You should apply when you have met all of the following requirements:

  • At least Sophomore status
  • Met the requirements for GPA
  • Successful completion (C- or higher) of courses required for admission and any certification courses you have taken so far
  • Completion of required background checks that are no more than one year old
  • Pass the Basic Skills Test

In order to progress through your academic program in a timely fashion, you will want to apply before the registration period of the semester BEFORE you intend to enroll in courses that require admission to the TEP (the junior sequence and selected other 300-level courses in your major).

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for full admittance to the TEP.

A special provision is made for students whose current overall GPA is between 2.80 and 2.99. Students may apply for the program and be considered for provisional admittance into the Teacher Education Program. A special one-semester contract allows students to take courses that require TEP approval.

In Falcon Link, choose Degreeworks - Student. Press the button to process a new audit, and you will find your overall GPA near the top of the document.

The Teacher Education Program will check your current degree audit each semester that you are enrolled in a teacher certification major. Additionally, they will check each semester if you are on disciplinary probation and/ or accused of a violation of academic integrity.

Successful completion (no grade below a C-) in First Year Seminar (students enrolling on or after Fall 2024 will need ENGL 110 instead), COMM 105, English literature, and two college level math courses are required for full admittance to the Teacher Education Program.

Messiah University has made a provision that you can retake a course in which you received below a C-. The grade you earn when you repeat the course will replace the initial grade in computing GPA, but will still show on the transcript.

Students may also take an equivalent course at another institution for transfer credit, but the initial grade will remain on the transcript and be used to calculate GPA. If you opt to take the course elsewhere, you should check with your advisor/department chair to ensure that the course will transfer as expected.

The following students should take ENGL 160 - Introduction to World Literature as it will also meet their Non-Western requirement:

  • Education with Teaching Certification in Pre K-4
  • Education with Dual Teaching Certification in Pre K-4 and Special Education (PreK-12)
  • Education with Teaching Certification in Grades 4-8 English, Mathematics, Mathematics & English, Science, Science & English, or Science & Mathematics
  • Special Education PreK-12

All other teacher certification students may choose from any literature course between ENGL 122 and ENGL 176

Check with your advisor, since some programs are specific about the course(s) that will meet this requirement. Both must be college level math courses.

You need to have the Pennsylvania criminal record check, Pennsylvania child abuse clearance, and the FBI background check. Clearances must be within a year of the date that your application is reviewed.

Follow the link in the question above. All clearances must meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education. You are responsible for the costs of these clearances.

You will need to send an electronic scan or picture of your clearances to the Teacher Education Program. See details on the link for clearances above.

The Basic Skills Test can be met with qualifying SAT/ACT+Writing scores or by taking and passing the PAPA administered by Pearson or the ETS Core Assessment for Educators administered by ETS. Specific Information about the Basic Skills Test is found on our Testing page.

Since the Basic Skills Test is required for admission to the Teacher Education Program, students should meet this requirement as early as possible, but at least by the end of fall semester of the sophomore year.

You must designate Messiah University as a score recipient when you register for tests.

Some certifications require Praxis II, while others require PECT tests.  See the Testing link to determine which test you will take for your certification area(s). You can take the culminating exams required for your certification as early as the summer before your senior year. If you do not want to have your certification delayed, you should plan to complete tests 2 months before you complete the program.

To save time and money, it's very important to be sure that you are taking the correct tests. Check which tests are required for your certification area(s).

Provisional acceptance allows students who are not eligible to be fully admitted to the TEP to take courses that require TEP admittance while they work on the final requirement(s). There are three conditions that will allow a student to have provisional acceptance:
  • Students who have not met the 3.0 GPA requirement, but have at least a 2.8 overall GPA
  • Students who have taken all but one of the required courses for admittance, as long as they are concurrently enrolled in the course they are missing
  • Students who have earned lower than a C- in one required course for certification

If your overall GPA is between a 2.8 and a 2.99 and it is mathematically possible for you to raise your GPA to a 3.0 prior to student teaching, you may enroll in courses that require TEP admittance for one semester while you work to raise your GPA upon return of the Provisional 2.8 contract.

The concurrent course policy allows you to enroll in courses that require TEP admittance while concurrently being enrolled in a course for which you received a grade lower than C- or a course that is required for admission that you have not yet completed.

The sophomore sequence is a pre-requisite for the junior sequence. Both of these sequences must be successfully completed before you can begin student teaching. Enrollment in the junior sequence also requires admission into the Teacher Education Program, so you need to complete the requirements and apply before the start of the registration period of the semester BEFORE you intend to enroll in those courses (late March for fall courses, late October for spring courses).

A Messiah University graduate who is not a US citizen can be certified in Pennsylvania when she/he has met all certification requirements AND holds a resident alien (green card) visa and has filed a Declaration of Intent to become a citizen, unless the applicant is seeking certification to teach a foreign language (adapted from Pennsylvania Department of Education website) .  Students who are non-U.S. citizens should contact the Teacher Education Program to discuss their options and career plans.

Pennsylvania Department of Education currently provides an option for teacher certification students who are unable to earn the passing scores on the Praxis II/PECT exams. If your FINAL overall GPA at the time of program completion is higher than 3.0, you can be endorsed for certification with a slightly lower Praxis II/PECT score. The PDE website lists the scores required for each level of final GPA.

As you consider this option, please keep in mind the following points:

  • This chart is based on your FINAL GPA, not the GPA you have now.
  • If a school district asks for your Praxis II/PECT score, they will see that you do not have a passing score even though the state allowed you to be certified with that score. In a competitive market, this could put you at a disadvantage. Not all score reports indicate passing or not passing.
  • This policy does not apply to instructional add-ons. It only applies to candidates who have completed a prep program and have an overall GPA at the completion of the program.

If you have questions about this policy or how it might impact you, please contact us.

Even if you have completed all requirements for teacher certification, you will need to graduate with a teacher certification major in order to be recommended by the Teacher Education Program for certification. A change of major would deny us access to your complete record and would not fully reflect the program that you have completed.

The assistant in Boyer 414 will be happy to help you and direct your questions to the appropriate person.