Applying for Certification

THE 6 STEPS TO CERTIFICATION

The information below outlines The 6 Steps to Certification Millersville University students pursuing a Pennsylvania teaching certificate will follow immediately prior to and during Student Teaching.  

Note: For Endorsement Students 

 

General timeline for certification:

Before - Prior to, or at the start of, Student Teaching

  • Take Content Area Tests (this is only a recommendation) - You do not need to take the tests in order to student teach, you may take the tests after you student teach.
  • Coursework completion - Make sure your Degree Audit is complete with the exception of Student Teaching.  

Mid-Semester 

  • Register for your TIMS account, which will generate your PPID Number.
  • Fill out the MU Request to Recommend form.  This form includes important information needed to recommend you to PDE for certification.

End of Semester - After either May 1st or December 1st

  • Take the Student Teacher Survey.
  • Submit the TIMS application.

After the End of Semester - After final grades have been issued

  • Student degree is awarded by Millersville University.
  • Millersville University recommends student to PDE (provided all requirements have been met).
  • A 'Verification of Completion' letter is issued to the student (provided the MU Request for Recommendation form has been completed).  
    • Scroll down to the items following 'The 6 Steps to Certification' below for additional information regarding:
      • Applying for jobs - prior to the end of the semester
      • Job Offer - prior to the end of the semester
      • 'Verification of Completion' Letter - sent to student AFTER recommendation to PDE is made. 

 

Revised 9/2022

  • Step 1 - Testing
    Basic Skills/Pre-Service Tests & Content Area Tests

    Testing is a state requirement. Testing information for BOTH Basic Skills Tests and Content Area Tests is outlined below. 

    Keep a copy of your test scores. You never know when you might need them again.

    Basic Skills/pre-service tests

    Undergraduates only -- (Post-Bacc students do not need them)

    • Effective 07/08/2022 - 07/08/2025:
      • "Act 55 of 2022 signed into law by Governor Wolf on July 8, 2022, requires the Secretary of Education to waive the requirement to satisfactorily complete the assessment of basic skills required under section 1207.3 and 22 Pa. Code § 49.18(c) (relating to assessment) for 3 years from July 8, 2022 through July 8, 2025. This applies to all students who enter preparation programs during this period as well as otherwise qualified candidates for licensure who make application during this period."   Source:  PDE-Certification Testing Requirements
    Note: The waiving of Basic Skills Testing does not include Content Area Tests (PECT). This is valid for Basic Skills/Pre-Service Tests ONLY.

     

    • Effective 07/09/2025: 
      • SAT or ACT scores are reported to PDE by MU.
        • The Department of Field Services must have an official score report on file before recommendation to PDE can be made. 
      • Check the 'Advanced Professional Studies' section of your Degree Audit.
        • If your audit indicates 'PSTU' - Field Services does NOT have official test scores on file.
          • Email the Department of Field Services to make sure we have your official test scores.
        • If you audit indicates 'PSTA' - MU does have official test scores on file.
      • Praxis Core and PAPA test scores should reflect in your TIMS Test Dashboard.
      • Keep a copy of your test scores. You never know when you might need them again!

     

    Content Area Tests

    Undergraduate and Graduate/Post-Bacc students 

    It is recommended that you take these tests prior to your student teaching semester. However, this is only a recommendation. You must earn passing test scores before PDE will issue your license. 

    For required tests and score requirements, view PDE's Certification Tests and Score Requirements worksheet HERE. (GPA Sliding Scale).

    • If you have already taken Content Area Tests and your score report reflects 'Not Passed', check PDE's Certification Test and Score Requirements/GPA Sliding Scale before re-taking the tests.
      • Lower test scores are accepted with a GPA of 3.01 or higher.
      • If you pass by GPA, score reports will always reflect 'Not Passed'. PDE will review your GPA and score report after you are recommended for certification by MU.
    • A minimum GPA of 2.8 or higher is required for certification. 
    • Higher test scores are required if GPA is 2.8 - 2.99.
      • Check PDE's GPA Sliding Scale for score requirements. You will need to earn higher than the 'passing' score to meet PDE's testing requirements. 
    • The GPA sliding scale does not apply to Add-Ons. 

    Note: Information on Add-Ons can be found below. For changes to Special Education certification please view PDE's website here: SPED - ACT 82

  • Step 2 - Program Completion

    You must complete the program to be recommended for your Pennsylvania teaching certificate.

    Do not wait until the end of your Student Teaching semester to start checking your Degree Audit. Start checking your degree audit at the beginning of your Student Teaching semester to ensure all required coursework is complete. 

    • Undergraduate Students: 
      • All courses (including those for a minor or honors) must be completed successfully
        • The Degree Audit should reflect green checks for all completed courses. 
      • Both PDE 430s MUST be on file prior to recommendation to PDE.
        • These forms are submitted to Field Services by your supervisor. 
      • Your degree must be awarded. 
        • Once your degree is awarded, you will be recommended for certification.
        • Millersville University will not be able to recommend you for certification until your undergraduate degree is awarded.
    • Post-Bacc Students: 
      • Check your Degree Audit and/or the Course Requirement Sheet you received with your admissions packet to confirm all requirements have been completed.
        • The Degree Audit should reflect green checks for all completed courses. 
      • Both PDE 430s MUST be on file prior to recommendation to PDE.
        • These forms are submitted to Field Services by your supervisor. 
      • Millersville University will not be able to recommend you until all required course work is completed.
  • Step 3 - Register for your TIMS Account

    Review PDE's 'Step-by-Step Guide' when registering for your TIMS account. 

    Go to TIMS Log In on the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) website to register for your account and receive your Professional Personnel Identification (PPID) number.

    The PPID number is a unique, permanent number issued to all students upon their first entry into the PA public school system. This number will remain with you throughout your PA teaching career. Keep your PPID number. You will need it throughout your career. 

  • Step 4 - MU Request to Recommend Form

    Complete the MU Request to Recommend form.  This form provides information needed to recommend you for certification.

    Spring Deadline Date - April 1st

    Fall Deadline Date - November 1st

    *Forms will be accepted after the deadline date. However, students who submit this form by the deadline date will have their certification applications reviewed in the first round. 

    What you will need to complete the form:

    • PPID number from your TIMS account.
    • Test scores
      • If you are unsure of your test scores, log back into your Praxis or PECT account.
      • If you haven't taken the Content Area Tests, enter the date you plan to take them. 
    • The address where you will be at after the end of the semester.
      • Your 'Verification of Completion' letter will be mailed to this address.
    'Verification of Completion' letter:  The 'Verification of Completion' letter confirms that the student has met the necessary requirements and therefore, Millersville University has recommended the student to PDE for certification.  Students who complete the MU Request for Recommendation form will be issued a 'Verification of Completion' letter AFTER recommendation to PDE is made. See the drop down menu on this page titled 'Verification of Completion Letter' for more information.
  • Step 5 - Submit Your TIMS Application

    Login to your TIMS account to start the application - Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) website. 

    Navigate to the link referenced above.  The following PDE guides and information are available under the 'Login to TIMS' central column.

    Under 'First Time User?' heading select the following to:

    • 'Access TIMS Guide' for an in-depth user guide on how to submit your application.
      • If you have already registered for your TIMS account, start at #3 - New Credential Application.
      • Follow this step-by-step guide when completing your application.
    • 'Watch a brief YouTube video' to learn how to complete your certification in TIMS.
    Under the 'TIMS Resources' heading:

    Please note the cost of the application is $200.

    Contact PDE:

    The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is the only one who can see your application before you pay.  If you feel you made an error or need someone to look at your application, you must contact PDE directly.

    Send an email to ra-edcertquestions@pa.gov.

     

  • Step 6 - Complete the Student Teacher Survey

    The link to the survey will be emailed to you towards the end of your student teaching semester.  Please take a few minutes to complete the survey.

  • Instructional Add-Ons

    PA educators who hold an Instructional certificate may 'Add-On' additional content areas by testing alone; no additional coursework is required.  

    Note:

    • A separate application to PDE is required for Add-Ons.
    • PDE must receive and review your initial Instructional 1 recommendation from MU and award your certification before an application for an Add-On may be submitted. 
    • The GPA sliding scale does not apply to Add-Ons. 

    A list of acceptable testing Add-Ons can be found on PDE's website here: Acceptable Testing Add-Ons

    Additional information can be found here: Instructional Add-Ons

     

    CHANGES TO SPECIAL EDUCATION CERTIFICATION

    Additional information can be viewed on PDE's webpage here: SPED - ACT 82  

     

  • Applying for Jobs - Prior to the End of the Semester

    Students applying for jobs prior to the end of the semester and/or prior to recommendation to PDE for certification, should follow the steps outlined below.

    • Create a placeholder/cover letter stating interest in the position, intent to graduate/program completion, and expectation to earn your teaching license.
    • Submit a copy of your Degree Audit and/or transcript, along with a copy of your placeholder/cover letter to your future employers in place of your certificate. 
    • MU cannot provide a Verification of Completion letter prior to recommendation to PDE. 
  • Job Offer - Prior to the End of the Semester

    Students receiving a job offer prior to the end of the semester or within 3 weeks after the end of the semester should follow the steps below.

    1.  Check with your future employer to see if you are able to substitute teach under ACT 86. You can teach for up to 10 days in the same place per school year.

    2.  IF substituting under ACT 86 is not an option, your future employer must write an email or letter to the Department of Field Services stating the following:
    • Student name
    • Date the job begins. 
    • What the job offer is. (E.g. Substitute Secondary Math Teacher)
    Applications to be considered for the first wave of processing must be complete and include the following:
    • Letter from employer with all the above items addressed.
    • Both PDE 430’s from your supervisor.
    • All coursework must be completed.
      • Undergraduate students: degree must be awarded.
      • Post-bacc students: required coursework must be completed.

     

    Note: The Verification of Completion letter cannot be provided until AFTER recommendation to PDE has been made.

  • Verification of Completion Letter - Provided After Recommendation to PDE

    The 'Verification of Completion' letter confirms that the student has met the necessary requirements and therefore, Millersville University has recommended the student to PDE for certification.  

    AFTER recommendation to PDE is made, students who have completed the MU Request for Recommendation form will be issued a 'Verification of Completion' letter.

    The 'Verification of Completion' letter cannot be provided prior to recommendation to PDE.