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Education (Teacher Certification)

Professors: Carpenter, Longo (chair)

Instructors: Bunting, Day, P. Easton, Podgurski, Wagner

The preparation of teachers has been a proud and historic part of the heritage of Washington & Jefferson College since its founding in 1781. The education department’s mission is to attract to the teaching profession intelligent caring men and women of competence, maturity, and creativity who are effective lifelong learners, responsible citizens, and personal and professional role models prepared to contribute positively to the world in which they live. To fulfill its educational mission, the education department offers a broad curriculum that actively involves students in student taught demonstration lessons and diverse field experiences connecting educational theory with best practice. Active learning and complete cognitive and social participation are required of all participants. The philosophy of the program is that the way to learn to teach is to teach incorporated in the motto “Docendo Discimus” -- “We learn by teaching.”

The W&J Education Department offers four options for students seeking teacher certification in the state of Pennsylvania:

  • Early Childhood (Pre K-4) Certification
  • Upper Elementary Education (grades 4-8) Certification (available in: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies)
  • Secondary Education (7-12) Certification (available in: Biology, Chemistry, Social Studies, English, Mathematics, or Physics)
  • Specialty Area Certification (grades K-12) (available in: Art, Environmental Education, French, German or Spanish)

In addition, students can add special education PreK-8 or 7-12 to their primary certification area, this is called “dual certification.” 

It is important for students to check with the Education Department as soon as possible (ideally during the freshman year) in order to follow the required procedures for successful completion of the certification process and to subsequently maintain regular contact with the Education Department.

CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

The Committee on the Teaching Profession oversees the College’s Teacher Certification Program.  All students interested in being admitted to this program must apply to the Committee and be accepted.  Students apply for admission in the spring of their sophomore year after having completed 48 regular semester credits of coursework.  In order to be eligible for admission, students must meet the following General Requirements:

  • A minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 overall is required of all students seeking certification.
  • Students seeking certification must take 2 terms of College Level Math and 2 terms of College Level English (one composition and one literature).
  • Students must maintain current clearances (Act 34, 151, FBI and TB)
  • Students must pass PRAXIS I prior to Admission to the program

Admitted students must apply to the committee again for permission to Student Teach, typically in the spring of their junior year.  In order to be eligible for student teaching, students must meet the following General Requirements:

  • Continue to maintain a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 overall and current clearances (Act 34, 151, FBI and TB)
  • Must complete an application and provide letters of reference
  • Students must pass PRAXIS II prior to student teaching

Once students seeking certification complete EDU 406 and 407, they are reviewed by the Committee on the Teaching Profession. The committee considers the student’s academic record and the evaluation of his or her student teaching by cooperating teachers, the education department, and the departmental representative from the committee. A student’s maturity, professional conduct, and commitment to teaching is also evaluated during this review. The State mandates that “The candidate is known and regarded by the preparing institution as a person of good moral character and possesses those personal qualities and professional knowledge and skill which warrant issuance of the requested certificate.”  Source PDE certification form 338C, Revised 6/10.  In order to be reviewed by the committee for certification the student must meet the following requirements:

  • Submitted and presented a professional portfolio graded as satisfactory or above
  • Have successfully completed all of the program requirements for their certification area
  • Have completed all of the requirements for a bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 overall
  • Have earned a satisfactory or above rating on the Pennsylvania Statewide Evaluation for Student Professional Knowledge and Practice (PDE 430 form).

Early Childhood (Pre K-4) Certification

Students seeking certification to teach at the early childhood level (PreK-4) must major in Child Development and Education. See the Child Development and Education section of the catalog.

Upper Elementary Education (grades 4-8) Certification

Students can certify in Upper Elementary Education (4-8) in one of 4 specific specialized content areas:

  • Language Arts (English) or
  • Mathematics or
  • Science (Biology or Environmental Studies) or
  • Social Studies (History)

Students seeking certification to teach at the upper elementary level (grades 4-8) may achieve certification in one of two ways:

* Students can major in Child Development and Education and complete a minor in one of the five academic content areas. See the sections of the catalog for Child Development and Education and the appropriate discipline for more information about this option.

* Students can major in one of the five content areas (Biology, Environmental Studies, English, History, Mathematics) with additional specific academic content courses related to grades 4-8, and complete the following additional courses in Psychology and Education: PSY 101, PSY 102, PSY 265, PSY 275; EDU 201, EDU 207, EDU 301, EDU 302 (all areas except language arts), 303 (language arts only), EDU 350 & EDU 403, and EDU 406 & 407 (Student Teaching, with permission of the Committee on the Teaching Profession, credited as 3 courses). Completion of these education and psychology courses constitutes an education minor. See the appropriate departmental section of the catalog for major department requirements for certification. Students who do not complete the certification program, may minor in Education by completing the following courses:  EDU 201, EDU 207, EDU 301, EDU 403, EDU 408, and EDU 409. Note: Psychology 101 is a prerequisite for all education and psychology courses.

Students who would like to add Special Education PreK-8 to their Upper Elementary (4-8) Certification need to complete additional designated coursework in special education to qualify for “dual certification in special education PreK-8.” 

Secondary Education (grades 7-12) Certification

Students seeking certification in secondary education (7-12) must complete an academic major in the area they plan to teach with a minor in education. Secondary education is offered in the following areas: Biology, Chemistry, Social Studies (major in History), English, Mathematics, or Physics. See the appropriate departmental section of the catalog for major department requirements for certification. In addition to the requirements of the major department, students seeking secondary or specialty area certification must complete EDU 201 , 207 , 301 , 350 , 403 , 406 , and 407 (Student Teaching, with permission of the Committee on the Teaching Profession, credited as 3 courses). Completion of these education courses constitutes an education minor. Students who do not complete the certification program, may minor in Education by completing the following courses:  EDU 201, EDU 207, EDU 301, EDU 403, EDU 408, and EDU 409. Note: Psychology 101 is a prerequisite for all education courses.

Students who would like to add Special Education 7-12 to their Secondary Education (7-12) Certification need to complete additional designated coursework in special education to qualify for “dual certification in special education 7-12.” 

Specialty Education (grades K-12) Certification

Students seeking certification in a K-12 specialty content area: art education, environmental education, or modern languages (French, German, or Spanish) must major in that academic area and minor in education. See the appropriate departmental section of the catalog for the major department requirements for certification. In addition to the requirements of the major department, students seeking secondary or specialty area certification must complete EDU 201, 207, 301, 350, 403, 406, and 407 (Student Teaching, with permission of the Committee on the Teaching Profession, credited as 3 courses). Completion of these education courses constitutes an education minor. Students who do not complete the certification program, may minor in Education by completing the following courses:  EDU 201, EDU 207, EDU 301, EDU 403, EDU 408, and EDU 409.  Note: Psychology 101 is a prerequisite for all education courses.

Students who would like to add Special Education to their Specialty Education (K-12) Certification need to complete additional designated coursework in special education to qualify for either “dual certification in special education PreK-8” or “dual certification in special education 7-12.” 

Dual Certification: Special Education

Dual certification in special education is available in either PreK-8 or 7-12. This is not a stand-alone certification. It must be paired with an appropriate area of certification.  Courses required for dual certification are EDU 221, 301, 303, 309, 321, 350, 403, and 250 and will be tailored to the appropriate age/grade level.

Any of these programs may lead to teacher certification if steps mandated by the College, the W&J Education Department, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) are correctly followed. Specific details of each of these programs can be found in the W&J Education Department’s Handbook for Students Seeking Certification to Teach. This handbook must be picked up in the office of the W&J Education Department. Transfer students with a bachelor’s degree from another institution can contact the Education Department for more information.

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