Pre-certification, Initial Preparation Program
All students seeking teaching certification must be formally admitted to the Pre-certification, Initial Preparation Program (Pre-CIP). Admission to the program can occur after the student has completed 12 Bucknell University courses or their equivalents, including two courses in mathematics, one course in British or American literature, and one in composition; and achieved for the three preceding semesters an overall grade point average of at least 3.0. Appeals to this requirement may be made to the chair of the Department of Education.
* Candidates must also pass the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment tests in reading, writing and math. Students should apply to Pre-CIP as soon as they begin considering a career in education, and no later than the start of the first semester of their junior year. Students are notified of their acceptance or rejection at the end of their sophomore year.
The commonwealth of Pennsylvania generally requires an overall grade point average of 3.0 upon completion of the program prior to recommendation for certification to teach.
Specific Requirements for Each Certification Area
All students seeking certification must take two mathematics intensive courses, one English/American literature course and one W1 writing course (in addition to the literature course).
The following are considered to be "add-on" certifications that require students to concurrently pursue certification in one of the areas above:
- General Science (requires concurrent certification in biology, chemistry or physics): Required courses
- ESL Program Specialist, K–12 (requires concurrent certification in Pre-K–4 or one of the 7–12, or K–12 programs listed above): Advising Worksheet and Portfolio
In addition to completing an approved program and successfully demonstrating the prescribed role competencies, the prospective teacher must be a "person of good moral character" who "possesses those personal qualities and professional knowledge and skills which warrant issuance of the requested certificate."
It is the student's responsibility to satisfy these criteria. Students should note that prior to placement in student teaching or any other field experience, they will be required to submit results of a child abuse clearance, criminal background check and fingerprinting pursuant to requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Results must indicate that there are no criminal or child abuse records.
Students in Education classes with field experiences can get help navigating the clearance process by contacting the departments Director of Professional Education.
Act 151: PA Child Abuse History Clearance
Act 34: PA Criminal History Record Check
FBI Criminal History (Fingerprint)
Certification Exams (Praxis or Pennsylvania Education Certification Test)
In addition to coursework, students must complete and submit scores from required Praxis or Pennsylvania Education Certification Test examinations to the Department of Education. Specific examinations required for each area of certification vary. Although members of the department will advise students concerning examinations, the student is responsible for taking those examinations that meet certification program requirements.
Learn more about certification testing
Applying for a Teaching Certificate in Pennsylvania
After completing the approved program of courses, the student submits an application for a Pennsylvania teaching certificate through the online Teacher Information Management System website not earlier than the first day of the month of graduation.
Following a review of the student's program, the student may be recommended for certification by the designated officer at Bucknell. As noted above, the student must pass all the competency tests required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the desired certificate.
Bucknell's certification officer is able to recommend for certification students who successfully completed one of Bucknell's teacher certification programs, passed the appropriate tests and met all other certification requirements within five years of the student's date of graduation. Because state requirements and/or curricula may change, it may not be possible to make recommendations for certification outside of this five-year window.
Applying for a Teaching Certificate in Other States
Students who desire certification in states other than Pennsylvania must understand that teacher certification is governed by state law and that each state has different requirements. Obtaining a Pennsylvania teaching certificate, by completing an approved program and meeting all other requirements, does not ensure that students will be certified in another state.
Although members of the Bucknell education department will assist students in obtaining information concerning certification in other states, as well as Pennsylvania, it is the student's responsibility to obtain current information and to meet all the certification requirements of any state.
* These requirements may be modified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) due to COVID-19.