Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. CertificationMap.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 12/18/2016
The 8-week Harvard Bok Teaching Certificate online short course is delivered by Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX. Students in this course will engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective teaching methods in the higher education context, while refining their own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy.
Step One: Prerequisite Coursework
The first step in becoming a certified teacher in Pennsylvania is choosing a specialization and/or grade level preference and earning your bachelor's degree. Pennsylvania requires that certified teachers have at least a bachelor's degree, have earned a 3.0 GPA and have completed an approved teacher education program. Keep in mind that Pennsylvania currently has a two-tier certification system. Level I is the first tier of certification and is valid for six years of teaching service. By the end of these six years, you must complete at least 24 credits of post-baccalaureate coursework to obtain your Level II certification or second tier certification.
Pennsylvania does not have credit hour requirements but does have subject requirements. Each teacher education program will have its own set of coursework requirement to complete the program.
Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.
The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.
Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often include instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching) and preparing students to research, design, and implement learning techniques in their particular field of study. The fieldwork component can include onsite observations, student teaching, and internships
While beginning an education program may seem financially daunting, there are a number of financial resources available specifically for teachers that exist around the country. For more information on financial aid options, visit our Pennsylvania Teacher Scholarships page.
Next, you'll need to complete assessments of basic skills, professional knowledge and practice and subject matter knowledge. To satisfy your basic skills requirement, complete the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) modules in reading, writing and mathematics.
Visit the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests site to register for test code PA701. Scores must be electronically submitted to PDE’s Bureau of School Leadership Quality from the test vendor. A minimum score of 220 is required on each module. A composite scoring option is available.
Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Pennsylvania provides loan forgiveness support for teachers teaching in high needs schools and loan forgiveness and differential pay for teachers teaching in shortage subject areas.
Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Pennsylvania has strong induction policies in place which include professional support, a strong training program for mentors, feedback to new teachers and professional development opportunities.