Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate Renewal

Jul 11, 2018

In 1999, Act 48 was passed for Pennsylvania professional educator certification renewal. Let's take a look at ways that you can maintain your certification in the state of Pennsylvania.

Requirements for Teachers in Pennsylvania

Average Salary for Teachers in Pennsylvania (2017)* $28,650 (Preschool)
$56,090 (Kindergarten)
$65,370 (Elementary School)
$65,270 (Middle School)
$66,020 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Endorsed Subject Area
Testing Requirements NBPTS National Board Certification (optional)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Act 48

As of July 1, 2000, all teachers and staff are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to keep their certification active. This means that every five years, teachers must complete continuing education credits or professional development hours. The previous rule, Act 45, stated different terms, and some administrators are still required to follow Act 45. However, Act 48 states that there must be 180 hours of continuing professional development. Below, we'll take a look at some of the ways this can be met.

Meeting Professional Development Requirements

There are several PDE-approved ways to meet these requirements. Keep in mind that there must be 180 hours of professional development met during a 5-year period.

Every college credit is equal to 30 hours. This means that you can earn six college credits within five years to meet this requirement. For those colleges that hold quarters rather than semesters, each credit is worth 20 hours. It is important to note that the credits must be in courses that will benefit you, as a teacher, and your students in some way. While the obvious choice is to select courses in the subject area in which you teach, other subjects, such as STEM subjects, reading, writing, pedagogy, instructional methods, education, and health can also be very beneficial.

You can also seek out National Board Certification through the National Bureau of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). This certification will allow you to teach in your subject area nationally.

While hours can also be met teaching at a higher education institute, these positions cannot be paid positions. You must complete these hours on a volunteer basis for the experience. To do this, the dean, provost, or chair of the college must provide the PDE with information about you and your work on a school letterhead.

Another popular way to meet these requirements is through seminars, workshops, committees, and other school-related activities. The amount of time spent at these will factor in how many professional development hours are counted.

Along with seminars and workshops, teachers can also present and speak for an organization. For every hour of presentation that is given, teachers will receive four hours credited toward their renewal. Similar to teaching, these cannot be paid speaking engagements. Also, the presentation must be given in a setting where the viewers are able to receive Act 48 hours as well. Finally, keep in mind that you will be given credits for the preparation of the presentation, not the actual presentation.

Pennsylvania Teacher Re-Certification Resources

Though there isn't much in the area of testing, it is important to keep in mind the Praxis exams that may help to encourage your endorsement in other areas. Should you need it, we've included a study guide link for you.

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