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Instructional Intern Certification

Refer to the Vocational FAQ for information related to the Vocational Intern certificate.

  1. What are PDE approved Intern programs?
    Pennsylvania’s teacher intern certification is a professional certificate that entitles the holder to fill a full-time professional teaching position. The teacher intern certification program is an alternate route to certification through an approved Pennsylvania program provider.

  2. Is there a list of PDE approved Intern programs on your website?
    Yes. For a list of PDE approved Intern programs and providers refer to Approved Certification Programs.

  3. How do I qualify for Intern certification?
    • Be of good moral character
    • Be at least 18 years of age
    • Be a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident holding a valid green card
    • Hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree
    • Enroll in a Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) approved Intern program; a minimum 3.0 GPA is required to enter the program
    • Secure a full-time or long-term substitute position in your content area(s)
    • Meet all testing requirements
    • Submit an online application through the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS)
    • The PDE approved Intern program provider must verify program enrollment through TIMS

  4. What tests do I need to pass to qualify for Intern certification?
    For more information, refer to your TIMS summary page or Certification Testing and Scores.

  5. When should I take the tests?
    All required tests must be taken and passed before an intern certificate can be issued.

  6. How should I send my test scores to PDE?
    The testing company reports your scores electronically to PDE if you specify PDE as a score recipient when you register for your tests. If you have already taken your tests and did not request PDE as a score recipient, contact the appropriate company.

  7. Does my PDE approved Intern program provider need my scores?
    Yes. Your approved Intern program provider needs your test scores.

  8. Can I apply for an Intern certificate in credential areas other than Instructional?
    No. The Intern certificate is only issued for instructional subject areas. It is not applicable for professionals seeking certification as educational specialists, administrators or supervisors.

  9. How long is my Intern certificate valid?
    The Intern certificate is valid for three calendar years from the date issued whether or not the educator is employed.

  10. Can my Intern certificate be renewed?
    No. The Intern certificate cannot be renewed.

  11. Can my Intern certificate be revoked?
    Yes. An Intern certificate may be revoked for the following reasons:
    • If you are not continuously enrolled in a PDE approved Intern program
    • If you are dismissed for cause and/or convicted of a crime

  12. Will substitute teacher service count toward the Intern student teaching requirement?
    Yes. You may serve as a long-term substitute.

  13. Can I serve as a day to day substitute teacher on my Intern certificate?
    Yes. You may serve as a day to day substitute; however, this will not count toward the required student teaching.

  14. Can I be issued more than one subject area on an Intern certificate?
    Yes. You must pass additional content test(s) to add areas. Some areas require a certification program.

  15. What documents do I need to submit to complete my application?
    Always refer to your TIMS application coversheet and only send the required documents listed.

    NOTE: If your coversheet only lists “Other,” you are not required to submit any documentation. Please do not mail in the coversheet by itself as it is not needed.

  16. Do I need to submit clearance documents to PDE?
    No. Submit clearance documents to PDE if you answered “yes” to any of the background questions on your application. Check your TIMS coversheet for a list of required documents.

  17. Do I need to submit college transcripts to PDE?
    No. Transcripts are not required because you are in a PDE approved Intern program.

  18. May I obtain a temporary certificate while my application is under review?
    No. There are no provisions for a temporary certificate while an application is under review. You may not begin teaching until your certificate is issued. To substitute, a public school may ask you to obtain an emergency permit by submitting a permit request through TIMS.

  19. How do I check the status of my application?
    Access your TIMS dashboard and look to the left side of your screen under “Application(s) in Process”. Your status will be in the third column. You may also check the status of your application on the public website.

  20. Once my application has been approved, will PDE mail my Intern certificate?
    No. Paper certificates are no longer printed and mailed. You must access your TIMS dashboard to print an unofficial copy. Certification can only be officially verified through TIMS or the public website.

  21. Who should I contact if I have questions regarding this process?
    • If you have questions regarding your Intern program, testing, GPA etc. you should contact your approved Intern program provider.
    • If you have questions regarding a TIMS application contact the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.