Dr. Ashley Rowe
Director of Professional Education,
Certification, and Compliance
Mrs. Kathy Crouse
Please contact the Certification Office for information about:
- PA Teacher Certification
- Out of State Verification Process
- Final Signatures for Approved Program of Study (APS) forms - post baccalaureate requirement
- ACT 48
Additional contact information:
302 Recitation Hall*
35 W. Rosedale Ave., West Chester, PA 19383
*Recitation Hall is an interior building located in the academic Quad between High Street and Church Street.
Which educator preparation programs for PA certification does WCU offer?
A list of WCU's educator preparation programs can be found on the Certification Programs Page.
To receive specific information about completing an educator preparation program to teach in PA, review the departmental website and contact the department representative on the Certification Programs Page.
Can a non-US citizen earn PA certification?
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires candidates applying for Pennsylvania state certification to be a U.S. citizen.
Candidates holding a Resident Alien Card (Green Card) can be issued certifications by PDE if they have filed a 'declaration of intent to become citizens.
Please note, foreign language candidates applying for Instructional I certification in their native language are not required to hold a valid Resident Alien Card (Green Card), or declare their intent to become a U.S. citizen.
PA PUBLIC SCHOOL CERTIFICATION: APPLICATION PROCESS
When should I apply for my PA certification?
- Bachelor's and Master's degree candidates can begin applying in TIMS through the PDE website on or after the first day of the month during which they will graduate.
- Fall graduates: December 1
- Spring graduates: May 1
- Summer graduates: August 1
- Winter graduates: January 1
- Post Baccalaureate (non-degree) candidates can begin applying in TIMS through the PDE website on or after the first day of the month during which they will complete their program
- Fall completers: December 1
- Spring completers: May 1
- Summer I completers: June 1
- Summer II completers: July 1
- Summer III completers: August 1
What is the application process for certification?
- Log-in to TIMS. A Keystone Login is required to access TIMS. First-time logging into TIMS will require you to register and establish a TIMS profile. Once your profile is established, log in and select “View and Update My Profile” to retrieve your PPID number.
- Complete the Intent Form during the semester of program completion to receive a Letter of Completion.
- Apply in TIMS on or after the first day of the month during which you will graduate
or complete your program. Review the above answer to "When should I apply for my PA
Certification?" for specific application dates. To apply in TIMS, visit the PDE website and follow the directions below according to academic level:
- Bachelor's Program
- Master's Program
- Post Baccalaureate
- Note: At the completion of an endorsement, you must submit a separate TIMS application by following the above directions for the level of completion (Master or Post Baccalaureate).
- Obtain a Certificate Suitable for Framing (optional)
- Await certification approval. Application processing time is currently 7 - 9 weeks once in "awaiting evaluation" status in TIMS. At this time, all further questions should be directed to PDE. Review the below answer to "What is the certification processing timeline?" for information about when to expect your Letter of Completion and certification approval.
What is the certification processing timeline?
- Candidates can begin applying in TIMS through the PDE website on or after the first day of the month during which they will graduate or complete their program. Review the above answer to "When should I apply for my PA Certification?" for specific application dates.
- Final grades are posted (4-5 days after commencement)
- TIMS applications for Post Bac/Non Degree candidates are recommended to PDE
- Letters of Completion are mailed to Post Bac/Non Degree candidates who completed the Intent Form and met all certification requirements
- Degrees begin being conferred (ongoing 4-5 weeks after final grades are posted)
- TIMS applications for Bachelor's and Master's candidates are recommended to PDE
- Letters of Completion are mailed to Bachelor's and Master's candidates who completed the Intent Form and met all certification requirements
- PA State Certification approved (7-9 weeks after recommendation to PDE)
- Print certificate off of PDE dashboard
Can I be employed before my certification is approved by the PA Dept. of Education (PDE)?
- Completed the Intent Form
- Met all academic requirements
- Met all PA test requirements
- Applied online through TIMS
- Completed a preparation program and, if applicable, received graduation clearance by all departments and the Registrar's Office
Once these requirements are fulfilled, the letter will be mailed to the address provided on the Intent Form. Please review the above answer to "What is the certification processing timeline?" for information about when to expect the letter in the mail.
Your PPID number is required to complete most employment applications. To receive your PPID, register in TIMS. In the box on the right, select “TIMS (Certification Application System) Log In.” Select “Register.” Complete the registration form. Wait up to 24 hours for the confirmation email. Once your account is established, log in and select “View and Update My Profile” to retrieve your PPID number.
What is the application fee for certification?
$100 (Candidates applying for an Endorsement)
What is the process for adding on a content area or extending the grade bands of my certification?
- Instructional I content areas can be added on to an Instructional certification by passing the required subject test(s). Certification areas offered as add-ons and the corresponding test(s) can be found on the Instructional Add-Ons Chart. View this link for directions on how to add a PA Certification by testing alone.
- Special Education majors can extend their grade bands through coursework. Note: As
per a January 2019 update, PDE no longer requires candidates to hold a general education
Instructional I certificate if extending into the other Special Ed grade band.
- Please view this PowerPoint for examples of extending Special Ed grade bands.
- The GPA Sliding Scale cannot be used. Candidates must earn a passing score on required tests.
- Certification areas can be added after an initial certification:
- Candidates who already hold an Instructional certification must submit a TIMS application and pay the administrative fee of $200 to receive certification for the add-on.
- Find further details and apply through the PDE website.
What is the process for obtaining out of state certification?
- Refer to each state's Department of Education website for specific information regarding the state's certification requirements. Follow the state's procedures for testing requirements, online applications, application processing, etc.
- Many states require WCU's verification of program completion. Follow the steps below to receive this verification:
- Obtain the state's form from their education website, which is usually one part of the application process.
- Complete your portion of the Program Verification Form, which may be electronic (example, New Jersey).
- Submit the Program Verification Form to the Certification Office, Sydney Wise - firstname.lastname@example.org.
- NOTE: If an official West Chester University transcript is required to be sent with the Program Verification Form, DO NOT place a transcript order through the Registrar's Office until AFTER the certification office confirms via email that the Program Verification Form has been completed.
What are the requirements to convert to a Level I certificate to a Level II certificate?
To convert an initial PA certification (Level I) to a Level II certificate, an educator must complete the following requirements:
- 3-6 years of certified teaching in PA.
- 24 post-baccalaureate credits. These are credits earned after the conferral date of your first bachelor’s degree.
- Completion of a PDE-approved Induction (Mentoring) program.
- Satisfactory Level 1 evaluations.
Additional information can be found through the PDE website.
How do certified educators fulfill the Act 48 requirement?
In PA, all certified educators must complete 180 hours of professional development per every five years. This requirement can be fulfilled through:
- Six college credits; or
- Six credits of continuing professional development courses /IU in-service hours; or
- A combination of learning experiences equivalent to 180.
Additional information about Act 48 can found through the PDE website.