Undergraduate Academic and Student Affairs

Admission to Teacher Certification/Candidacy

The Pennsylvania Department of Education establishes requirements for certification to teach in Pennsylvania. In October 2014, the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted Act 168 (24 P.S. § 1-111.1). Specifically, Act 168 requires an assessment of basic skills to be completed by preparation candidates prior to entry into a Pennsylvania baccalaureate teacher preparation program.
 
What Act 168 means at the College of Education is every student planning to pursue a teacher education program bust complete an application and undergo a review to determine eligibility to be admitted into the teacher certification program; this process is referred to as "Candidacy."   No student can continue into upper level teaching methods courses without applying to and being approved for Candidacy.

REQUIREMENTS to be Approved for Candidacy

  1. Earned at least 48 credits;
  2. Earned a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (Students who do not have a 3.0, but have above a 2.80 should meet with an Academic Advisor);
  3. Completed all pre-Candidacy courses as stipulated on the Candidacy Application (and also noted on your curriculum sheet)*;
  4. Passed the Basic Skills Assessment test, as per PDE-established tests and scores*;
  5. Completed six credits of college‐level math, three credits of college‐level English composition, and three credits of a college-level English literature course.

*At the time of application, some required criteria may not have been met, specifically: 1) a student's GPA may not meet the minimum required, and/or 2) courses may be "in progress" meaning a student is currently enrolled in those courses and/or 3) a student may not have achieved passing scores in all sections of the Basic Skills Assessment (BSA) tests. Students with such unmet criteria should still apply for Candidacy; students will have until the established deadline to successfully meet all criteria.

WHEN do I Apply for Candidacy?

Students apply for Candidacy the semester before registering for their first teaching methods course(s).  Any student not sure whether he/she should be applying for Candidacy should make an appointment with an Academic Advisor (call 215-204-8011).

  • Early Childhood Education students:
    • Apply when enrolled in ECE 2105, 2106, 2108 and 2187.  ECE students must apply and be approved for Candidacy before registering for ECE 3106, 3107, 3108, 3109, 3187.
  • Middle Grades students:
    • Apply when taking MGRE 3109 and 3111; students must apply and  be approved for Candidacy before registering for MGRE 3145, MGRE 4108, MGRE 3196, MGRE 3296, ENES 3338, and SPED 3187.
  • Secondary Education students:
    • When to apply varies according to major:
      • Sec Ed English: apply and be approved for Candidacy before registering for ENES 4366, ENES 4371 and ENES 3338.
      • Sec Ed Mathematics: apply and be approved for Candidacy before registering for Math Ed 3145, Math Ed 4146 or ENED 3338.
      • Sec Ed Science: students must apply and be approved for Candidacy before registering for ENES 3338, SCI ED 3146 or SCI ED 4146.
      • Sec Ed Social Studies: students must apply and be approved for Candidacy before registering for SS ED 3278, ENES 3338, SS ED 4278 or SEC ED 3796.
      • Sec Ed World Languages: students must apply and be approved for Candidacy before registering for ENES 3338 or FLED 5429 

HOW do I Apply for Candidacy?

Candidacy Applications and deadline information can be found in the Candidacy tab of the Undergraduate Community in Blackboard (under "My Organizations").

The Candidacy Application process includes the following mandatory steps:

  1. Print and complete the Candidacy Application;
  2. Attend a Candidacy Meeting (dates and times are found in the Candidacy tab of the Undergraduate Community in Blackboard);
  3. Meet with an Academic Advisor before the stated deadline.  (Call 215-204-8011 to schedule this "Candidacy Appointment".)
  4. Students who need to take one or more sections (Math, Reading and/or Writing) of the Basic Skills Assessment tests (either PAPA or CORE for Educators) must also attend a PAPA/CORE Workshop.  (Dates and times are found in the Candidacy tab of the Undergraduate Community in Blackboard.)   See "PAPA and Core for Educators Workshop and Test Preparation Resources" below for more information.

Students who submit a Candidacy application after the stated deadline risk not being able to register during the Priority Registration period.

PAPA and Core for Educators Workshop and Test Preparation Resources

Students are advised to prepare for their PAPA and/or Praxis Core for Educators tests.   We do not recommend taking these tests without preparing for them.  

The College of Education has developed a workshop that addresses test registration, test score data, and test preparation resources.  All students who need to take any section of the PAPA or Core for Educators must attend a Workshop.  (Dates and times are found in the Candidacy tab of the Undergraduate Community in Blackboard.)