PA Teacher Certification
Swarthmore offers a competency-based teacher preparation program that is transferable to most states for students who seek secondary certification from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Individual student programs are designed with guidance from representatives from the discipline in which the student is being certified and members of the educational studies faculty. All students seeking certification must meet Swarthmore College's distribution requirements in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences and the requirements for a major or special major.
State requirementsStudents in Pennsylvania must have completed 48 credit hours (or 12 Swarthmore College credits) to be admitted to the teacher certification program. Application for admission to the certification program is completed at the time that a student enrolls in Practice Teaching and the Curriculum and Methods Seminar. In order to be certified, students must attain an overall grade point average of 3.0. Applicants admitted to the certification program must also present evidence of having completed six credit hours, or the equivalent, in college level math courses and six credit hours, or the equivalent, in college level English courses before they graduate. In the case of the math requirement, courses outside of mathematics/statistics that fulfill the natural science division distribution requirements can be substituted. AP credit for scores of four or five in English literature, English composition, calculus AB or AB/BC or statistics will be accepted as the equivalent credit for one Swarthmore College course. Math scores of 560 or better on the SAT II math level 1C or IIC exam and scores of 600 or better on the writing portion of the SAT reasoning exam will be accepted as the equivalent of three credit hours in the respective areas.
In order to be certified each candidate must pass the specific PRAXIS exams required by Pennsylvania for their certification area. Students normally take these exams during their senior year, while they are practice teaching.