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Based upon current Pennsylvania Standards for teacher preparation, and Penn State graduation requirements, specific entrance, retention and exit criteria apply for ALL Teacher Education Programs offered at Penn State. All candidates seeking entrance to a specific teacher preparation program (or major) must meet the following criteria.

Recommended Academic Plan including 4-year course grid (requires pdf reader)

Entrance Criteria
Participation in the Entrance to Major process is initiated via http://eLion.psu.edu

Baccalaureate degree candidates must meet Requirements 1-3 by the end of their third semester.

1. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00*

2. Qualifying scores from the PRAXIS I – PPST for Reading, Writing and Mathematics. (PRAXIS TESTING INFORMATION)  [*PDF]. 
The PRAXIS SERIES I- PPST for Reading, Writing and Mathematics is offered several times per year at over 37 Pennsylvania locations, including University Park, and in many other states. Candidates must take these tests prior to formal entrance to a specific Penn State major leading to teacher certification. The PRAXIS SERIES Registration  including test dates and locations, deadlines, costs, etc., is available on-line at the following PRAXIS website (http://www.ets.org).

3. Documentation of at least 80 hours of volunteer or paid education work experience with learners of the age group the candidate plans to teach. At least 40 of these age-appropriate 80 hours must be with learners whose cultural, social, or ethnic backgrounds differ from the candidate's own. Post high school experiences are required for EK ED, SECED and WL ED. The 80 hours of volunteer or paid education work experiences with a population age-appropriate to the intended certification area are planned by the candidates and reported on an Education Work Experience Form (pdf) available online or from the adviser or program office. Completed forms are sent to appropriate area listed on the work experience form to be reviewed for applicability to the candidate's intended program area. Post high school experiences are required.

Requirements 4-9 must be met by the end of the fourth semester when students typically participate in the Entrance to Major process.

4. A grade of “C” or better in all specified courses, including practica. (See checksheet or degree audit).

5. Completion of an early field experience specified by the certification program. **

6. Completion of a core of Education courses specified by the certification program. **

7. Completion of additional credits as specified by the certification program. **

8. Completion of at least 48 semester credit hours, including English 015 or 030, three credits of literature, and six credits of quantification.

9. Approval from the professional education adviser or the head of the pertinent certification program.

Implementation of Entrance Criteria
Students in a baccalaureate degree program are expected to meet the entrance criteria by the end of their third and fourth semester classification as outlined above. 

* Based on Title 22 Pennsylvania Code Chapter 354.31 (4), (5) and (7).
** See Sample Academic Plan.
NOTE: Students typically have only one opportunity to participate in the Entrance To Major (ETM) process, but appeals to participate in a future Entrance To Major process may be considered on an individual basis. (Unusual circumstances will be reviewed by the program area to determine whether an alternate admission decision is warranted.)

The decision to admit a candidate to a certification program is made by the program representative once all of the necessary documentation is available. This decision typically occurs during the Spring Semester and is conveyed to the candidate promptly to permit appropriate planning and registration for the Fall Semester.
See the checksheets and sample programs of study for EACH of the available Education Majors http://www.ed.psu.edu/educ/current-students/undergraduate/majors-and-minors/curriculum-checksheets

Retention Criteria
Candidates must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 to meet the retention criteria.
Exit Criteria
Eligibility for a teacher certificate is based on:

  1. Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree. (Vocational Certificate candidates: See Adviser.)
  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average consistent with that required for admission to the program.
  3. A grade of at least “C” or better in all specified courses, including practica.
  4. Successful completion of the Pre-Certification Competency Exam on Educating Students with Disabilities (This exam is waived for School Psychology and Special Education majors, holders of School Psychology or Special Education degrees, and students who completed the course Special Education 400 or 444 with a grade of at least “C” or better.)
  5. Approval (a) by the pertinent program representative and (b) by the University Certification Officer.
  6. Successful completion of any clearances and tests as specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

NOTE: The Pennsylvania Department of Education issues the initial PA Instructional I certificate upon (i) recommendation from the preparing institution and (ii) determination that the candidate meets PA clearances and qualifying scores on teacher exams in effect at the time of the institution’s recommendation for the certificate.

NOTE: For students entering Fall 2010; The PK - 4 certificates will not be issued to PSU graduates by the Pennsylvania Department of Education until after August 31, 2013