At the end of the sophomore year, students interested in continuing their study of education must make a choice: to pursue certification, which grants successful students the right to pursue professional teaching positions in Pennsylvania schools (and, thanks to interstate agreements, in most other states), or to continue studying education in the Educational Studies minor program.
Teacher Certification at Gettysburg College
At the end of the sophomore year, students interested in certification should begin assembling materials needed to complete a formal Application for Admission to the Education Department’s Certification Program. (Don't forget to read the instructions too.) Applications for admission to the Teacher Education program can be submitted as soon as a student has successfully completed the requirements for admission. Most students will complete these initial requirements before the end of the sophomore year.
The Education Department offers initial certification in the following areas:
- English (7-12)
- Foreign Languages: Spanish, German, and French (K-12)
- Math (7-12)
- Science: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics (7-12)
- Social Studies (7-12)
A full application will include a great deal of information, but it’s important for advisors and students to recognize that key course requirements must be met before admission to the program can be granted. These include the following six courses:
- Education 199: Foundations of Education
- Education 201: Educational Psychology
- One course (or equivalent) in English writing and composition
- One course (or equivalent) in British or American literature
- Two courses (or equivalent) in Mathematics
Many of these course requirements can be met either by applying advanced placement credits, other test credits (for example: a minimum SAT score can remove the writing requirement), or through transfer credits (i.e. college courses taken prior to enrollment at Gettysburg College or during summer sessions). The writing, literature, and math requirements also are key components of the Gettysburg Curriculum, which means, of course, that students will be completing most of them here anyway. These courses must be completed before an application for admission to the Teacher Education program will be considered.
Students admitted to the certification program must complete other course requirements. These include:
- A content area methods course: Education 306, Education 331, or Education 350, depending on the certificate program chosen
- Education 320: Teaching Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Students
- Education 340: Teaching Students with Special Needs
- Education 405 & 476: Student Teaching Seminar and Student Teaching Internship, completed together during the Education Semester (typically the 7th full semester of coursework at Gettysburg College, the fall semester of the junior year)
- Other content area requirements
Additional requirements for certification are described on the checksheets associated with each certification program. Key among them is the requirement that students complete a major in an approved area. Simply find the check sheet associated with the certificate you would like to earn and read carefully.