The Penn State Harrisburg post-baccalaureate certification program in PK-12 Special Education includes two paths for those wanting to become certified to teach Special Education in Pennsylvania to children from preschool through 12th grade.
- Path #1 is designed for an individual who currently holds an Instructional I or II certificate in any of the following areas:
- elementary or early childhood education (N-3, K-6, PK-4, 4-8)
- any content area in Secondary Education (7-12)
- Reading Specialist
- another PK-12 specialty area
- Path #2 is designed for an individual who does not hold a Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate. Individuals who are typically interested in this path are those who hold a bachelor's degree in an area of human services or social sciences or a related field and have some recent teaching experiences that may include substitute teaching.
This stand-alone Special Education Certification program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). The program was developed to meet the PDE requirements as outlined in its 2019 Guidelines for Special Education.
Upon completion of required coursework and the Internship, candidates will be eligible to take the Pennsylvania Certification Tests (Praxis) required by PDE for Pennsylvania certification in Special Education. PDE advises that the PK-12 certification test will be available after January 1, 2022 and that candidates who have completed an approved educator certification program and passed the new test will be eligible for the PDE PK-12 Stand-alone Special Education teaching certificate. Candidates should periodically check the PDE website for the most current information regarding the certification test(s).
Candidates who successfully complete the coursework and internship requirements and obtain passing scores on the certification examination will be recommended to PDE for the Preschool through grade 12 (PK-12) Special Education Special Education teaching certificate. Candidates will need to apply to PDE for the certificate.
Degree Conferred: Certification only