In addition to engaging in the education and psychology coursework listed under Program Requirements, teacher certification candidates must also meet the following requirements. They must also align their major coursework to the State's requirements for teachers in their specific subject area. For information about courses required in the various certification areas, select the appropriate certification area to the left (English, Mathematics, etc.).
Teacher certification candidates must gain extracurricular teaching experience, ideally working with middle or high school students (through a summer teaching experience, such as Summerbridge, or through a tutoring program). Certification candidates may meet this requirement by:
a) [Preferred] Playing the role of a teacher, teaching assistant, or coach for at least sixty extracurricular hours, working with groups of children in a learning environment. During this time, the certification candidate should be engaged in planning, preparing for, and carrying out activities for groups of children.
b) Taking an additional education course for which fieldwork in a school or other learning setting is a requirement.
c) Extending the student teaching experience from the minimum requirement of twelve weeks to fourteen weeks, allowing an extra two weeks at the start of the experience to apprentice with their cooperating teacher before taking on full responsibility for teaching.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that certification candidates meet the following course or test requirements. NOTE: Alumni/ae enrolled in the Teacher Education Program as post-baccalaureate students do NOT need to meet the math and English course requirements.
Second semester sophomores or post-bacc applicants must have an entrance GPA of at least a 3.0 (some exceptions apply). To be recommended for certification, students must have an exit GPA of at least a 3.0.
Undergraduates only - the State has exempted post-baccs from this requirement: If an undergraduate scored below a 1550 on the SAT, or if he or she scored below a 500 on any individual section of the SAT (Critical Reading, Writing, Mathematics), the student must take the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) in reading, math, and writing. Students must pass this assessment before the start of senior year. For information, go to http://www.pa.nesinc.com/. Note that a composite score of 23 on the ACT Plus Writing accompanied by a combined English/Writing score of 22 and a Math score of 21 will also exempt you from the PAPA.
If the student does not pass this basic skills assessment before the start of senior year, the student will not be able to continue on the teacher certification track as an undergraduate. He or she may apply by March 25 of senior year to enroll in the post-baccalaureate program for the following academic year.
We advise teacher certification candidates to take the following test prior to student teaching. The PA Department of Education will not approve a certification applications until it receives the applicant's passing score report.