About the Education Program at Arcadia University
In order to develop into a great first-year teacher, pre-service teachers must become ignited by the idea of teaching and learning, be involved in a deep practice of the craft and science of teaching, and be carefully coached and mentored in that practice. Arcadia University’s School of Education programs are guided by this belief and the research that supports it. Our professors are dedicated to designing meaningful and rich courses that are connected to essential fieldwork which is mentored by classroom teachers, professors, and supervisors.
Arcadia University Education students will:
- Hone their teaching skills through guided practice,
- Enjoy camaraderie, idea sharing, and collaboration with other students and faculty in Arcadia’s close-knit undergraduate programs, and
- Have an opportunity to explore global learning and teaching experiences through Arcadia’s accessible and acclaimed travel abroad program.
At the end of undergraduate studies, preservice teachers will have the skills needed to design meaningful and rich learning opportunities for prek-12 students and have a sophisticated understanding of 21st Century teaching and learning.
Other highlights of Arcadia University’s School of Education Programs:
- More than 20 certification programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)
- Extensive fieldwork and student teaching partnerships with urban and suburban schools
- Opportunities to study abroad
- Institutional grants to collaborate with faculty on research and opportunities to present at regional, national, and international conferences
- Membership opportunities in honorary societies such as Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honorary Society in Education and Phi Kappa Phi Arcadia University Honor Society
- Student memberships in state and local professional education organizations such as the Pennsylvania State Education Association
Leadership and recognition: Arcadia University has been awarded state grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Division of Special Education to train teachers statewide in inclusive practices at the Arcadia Annual Inclusion Institute and in Positive Behavior Supports for schools. The Pennsylvania Department of Education and the National Science Foundation awarded Arcadia major funding to train special educators and secondary English, social studies, science, and mathematics educators. Arcadia has been recognized and funded for its work in developing Professional Development Schools through the Lawrence J. and Anne Rubenstein Foundation and the Philadelphia Education Fund. The Autism Certificate Program is endorsed by the Commonwealth of PA, and the Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate leads to National Board certification with successful completion of an internship and passing the national Board exam. The School of Education was also awarded a state grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to develop an undergraduate dual certification program in Secondary Education and Special Education.
Our graduates have received regional and statewide recognition for the work they do after graduation. Graduates of Arcadia’s Education program are currently employed or have been employed across the nation and in international locations.
Requirements for Secondary Education Certification (Grades 7-12)
Arcadia University is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to certify students in the following six secondary education areas: Biology, Chemistry, General Science, English, Mathematics and Social Studies. Prospective secondary education teachers must complete requirements in their respective disciplinary major—Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematics or Social Studies (History, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology majors).
In addition, candidates for certification complete coursework in the Professional Education Core designed to prepare students to teach in grades 7-12. This constitutes a minor in Secondary Education. Advisers in the respective liberal arts and sciences departments will guide the student in the selection of disciplinary content courses, while secondary education faculty guide the student through the certification and Professional Education Core requirements. It is essential that all students pursuing certification in Secondary Education declare Secondary Education as a minor. Forms to declare a minor can be found on the Registrar’s Office website.
Students interested in secondary certification should consult with their disciplinary adviser and their education adviser as early as possible, preferably freshman year. All Arcadia undergraduates seeking certification apply into the certification program during the spring semester of their sophomore year. See the section outlining the application process for all certification candidates.
The following Professional Education courses are required for Secondary Education certification. Courses with an asterisk (*) are courses that apply to the Arcadia University Undergraduate Curriculum requirements:
Different Pathways to Secondary Education Certification
Three different pathways can be taken that will ultimately lead to certification in a secondary education area. Students should choose the option that best suits their needs. The decision should be made in consultation with their School of Education adviser and should be determined as early as possible, preferably in the freshman year.
Option 1: Complete all course requirements and student teaching during the four years of undergraduate study, earning a bachelor’s degree and teacher certification at the same time. (Some courses may be taken during the summer or online.)
Option 2: Complete the requirements for a major in an appropriate field and a minor in Education Studies during the four years of undergraduate study, earning a bachelor’s degree and eligibility for a Graduate Intern Certification (requires passing scores on the PAPA and Praxis II examinations). This allows recipients to teach full-time in a public school classroom while continuing to take courses to fulfill the teacher certification Instructional I requirements during the next three calendar years. These courses could be taken through Arcadia University’s graduate program and would be credited toward a master’s degree.
Option 3: Complete the requirements for a major in an appropriate field during the four years of undergraduate study, earning a bachelor’s degree. Then take all the required Education courses for teacher certification at the graduate level.
Admission Requirements for All Certification Program Candidates
The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that all candidates interested in obtaining teacher certification must meet certain prerequisite requirements before they can enter a program leading to teacher certification. All students who are seeking Pennsylvania teacher certification in PreK-4 Special Education, Middle School Education, Secondary Education, or Art Education must formally apply into the teacher certification program through the School of Education and must meet the following prerequisite requirements.
Admission decisions are based on the Pennsylvania Department of Education state certification requirements (PA Code, Chapter 354). The following are required:
- 48 credits outside of Education
- An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Two college-level Mathematics courses
- Courses in English Composition and a course in American Literature
- Current PA Criminal Background and Child Abuse Clearances, FBI Background Clearance and negative TB test results.
In addition to the above requirements, students must do the following:
- Take at least one Education course
- Have only one grade of “C” in an Education course
- Obtain qualifying scores on the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) Reading, Writing and Mathematics modules
- Submit an electronic portfolio (PreK-4 and Special Education majors only)
NOTE: All Arcadia undergraduates seeking certification should apply during the spring semester of their sophomore year.
A student who thinks his or her GPA might be below 3.0 and/or has not met all the prerequisite requirements may request to be conditionally admitted. Students completing the conditional requirements within a designated timeframe will be fully admitted into the teacher certification program. Those, students who do not meet the requirements may continue in the Education Program but will not be able to pursue certification. Students also may choose to pursue an alternative major.
Students denied admission to the School will be advised to pursue an alternative major or seek a path that may combine Education with another major.
Transfer Students Admission
All transfer students above the level of a firstsemester sophomore must apply for admission to the certification program immediately after their first semester as a full-time student or after two semesters as a part-time student. At the end of that semester, their Arcadia University GPA (3.0 or higher) along with their transfer GPA will be used to determine whether they will be admitted to the School. Transfer students are not required to submit an electronic portfolio until they apply for student teaching. They are required to meet all admission standards required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Student Teaching Practicum (for all majors)
Students who have completed their entire coursework will student teach as their culminating experience during the fall or spring semester of the senior year, depending on their program. Applications for student teaching must be submitted with all required materials the semester prior to student teaching. The deadlines are early September for a spring practicum and early February for a fall practicum. Applications are available through the Office of School and Community Collaborations or by visiting the School of Education website. Admission for student teaching requires: A 3.0 overall GPA; or PRAXIS testing requirements; valid and updated clearances; good standing as a senior; and permission of the Director of Office of School and Community Collaborations.
Testing Requirements for All Candidates Seeking Certification in the State of Pennsylvania
All candidates applying for Pennsylvania State Certification in PreK-4/ Special Education (PreK-8 or 7-12), Middle School Education (4-8), Secondary Education (7-12) and Art Education (K-12) need to obtain qualifying scores on Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests (PECT) or PRAXIS / PAPA state teacher examinations in order to receive an Instructional I certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Before applying into the School of Education, all undergraduate students are required to obtain qualifying scores on the following tests: PAPA (Preservice Academic Performance Assessment) 3 Modules: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing.
Important Note: Please check with your adviser before registering for certification tests. Advisers will have the most up-to-date information regarding PAPA, PECT, and PRAXIS tests.
Testing Requirements for PreK-4/Special Education
- Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA)
- PreK-4 (PECT)
- Special Education PreK-8 (PECT)
Testing Requirements for Secondary Education (7-12)
- Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA)
- Secondary Education (7-12) (PRAXIS)
Testing Requirements for Art Education (K-12)
- Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA)
- Art Education (K-12) (PRAXIS)
STUDENTS WITH A SAT SCORE OF 1550
(no individual section score less than 500) are not required to take PAPA
All individuals seeking dual certification will be required to be examined in both areas of specialization. Information is available at (http://www.arcadia.edu/edudept) or the School of Education Main Office (Taylor Hall, Room 200). Please be aware that certification testing requirements may change. Regularly check the School of Education website and Arcadia email for updates.
The total PRAXIS pass rate for students completing teacher certification programs at Arcadia University exceeds the statewide total pass rate. Results aggregated by area are available in the Graduate Studies Office. Current information is subject to change without notification.
The PA Department of Education requires Arcadia University to have a copy of current clearances for all students completing field experiences and Student Teaching. PDE states that students must demonstrate the professional behavior of acquiring andmaintaining appropriate clearances.
It is your responsibility to obtain ALL required clearances to file with the Arcadia University School of Education by day one of the semester. It is your responsibility to update annually the PA Child Abuse, PA Criminal Record Check, Arrest/Conviction form and the TB test in May/June. Not doing so will jeopardize your field placement and, therefore, your course completion. This will, as well, affect negatively the evaluation of your professional behavior.
It is your responsibility to retain the original clearances in a safe place and to make copies available to fieldwork sites on your first visit.
For more information visit:
Exit Requirements for All Certification Program Candidates
- Satisfactory completion of all coursework for the bachelor’s degree and GPA requirement specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (3.0 GPA).
- Satisfactory completion of a pre-student teaching experience.
- Satisfactory completion of University requirements as identified elsewhere in this catalog.
- Satisfactory completion of student teaching (“B” or better) in the area of certification and the PDE 430 performance-based assessment rating form. (Note that all practicum prerequisites must be met and the adviser’s approval received before enrolling in the student teaching.)
- Obtain qualifying scores on the PAPA Series qualifying tests and the appropriate PECT/PRAXIS required tests (Note: in order for students to receive an Instructional I certificate from the PA Dept. of Education they will be need to obtain qualifying scores on all required PECT/PRAXIS tests. Students may retake tests if their scores do not meet the state required cutoff scores.
- Updated clearance documentation: PA Criminal Background Check, PA Child Abuse background check and FBI background check.
- Completion of Pennsylvania Instructional I certification forms (available in the College of Graduate Studies Office) required by the University and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
- Meeting of all the Pennsylvania State Standards for the Preparation of Teachers.
- Completion of a professional electronic portfolio for all PreK-4/Special Education and Middle School Education certification students.