If you begin searching for a teaching position before you receive your Pennsylvania Certificate, a potential employer may request verification that you are enrolled in a teacher preparation program or have completed a program. These letters are called Placeholder or Program Completion Letters.
- Before graduation: At your request to the Teacher Certification Office, a letter will be prepared and emailed to you, stating that you are currently enrolled in a Pennsylvania Department of Education approved teacher preparation program at Messiah University. The letter states that all of Messiah’s teacher preparation programs qualify persons to apply for the Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate following graduation and completion of all Pennsylvania requirements. The letter, signed by the Teacher Certification Officer, will also contain your Social Security Number, Certification Area and Expected Graduation Date.
- After graduation: It typically takes about a week after graduation for your degree to be officially awarded. When that happens, the Teacher Certification Office will email a completion letter too you. In addition to the information in the “before graduation” letter described above, it will specify completion of Messiah University graduation requirements, Pennsylvania Teacher Certification Program requirements (including student teaching), Pennsylvania testing requirements and the date your application was recommended in TIMS. This letter cannot be sent until your degree is complete.