follow UC Berkeley's academic calendar.
BTEP Credential Year:
SUMMER (1st): Summer Coursework
FALL: Student Teaching and Fall Coursework, MA work
SPRING: Student Teaching, Fall Coursework, Certification/Credential Completion, MA work
SUMMER (2nd): MA Completion and additional supplemental authorization courses
In their student-teaching fieldwork, candidates follow the public school calendar for the year, which is longer than the University's academic year. This allows them direct experience with every aspect of each teaching season, from the emotions of the opening of school through the steadiness of winter to the final challenges of May/June. This ongoing classroom experience is designed to allow students to connect theory and research at the University to the reality of schools at each point in the program.
Q: Do I need a car to participate in the program?
A: While it is not necessary to have a car, your options for student teaching placements will be enhanced if you do. BTEP also works with schools accessible by public transportation and works with teacher candidates to determine field placements that fit their needs.
Q: Is it possible to be paid for student teaching? Is there an internship option in BE3?
A: BTEP is an advanced degree program as well as a credential program and does not include an internship option. There is currently no provision for extending time in the program with a reduced course load to allow employment in a public school while completing the program.
Before Applying: How can I prepare for BTEP?
Q: Before applying, how can I prepare myself to become a strong candidate for BTEP?
A: To learn more about the BTEP program, we invite you to watch our recorded webinar and attend a Q&A Session.
You can also prepare for a future application for BTEP by:
-If necessary, taking the prerequisite exams: the CBEST and the appropriate CSET tests for your subject area (Elementary, Math, Science, or English). Note: The GRE is not required for BTEP applicants. Passing CBEST and the majority of CSET subtest scores must be submitted by the time admissions decisions are made in late February. See information on the How to Apply page for details about possible required exams, as well as how to satisfy these requirements through undergraduate major or coursework.
-gaining experience in classrooms as a volunteer, assistant, aide, tutor, or other professional role.
Q: What is the timeline for the application process?
Q: Do I need public school experience? What about private school or summer camp experience? What about tutoring and babysitting?
A: Experience working with children or youth is expected of all applicants. Paid or volunteer work in a public school is highly recommended so that we know candidates have an understanding of what work as a public school teacher entails. Experiences with children in other settings or other types of teaching experiences will enhance your application in conjunction with experiences in schools. The quality and extent of those experiences is a factor BTEP considers in admissions. Some students have substituted private school, summer camp, or other work with groups of children for experience working in a public school. While we value this work, Berkeley is a public university and our commitments are to prepare teachers for public school classroom.
Individual tutoring and/or baby-sitting are generally insufficient to give a genuine impression of the career of a classroom teacher.
Applications, Interviews, and Admissions: What is the process for applying and entering BTEP?
Q: What kinds of recommendation letters are most helpful?
A: Letters of recommendation are very important. You must have one academic letter, another describing your work with children, and a third which should be used to strengthen the overall picture of you as a potential teacher and graduate student.
Q: How do I answer the question that asks me to list faculty whose research is a part of particular interest to me?
Q: When are interviews scheduled and what is the interview format? How will I be notified if I am selected for an interview? What if I cannot come to Berkeley for an interview?
A: Interviews are usually conducted between late January and mid-February. We interview a group of applicants at each session. The first half hour is a group orientation, followed by small group and pathway exercises, and then applicants rotate through a series of focused interviews.
If you are selected for an interview, the program administrative assistant will email you and/or telephone the phone number listed on your application to schedule an appointment. Please make sure that the admissions office is kept up to date on your contact information, particularly your email address.
Although it is strongly recommended that you come to Berkeley for your interview, if you are absolutely unable to do so, we can offer the chance to be join a Zoom-based online video interview.
Q: When will I be notified about being accepted or denied?
Q: Can I defer my admission?
Q: Can I make an appointment to talk with BTEP faculty before filing my application?
Funding: What are the program's costs, and what fellowships and financial aid are available?
Q: How much does BTEP cost to attend?
A: You can find out about BTEP's current estimated cost here.
Program costs are subject to changes based on yearly graduate tuition and other fees.
Q: Is financial aid available?
A: Yes! BTEP students receive several forms of financial aid and most of our students receive partial funding. When you apply to BTEP, you are automatically considered for several fellowships for teacher preparation candidates. Students who complete the FAFSA also receive loan and grant offers.
The first step in obtaining financial aid from UC Berkeley is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The application is available online at: FAFSA.ed.gov
For more information on financial aid available to graduate students, please see the Graduate Division's guide to Financial Aid (link is external) and the Financial Aid Office's Graduate Award Guide (link is external).
Q: What can I expect to earn as a teacher? Is it a sustainable career in the Bay Area?
A. BTEP graduates are in great demand in the job market. Typically, graduates have their choice of multiple job offers. By graduating with a masters degree and between 54 and 62 units, they are able to begin teaching at a higher salary. Contact school districts directly to get the most current salary information.