Penn State Harrisburg has permission from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to adapt the student teaching requirement in this program since many of the candidates will be school employees already holding initial certification. In such case, an Internship (EDUC 495) with a certified special education teacher is mandated. This course will require a suitable arrangement for candidates to participate fully in the management and instruction of special education at their schools of employment or another placement when possible or necessary. Candidates who are not employed in a school will be placed under the supervision of a certified special education teacher.
Curriculum is based on the PDE Guidelines for Special Education Teacher Certification. Courses are designed to address the competencies outlined in the PDE Guidelines.
Candidates who are following Pathway #1 who hold an Instructional 1 or 2 teaching certificate have already attained professional status as a teacher and their required coursework addresses the Special Education domain as addressed in the PDE Guidelines for Special Education certification.
Candidates who are following Pathway #2, who do not hold a PA teaching certificate, will take coursework that addresses the PDE Guidelines for Special Education Certification. They will also be required to take foundational courses that address the domains for becoming a certificated teacher that all other certification candidates are required to take.
A minimum grade of C is required in all courses for certification; however, a 3.0 grade-point average is required to be eligible for student teaching.
Master’s Degree Track
All post-baccalaureate candidates have the option of placing themselves on track to earn a Master of Education degree in Teaching and Curriculum while concurrently working toward Pennsylvania certification. If this path interests you, you may seek more information during your initial intake meeting with the program coordinator.