Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education
L. Jill Hans
Deputy Secretary for Postsecondary and Higher Education
The Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education (OPHE) provides evaluation of program approval requests for two-year, four-year, graduate and professional degrees; works with organizations seeking approval as degree-granting colleges, universities and seminaries to effect such approval; consults with the State Board of Education on the development of regulations to assure quality postsecondary and higher education programs; participates in long-range planning for higher education and assists institutions in the development of needed programs; and provides direction and coordination for adult
basic and literacy education.
|Bureau of Postsecondary and Adult Education|
The Bureau of Postsecondary and Adult Education consults with degree-granting institutions, consortia and professional associations in developing new programs; recommends the approval of programs to the Secretary of Education for the awarding of degrees at private junior colleges, colleges, universities and seminaries with restricted charters, professional schools, and the specialized technical and business degree programs at private, licensed schools; manages the licensing and administrative functions for the Board of Private Licensed Schools; provides training to law enforcement officers in the use of equipment and techniques for detection of those driving under the influence of chemical substances; and approves and supervises on-the-job training programs, educational institutions and training establishments for the education and training of veterans.
The Bureau directs and administers adult basic education and literacy programs throughout the Commonwealth; administers the Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma and General Educational Development® (GED) programs; and coordinates federal and state adult basic and literacy education grant programs. Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma/GED®
The Bureau receives and processes requests from out-of-state degree-granting institutions seeking information from or authorization by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to offer courses or degree programs via distance education to Pennsylvania residents, in accordance with federal regulations. For further information please visit Distance Education Providers.
Division of Higher & Career Education
The Division of Higher and Career Education assists postsecondary institutions in Pennsylvania with offering degree programs as well as help new institutions form. For more information call (717) 783-8228 or email RA-COLLUNIVSEMINFO@pa.gov.
The Division of Higher and Career Education also licenses and regulates private, postsecondary career and trade schools in Pennsylvania. Most of the schools offer certificate or diploma programs though some are authorized to grant specialized associate degrees. For more information, call (717) 783-8228 or email email@example.com.
Division of Adult Education
The Division of Adult Education directs and administers adult basic education and literacy programs throughout the Commonwealth; administers the Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma and general Educational Development® (GED) programs; and coordinates federal and state adult basic and literacy education grant programs. For more information, call (717) 787-5532 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Division of Veterans/Military Education
The Division of Veterans/Military Education approves postsecondary schools, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and licensure/certification examinations so that eligible veterans, reservists and dependents can use their G.I. Bill benefits. For more information, call (717) 787-2414 or email RA-VetEd@pa.gov.
|Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality|
The Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality reviews and approves educator preparation programs at over 90 public and private colleges and universities and alternative teacher preparation programs in the Commonwealth. Regulations and standards for educator preparation programs require they provide rigorous and research-based instruction and clinical experiences that will prepare candidates to be effective in their professional roles as Pennsylvania education providers.
Program approval by this office assures graduates and prospective employers that the knowledge and skills learned in the completed program of study result in student learning and growth in Pennsylvania's schools. Programs are reviewed to establish that initial standards are met by new programs and then every seven years full review and approval of all programs in an institution is required for the continuing operation of each program.
Provides technical assistance and training institutions of higher education and to candidates for certification who desire clarification and interpretation of regulations and guidelines that affect program approval. Staff also compile data from program providers, and prepare an official report for the federal government.
For detailed information please visit Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements.
Reviews and approves educator specialist, instructional, supervisory, administrative and temporary professional licenses for use in public and private schools grades pre-kindergarten through twelve. Reviews preliminary education requirements for individuals applying to nursing, public librarian and funeral director programs. A full list of the certificates and certification requirements may be viewed on the PDE website under Teachers and Teacher Certifications.
In December 2011 the division launched a new, online Teachers Information Management Systems (TIMS) application to facilitate the certification process. User Guides, general information and access to this program may be viewed by selecting the TIMS link on the Certifications page or by navigating to www.PA-TIMS.com.