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​CSPG 36 - Communications (7-12)

​Instructional Area Code 3200
Modified: June 21, 2023

Communications is the creation, evaluation, and transmission of messages.  Communications teachers help students bring meaning to their own and others' experiences through the use of verbal and nonverbal behaviors, associated with the usage of language. They teach students to analyze how culture influences communication processes, affecting differences in language, values, meaning, perception, and thought.

Grade Level Scope of Certificate:

A person holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate for Communications is qualified to teach Communications courses to students in grades 7 through 12. A person holding this certificate is also qualified to teach this content in the sixth (6th) grade. (See CSPG #104).

Certification Assignment

An educator holding a valid Communications 7-12 certificate is qualified to teach all standards adopted by the State Board of Education in English Language Arts, including standards in the categories of reading informational text, reading literature, writing, and speaking and listening. 

A person holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate for Communications is particularly qualified to teach communications courses including advertising, journalism, radio/television, news production and broadcasting, podcasting, social media, speech/public speaking, debate, public relations, writing, including newspaper writing and reporting, editing, organizational writing and yearbooks, dance, drama, film, theater, stage production, directing, basic acting, and linguistics.

Certification Clarification

An educator holding a Communications 7-12 certification is qualified to teach the same courses as an educator holding English 7-12 certification. 


At the high school level, a person holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate for Communications is qualified to teach communications courses including Technical Writing, Business English, or Applied Communications only for English or Communications credit. 

The certified Communications 7-12 educator may teach reading as part of the English curriculum but may not perform duties and responsibilities reserved for a Reading Specialist (see CSPG 57).

Special Considerations

  • An educator certified in this field may:
    • provide professional development;
    • serve in the role of mentor or advisor;
    • assist students in understanding how to read content area materials.


Program Specific Guidelines for Communications Certification.

PA Public School Code: §1202, §1212, §1604

22 PA Code: Chapter 4: §4.22 (c)(1), §4.22 (c)(8), §4.23 (c)(1), §4.23 (e)

Chapter 49: §49.11, §49.81

Other CSPGs for Reference

English 7-12
Grades 4-8 with a concentration in English/Language Arts
Reading Specialist 

This revision supersedes all earlier CSPGs carrying this number and/or addressing this subject.  Previous printing dates on this subject:  3/75, 10/76, 1/87, 12/90, 7/04

Summary of Changes

​Date of Revisions
​Major Changes to CSPG #36
  • ​Updated terminology and formatting.
  • Clarified certification assignment.
  • Clarified that this certification is still interchangeable with English 7-12 certification.
  • Added dance to the certification assignment.
  • Clarifications under Special Considerations:
    • Added information regarding staffing of Business English.
    • Clarified additional general duties that a certified educator may provide.
​7/1/2004​CSPG #36-Communications: CSPG # 42-English: These certificates remained interchangeable; however, differentiations are made in certificate assignment with Communications having a stronger media, broadcasting, video and journalism focus.
​12/1/1990​CSPG #32-English and Communications Certification and Assignment Scope:
  • Both English and Communications certificate areas could teach: Theater, Literature, Composition, Grammar and Usage, Speech and Dramatics, Journalism, Business English.
  • Applied Communications (career related communication) could be taught by English, Communications, or any area of Business Education.
  • Developmental reading could be taught by English or Communications.
​3/1/1975​CSPG # 32-Assignment of Teacher to Instruction in English and Communications:
  • Certificates in English or Comprehensive English could teach: American and English Literature, Grammar and Usage, Speech and Dramatics, Composition, Journalism, Spelling.
  • Certificate in Speech issued after 7/1/1969 may only teach speech and dramatics.
  • Transition in process for an Instructional certificate endorsed for Communications. This certificate will be used to teach: English language studies, Speech, Literature, Writing, Theater, Communications using non-print media.