Becoming a Teacher in Pennsylvania

Explore Program, Licensing and Job Outlook Data for 2016

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

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 20 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 35400
  • Acceptance rate 51.56 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 41901
  • Graduation Rate 68.73 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 23811

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 21 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 36108
  • Acceptance rate 66.98 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 41901
  • Graduation Rate 62.29 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 25719.5

Millersville University of Pennsylvania

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 22 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 35464
  • Acceptance rate 71.86 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 41901
  • Graduation Rate 62.63 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 25000

Bryn Athyn College of the New Church

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 6 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 70896
  • Acceptance rate 51.77 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 41901
  • Graduation Rate 54.8 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 20850

Temple University

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 14 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 56384
  • Acceptance rate 63.87 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 41901
  • Graduation Rate 66.1 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 25799

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 14 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 68400
  • Acceptance rate 56.13 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 41901
  • Graduation Rate 79.71 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 26896.5

Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 17 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 67968
  • Acceptance rate 54.2 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 41901
  • Graduation Rate 85.24 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 27000

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 21 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 34328
  • Acceptance rate 88.56 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 41901
  • Graduation Rate 62.98 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 25568

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 20 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 35276
  • Acceptance rate 81.79 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 41901
  • Graduation Rate 54.61 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 26000

Cairn University-Langhorne

  • Student to Faculty Ratio 13 :1
  • Total expected expense for a bachelors degree$ 89820
  • Acceptance rate 51.31 %
  • Average state starting salary$ 41901
  • Graduation Rate 66.67 %
  • Median Graduate Debt incurred$ 27000
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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?

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.

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