The Penn State Harrisburg certification program in PK-12 Special Education includes two paths for those wanting to become certified in Special Education in Pennsylvania for children from preschool through 12th grade.
- Pathway #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
- Pathway #2 is designed for an individual who does not hold a Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate. Individuals who are typically interested in this pathway 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 PK-12 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.
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.
PDE advises that the PK-12 certification test is available for those seeking to apply for PK-12 special education certification after January 1, 2022. However, candidates must have completed a PDE approved Special Education PK-12 certification program and be recommended by the program in order to apply for the certification. Candidates should periodically check the PDE website for the most current information regarding the certification test(s).
Degree Conferred: None – This program is for attaining PA teacher certification only.