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Pennsylvania Art Teacher Certification

Art teachers look for the beauty in the world and try to pass down this lens to their students. If you'd like to learn more about Pennsylvania teacher licensure, we'll look at what it takes to be an art teacher here.

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In Pennsylvania, the certification for art teachers spans pre-kindergarten to grade 12. Below, we'll look at the common steps to earn licensure as an art teacher in the state of Pennsylvania.

Requirements for Art Teachers in Pennsylvania

Average Salary for Teachers in Pennsylvania (2017)* $28,650 (Preschool)
$65,370 (Elementary School)
$65,270 (Middle School)
$66,020 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Required Field Art Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Art - Content Knowledge (5134), PECT Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Your Education

Art teachers in Pennsylvania must meet the same requirements as all teachers. The first requirement is to complete a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA. It is very important that you consider one of the schools approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If your college is listed under the approved ones, then your bachelor's degree will meet teacher preparation standards.

An art education major is offered by over 30 Pennsylvania colleges and universities. These programs include special topics courses, visual arts at various grade levels, museum studies, cultural influences, curricula and assessment building, and art technologies. You will also take part in student teaching practicums and possibly museum internships. Depending on your college choice, there may be concentrations in the different art forms to go along with your art education major that will allow you to focus your study on the art you prefer.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
  • Teaching, Adults
  • Teaching, Elementary
  • Teaching, High School
  • Teaching, Junior High
  • Teaching, Kindergarten and Preschool
  • Teaching, Waldorf and Steiner Education
  • Teaching, Young Children

Step 2: Complete Required Certification Exams

Pennsylvania prefers their teachers be tested in several areas prior to certification. The first exam you'll take is the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA). This exam tests you on the basics of math, reading, and writing. This assessment is broken up into three modules, one on each subject area. You'll have 45 minutes to complete the 36 multiple-choice questions in the reading section. You must score at least 220 on this module. The mathematics module also includes 36 multiple-choice questions, but you'll be given 75 min to pass with 193 or higher. Finally, 75 minutes is given for the writing section, which on top of the 36 multiple-choice questions, includes 2 sentence corrections and an extended response. You must score 220 or higher on this section.

In place of the PAPA, you can sit for the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exams instead. Like the PAPA, this is made up of three subtests that test you on math, writing, and reading. Passing scores are 142, 162 and 156, respectively.

After this, you'll take the Art: Content Knowledge exam by Praxis. Pennsylvania requires a passing score of 158 on this exam. You'll have two hours to answer 120 multiple-choice questions. That's one question per minute on the two areas of art making and historical and theoretical foundations of art. So long as you pass this exam, you will be certified to teach Pre-K through grade 12.

All teachers who will be teaching a subject that covers all grade levels pk-12 must also complete the Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge exam. This exam must be completed in two hours. Its 120 multiple-choice questions look at four subjects: math, English, social science, and science. You must complete it with a score of 150 or higher.

Step 3: Pass Background Checks

If you've read up on any other states' standards for teachers, you may be aware that most states require teachers to obtain a background check and fingerprinting. Pennsylvania is one of these states, and it performs a few additional background checks as well. Most often, student teaching internships require you to already have been fingerprinted and have a criminal background check, so this step may vary on the placement. However, you will use register with IDEMIA via its IndentoGO website or by phone; a list of fingerprinting locations is available on the website. You will need to bring a photo ID with you to the site, where you will have all ten fingers scanned into the computer. The cost is $22.60 for the fingerprinting, and these will be sent directly for the FBI background check.

You will also need to have a Pennsylvania state police record check and a Department of Human Services (DHS) child abuse report. These can also be registered and paid for online. The state police background check costs $22 and the DHS report costs $13.

Pennsylvania Art Teacher Certification Resources

Pennsylvania, like many other states, requires some intensive testing to become certified as a teacher. Here, we've include some resources to help you prepare for your art teacher certification tests.

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