Applying for a PA Instructional I Teaching Certificate
What has to happen and when?
Processing time for PA teacher certification is lengthy. You can apply for certification on the first day of the month that you will graduate or complete your program – i.e. May 1 for a May 14 graduation date. Be aware that if you apply and do not fulfill all requirements within a year, you will have to reapply later with an additional $100 application fee. If you have questions, please contact the Certification Office.
You determine the order of completing these requirements:
- Take (and pass) the required culminating examinations for your certification area.
- Schedule a physical.
- Apply for certification through TIMS.
The signature of the health professional must be no more than one year old when you apply for certification. Schedule a physical with your family doctor or on campus at the Engle Center ($10).
- If you have not yet applied through TIMS, take along the Health Certificate to be signed. You must save this form to upload when you apply through TIMS.
- If you have applied through TIMS, take along the health certificate that prints as part of the cover sheet to be signed and submitted by mail to PDE.
A health professional must verify that you are able to perform the duties of a teacher.
- Cost: To submit a new credential application, the fee is $100. This can be charged online to a credit card.
- Register for a log in on PDE's site.
- It takes about 24 hours after you set up your PDE log in before you can access TIMS. A day after you have registered, go back to PDE's site and log in.
- Click on "Teachers" in the center of the screen, then the "TIMS" bright blue logo in the center of the next screen. On the next screen, click on "Access TIMS" in the navy blue header row. Then there is a link in the middle of the screen to access the application. If you see a screen divided into 4 segments (the dashboard), you are now in "TIMS!"
- Enter a New Credential Application. Credential Types are Education Specialist I (31) for School Counseling, Program Specialist (86) for ESL, and Instructional I (61) for all other areas. For Certification Subject Area, choose the teacher preparation program area(s) that you have completed while at Messiah. Elementary and Special Education can be submitted on the same application.
- More instructions and codes for reporting academic major are available in the two documents linked below.
Directions: Applying for your TIMS Teaching Certification
Reporting Academic Major in TIMS - CIP Codes
A NOTE ABOUT CRIMINAL HISTORY CLEARANCES
Pennsylvania Department of Education does not require you to submit criminal history and child abuse clearance forms for your certification application. However, if you plan to seek a public school teaching position in Pennsylvania, you may want to obtain those clearances during your senior year so that your clearances are current, that is, within one year of employment.
NOTE: Any of the preceding information is subject to change at any time, either by the Pennsylvania Department of Education or Messiah College.