Pennsylvania considers the education of its children to be among the highest priorities of state government and has dedicated many resources toward that end. Educators prepare for their responsibilities in the schools of the Commonwealth through the completion of: (1) A state-approved teacher education program that includes a student teaching (for instructional certificates) or field experience (for administrative certificates such as principal or vocational director and educational specialist certificates such as school counselor, school nurse, etc.). (2) The Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) Reading, Writing, Mathematics and the correct content assessments as indicated on the Testing Requirements webpage. (3) Application materials documenting that all certification requirements have been met.
In this section, you will find information on approved teacher preparation programs, the Interstate Agreement, the requirements for certification and the application process.
Teacher Preparation Programs in Pennsylvania
- A person may complete a teacher preparation program in Pennsylvania and be recommended for a certificate provided that program has been approved by the Department of Education as leading to the designated certificate.
Requirements for Certification
- Search for specific requirements necessary for Pennsylvania certification as a classroom teacher, school leader, pupil personnel professional and other credentials for service in the public schools.
- Find information about the required tests, test vendors, online registration for tests, test study guides, frequently asked questions and more.
Application for a Certificate
- Apply for a certificate using the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) online system. It is recommended that you review the Frequently Asked Questions
prior to entering the TIMS online application. Additionally, this website has a User Guide for Applicants to assist you with navigation of the online certification system.
Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) Public Website
- View the Pennsylvania certification status of individual teachers, school administrators and pupil personnel professionals. The website provides the ability to search for an educator by name, educational entity or by the Pennsylvania Professional Personnel ID (PPID). Tips for success when using the site:
- When searching by name, use the percent sign (%) in strategically placed locations when there are multiple variations. For example, D%Angelo will list D Angelo, D'Angelo, DeAngelo, as well as Deangelo.
- Click on the View Complete Profile link next to the desired educator.
- Employment information is only provided for public entities for the single year listed on the search screen. Educators with no employment record on file may be working in a private institution, out of state or elsewhere.
- The Complete Profile displays certification information and discipline status. Definitions are available to clarify discipline, continuing education and credential status terminology by clicking on the question mark symbol in the blue circle.
- When searching by PPID, the name does not appear. The PPID does not display when searching by name or entity for security reasons.