Pennsylvania currently has two levels of certification. The initial certificate, Level I, is valid for a specific number of service years, during which time you must complete established requirements. Upon completion of those requirements, the Level I may be converted to a Level II certificate. If not converted, the Level I lapses. You cannot be employed in a Pennsylvania public school with a lapsed certificate.

Converting an Instructional Level I Certificate to an Instructional Level II Certificate

Level I Pennsylvania Instructional and Educational Specialist certifications are valid for six (6) years of service, not calendar years.  It is the responsibility of each certificate holder to obtain the Level II certificate before the service life of the Level I expires. Failure to do so will result in a lapsed certificate and the certificate holder will be ineligible for employment.

If you have been teaching in Pennsylvania on a Level I certificate for 3-6 years of satisfactory service and have earned 24 post-baccalaureate credits, you can apply for a Level II certificate.  The following conditions must be met:

  • Six credits must be associated with your area(s) of certification and/or must be designed to improve professional practice. 
  • Community college credits and continuing education units (CEUs) are not accepted towards Level II certification.
  • You must have three years of satisfactory service on a Level I certificate,  verified by the chief school administrator of the employing school entity
  • You must have completed a PDE induction program verified by the chief school administrator of your employing entity

Other requirements for Level II Certification (e.g. credit requirement and the induction requirement) depend on the type of Level I Certificate and the year it was issued.

Holders of Level II Certificates must continue to meet Act 48 and State Board of Education Chapter 49 requirements in order to keep their certificates valid.

See also: Pennsylvania Department of Education: Certification. If you have questions regarding Level II, contact the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.