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Undergraduate Teacher Certification Requirements

Drexel University’s School of Education offers a number of certification and degree-bearing programs that prepare students for teacher certification. Once a student has successfully completed their course of study and all exams required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Drexel recommends the student to the PDE for issuance of the appropriate teaching certificate.

The certification information below, unless otherwise noted, pertains to compliance with teacher certification requirements in the state of Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.

Instructional I Certification

A candidate’s typical, initial certification is known as “Instructional I” and qualifies teachers to teach for a maximum of six years. The six years need not be continuous but represent the total number of active years of teaching in any given period of time on the Instructional I. To continue teaching after the six years are completed, teachers must receive their Instructional II Certification.

Instructional II Certification

The Instructional II Certification is considered a “permanent” certification. A teacher applying for Instructional II Certification must have:

  • Instructional I Certification
  • A minimum of three years and a maximum of six years teaching experience on an Instructional I Teaching Certificate
  • 24 semester-hour (or 36 quarter-hour) credits beyond a bachelor’s degree
  • Completion of an induction program (generally provided by a teacher’s school of employment)

Program Requirements

The School of Education requires that students have a "B" average (3.0 GPA) in content courses needed for teacher certification in addition to the grade of "B" or better in each core pedagogy course required for certification throughout their time in the program.

Required Clearances

All students are required to obtain and submit copies of the following clearances to the School of Education in order to participate in classroom observations and student teaching in PA.  All students (PA and non-PA) must receive FBI clearance. Non-PA students should contact their state's department of education or school district office for a list of clearances required in their state.  All full-time undergraduates will receive assistance in gaining these clearances during their first term.

Elementary Certification (Grades PreK- 4) and Special Education Certification (Grades PreK- 8 and Grades 7-12)

The PA Educator Certification Tests (PECT) are required for Grades PreK-4 and Special Education. All undergraduate and dual degree B.S/M.S. students will be required to pass the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) basic skills exam.  In addition, students will be required to take the appropriate assessment exam for each area of certification they wish to obtain.

For more information about examinations and registration, visit the PA Educator Certification Tests (PECT).

Middle Level Certification (Grades 4-8) and Secondary Certification (Grades 7-12)

All undergraduate and dual degree B.S. /M.S. students seeking certification in middle level (grades 4-8) and secondary (grades 7-12) levels are required to pass exams from the PA Education Certification Tests (PECT) and the Praxis II Series.  Students must pass both the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) basic skills assessment exam along with the appropriate Praxis II Content Knowledge test(s) for each area of certification they wish to obtain.

Please note that students pursuing the Environmental Education certification are required to pass the Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge and the appropriate Praxis II test(s).

For more information about examinations and registration, visit the PA Educator Certification Tests (PECT).

For more information about examinations and registration, visit the Praxis Series.

Act 48 Requirements

To maintain Instructional I and Instructional II Certifications, the PDE requires a teacher to complete the minimal equivalent of six semester-hour (or nine quarter-hour) credits, 180 professional development, or combination of credits and professional development hours every five years. College credits must be acquired from an accredited four-year, degree-granting college or university.

Note: For those working to acquire Instructional II Certification, the 24 semester credits or 36 quarter credits needed to apply for Instructional II may also be count towards Act 48 requirements.

For more information, visit the PA Department of Education Act 48 Continuing Professional Education.

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