For All Undergraduate Education Certification Candidates
Arcadia offers teacher preparation programs for initial certification at the undergraduate level in:
- Grades PK-4
- Undergraduates can pursue Grades PK-4 initial certification as a full time traditional undergraduate major OR part-time study in the Early Childhood Working Professionals program for transfer students who have an associates degree.
- Education Secondary Content Areas: English, Mathematics, General Science, Chemistry, Biology, and Social Studies
- Undergraduates can pursue an initial teaching certification in any of these secondary content areas while pursuing the relevant undergraduate degree major that is outside of the Education major.
- Art Education PK-12
- Undergraduates can pursue an initial teaching certification while pursuing the undergraduate degree major in Art (BFA or Studio Art).
For each undergraduate teacher certification preparation program, there are three parts that provide the courses required to meet the competencies of the certification area.
- Pre-Requisite/Background courses: 4 courses required to enter a teacher certification preparation program; see Undergraduate Teacher Certification Preparation program Entry Requirements.
- Professional Education courses: Courses that provide the knowledge, experience, skills and training to teach. In the Professional Education courses, students will progress through four stages of fieldwork. A field experience is an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom with supervised practice in the field. The primary model of field instruction is a concurrent model, meaning you take classes at the same time you are in the field. Learn more about the fieldwork stages and experiences in our undergraduate certification programs.
- Other coursework required for the Education major degree
- OR for Art and Secondary content areas the Certification Area Content courses: This is the coursework that meets the specialized content area competencies for certification; they are courses taken within your non-Education major.
Progression of Teacher Certification Preparation Program for Undergraduates
Students in the Education major and students pursuing an undergraduate degree major outside of Education take pre-professional courses according to the area of certification. Students in undergraduate degree major programs outside of Education declare an Education minor in late fall or early spring and are assigned an Education adviser. Working with your adviser, students will prepare to meet the entry requirements to the teacher certification preparation program in their sophomore year. Register for Pre-requisite/Background courses to apply into a teacher certification preparation program.
Undergraduates in both Education and non-Education majors make application to the teacher certification preparation program in spring of their sophomore year. Applications are sent out by the School of Education to students. Transfer students make application in the immediate spring semester following their admission to the university.
Undergraduate teacher certification preparation candidates are required to meet the following Entry Requirements:
- Recommended minimum overall GPA of 3.0 at the time of application.
- No grade of “C or below” in a required certification course.
- Completed and earned grades of C or better in 6 credits in Mathematics above the MA 100 level.
- Completed and earned grades of C or better in 6 credits in English. One course in Composition (EN 101 ) and one course in American/English Literature.
- Completed 48 credits.
- Meets Basic Skills testing requirements with qualifying scores and/or ACT/SAT qualifying scores. In accordance with ACT 55 of 2022, basic skills requirements are waived for students entering certification programs from July 8, 2022 through July 1, 2025.
- Background Checks: Meets background check requirements using the Castle Branch System for
- Federal Criminal History Record Information (CHRI)
- Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Records Check
- Department of Human Services Child Abuse History Clearance
- Tuberculosis (TB) test result
After the applicant has been admitted to the teacher certification preparation program, they begin to take junior level professional education courses. Junior level courses include pre-student teaching, a stage 3 field experience. The Office of Field Experiences and Outreach accepts applications for pre-student teaching and secures a field placement with a cooperating teacher and a university supervisor. To enter stage 3 pre-student teaching students must have completed the required coursework, make an application and have a 3.0 GPA.
- In the senior year, students will complete their stage 4 field placement, student teaching. Students will engage in a full-time student teaching placement. The Office of Field Experiences and Outreach will accept student applications to secure the field placement, cooperating teacher and university supervisor. With their Education adviser, students will review the required testing requirements of the certification area and plan the testing schedule. Certification tests requirements are dependent on the area of certification, students will be advised to review the tests required and the resources available to prepare for taking the tests.
- Students who have completed an approved certification program at Arcadia University can apply for certification through PDE's Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) - MyPDESuite. As part of your application for certification, Arcadia University Certification Officer will review your academic record and other requirements to verify your eligibility for certification. Once your eligibility is confirmed, Arcadia will provide a recommendation for certification on your behalf to PDE. Learn more about the TIMS application process.
The following are the Teacher Certification preparation program Exit Requirements to verify the eligibility for certification:
- Hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.
- Completion of an approved program of study leading to certification in the area of certificate requested.
- Satisfactory completion of student teaching, fieldwork or internship (required grade of “B” or better) in the area of certification.
- Completion of a professional portfolio.
- Recommendation of University Certification Officer on the TIMS application.
Once PA Department of Education issues the teaching certificate, students who seek certification outside of Pennsylvania can explore the Interstate Agreement, National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). The contract signed by Pennsylvania, provides for acceptance of state-approved educator preparation programs between certain states to facilitate educator mobility. All jurisdictions that participate in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement may choose to have additional requirements for educators who are coming from another jurisdiction