Thinking about getting certification in another state with your PA certification? Read about Teacher Certification Interstate Agreements
Pennsylvania has signed the Interstate Agreement (NASDTEC) with most other states/jurisdictions based upon mutually agreed-upon conditions. The contract 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.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO PROSPECTIVE TEACHER CANDIDATES: Each state is responsible for its own certification/licensure requirements, which may change without notice to NASDTEC or your university's certification officers or your state's office of certification. You must contact the office of certification in any state to which you may be relocating to get the most accurate information on certification requirements.
The NASDTEC Interstate Agreement facilitates the mobility of educators among the states and other jurisdictions that are members of NASDTEC and have signed the Agreement. Although there may be conditions applicable to individual jurisdictions, the Agreement makes it possible for an educator who completed an approved program and/or who holds a certificate or license in one jurisdiction to earn a certificate or license in another state or jurisdiction. For a full explanation of the agreement, participating states, and a review of specific state-by-state requirements visit the webpage for the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC).
Exit Requirements for Teacher Certification Candidates
Hold a bachelor's degree or higher with a minimum program 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 (Administrative certificates).
Recommendation of University Certification Officer on the TIMS application.
Getting YOUR Certification Processed
At the conclusion of your teacher preparation program, make application through TIMS for your teaching credential. TIMS (Teacher Information Management System) is the Pennsylvania Department of Education's electronic application system for teacher certification.
Create a TIMS account if you do not already have one. You must register with PDE and create an account. Remember to use a personal email and not your school email address when creating your log in credentials. Make note of your PPID # you will need this in the future.
You will use the TIMS portal for all future interactions with PDE. With TIMS you can:
What Tests are Required? Test Requirements PA Teacher Certification
Pennsylvania requires assessment of all candidates in basic skills*, general knowledge, professional knowledge and subject area knowledge before a certificate may be issued.
For complete information for testing requirements, test announcements, links to test registration and study guides, log onto PA Department of Education Certification Testing. GPA Qualifying Scores included in the chart may not be used for: add-on testing or basic skills assessments.
How do the Special Education Certification Changes impact you? Read about Act 82 and expanding your certificate through an approved Pathway
Special Education Certification Changes
Students seeking Pennsylvania Department of Education teacher certification in Special Education PK-8 or Special Education 7-12 are advised of changes to the structure of Special Education certification. Act 82 of 2018 established a Special Education Grades PK-12 standalone certificate. This legislation discontinues the Special Education PK-8 and Special Education 7-12 certificates. Arcadia University must now prepare students to teach prekindergarten through grade 12 or up to 21 years of age. The Special Education Grades PK-12 certificate does not require certification in an additional content area.
Effective January 1, 2022, Per Act 82 of 2018, first-time applicants for special education certification will be issued Special Education PK-12 certificates as of January 1, 2022. However, those holding a PA Special Education PK-8 or Special Education 7-12 certificate will be able to expand the scope of their special education certificate as permitted by law.
Approved Special Education Bridge Pathways
For Arcadia students who are in programs or have completed programs that include only Special Education PreK-8 or Special Education 7-12, Arcadia has received approval for Special Education expansion programming as the Special Education Bridge Pathways. The Special Education Bridge Pathways must be completed along with a TIMS application submitted to PA Department of Education prior to December 31, 2021.
Our current Special Education Program at the undergraduate level contains all the state identified competencies. In order to facilitate the expansion of current and graduated alumni Special Education students in our undergraduate programs who hold or who are in programming to receive the Pre-K-8th certification, we offer these specific pathways for Undergraduates Special Education expansion.
Our current Special Education Programs at the post bacc/graduate level contain all the state identified competencies. In order to facilitate the expansion of current and graduated alumni of Special Education students in our post bacc/graduate programs who hold or who are in programming to receive either the Pre-K-8th certification or the 7th -12th certification, we offer these specific pathways for Post Bacc/Graduate Special Education expansion.
Deadline for Special Education PK-8 and 7-12 Certifications - December 2021
All students seeking Special Education PK-8 OR Special Education 7-12 must complete all requirements for these certifications, apply, and have their certificaiton issued by PDE before the end of December 2021. Any student applying for certification after December 2021 must complete the revised requirements specified for Special Education PK-12 certification which includes additional coursework and required testing. Additional information from PDE is available online at: Certification Preparation Program Guidelines for Special Education Grades PK-12 [pdf].
Whether you choose to expand your special education certification by coursework or testing, you will need to apply and submit a new credential application through TIMS by the deadline.
Special Education Expansion
Per Act 82 of 2018, first-time applicants for special education certification will be issued Special Education PK-12 certificates as of January 1, 2022. However, those holding a PA Special Education PK-8 or Special Education 7-12 certificate will be able to expand the scope of their special education certificate as permitted by law.
Per Act 82 of 2018 Section 1202.1, all candidates enrolled in an Early Childhood PreK-4 program and all Early Childhood PreK-4 certificate holders may add Grades 5 and 6 to their certificate by attaining qualifying scores on the following assessments:
• Grades 4-8: Module 2 – English Language Arts & Social Studies (5154) and
• Grades 4-8: Module 3 – Mathematics & Science (5155)
These assessments are administered through the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Candidates may take these assessments during or after completion of their Early Childhood PreK-4 program. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Education can not grant the Grades 5 and 6 add-on certificate until after the PreK-4 certificate has been awarded. To expedite the process, candidates may apply for the add-on simultaneously with the PreK-4 certificate. Information on this option is available on the Certification Test and Score Requirements chart on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website.