Teacher Certification General Information

Note: As of Fall 2021, the Education Department will not be accepting new cohorts of students to Teacher Certification Programs housed in the Education Department (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Foreign Languages). The Music Education program will continue to offer the BME with certification.

General Information

The Teacher Education Program at Gettysburg College has been carefully designed to ensure that students who wish to enter the teaching profession do so with adequate preparation in programs defined by clarity, simplicity, and rigor. The Education Department is accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to offer programs leading to certification in the following areas:

  • English (7-12)
  • Mathematics (7-12)
  • Science: Biology (7-12), Chemistry (7-12), and Physics (7-12)
  • Social Studies (7-12)
  • World Languages: French (K-12), German (K-12), and Spanish (K-12)

Certification is also available in Music Education in a program administered by the Sunderman Conservatory in conjunction with the Education Department. The Bachelor of Arts in Music Education is the only degree in professional education offered at Gettysburg College; other students completing certification programs are required to earn a Bachelor's degree in a content area other than Education. Contact Dr. Brent Talbot in the Conservatory for more information on the Music Education program.

Gettysburg College does not actually certify teachers; only the Pennsylvania Department of Education can do that. Students seeking initial licensure must complete one of the approved programs listed above, meeting all requirements of the program, in order to be recommended for certification by the Education Department. It should also be noted that teaching certificates earned at Gettysburg College are only valid only in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Students wishing to be certified in other states or territories will need to apply for licensure in those places after leaving Gettysburg. The Education Department will happily assist any student seeking certification elsewhere.

Click through the menu at left for more information about individual program offerings leading to certification. In general, all candidates for certification must meet each of the following guidelines:

  1. Coursework. Complete an approved sequence of certification coursework, complemented by an approved major in a content area. Coursework in education includes: Education 199, Education 201 (completed before the end of the sophomore year); Education 320, Education 340, and a content-area methods course (Education 306, Education 331, or Education 350), typically completed in the junior year; and a two-course sequence completed during the Student Teaching semester: Education 405 and Education 476. Additional coursework in writing, literature, and mathematics is also required for certification in all areas.
  2. Examinations. Earn passing scores on all required examinations; this includes a basic skills exam AND an examination testing the teacher candidate's content knowledge.
    • The Basic Skills Exam requirement can be met by earning passing scores in math, reading, and writing on one of several approved examinations. more information on this new policy is available here: Basic Skills Examination Policy (Rev. March, 2016) (PDF).
    • The Content Knowledge Exam requirement is met by passing the Praxis II content-area exam for your certification area; this exam may be taken any time before the completion of the student teaching semester. Many students choose to take their Praxis II exams between semesters of their senior year.
  3. Portfolio. Complete all requirements outlined in the Education Department Curriculum & Portfolio Guide by uploading artifacts and reflections into the Teacher Education portfolio.
  4. Student Teaching. Successfully complete a student teaching internship in a local school setting under the supervision of the Education Department. Additional information about student teaching can be found by following the link in the menu bar above.

Students who complete a certification program are currently not eligible to also earn a minor in Education or Educational Studies, though it is certainly possible to earn a minor in another field such as Public History, to offer one example. Students who would like to be certified in a field that is not offered at the College (such as elementary or middle school education, school counseling, or administration) might find that the Educational Studies minor can be a bridge between their studies at Gettysburg and graduate work and may consider choosing the minor track instead of certification. These students are encouraged to consider pursuing certification in graduate school or through alternative routes into teaching, which may include teaching fellowship opportunities and teaching in independent schools.