College of Education

West Chester University

302 Recitation Hall
West Chester, PA 19383
Call: (610) 436-2321
Fax : (610) 436-3102

Transitioning to the New PA Teacher Certifications

This page is designed to differentiate the old certifications from the new ones.

As a result of changes to 22 Pa. Code, Chapter 49, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania Department of Education has redefined several traditional and popular teacher certification programs. The certification changes described below apply to all teacher education institutions in Pennsylvania. Teacher education candidates completing the new certifications will receive preparation that departs to some extent from that available at present, particularly with regard to addressing the needs of students with disabilities in inclusive settings and the needs of English language learners.

The first certifications listed are those currently available (can be earned if issued by August 31, 2013). The second list contains those available if completing a teacher education program after January 1, 2013.


Former Certifications Must be issued before August 31, 2013 New Certifications Available beginning January 1, 2013
Early Childhood Education
(PK–Grade 3)
Early Childhood/Elementary (PK–Grade 4) This will enable a teacher to work with children across subject areas
Elementary Education

Elementary/Middle Level (Grades 4–8) Enables teachers to work with students in the core academic subject(s) the teacher education candidate chooses to pursue (i.e., English, mathematics, science, and/or social studies)
Secondary Education

(7–12) English, Science, and Social Studies
Secondary Education (Grades 7–12) English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies
Special Education

Special Education (PK–Grade 8) This certification must be earned along with either the Early Childhood/Elementary (PK–4) or the Elementary/Middle (4–8) certificate; Special Education (7-12) This certification must be earned along with a secondary content area certificate
Foreign Language

Foreign Language (K–12) This certification will not change
Health and Physical Education (K–12) Health and Physical Education (K–12) This certification will not change
Music (K–12) Music (K–12) This certification will not change