Mar 31, 2023  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Education, B.A., Pre K-4 Certification

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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.

Bachelor of Arts in Education

The current Bachelor of Arts programs in Education provide the necessary training for students interested in teaching at the PreK-4 and Special Education PreK-8 levels.

All Education programs are fully approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Graduates are recommended by the University Certification Officer after meeting all requirements for the Instructional I Certificate as mandated by PDE. Arcadia University makes every effort to help students prepare to meet certification requirements in other states. Reciprocity among many states currently exists allowing out of state students receiving certification in Pennsylvania to apply to their respective state departments of education for full certification status.

Requirements for the Major in Pre K-4 Education with Certification

A major in Pre K-4 is designed to provide certification in Early Elementary Education from birth to grade 4. The program embeds interdisciplinary and experiential learning through a variety of service learning projects and flexibility to study abroad. This program also offers the opportunity to explore a range of electives and earn a comprehensive education. Students develop a broad-based understanding across disciplines through the other elements of Arcadia’s Undergraduate Curriculum (

Credit Count (128 credits)

  1. Professional Education Requirements (69 credits; Core in PreK-4 Education)
  2. Additional Undergraduate Curriculum requirements (24 credits)
  3. Electives (25 credits)

Certification in Early Elementary Education (Pre K-4)

The Professional Education requirements are based on Pennsylvania Code, Chapter 354 and 49 requirements.

Professional Core in the PreK-4 Education program totals 87 credit hours, including field experiences and student teaching. Twelve of these credits, and embedded content and experiences in other courses, address adaptations, accommodations, and cognitive development of diverse students in an inclusive setting (PDE Chapter 49 requirements). Three credits, and embedded content and experiences in other courses, address content requirements regarding the needs of English language learners (PDE PA Code, Chapter 49 requirements).

Professional Education Core Courses and Fieldwork (44 credits)

Special Education And English Language Learners Requirements (22 credits)

Student Teaching (18 credits)

Content area courses required under PA Code, Chapter 354 (24 credits)

At least one course in Written Communication

One course in American/English Literature

Two courses in Mathematics

An American History course

(HS 117  recommended)


*Courses that also meet another Undergraduate Curriculum requirement

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)

(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 ( 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.

CLEARANCES Information
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

  1. Satisfactory completion of all coursework for the bachelor’s degree and GPA requirement specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (3.0 GPA).
  2. Satisfactory completion of a pre-student teaching experience.
  3. Satisfactory completion of University requirements as identified elsewhere in this catalog.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. Updated clearance documentation: PA Criminal Background Check, PA Child Abuse background check and FBI background check.
  7. 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.
  8. Meeting of all the Pennsylvania State Standards for the Preparation of Teachers.
  9. Completion of a professional electronic portfolio for all PreK-4/Special Education and Middle School Education certification students.

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