For aspiring teachers in Pennsylvania, ToBecomeATeacher.org has assembled a toolkit to navigate your career path from start to finish. To begin, there are three critical steps:
1. Choosing a Program: First, you will need to find an education program that supports your budget and short- and long-term career goals.
- Finding an appropriate program that fits your needs is never easy. What matters to you as a student? Is cost a major concern? Are you concerned about the program’s graduation rate or job placement rate? Asking the right questions upfront will help you find a program that meets your academic and career goals while remaining within your budget.
2. Planning for Licensure in Pennsylvania: To become a teacher in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to complete at least a bachelor’s degree, a teacher preparation program and the state’s applicable certification exams.
3. Entering the Workforce: Once you’ve completed an education program and passed the applicable exams, you will be ready to enter the job market and launch your teaching career in Pennsylvania.
- To get started, it is important to assess where you hope to teach. What are your lifestyle priorities and salary expectations? What special skills and talents do you have and what type or school would benefit most from these assets? Throughout this process, it is critical to continue developing your resume, expanding your education (e.g., by completing professional development courses for teachers) and gaining additional teaching experience. The more current you are when you go on the job market, the more likely you will be to obtain a full-time teaching position shortly after graduation.
Choosing an Education Program in Pennsylvania
ToBecomeATeacher.org appreciates that choosing the right program can be very challenging. Fortunately, we have streamlined the process. Using a algorithmic tool, we have reviewed and tested Pennsylvania’s top education programs. Since our criteria reflects prospective teachers’ top priorities, our rankings focus on the things that matter most to you, including total expense, student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates, potential earnings and over all return on investment.
All the schools on ToBecomeATeacher.org’s list below are committed to excellence and have proven themselves to be among the very best places to pursue an education degree in Pennsylvania. Find out which schools rank best at the bachelor’s and master’s levels in education.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Bryn Athyn College of the New Church
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
|#||Name||Expense Score||Acceptance Rate Score||Graduation Rate Score||ROI/Value Score||Student to Faculty Score|
|1||West Chester University of Pennsylvania||9.5||6.3||7.43||9.3||0.81|
|2||Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania||9.2||4.7||6.73||8||0.4|
|3||Millersville University of Pennsylvania||9.4||4.2||6.77||8.2||0.1|
|4||Bryn Athyn College of the New Church||6.6||6.3||5.92||9.6||9.9|
|5||University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus||6.7||5.8||8.62||6.1||3.5|
|7||Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus||6.9||6||9.21||0.91||1.7|
|8||Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania||9.9||2.6||6.81||8.1||0.4|
|9||Kutztown University of Pennsylvania||9.7||3.3||5.9||7.1||0.81|
Ranking Factors Explained
Our ranking data is based upon Collegescorecard.gov, IPEDS, and the Carnegie Foundation data sets.
How to Become a Teacher In Pennsylvania
There are three primary pathways to teacher licensure in Pennsylvania:
- Pathway 1: The first pathway to licensure in Pennsylvania entails completing a bachelor’s degree in education and to write and pass the state’s required teacher licensure exams, which include the Praxis Core Academic Assessments for Educators and applicable Praxis Subject Assessment exams.
- Pathway 2: The second common pathway entails completing a post-baccalaureate teacher certificate or master’s degree in education leading to teacher licensure and the state’s required teacher licensure exams.
- Pathway 3: The final option is to complete a degree in education and become a certified teacher in another U.S. state and apply for teacher licensure in Pennsylvania through the state’s reciprocal program.
Notably, while some alternative pathways to teacher licensure are recognized in Pennsylvania, they are neither prevalent nor recommended. In most cases, completing a degree in education at one of the state’s many accredited colleges of education is the advisable pathway.
What is the Teaching Job Outlook in Pennsylvania?
In recent years, Pennsylvania has experienced a major decline in the number of teacher certificates issued. While the impact of few people entering the profession has not yet been fully felt statewide, in some subject fields and regions, there are already critical shortages. Mathematics, science and special education teachers are already in high demand statewide as are vocational teachers and substitute teachers. In early 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that education jobs were among the occupations experiencing the most rapid growth in the Philadelphia area, and yet the city’s critical teacher shortage persists. Midway through 2016, Erie City, Harrisburg, Keystone Central, Lancaster, Reading and Warren County were also reporting teacher shortages.
What Resources are Available to Teachers in Pennsylvania?
- The state’s governing agency for education is the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which oversees standards, assessments and curriculum frameworks statewide.
- On the Pennslyvania Department of Education website, teachers can find curricular resources to support their work in the classroom under Teacher Resources.
- Pennsylvania teachers are represented by the two statewide teacher’s organizations: Pennsylvania State Education Association and Pennsylvania Association of Teachers and Educators.
- Subject-specific teacher’s organizations in Pennsylvania include the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association and Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association.
What online programs are available to potential teachers in Pennsylvania?
Penn State offers several online graduate degrees, including a master’s degree in educational leadership for teachers hoping to move into school administration. Drexel University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in education through its online program, including three degrees leading to teacher certification. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania offers several online master’s degrees, including master’s degree in art education, educational leadership and educational psychology.