The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) has recently opened the Golden State Teacher Grant, an education grant that will help prospective teachers cover the costs of earning a California teaching credential. The grant supports soon-to-be teachers by providing one-time grant of up to $20,000 in financial aid to help to pay for their teacher preparation program.

“The Golden State Teacher Grant is an exceptional opportunity for future educators,” said Dr. Trisha Sugita, Program Coordinator of Chapman University’s MA in Special Education Program. “California is facing a significant teacher shortage, and this grant is key to ensuring our special education communities have access to the best teachers, while reducing the burden of student debt.”

Who Qualifies for the Golden State Teacher Grant?

The goal of the Golden State Teacher Grant (GSTG) is to place educators in “high need” fields at “priority schools,” as determined by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).

Due in part to California’s emergency response and state budget revisions vital to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, at this time the GSTG program awards are only available to students currently enrolled in a teacher preparation program to earn a credential in Special Education.

Eligible applicants must be enrolled in a teacher preparation program at a CTC-approved institution, such as Chapman University. They must then commit to teach in the field of Special Education at a priority school for four years after completing their teaching credential program.

Further Reading: All You Need to Know about California Teaching Credentials


What Are the Grant Requirements?

Before accepting the Golden State Teacher Grant, all applicants must agree to the terms and conditions of a Teaching Agreement. In addition to completing the program requirements and passing state credentialing exams, the Teaching Agreement requires recipients to fulfill several conditions:

  • Teach in a priority school. The grant requires students to teach in California in a priority school for at least four of the first five years after completing their credential program. Priority schools are those with a high percentage of teachers with emergency-type permits and/or low-income students. A detailed list of priority schools is available on the CTC website.
  • Instruct in a high-need field. To receive the grant funding, recipients must also commit to teach in the Special Education field.
  • Maintain good academic standing. Grant recipients must maintain good academic standing while they are enrolled in their CTC-approved teacher preparation program.

As with most grant agreements, if Golden State Teacher Grant recipients do not fulfill each of these obligations within the allotted time frame, they must repay the grant reward in part or in full. See the GSTG website for more details.

What Are the Steps to Apply?

As a CTC-accredited institution, Chapman University’s Attallah College of Educational Studies is proud to be a Golden State Teacher Grant program. Here are the steps to apply for the grant and begin a career in education at Chapman:

  1. Apply to the Chapman University MA in Special Education program. Note applications for the next cohort, beginning in Fall 2021, are due February 1, 2021. Visit the MA in Special Education webpage for application requirements.
  2. Be accepted into and enroll in Chapman University.
  3. Apply for the Golden State Teacher Grant.
  4. California Student Aid Commission will notify Chapman’s Financial Aid Office of your accepted application.
  5. Chapman’s Attallah College of Educational Studies will notify you once your grant funds become available.

Students already enrolled in Chapman’s MA in Special Education and Education Specialist credential programs should follow steps 3 through 5.

“This grant is a great financial resource,” said Dr. Sugita. “The Golden State Teacher Grant will help prospective special education teachers fund their education and prepare them to make a difference in the schools that need them most.”

Is Other Financial Aid Available?

Most Chapman graduate students receive a partial tuition fellowship, which is often underwritten by our generous donors.

With small class sizes and early fieldwork opportunities, Chapman’s teaching credential programs will give you the tools to build inclusive communities of families and colleagues.


Visit the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to learn more about the program and to apply for the Golden State Teacher Grant.

For more information about the teacher education and other graduate programs at Chapman, visit the Attallah College of Educational Studies or our Teaching Credential Programs websites.