The Penn State Harrisburg PreK-4 and 4-8 teacher preparation programs are designed to provide candidates with the experiences necessary to become certified teachers of grades PreK-4 or 4-8. Graduates can work in public, private, or parochial school systems. Students may complete the PreK-4 program and complete an exam for certification to teach grades PreK through 4 or can complete the middle level 4-8 program to teach grades 4-8 concentrating in English / Language Arts, Math, or Social studies. Following graduation, students must be certified to teach by meeting any test and clearance requirements of a particular state.
The Elementary Education program offers extensive field experiences during the junior year prior to student teaching. An objective of the program is the development of reflective practice and independence. During the junior year, candidates complete all other courses required for certification, including a part-time field placement in a local school each semester. This is followed by a part-time field experience in the first semester of the senior year and a twelve- week, full-time student teaching experience in the final semester.
Optional Additional Certificate in ESL
Undergraduate elementary education candidates can complete an additional English as a Second Language Program Specialist Certificate along with their primary certificate in elementary education. This certificate consists of 16 additional credits, which can later be used toward an education master’s degree.
Optional Additional Certificate in Special Education
Undergraduate elementary education candidates can begin working on 26 credits required to earn a certificate in Special Education. The PK-8 Special Education certification program requires candidates to complete courses in Education, Psychology and Special Education. All courses required for certification must be completed with a grade of C or better prior to entering clinical practice.
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