In addition to engaging in the education and psychology coursework listed under Program Requirements, students seeking a Pennsylvania certification to teach must 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.).
Students must also meet the following expectations.
Extracurricular teaching experience
Students 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). They may meet this requirement in one of the following ways.
a) 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 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 twelve weeks to fourteen, allowing an extra two weeks at the start of the experience to apprentice with their cooperating teacher.
English and math requirements (undergraduates only)
One course in English composition (freshman writing and ESEM both fulfill this requirement)
One course in American or English literature (AP English credit counts as does a score of 600 or above on the SAT Subject Test in Literature)
Two mathematics courses (a score of 560 or above on the SAT Subject Test in Math may count (either Mathematics Level 1 or 2), as does AP credit for calculus or statistics)
GPA of 3.0
Second semester sophomores or post-bacc applicants must have an entrance GPA of a 3.0 or above (some exceptions apply). To be recommended for certification, students must have an exit GPA of at least a 3.0.
Basic skills assessment (undergraduates only)
Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT): If before college, you earned an SAT score of 500 or higher in each individual section – Critical Reading, Writing, Mathematics - you meet the State's Basic Skills Assessment requirement.
American College Test (ACT) Plus Writing: If you took the ACT before 2015 and earned a composite score of 23 accompanied by a combined English/Writing score of 22 or higher and a Math score of 21 or higher, you meet the State's Basic Skills Assessment requirement. Tests taken after September 2015 require separate scores of Reading - 22; Mathematics - 21; and Writing - 21.
If you haven't yet met the requirement with your SAT or ACT score, you have to take the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) in reading, math, and writing. Students must pass this assessment before the start of junior year.
...The techniques that we talked about and that I implemented in student teaching are the exact evidence based strategies they're talking about here. I feel much more at ease now, knowing I have already practiced effective teaching strategies...
- Katie Fong '15, in a message to Prof. Heather Curl, after attending a professional development session about classroom management