New PDE Certification Requirements



TO: All Initial Certification Students at all Levels (ELED, ECE, SPED, Secondary, Counselor ED, Reading Specialists)

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has changed certification requirements as of January 1, 2011. Any student, regardless of entry date, must complete 9 credits of Special Education and 3 credits of English Language Learner (ELL) instruction prior to certification, if they are not CERTIFIED (praxis passed, student teaching, etc.). No students will be "grandfathered." Please see your individual advisor to discuss what this may mean for you in particular. Please see your advisor if you have questions about this requirement. This requirement is for initial certifications only, not "add-ons." New courses will be provided to fulfill these requirements, including courses during student teaching, where applicable.

Further, students who are not certified by December, 2012:

Chapter 49-2 Final Form Regulations Approved by the State Board of Education


The State Board of Education, at its May 17, 2007 meeting, approved an amended version of Chapter 49-2. Prior to presenting the final form regulations to the Board for approval, the Chapter 49 Committee made several changes which had been recommended during the review process. Substantive changes to the final form regulations are summarized below.


1. The effective date for the new instructional certificates was changed from January 1, 2012, to January 1, 2013, in order to give teacher education programs substantial time to make necessary changes. 
2. The Early Childhood Education certificate was expanded to include grade 4 in order to create an overlap between ECE and the Elementary/Middle level certificate. 
3. The new certificates issued after January 1, 2013, will be: 
   a. Early Childhood (PK through grade 4, or ages 3 through 9). 
   b. Elementary/Middle (grades 4 through 8, or ages 9 through 14). 
   c. Secondary (grades 7 through 12, or ages 11 through 21). 
   d. Specialized areas (PK through grade 12 or up through age 21). 
   e. Special Education PK-8 (PK through grade 8 or ages 3 through 14) with a dual certificate in one of the following:
      i. Early Childhood
      ii. Elementary/Middle
      iii. Reading Specialist
   f. Special Education 7-12 (Grades 7 through 12 or ages 11 through 21) with a dual certificate in one of the following: 
      i. Secondary
      ii. Reading Specialist
4. The definition of Pre-kindergarten was amended to include Early Intervention agencies. 
5. Additional technical changes were made for clarification of the Board’s intent.


Please note: All teacher education programs need to show evidence that they have included the nine credits or 270 hours of special education and three credits or 90 hours of teaching English language learners by January 1, 2011.


The amended regulations are available on the State Board website


Once again, there are no "grandfathered" certificates. Any student who began a program and does not finish under the current certificates will be subject to the new courses for the new certificates.