3 Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Pennsylvania
Want to become a teacher in the great state of Pennsylvania? If so, you have come to the right place. Below you will find a short article that lists the steps to becoming a teacher in Pennsylvania.
Step 1: Complete an Approved Teacher Preparation Program
Pennsylvania stipulates that all certified educators must have a bachelor’s degree at minimum. Also, prospective educators must complete an approved teacher education program that includes student teaching or an internship. Teacher education programs usually include coursework and fieldwork. The coursework typically teachers foundational knowledge, skills, and pedagogy (the theory behind the teaching process). The curriculum must prepare students to manage the classroom and to create meaningful learning experiences. Fieldwork may include student teaching or field observations.
The state of Pennsylvania does not have credit hour requirements but does have subject specifications. Each teacher preparation program will have its own set of coursework requirements to complete the program. Pennsylvania requires a period of student teaching. Read more about educator certification tests. More than 90 different accredited educator preparation programs are available in Pennsylvania. Students may also qualify for a teaching credential through the completion of online programs and programs from universities outside of Pennsylvania. A list of approved educator preparation programs can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.
Step 2: Complete the Required Exams
To become certified in Pennsylvania, educators must obtain passing scores on a foundational skill test and on all subject area tests. These are the required tests for certification:
Foundational Skills Test
- Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators
Subject Matter Competence
- Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge
- Praxis II Subject Assessments
The Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests supplanted the Praxis I PPST tests and the Praxis II tests for elementary and early childhood in 2012 (spring). Please see Praxis for particular state testing requirements and the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Testing Requirements web page for additional information.
Pennsylvania currently has a two-tier certification system. New educators begin at Level I, which is for six years of teaching experience. After six years, educators must complete a minimum of 24 credits of post-graduate coursework and have completed a teacher induction program set up by their school to obtain Level II certification. To keep a Level II license current, educators must complete continuing education credit units. For educators who are certified to teach in another state, you should know that Pennsylvania maintains interstate reciprocity agreements with 45 other states.
Step 3: Submit a Pennsylvania Teaching Credential Application
When you have completed all of the obligations described above, you are ready to send your licensure application to the Pennsylvania Department of Education via the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS). If you graduated from a teacher education program in Pennsylvania, they would send your official transcripts directly to the Department of Education. If you attended college out-of-state, you must mail official copies of college transcripts directly to the Department of Education. Application fees can be paid online. Send your application and its accompanying documents to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 333 Market Street, 3rd Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333. Check the status of your application anytime via the TIMS website.