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.).
Extracurricular teaching experience
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.
English and math requirements (undergraduates only)
The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that certification candidates meet the following course or test requirements. NOTE: Post-baccalaureate students do NOT need to meet the math and English course requirements.
One course in English composition (freshman writing and ESEM both fulfill this requirement) [not required for post-baccs]
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) [not required for post-baccs]
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) [not required for post-baccs]
GPA of 3.0
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.
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. For information, go to http://www.pa.nesinc.com/.
Content knowledge test
Teacher certification candidates must pass a Praxis II test in their subject area. For information, go to http://www.ets.org/praxis. If pursuing a foreign language certification, students must also take the Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge test (Test Code 5511).