Muhlenberg College has been educating teachers for more than 100 years. Starting with “The Saturday School for Teachers” in 1910, this highly regarded program has been a leader in providing outstanding teachers in all grades in compliance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education guidelines.
The Wescoe School teacher certification program is aligned with that provided by the traditional day program at Muhlenberg and has both our outstanding full-time faculty as well as highly qualified adjunct faculty as instructors. The Wescoe School offers the newly established certification areas in Pennsylvania which include Pre-K-4, grades 4-8, and secondary grades 7-12. The original elementary certification in Kindergarten to grade 6 was phased out as of August 2013 and was replaced with the new areas mentioned above. The secondary grades certification will remain in effect with the addition of one more education course.
Individuals seeking teacher certification in Pennsylvania must fulfill the requirements for a bachelor’s degree. Education is not offered as a major or minor at Muhlenberg, but rather as a certification program. If a candidate has not yet completed an undergraduate degree, the major courses may be taken concurrently with the education courses. The academic major must be in one of those offered at Muhlenberg. Pre-K-4 candidates may select any of those majors; however, 4-8 and secondary certification candidates may only major in specific academic areas based on the subject area in which they wish to teach. For grades 4-8 candidates, the majors include American Studies, English or Mathematics. For secondary grades, the majors include Biology, Chemistry, English, Environmental Science, French, German, History, Mathematics, Natural Science, Physics, or Spanish.
One of the many strengths of the Teacher Certification program at Muhlenberg is a strong commitment to field experience. Our candidates begin their fieldwork early in the sequence of courses and enjoy experiences in a variety of settings and range of grade levels. These experiences can help clarify goals and give invaluable opportunities leading up to the student teaching semester. The student teaching semester (15 weeks) is comprised of 4 courses: 2 separate student teaching experiences of 6 weeks each, and 3 weeks of on-campus seminars. With this program, students have the opportunity to build upon the fieldwork experiences and expand their contact with various schools and school districts. Although all Education courses are available at night, the candidate must have daytime availability for fieldwork (approximately 3 hours one day per week) and student teaching (full-time for 15 weeks).
All students receiving Pennsylvania certification will take a series of exams through the Pennsylvania Educator Certification tests PECT - http://www.pa.nesinc.com/home.aspx) including the Pre-professional Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA). Additional PRAXIS - http://www.ets.org/praxis/ specialty tests will be taken according to the area of certification and major. The timing of various tests will be discussed during the interview process, but no test is needed prior to application.
In order to become certified, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires an overall GPA of 3.0 and passing scores on the PRAXIS exams. In addition, the Education Department at Muhlenberg requires a 2.75 GPA in education courses, and a 2.5 GPA in the major; however, foreign language certification requires a 3.0 GPA in the major. If a candidate has not yet reached this requirement, The Wescoe School will evaluate your transcript and indicate the number of courses needed to reach this level.
If you are interested in learning more about our program, please complete the online form or contact our office at 484-664-3300 to schedule an initial meeting with the Director of Teacher Certification, Dr. Priscilla Howard. A copy of your resumé and any transcripts you may have will be helpful in assessing what courses you will need to take. Additionally, you might want to download these files:
Frequently Asked Questions about the Teacher Certification Program
Transfer Guide for Lehigh Carbon Community College
Transfer Guide for Northampton Community College - check back. To be released at the end of 2013
Other Helpful Links