Prerequisite Coursework in Pennsylvania
Teacher preparation programs typically include a combination of coursework and fieldwork. The coursework usually covers core knowledge, skills, and pedagogy (the theory behind the teaching process). Program curriculum should prepare students to research, design and implement challenging learning experiences in their field of study. Fieldwork may include an internship, student teaching or field observations.
Like other states, Pennsylvania stipulates that all certified teachers must have a bachelor’s degree at minimum. In addition, prospective teachers must complete an approved teacher education program that includes student teaching or an internship.
Pennsylvania does not have credit hour requirements but does have subject requirements. Each teacher education program will have its own set of coursework requirements to complete the program. Pennsylvania requires a period of student teaching.
Read more about teacher certification tests.
Pennsylvania Teacher Certification Programs
Many different accredited teacher preparation programs are available in Pennsylvania. Students may also qualify for a teaching credential through completion of online programs and programs from universities outside of Pennsylvania. A list of approved teacher preparation programs can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.
Required Tests for Pennsylvania
To become certified in Pennsylvania, teachers must earn qualifying scores on a basic skill test as well as on assessments on Professional Knowledge, General Knowledge, and Subject Area Knowledge. Please see Praxis for specific state testing requirements and the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Testing Requirements web page for additional information.
You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting Teach.com’s Ultimate Guide to the Praxis Exams and read more about teacher certification tests on Teach.com.
Initial Teaching Certifications
Pennsylvania currently has a two-tier certification system. New teachers begin at Level I, which is valid for six years of teaching service. At the end of six years, every teacher must complete at least 24 credits of post-baccalaureate coursework and have gone through an induction program set up by their school in order to obtain Level II certification. In order to keep a Level II license active, teachers must complete a required number of continuing education credit units. If you are certified to teach in another state, Pennsylvania has interstate reciprocity agreements with most other states that can make it easier for you to begin teaching in Pennsylvania.