The Teacher Education Program at Penn State Altoona
The teacher certification program in Childhood and Early Adolescent Education is extended from Penn State's College of Education to Penn State Altoona. The Penn State Altoona Education program prepares students to meet all graduation requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Kindergarten Education (K-6 Teaching Option) OR Childhood and Early Adolescent Education (Pre K - 4 option) all requirements for K-6 and Pre K -4 Instructional I certification by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
PK-4 certificates will not be issued to Penn State graduates by the Pennsylvania Department of Education until after August 31, 2013.
Penn State Altoona's degree program, in affiliation with The Pennsylvania State University's College of Education, is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).
The Curriculum: Semesters 1-3
In addition to general education, during semesters 1-3 students prepare for entrance into the Education major by completing coursework in such areas as Educational Theory and Policy, Educational Psychology, and Curriculum and Instruction.
Entrance to the Major
Students seek entrance to the major through an online Entrance to Major process. Students are formally assigned a specified spring semester, typically in the sophomore year, at which time they have the opportunity to seek entrance to the major. Note: Students have only one opportunity to participate in the Entrance To Major (ETM) process.
Entrance to Major Requirements
Requirements 1 — 3 for entering the major must be met by the end of the fall semester immediately preceding the entrance to major semester:
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00
- Qualifying scores from the
PRAXIS I - PPST for Reading, Writing and Mathematics.
- Documentation of at least 80 hours of volunteer or paid education
work experience with learners of the age group the candidate plans to teach. At least 40 of these age-appropriate 80 hours must be with learners whose cultural, social, or ethnic backgrounds differ from the candidate's own.
Requirements 4-9 must be met by the end of the spring semester during which the student participates in the Entrance to Major process:
- A grade of "C" or better in all specified courses, including practica.
- Completion of an early field experience specified by the certification program.
- Completion of a core of Education courses specified by the certification program.
- Completion of additional credits as specified by the certification program.
- Completion of at least 48 semester credit hours, including English 015 or 030, three credits of literature, and six credits of quantification.
- Approval by the program coordinator.
The Curriculum: Semesters 5-8
Teacher candidates follow a carefully sequenced curriculum during the junior and senior years, including:
- LL ED ART & LITERACY BLOCK — in this 15-credit block, students study the teaching of reading, language arts, and children's literature and current theory and practice of music and art education.
- DI BLOCK — in the Discipline Inquiry Block students attend methods courses in Social Studies Education, Science Education, and Math Education. The Block also includes a field experience in which students spend two days per week in an area classroom.
- STUDENT TEACHING PRACTICUM — Student Teachers engage in full-time classroom instruction in an area elementary school. Student Teachers are supervised by University personnel and practicing teachers. Students also attend a seminar on campus one evening per week.
Eligibility for a teacher certificate is based on:
- Successful completion of the baccalaureate degree.
- A minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
- A grade of C or better in all specified courses, including practica.
- Approval by the program coordinator and by the university certification officer.
- Successful completion of any clearances and tests as specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.