Graduate Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Q. I misplaced my program of study. Can I have another copy?
- A. A copy of your program of study is in your file in the Curriculum Lab. For an emailed copy, contact Kate Ralg at email@example.com. You can also get your Degree Audit on line from MyEastern accessible by clicking faculty/student on the Eastern Homepage (http://www.eastern.edu/), and then MyEastern and use your email ID and password.
Your question is not answered here?
- A. If you have questions about PA certification that were not answered on Eastern’s Website go to: www.pde.state.pa.us or www.education.state.pa.us or call 717-787-3356.
Q. Where can I get an email ID and password?
- A. You will receive an email account with an ID and a password when they are admitted to academic programs. These ID and password are necessary in accessing a variety of resources such as library databases and Brightspace sites for online instruction.
Q. How do I CLEP out of a course?
- A. Go to https://clep.collegeboard.org or contact your local community college.
Q. Do I get graduate-level credits for CLEP tests?
- A. No, CLEP tests are equivalent to undergraduate-level courses. Eastern will indicate that you have fulfilled the course requirement that you took through CLEP test.
Q. I took a year off. What do I need to come back into the program?
- A. Application for readmission is required if a student wishes to return after being inactive. The factors to be considered in readmission will include those considered at the initial admission of the student. In addition, we will seek feedback and recommendations from the department’s faculty, Chairperson, and Student Success Advisor. The readmissions form can be found on Eastern’s website under Registrar.
Q. Will all the courses be offered every semester and will they all be offered at all campuses?
- A. Eastern does not guarantee where (among EU established sites) or when courses will be offered. It is the student’s responsibility to adjust his/her schedule in order to complete program course work regardless of course location. Individualized Instruction will not be approved for student to take course(s) that are being offered at one of our locations. The education department tries to offer every course at least two or three times a year.
Q. How many courses can I take each semester?
- A. In the regular fall and spring semesters, the full academic load is 9 credits (usually 3 courses). This includes taking coursework elsewhere. Additional credits may be taken with written approval from the Program Director and Department Chairperson prior to the beginning of the semester.
Summer Sessions - The recommended course load is 3 credits (1 course) per session. For more than 6 credits per session student will need approval from the Dean of Education prior to the beginning of the semester.
Q. How do I drop a course?
- A. If you want to drop the course during the drop/add period use the drop/add form that is found on the Registrar page. If it is after the drop/add period but before the last day to withdrawal without academic penalty.
Q. How can I see my course schedule for a given term?
- A. Log into MyEastern with your username and password (same one that you use for your email).
1. Click on the "Student Records" tab along the top.
2. Select "Class Schedule and Registration" on the left side of the screen. (This will show you the classes you are enrolled in, including the course numbers, titles, and times and dates.)
3. Click on "View Details" on the right side of the screen, to see a more detailed version of your schedule. (You will see your schedule again, but this time the amount of credits, grading type, professor, and room/location will be added.)
4 .Select each course number to see additional information and to look up the required text books.
Q. What is a blended course?
- A. Blended courses are not fully online courses nor fully on-site courses. They require that half of the coursework be completed online using Brightspace. Technology required and reliable computer and internet access; Internet Explorer or Firefox.
Q. How do I apply for readmission?
- A. Students in the College of Education who have not been enrolled for at least 12 months but less than five years will fill out the readmissions form as long as student is returning to complete the same program. Please fill out the online form and send it to your Student Success Advisor or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former students who have not been enrolled in the past five years or more need to apply for admissions through the Graduate Admissions Office.
Q. Can I transfer in credits from another college?
- A. You can transfer a maximum of 9 semester credits from another accredited college. Students may not “transfer” credits from a previously earned Master’s Degree to satisfy requirements for a Master’s Degree or certification in progress at Eastern.
Q. What Praxis Tests do I need to take?
- A. PRAXIS I, PAPA, or Basic Skills exam is no longer required for graduate certification students.
PRAXIS II/PECT – These tests are given at specific times (see http://www.ets.org/praxis/about/) and required for all certifications. For PECT, see http://www.PA.NESINC.com.
Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge (#0511/5511) must be taken for all K-12 certifications.
For the Following Certifications Add:
Pearson - www.PA.NESINC.com
Pre K-4 module 1: Child Development (#8006) / Supervisor (#5411) / Principal (#6011) - Pearson
Pre K-4 module 2: Lang, Soc. St., Arts (#8007) - Pearson
Pre K-4 module 3: Math, Science, Health (#8008) - Pearson
Special Education Pre K-8 - module 1 (#8011) - Pearson
Special Education Pre K-8 - module 2 (#8012) - Pearson
Special Education 7-12 - module 1 (#8015) - Pearson
Special Education 7-12 - module 2 (#8016) - Pearson
Grades 4-8 Middle Level (ETS): all 3 modules to be taken together
Pennsylvania Grades 4-8 - module 1: Pedagogy (#5153)
Pennsylvania Grades 4-8 - module 2: Eng. Lang. Arts and Social Studies (#5154)
Pennsylvania Grades 4-8 - module 3: Math and Science (#5155)
Pennsylvania Grades 4-8: Subject Concentration (pick your area)
1. English Language Arts (#5156)
2. Science (#5159)
3. Social Studies (#5157)
4. Mathematics (#5158)
Secondary Education, 7th-12th Grade (ETS)
Biology: Biology Content Knowledge (#0235/#5235)
Chemistry: Chemistry Content Knowledge (#0245/#5245)
English Language Arts: Content Knowledge (#5030)
Math: Math Content Knowledge (#5161)
Music: Music Content Knowledge (#5113)
Spanish: World Language (#5195)
Soc. St.: Social Studies: Content Knowledge (#0081/#5081)
Reading: Reading Specialist (#0301/#5301)
H.& P.E.: Health and Physical Education Content Knowledge (#5857)
*Test requirements are subject to change, therefore candidates for certification are responsible for checking current PA test information prior to registering for tests.
Q. How do I complete the prerequisites needed for certification?
- A. There is no longer prerequisite courses required for certification. Must have a bachelor's degree.
Q. Is a PDE certificate required in Pennsylvania?
- A. Yes. Any professional serving in the public schools must hold an appropriate, valid Pennsylvania certificate.
Q. What do I need to do to get my Intern certification?
- A. 1. To enroll in a Teacher Intern Program, a candidate must possess a minimum of a baccalaureate degree related to the area of certification requested. For example, an individual with a B.S. degree in Chemistry may seek chemistry certification. Refer to the PA Department of Education for more information.
2. Candidates entering must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in their baccalaureate degree from an accredited college/university.
3. The candidate must apply to and complete an approved institution of higher education's (IHE) preadmission screening and be accepted into the program.
4. The candidate must achieve satisfactory scores in the appropriate specialty area test required by the Pennsylvania Teacher Certification Testing Program (PTCTP) before applying for a Teacher Intern certificate. (See "What Praxis test do I need to take?") All K-12 certification areas must also complete the Praxis Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge test.
5. Candidates must have a teaching position or an offer for a position.
Upon completion of an Intern Program, the candidate must achieve satisfactory assessments on their Student Teaching conducted by their college or university and have a 3.0 GPA.
Note: To be official, test scores must be received by PDE, Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) or in an ETS-sealed, unopened envelope. If you take the tests in Pennsylvania, the scores of teacher certification tests are reported automatically to the Bureau by ETS.
Test dates, locations and registration procedures may be obtained by contacting:
The Praxis Series
Educational Testing Service
PO Box 6051
Princeton, NJ 08541-6051
PECT - Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests
PECT Program (Evaluation Systems)
PO Box 660
Amherst, MA 01004
Telephone: 800-877-4591 or 413-256-2886
5. The candidate must be continuously enrolled in a Teacher Intern Program. (Continuously enrolled is defined by the institution where the candidate is enrolled.)
6. When a candidate obtains a teaching position or a firm offer, the institution in which the Intern candidate is enrolled applies to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation for an Intern Certificate. After the Bureau verifies the candidate has received passing scores on the required Praxis Series tests, an Intern certificate is issued. The Intern candidate cannot teach without the Intern certificate.
7. Upon completion of the approved Intern Program, the institution of higher education can recommend the candidate for an Instructional I certificate. Before issuing an Instructional I certificate, the Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation must have a record stating that the candidate has passed the Student Teacher Assessment conducted by their college/university during Student Teaching
Q. What do the terms “Level I” and “Level II” certification mean?
- A. Pennsylvania currently has two levels of certification. The initial certificate, Level I, is valid for a specific number of service years, during which time you must complete established requirements. Upon completion of those requirements, the Level I may be converted to a Level II certificate. If not converted, the Level I lapses. You may not be employed in a Pennsylvania public school with a lapsed certificate.
Q. How do I add a subject area to my certificate?
- A. To add an additional area to a valid Pennsylvania Professional Certificate, you must pass the PRAXIS/PECT specialty area test. Contact the education department at one of the approved colleges/universities for additional information on certification programs.
Q. How do I find a teaching position in Pennsylvania?
- A. School staffing is the responsibility of the chief school administrator in each school district. You should apply directly to the chief school administrator at the school district. The names and addresses of these officers are usually available in most college placement office libraries. Names and addresses of local school administrators are listed in the Pennsylvania Education Directory, available for a fee from Applied Arts Publishers, Box 479, Lebanon, PA 17042 (Telephone: (717) 272-9442). For those with access to the Internet, check the following Web sites: http://www.teaching.state.pa.us/jobvacancies, http://www.psea.org, http://www.psba.org
Q. How do I determine what teacher certification program is the right one for me?
- A. Read about all of our teacher certification programs and involve yourself in volunteer and/or paid positions that afford you the opportunity to work with a variety of different age groups and types of students. You can also look for certification programs based on your area of interest.
Q. How can I become a teacher in PA?
- A. Eastern University offers several graduate programs leading to teacher certification. You can read about these programs in greater detail online.
Q. How and when do I register for courses?
- A. Please read our Self-Enrollment Guide PDF for specific details on how to register.
Q. Can I teach in other states with a PA Instructional I teaching certificate?
- A. Currently, there are Interstate Agreements in place for those with a PA Instructional I certificate. If your destination state is known, you should contact that state's Department of Education to find out more details of the agreement.
Q. How are recent changes to teacher certifications, as mandated by PDE, being implemented?
- A. Eastern no longer offers Elementary Education certification (K-6). It is now Early Childhood (Pre K - Grade 4) certification. This certification offers an Instructional I Certificate that qualifies a student to teach grades pre-kindergarten through grade 4.
A2. We also offer Middle Child Grades 4-8 certification programs as mandated by PDE. It will have an English/Reading, math and science content focus.
Q. What is Act 48?
- A. Information on Act 48 can be found here.
Q. How do I earn Act 48 credits and submit my courses or hours for credit?
- A. Information on Act 48 can be found here.
Q. What is "graduation" and is it automatic?
- A. "Graduation" will occur after a student has satisfied all of the academic requirements of his/her degree. However, graduation is not automatic. All students must apply for graduation, even if they are not attending the commencement ceremony. The intent to graduate form is found on the Registrar page and must be submitted at least three months in advance.
Q. Can graduation occur at any time?
- A. No. Commencement exercises are held at the close of the May academic sessions. Students who earn degrees in December or August are included in Commencement exercises in May of the following year.
Q. How and when do I apply for graduation?
- A. The intent to graduate form is found on the Registrar page and must be submitted at least three months in advance.
Q. Do I still need to apply for graduation even if I am not attending the commencement ceremony?
- A. Yes, all students must apply for graduation so a diploma can be issued to you.
Q. When will I receive my diploma?
- A. Once all degree requirements and financial obligations are met, your diploma will be mailed up to two months after the conferral date: January 31, May 31 and August 31.
Q. Do I still need to apply for graduation if I am in a certificate-seeking program?
- A. If you worked only on a certification you do not participate in graduation. You file on TIMS for your certification and PDE will issue you an Instruction I certificate.