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Teacher Preparation and Support Department


Teacher Intern Programs

Located on the campus of Taft Middle School
Gramercy Drive, San Diego, CA 92123
Main Line: 858-256-2710    Fax: 858-256-2726 

Teacher Intern Programs

Teacher intern programs offer an alternative pathway to teacher certification for aspiring educators. In California, there are two types of intern programs: district and university. A district intern teacher is enrolled in a district sponsored preliminary credential program; in contrast, a university intern teacher is enrolled in a university preliminary credential program. San Diego Unified School District does not currently have any active district intern programs; however, the district has established partnerships with 11 local universities. Internships may become available when there is a shortage of fully credentialed teachers. If the district has a teaching vacancy they cannot fill with a credentialed teacher, a qualified preliminary credential candidate may be hired as an intern teacher. Presently, the district employs university interns in the areas of Special Education, Science, Math, English and Multiple Subjects with a bilingual authorization.

For interest in a university intern program, please contact the university directly. While there is no guarantee of employment, to express your interest in becoming an intern teacher with San Diego Unified School District, please complete the “Interest Form”. To view the current teacher job posting for San Diego Unified School District, please click on the "Job Opportunities".

For more information, contact Eileen Davis at (858) 256-2710  or edavis@sandi.net 


Frequently Asked Questions (Updated for 2015-2016)


1. What is an internship?

An internship provides the opportunity for qualified candidates to earn their preliminary teaching credential while working as a teacher for San Diego Unified School District. Intern teachers work in paid teaching assignments during the day and complete university coursework and requirements on a part-time basis. Interns receive full salary and benefits.

The university provides the teacher preparation coursework and collaborates with the district to provide a structured system of support. The district assigns each intern teacher a support provider who provides intensive, individualized support. Intern support providers, provide ongoing guidance and assistance to intern teachers in making the transition into the teaching profession and fulfilling all professional responsibilities. Completion of an internship program results in the same credential as is earned through a traditional teacher preparation program.

2. How are intern teachers selected?

Intern teachers are selected when the district has a teacher shortage and cannot fill vacancies with fully credentialed teachers. Enrollment in a university teacher preparation program does not guarantee employment as an intern teacher. Most preliminary credential candidates enrolled in a university program are not hired as intern teachers. The district hires intern teachers solely based on need, therefore, it is sometimes a matter of being at the right place at the right time.

3. What are the qualifications to become an intern teacher?

To qualify for an internship program, an individual must meet both district employment criteria and university admissions standards, including the following:

  • possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • meet university preservice coursework and "intern eligibility" requirements
  • satisfy the basic skills requirement
  • meet the subject matter competence
  • meet the US Constitution requirement
  • obtain character and identification clearance.

4. What is the procedure for becoming an intern teacher in San Diego Unified School District?

Enroll in a university preliminary credential program
Complete university "intern eligibility" requirements
Apply for a position with the district
Get offer of employment from district
Notify the university
Verify eligibility for internship, and apply for university intern credential
Submit proof of university intern credential to district
Sign employment contract offer

5. Does the district hire intern teachers from every university?

No, the district maintains partnerships with 11 universities. The district only hires intern teachers enrolled in credential programs at these partner institutions:


  • Alliant University
  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Brandman University
  • CSU Los Angeles
  • CSU San Marcos
  • National University
  • Point Loma Nazarene University
  • San Diego State University
  • UC San Diego
  • University of San Diego
  • University of Arizona
  • Teach for America 
  • University Partners