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Obtaining Additional Certification(s)

Add-On Certificates
ESL Certification

Adding a Second Certificate

Currently, the PA Department of Education allows certified teachers to add certification in a second content area(s) by passing the appropriate Praxis exam (without completing the college/university curriculum for this major). This process is referred to as "Instructional Add-ons." We strongly encourage all students to explore Instructional Add-ons as an option for increasing your teaching versatility and employment marketability.

To assess the difficulty and content of these Praxis II exams, check out the Tests at a Glance and Study Guides on the Praxis Website

Consider the following:

  • Exceptions to the Add-on Certificate Eligibility: Grades PreK- 4, Middle Level (4-8), Reading Specialist, Cooperative Education, all Special Education areas, and Health & Physical Education certificates are not obtainable without completing an approved college program. However, all teachers certified in these areas, may add on certificates from the remaining eligible areas.
  • Note: Foreign language areas other than French, Spanish, German or Latin MUST take the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) test for the language and achieve a minimum of Intermediate High on both the oral and written ACTFL assessments.
  • Example, Secondary Education: Do you have a second area of interest that you would enjoy teaching? Consider taking the appropriate Praxis II exam to obtain certification in another secondary level content area.
  • Application Sequence: In order to apply for certification in a second certification area, you must obtain your primary (or initial) Instructional I teaching certificate, first. Applications must be sumbitted to the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality through Teacher Information Management Systems (TIMS).  In TIMS, select "Instructional I" even if you posess an Instructional II certificate.  PDE is no longer accepting paper applications.  For more information, visit the PDE website.
  • Taking the “Add-on” Praxis: Although you must obtain the first certificate prior to applying for the Add-on Certificate, you may take the Praxis exam for the Add-on Certificate anytime! In fact, you may take the Praxis exams in any sequence. Only the application process is sequential.
  • Employers Outside of PA: Although many states will honor Instructional Add-ons, there are no guarantees that this will transfer. Just as states can add other eligibility requirements to "standard" PA Instructional certificates, state requirements for Instructional Add-on certificates may vary.

ESL Certification

 

Within Pennsylvania, English as a Second Language (ESL) professionals are K-12 Program Specialists.  To qualify for an ESL Program Specialist certificate, applicants must hold a PA Instructional I or II certificate and complete a state-approved ESL training component.

 

For more information on PA qualifications, visit the PDE website, Certification and Staffing Policies, Instructional Certification, CSPG 68, Program Specialist.

 

NOTE: The local Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV offers online certification in ESL.  Here is a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions, prepared by the intermediate unit.

 

TESOL/TEFL Certification

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Langauges and Teaching English as a Foreign Language are certification areas that are becoming more and more popular.  Certification in these areas is offered through independent programs. Sincethe TESOL/TEFL organizations cannot officially recommend specific certificate programs, they have compiled a list of tips for evaulating independent certificate programs.

Tips for Evaluating Independent Certificate Programs

 
 


Education Career Services
Grove City College | 100 Campus Drive, Grove City, PA, 16127
PH: (724) 458-3397 |
2010 Education Career Services
Maintained By: Deb Snyder | Last Updated: January 2014