(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that a credential candidate enrolled in a credential preparation program receive reasonable time to complete the program without meeting new requirements, including, but not limited to, requirements added by statutes, regulations, or commission standards, after the candidate’s enrollment in the program. Further, to ensure that all candidates for a credential receive reasonable information and advice as they proceed through their program, the Legislature finds and declares that it is incumbent upon credential preparation programs to inform candidates of new requirements and extension provisions available to eligible candidates.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) “Enrolled” refers to an individual who, on or after January 1, 2002, continuously participates in and is working toward completing the requirements for a program that meets the minimum requirements for a California preliminary multiple or single subject teaching credential as specified in Section 44259. Whether an individual is enrolled shall be subject to verification by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
(2) “Continuously enrolled” refers to an individual who has begun a teacher preparation program and does not have a break in that participation that exceeds a period of 18 months.
(c) The commission shall adopt regulations to provide a credential candidate enrolled in a commission-accredited preparation program, including, but not limited to, an internship program as defined in Article 7.5 (commencing with Section 44325) and Article 3 (commencing with Section 44450), a professional preparation program as defined in Article 7 (commencing with Section 44320), or an integrated program of professional preparation as defined in Section 44259.1 with a grace period to complete the program without meeting new requirements, including, but not limited to, requirements added by statutes, regulations, or commission standards, after the candidate’s enrollment in the program. The commission shall also ensure through standards and accreditation procedures that credential preparation programs provide credential candidates with information about new requirements and extension provisions as outlined in this subdivision and subdivisions (d) and (e).
(1) The commission shall adopt regulations that provide a credential candidate enrolled in a commission-accredited preparation program time of not less than 24 months after enrollment in the program, during which time new or amended statutes, regulations, and commission standards that become effective and are imposed on credential candidates after the candidate’s enrollment date shall not apply to that candidate.
(2) The commission shall allow a credential candidate an extension of time in addition to the time specified pursuant to paragraph (1) to complete a credential program under the statutes, regulations, and commission standards in place at the time of the candidate’s enrollment if the candidate can demonstrate extenuating circumstances, including, but not limited to, personal or family illness, bereavement, or financial hardship and develops a plan, in consultation with the credential preparation program, for continued progress toward completion of the preparation program.
(d) The commission shall maintain a list of candidates who are allowed an extended time period to complete the program under the statutes, regulations, and commission standards in place at the time of the candidates’ enrollment prior to the effective date of a new or amended statute, regulation, or standard. This list shall include the projected date of program completion for each candidate.
(e) (1)A credential candidate enrolled in an integrated program of professional preparation pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 44259.1 is not subject to any new requirements added by statute, regulation, or commission standards if that candidate is continuously enrolled in the program, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), and does not change the type of credential or program he or she is pursuing once enrolled.
(2) A credential candidate continuously enrolled in an integrated program of professional preparation pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 44259.1 who has completed all requirements necessary to begin the student teaching component of his or her program shall be eligible to receive an extension of 12 months, if necessary, to complete the outstanding requirements that were in place when that credential candidate began the preparation program, and shall not be subject to any new requirements added by statute, regulation, or commission standards, once that candidate begins the student teaching portion of his or her program.
(3) This subdivision does not limit the ability of a candidate to seek additional time to complete a credential pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c).
(4) By June 30, 2004, the commission shall report to the education policy committees in each house of the Legislature on the success of the integrated program of professional development pursuant to Section 44259.1 toward preparing teacher candidates, including, but not limited to, the number of students admitted to the teacher education component in each program, the number of students who have completed all course requirements, including student teaching, and who have applied for a credential, the number of students applying for and receiving an extension pursuant to subdivision (e), and the information collected pursuant to subdivision (d).
(f) This section does not supersede subdivision (h) of Section 44259.
(g) A modification of a credentialing examination by the commission that is made as the result of a validity study or a passing standard study shall not be considered a new requirement for purposes of this section.
(h) If credential preparation coursework that a credential candidate has not yet taken is modified, the candidate shall take the modified coursework instead of the previously required coursework unless the modified coursework is not readily available, the modified coursework would result in an increased cost to the candidate, or completion of the modified coursework would delay the candidate’s completion of the credential preparation program.
(i) Once a candidate has received a preliminary California teaching credential pursuant to Section 44259 and is employed as the teacher of record in a California public school, the candidate shall not be subject to any new requirements for completing the induction phase required to obtain the professional clear teaching credential pursuant to Section 44279.4, for a period not to exceed the length of time provided for the preliminary teaching credential pursuant to Section 44251.