Elective Social Studies Teacher Certification
Welcome to the Elective Social Studies Certification program. It is our mission to educate teachers to be leaders and inspire learning in students. The Certification program prepares candidates with the necessary pedagogical content knowledge to teach the 7 – 12 Social Studies curriculum, implement instructional practices built on research-based approaches to student learning, and use student thinking to drive classroom learning.
Candidates in the Elective Social Studies Certification program major in History, Political Science, or Geography, take additional survey courses in other social studies disciplines, and add the Certification program to their undergraduate major.
In addition to their major and social studies survey courses, candidates take 32 credits of coursework in education and social studies education as well as 12 credits of the student-teaching internship. Candidates must finish the program successfully and pass the Praxis II #5081 exam to achieve Pennsylvania certification in Secondary Social Studies.
Candidates in the program must apply for teacher candidacy status once they have met the Undergraduate Requirements. Teacher candidacy status is required for upper-level education courses.
Field experiences begin during the second year of the program and take place in a variety of settings. The clinical field experience is connected to pedagogy courses. Field experiences culminate with a semester of student teaching.
Students must obtain clearances for each course containing field experience in accordance with Pennsylvania statutes. These include:
- Pennsylvania Criminal Record Checks
- FBI fingerprinting
- Pennsylvania Child Abuse Record checks - required for all who enter a school.
- TB Test
View More Clearance Information for specific details about your program.
All clearances must be completed prior to the first day of the field course in which you are enrolled and updated every year. Please contact the Office of Candidate Services at 610-436-2999. Some school districts hosting early field students and student teachers require a TB test issued within the year they begin their school district assignment.
NOTE: School district requirements take precedence over university policy. Failure to maintain a current set of clearances will prevent you from enrollment and/or may require your dismissal from field-based courses, blocked classes, and student teaching.
Anyone interested in transferring to the program should contact the department chair or program director to discuss their previous coursework and a program plan.