Instructional II Educational Requirements changing in 2011
Since 1963, Pennsylvania teachers working on an Instructional I certificate have been required to complete 24 post-baccalaureate credits within 6 years of public school teaching in order to apply for an Instructional II certificate. Through recent action by the State Board of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), this requirement has now changed.
Beginning September 1, 2011, all teachers in Pennsylvania who earned an Instructional I teaching certificate after September 22, 2007 must complete 6 specific credit hours as part of the 24 credit hour post-baccalaureate requirement. These six credits must be in the area of inclusive classrooms and/or standards aligned systems (SAS).
According to PDE, acceptable coursework in the area of Inclusive Classrooms includes the courses that address the following topics:
- Providing effective instruction to students with mild to severe disabilities
- Research-proven strategies and methods to help special needs learners gain meaningful access to elementary and/or secondary curriculum content
- Assessing the success of instruction with special learners and improvement of outcomes for all students
- Methods of motivation and classroom management in settings with special needs learners.
Acceptable coursework in Standards Aligned Systems (SAS) includes courses that address the following topics:
- Understanding the national movement for core academic standards
- Understanding Pennsylvania's Standards Aligned System (SAS) and the research base underlying its six components
- Use of diagnostics and formative assessment
- Use of Pennsylvania's Ed Portal as an ongoing job-embedded resource for educators
- A requirement to conduct a professional development activity or awareness session in the educator's own school district on Pennsylvania's SAS and curriculum frameworks.
All PSEA members who have earned their Instructional I certificate since September 22, 2007 and who are planning to apply for their Instructional II certificate after September 1, 2011 may be required to meet this new requirement. PDE has assured PSEA that teachers who received an Instructional I certificate after September 22, 2007 but completed all of the required 24 credit hours prior to September 1, 2011 are exempt.
Frequently Asked Questions
If a teacher earned an Instructional I prior to September 22, 2007, but does not apply for a Level II certificate by September 1, 2011, do these new rules apply?
No. The new requirements only apply to teachers who earned an Instructional I certificate after September 22, 2007.
If a teacher obtained an Instructional I certificate after September 22, 2007, but submits an application for a Level II certificate prior to September 1, 2011, do these new rules apply?
No. The new requirements only apply to teachers who apply for an Instructional II certificate after September 1, 2011.
If a teacher who received an Instructional I certificate after September 22, 2007 submits an application for an Instructional II before September 1, 2011, but PDE is still processing the application after the September 1, 2011 date, with the teacher’s Instructional II certificate still be awarded?
A teacher who received an Instructional I certificate after September 22, 2007 and completes all coursework before September 1, 2011 does not need to meet the new requirements. If the coursework is completed on or after September 1, 2011, the teacher will have to meet the six credit requirement. If a teacher meets the requirements in place at the time of course completion, a certificate will be awarded.
Where can teachers find coursework that meets the SAS criteria during the upcoming school year?
PDE says that many courses can meet this requirement, including courses in formative and diagnostic assessment, policy courses examining the national standards movement, and courses in meeting the needs of students with special needs. PDE recommends that applicants send in course descriptions for the specific courses to avoid any delays. Course titles do not always indicate the content covered and should not be the only piece of information included in an Instructional II application to PDE.
Can a teacher meet this requirement by completing a master’s degree program in an education-related field?
Teachers are still able to meet the educational requirement for an Instructional II certificate by completing a master’s degree. However, not all master’s degree programs will meet the criteria since not all master’s degrees necessarily require six credits in inclusive classrooms or standards aligned systems. It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that the six credit requirement is met.
What other requirements need to be met in order to apply for an Instructional II certificate?
Other requirements for an Instructional II certificate remain the same.
- Teachers must complete at least three years of satisfactory service on an Instructional I certificate in Pennsylvania in a content area for which the Instructional I certificate was issued;
- Teachers must earn at least 6 semi-annual satisfactory evaluations in the area for which the Instructional I certificate was issued (satisfactory service is verified via the PDE-338 P Form);
- Teachers must complete a new teacher induction program (if the Instructional I certificate was issued on or after Jun 1, 1987)
- Teachers must submit the 338 G and 338 P form to PDE with a $100 administrative fee
- Teachers must complete all requirements, apply for and receive an Instructional II certificate before completing six years of teaching in a public school. (Time working in the certificate area as a long-term substitute and time working in a Pre-K Counts program all count toward the six year maximum)
For more information, please contact Carla Claycomb, firstname.lastname@example.org, in PSEA’s Education Services Division.