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Is private academic certification required to teach in a private school?
Educators in a licensed private academic school are required to be certified in the subject area they are teaching. A private academic certificate is required if they do not hold the appropriate public school certificate.
How do I qualify for private academic certification?
Is a bachelor's degree required for private academic certification?
A bachelor's degree is required for all subject areas of certification except Assistant Nursery/Kindergarten (N/K). An associate's degree or completion of 60 college credits is required for the Assistant N/K certification.
What courses are accepted for private academic certification?
The General Standards and Subject Specific Guidelines for public certification are used as an example of the acceptable competencies for each comparable subject area. Coursework must cover a variety of competency areas and meet the minimal grade of "C."
Can CLEP tests be used toward the content area credits?
A maximum of 3 credits based on CLEP tests can be accepted toward the content credits.
If I don't meet the requirements, can I be issued a temporary private academic certificate?
Yes, a one year temporary certificate can be issued if you hold a bachelor's degree and have completed 6 credits in the content area requested.
How do I apply for the temporary private academic certificate?
An application must be submitted through TIMS and include a request from the prospective employer written on school letterhead and signed by the school's PDE approved education director.
Can a temporary private academic certificate be re-issued?
A temporary certificate can be
reissued if the applicant completes six of the required credits toward full
certification. If the temporary
certificate expires before the six credits are completed, a new temporary
certificate cannot be issued until the credit requirement is met.
Do I need to submit separate applications to be certified in more than one subject area?
A separate TIMS application must be submitted for each subject area that you
What documents do I need to submit to complete my application?
After you pay and submit your application in TIMS, you will be provided with a cover sheet that indicates which documents are required for submission. Most documents can be uploaded directly into your application or submitted electronically. If you have documents that cannot be uploaded directly or submitted electronically, they must be submitted to PDE via mail with the cover sheet.
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.
Do I need to submit clearance documents to PDE?
No. Only 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.
Should my college send transcripts directly to PDE?
How do I check the status of my application?
Check all details regarding your application from
your TIMS dashboard - select “Track Progress” under the Comments section.
Once my application has been approved, will PDE mail my 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 link Search for an Educator.
If I am already certified, is a health certificate required?
If you hold a public certificate issued before 6/2013 or
a previous private academic certificate, you have already met this requirement
and the health certificate is not required a second time. If required, the approved health certificate
that prints out with your TIMS application cover sheet must be completed. Substitute health assessments are not
If I am not a United States citizen, can I obtain private academic certification?
Yes. You must submit a copy of your valid permanent resident visa (green card) with your TIMS application.
If I completed my degree outside of the United States, what do I need to submit?
You must obtain a Foreign Evaluation Report of your
foreign transcripts from a private agency listed on the NACES
or AICE websites. This evaluation must show US equivalent of
all foreign degrees plus a course-by-course evaluation showing semester hour
college credits. You must submit the
original report or a notarized photocopy for the certification application.
How long is my private academic certificate valid?
A private academic certificate is valid for 99 years.
Is private academic certification required to teach in a non-public/non-licensed private school?
No. However, the nonpublic/non-licensed school may choose to require certification.
If I hold private academic certification, am I obligated to meet Act 48 requirements?
The law does not mandate Act 48 requirements be met to
maintain an active private academic certificate.
If I hold an inactive public school certification, can I teach in a licensed private academic school?
Yes, but only in a licensed private academic school that does not require public certification. Private schools that also have Approved Private School status or Pre-K-Counts approval require an active public certificate.
Who should I contact if I have questions regarding this process?
If you have questions
regarding the Private Academic certification process, contact the Bureau
of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.