RIGHT COLUMN TITLE
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania currently provides two levels of certification. The initial certificate, Instructional I, is also known as a provisional certificate. Depending on the type, it is valid for a specific number of years of service, during which the individual must complete an established set of requirements (e.g. coursework, teaching experience, or an induction program). Upon completion of those requirements, the individual is eligible for the Instructional II Certificate. If the individual does not complete the established requirements within the statute of limitations mandated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Instructional I Certificate lapses and the individual becomes ineligible for employment in the Pennsylvania public school system.
The applicant for the Instructional I Certificate must:
Initial certification for all instructional areas requires that the applicant achieves qualifying scores on the PRAXIS/NTE Core Battery and the specialty area test approved by the state for that subject/field. Applicants must take a specialty test for each area in which they seek certification. To add an area of instruction to a certificate, all applicants must pass the appropriate specialty test. To place an additional subject/field on the certificate, the applicant must complete an approved college/university preparation program and successfully met the appropriate PRAXIS/NTE specialty area test requirement. The college/university adviser or certification office is available to assist candidates with this requirement.
The Instructional Level I Certificate is valid for six service, not calendar, years in Pennsylvania. Tests can be taken at any point during the preparation, but test scores are valid only for five years after the date a test is taken. The Department encourages everyone to consider taking the tests as soon as they feel they are ready.
If the tests are taken in Pennsylvania, the scores will be sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Education automatically. If any of the PRAXIS/NTE tests are taken outside of Pennsylvania, the applicant must request that the Educational Testing Service send the scores(s) to the Department by writing the code 8033 in the area where this information is requested. In order to process the application, the college/university must have all test scores.
It is the responsibility of each certificate holder to obtain the Level II Certificate before the service life of the Level I Certificate expires.
After the applicant has completed all requirements, he or she may apply for Level II Certification. A minimum of three years of satisfactory service (a minimum of half-time in Pennsylvania in an appropriate position on a Pennsylvania Level I Certificate) is required. For certificates issued in September 1980 and thereafter, the time frame begins anytime after the third year of service in Pennsylvania and ends at the completion of the school year of the sixth year of service in Pennsylvania.
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 178 and State Board of Education Chapter 49 requirements in order to keep their certificates valid.