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Upon completion of one of the state-approved teacher education programs and passing the appropriate assessments, a student is eligible to receive a Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate. This certificate allows the holder to teach at the designated level in public schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The certificate in Secondary Education is issued for teaching grades 7-12. Foreign Language and Art certification is K-12. Special Education teachers may teach Special Education classes in Pennsylvania for children who have academic or behavioral support needs, or they may teach in regular class settings where children with disabilities are included in regular classes. Teaching of the content areas of English, mathematics, science, or social studies in grades 7-12 will require additional content certification. Reading Specialists may work with kindergarten through adult students in a variety of settings, including classrooms, clinics, and learning/tutoring centers.
New Pennsylvania Teacher Certificates will be issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education starting on January 1, 2013. The current Elementary K-6, the Special Education Certificate N-12, and the Early Childhood N-3 certificates will be discontinued. The certificates issued prior to this date will be grandfathered and remain active. New certificates will be issued after this date for all programs in Pre K-4 and Middle Level 4-8. All other K-12 and Secondary Education 7-12 certifications have been revised to include additional coursework in Special Education and the Teaching of English Language Learners. The new Special Education Pre K-8 certification may only be added to an already-existing Pre K-4, Middle Level 4-8, K-12 or Reading Specialist K-12 certificate. The Special Education 7-12 certificate may only be added to an already-existing secondary content area or Reading Specialist K-12 certificate.
Since certification requirements vary from state to state, it is the responsibility of students to ascertain the requirements of the state in which they plan to teach and to consult with their faculty advisor early in their graduate career.
Holders of a Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate also may qualify for certification in other states that are party to the Interstate Certification Compact. A listing of these states may be obtained on the School of Education website (http://www.holyfamily.edu/sedu/index.shtml) or from the School of Education Office (ETC 445), along with information concerning the specific procedures to be followed to become certified in another state.