Clearances, Field Placement, Admission to Teacher Education, & Certification

School of Education

If you want to become a certified educator in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you need diligence, organization and preparedness. Learn how PennWest Edinboro’s School of Education helps you every step of the way, guiding you through the government clearances, candidacy requirements, state testing, student teaching and eventually certification.

Before You Become a Certified Teacher

In order to graduate from a program in PennWest Edinboro’s School of Education and receive a teaching certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), you must:

*Note: If you are seeking teacher certification from a state other than Pennsylvania, please follow the procedures required by that specific state. It is the student’s responsibility to investigate certification requirements from states other than Pennsylvania. Only international students who hold immigration status and have submitted a form of intent to become a citizen are eligible to apply for PDE teacher certification.

Clearance Requirements

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and PennWest Edinboro require clearances be submitted by students pursuing a degree in the education field.

Clearances are an essential part of any education program because you will be working directly with minors, who are protected under federal law. The list of clearances and forms below are required by all students in the School of Education and must be submitted before scheduling clearance required courses. The clearances must also be renewed/updated the semester before student teaching. Please note new clearances could be requested by School Districts at any time.

Be aware, the School of Education cannot provide copies of clearances to students. Keep your originals in a safe and accessible location for the various requirements of the University and K-12 school districts.

Students not complying with this requirement will not be permitted to schedule clearance-required courses. See list below:

School of Education Clearance Required Course Listing

Submission of Clearances to Anthology

Initial clearances must be dated less than 2 years old. All clearances listed below need to be renewed and dated within 1 year of the last day of student teaching or internship unless otherwise noted. These clearances will be uploaded to Anthology.

  1. Act 34 Criminal Record Check Online Submission Purpose of record check must be EMPLOYMENT.
  2. Act 33 Child Abuse Clearance Instructions and Online Submission Purpose of record check must be EMPLOYMENT non-governed by school code.
    1. If completing fingerprinting at the IU5 in Edinboro, please follow these instructions.
    2. Please note, PDE only sends Unofficial Results via email. The email is valid for 30 days and can only be accessed once. Be sure to check your email regularly (including your spam folder) for the results. Once received, be sure to save the results for your records. If you do not receive the results via email or can no longer access them, you will need to contact PDE to request a hard copy be mailed to you. Their contact information is or 717-783-3750.
  4. TB Test Results (Student Health Services or family physician)
  5. Act 126 Child Abuse Recognition and Mandated Reporting– Valid for up to 5 years
  6. Proof of Liability Insurance(minimum $1 million coverage, four-year term Recommended)
  7. Act 24/82 Arrest/Conviction Report & Certification Form Must be signed and dated at the time of submission and renewed at the start of each semester.
  8. Confidentiality Agreement Must be signed and dated at the time of submission.
  9. For all candidates, undergraduate and graduate, in the PreK-4 certification programs, a physical is required and your doctor or health care provider must complete the Child Care Staff Health Assessment.

Please note: You are required to take your clearance packet to your placement schools for both field and student teaching. It is up to the field/student teaching School District to determine if your clearances meet the necessary requirements. They have the right to ask you to update any clearances at any time.

Admission to teacher education

The path to becoming a certified teacher at PennWest Edinboro begins by obtaining “Admission to Teacher Education” after entering the program. This allows you to continue to the upper level courses, become certified through the Pennsylvania Department of Education and acquire experience as student teachers.

One of the first steps a student who wishes to become a teacher must complete is to obtain the status of teacher candidate within the School of Education. “Admission to Teacher Education” is a set of procedures and standards for completing the School of Education programs at PennWest Edinboro. You must obtain “admission” to continue with your chosen program. This structure ensures that Edinboro graduates are prepared to be excellent professional educators by meeting the quality standards at both national and state levels.

Are You an Undergraduate Student?

Undergraduate students must meet these criteria in order to obtain admission, see the policy and process information below::

Admission to Teacher Education Policy

Admission to Teacher Education Process

Admission to Teacher Education Application

Are You a Certified Professional?

If you are a professional who is already certified in Pennsylvania, you do not need to apply for candidacy in order to get additional certification. You must take the appropriate courses and pass the required testing to be qualified for certification in their area. All clearances must be up-to-date and on file with the University.

Gain Field Experience

Field Experience updates coming soon.

Certification Requirements

Receiving Teaching Certification is the final step students must reach before they can serve in a Pennsylvania public school. Students must complete their chosen program, graduate and pass the appropriate testing to receive their certification.

What Is Teaching Certification?

Certification is a process in which the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requirements are fulfilled and verified so that you can be an educator in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. All professional employees of the Commonwealth’s public schools must hold a certificate. The Pennsylvania State Board of Education sets the standards and regulations for certification, and the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality administers those standards and regulations in regard to certifying educators. Individuals must hold a valid, appropriate certificate with the proper endorsement area corresponding to the job assignment in order to serve in a Pennsylvania public school.

Pennsylvania's Certification Requirements

How to Apply for a Pennsylvania Certification Through pennwest

  1. Register with TIMS.
  2. Complete the TIMS Credential Application.
  3. Information on how to process your application can be found here.
  4. Once approved, your certificate will be available within 10 weeks on the TIMS site.
  5. Once you have registered with TIMS, click here to apply for the new credential or to check the status. Then click on "Personal User" then "Login to TIMS."

Contact Us

School of Education
140 Butterfield Hall
310 Scotland Road
Edinboro, PA 16444
Phone: 814-732-2724

Dr. Stephanie Williams
Field Services & Partnerships Coordinator
147 Butterfield Hall
Phone: 814-732-1468