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 must 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. Pass Basic Skills Assessment tests in Reading, Writing and Math as stipulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Students should consult the College's Certification Office page for details about required test scores.  Please note that testing guidelines and scores are subject to change at any time by the PDE.
  2. Complete all courses stipulated on the eight-semester plan as pre-Candidacy courses, earning a C- or higher in each.
  3. Complete six credits of college-level math as specified by your program. Developmental, pre-College and courses at the 0xxx level are not applicable to this requirement.
  4. Complete six credits of college-level English, specifically 3 credits of composition and 3 credits of literature. Developmental, pre-College and courses at the 0xxx level are not applicable to this requirement.
  5. Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0*
    • Secondary Education students must also earn a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA in the content area. Students must earn a minimum of "C-" (or higher, where stipulated by the program) in all content area courses.
    • Middle Grades students must also earn a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA in the concentration area. Students must earn a minimum of "C-" (or higher, where stipulated by the program) in all concentration area courses.
* Students whose GPA is between 2.80 and 2.99 should schedule an advising appointment to discuss a possible GPA Appeal Petition.  
 

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 found on the College of Education Undergraduate Blackboard site;
  2. Attend a Candidacy Workshop (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.
  4. Students who need to take one or more sections (Math, Reading and/or Writing) of the Basic Skills Assessment tests must also attend a PAPA/CORE (Basic Skills) Workshop.  (Dates and times are found in the Candidacy tab of the Undergraduate Community in Blackboard.)   

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.  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.)