The department of education provides teacher preparation programs which lead to certification in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in early childhood education and selected content areas in secondary education. Students can prepare to become certified teachers by enrolling in a Bachelor of Science in education degree program or by taking a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the content area in which they plan to teach.
Independent of the degree program into which a student is admitted to the University or the area in which a student may wish to teach, a student also must be formally admitted to the Pre-Certification, Initial Preparation Program (Pre-CIP).
Admission to Pre-CIP can occur after the student has completed two courses in mathematics*, one course in British or American literature and one in composition*, 12 Bucknell University courses or their equivalent, and achieved for the three preceding semesters an overall grade point average of 3.0 (appeals to this requirement should be made to the chair of the department of education).
Candidates must also pass the PAPA (Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment) tests in reading, writing, and math. Application to Pre-CIP is normally made when the students begin considering a career in the field of education and are notified of their acceptance or rejection at the end of their sophomore year.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania generally requires an overall grade point average of 3.0 upon completion of the program prior to recommendation for certification to teach.
Specific Requirements for Each Certification Area
All students seeking certification must take two mathematics intensive courses, one English/American literature course and one W1 course (in addition to the literature course).
- Early Childhood Education (PreK-4) — Required Courses & Recommended Sequence
- Biology (7-12): requires biology major. — Required Courses & Recommended Sequence
- Chemistry (7-12): requires chemistry major. — Required Courses & Recommended Sequence
- English (7-12): requires English major. — Required Courses & Recommended Sequence
- Mathematics (7-12): requires mathematics major. — Required Courses & Recommended Sequence
- Physics (7-12): requires physics major. — Required Courses & Recommended Sequence
- Social Studies (7-12): requires anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology, or sociology major. — Required Courses & Recommended Sequence
- Art (K-12): requires art major. — Required Courses & Recommended Sequence
- French (K-12): requires French major. — Required Courses & Recommended Sequence
- Music (K-12): requires music major. — Required Courses
- Spanish (K-12): requires Spanish major. — Required Courses & Recommended Sequence
The following are considered to be "add on" certifications that require students to concurrently pursue certification in one of the areas above:
- General Science: (Requires concurrent certification in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics) — Required Courses
- ESL Program Specialist (K-12): (Requires concurrent certification in PreK-4 or one of the 7-12, or K-12 programs listed above) — Letter of Eligibility || Advising Worksheet || Portfolio || Field Experience Log Sheet
In addition to completing an approved program and successfully demonstrating the prescribed role competencies, the prospective teacher must be a "person of good moral character" who "possesses those personal qualities and professional knowledge and skills which warrant issuance of the requested certificate." It is the student's responsibility to satisfy these criteria. Students should note that prior to placement in student teaching or any other field experience, they will be required to submit results of a child abuse clearance, criminal background check and fingerprinting pursuant to requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Results must indicate that there are no criminal or child abuse records. || Directions (pdf) to correctly fill out the clearance forms.
- Act 151: PA Child Abuse History Clearance
- Act 34: PA Criminal History Record Check
- FBI Criminal History (Fingerprint)
Certification Exams (Praxis or PECT)
In addition to coursework, students must complete and submit scores from required Praxis or PECT examinations to the department of education at Bucknell. Specific examinations required for each area of certification vary. Although members of the department will advise students concerning examinations, the student is responsible for taking those examinations that meet certification program requirements. || Learn more about Certification Testing.
Applying for a Teaching Certificate in the Commonwealth
After completing the approved program of courses, the student submits an application for a Pennsylvania teaching certificate through the online Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) website not earlier than the first day of the month of graduation. Following a review of the student's program, the student may be recommended for certification by the designated officer at Bucknell. As noted above, the student must pass all the competency tests required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the desired certificate.
Applying for a Teaching Certificate in Other States
Students who desire certification in states other than Pennsylvania must understand that teacher certification is governed by state law and that each state has different requirements. Obtaining a Pennsylvania teaching certificate, by completing an approved program and meeting all other requirements, does not ensure that students will be certified in another state. Although members of the Bucknell education department will assist students in obtaining information concerning certification in other states, as well as Pennsylvania, it is the student's responsibility to obtain current information and to meet all the certification requirements of any state.