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​CSPG 4 - Evaluation of Credentials Eligibility by the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality

Modified: February 1, 2021

General Policies

Under certain circumstances, an evaluation of an applicant’s education and experience may be conducted by the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.  The applicant must meet the standards in effect on the date the application is received by the Bureau.

Eligibility Requirements

1.  Evaluation of Applicants Prepared Outside Pennsylvania

The Bureau may evaluate an applicant’s education and, if applicable, professional experience for purposes of certification when the candidate meets one of the following circumstances:

A.    Recommendation

(1)    Applicant has completed an educator preparation program approved by the respective state and has been recommended by that program provider.

a.    If the applicant’s preparation program was completed with a state that signs the interstate agreement, the following ancillary requirements must still be fulfilled:  student teaching/internship, 3.0 minimum GPA and testing.

b.    If the applicant’s preparation program was completed with a state that does not sign the interstate agreement, an evaluation will be completed based on the PA program framework guidelines which include (a) above.  

(2)    Applicant has discontinued study within a Pennsylvania-approved educator preparation program, and has subsequently completed a state approved certification preparation program in the respective state at a college/university, thus categorizing the candidate as an out-of-state applicant.

B.    Out of State Credential (Instructional Only)

Applicant holds an active professional level instructional certificate from another state and has completed 2 full years of satisfactory teaching service.  Applicant may be certified for the comparable subject area in PA with the completion of the state required content area test(s).

C.    Multiple Preparatory Programs

Applicant has coursework completed in a state-approved educator preparation program in the requested area at two or more state-approved colleges/universities, but cannot secure the recommendation of any of the colleges/universities attended.  In this case, an evaluation will be completed comparing the coursework against the PA program framework guidelines.

D.    Non-recent Preparation

Applicant has completed an out of state approved certification preparation program that no longer meets today’s certification requirements. A prescription for coursework may be issued as a result of the review against current PA program framework guidelines.

E.    National Board Certification

Applicant holds a certificate from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards along with an out of state certificate in a subject area that is comparable to the requested Pennsylvania certificate.  In this instance, the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality will issue the candidate certification without completion of the state required tests for the subject area applied for.  These candidates must meet the general requirements in the Pa. School Code.  When these applicants are approved, they will be issued Level II certification without needing to meet any additional requirements.

2.  Evaluation of Applicants Educated Outside of the United States

Applicants whose educator preparation program was completed outside of the United States must meet the same standards as other candidates.    More information regarding the requirements can be found on the PDE website, Foreign Educated or CSPG No. 5.

3.  Evaluation of Applicants Prepared by Pennsylvania Colleges/Universities

Applicants who received their educator preparation program through a Pennsylvania state approved provider are expected to apply through the approved program provider recommendation process.  PA graduates whose certification preparation programs have changed or are obsolete must contact a state approved program provider for more information on the additional requirements that may be needed in order to meet today’s requirements and gain their recommendation for certification.  

Special Considerations

Limited Pennsylvania Approved Programs

When there are too few approved programs to provide reasonable accessibility for applicants to secure certificates in a particular subject area through the normal recommendation process, they may submit an application to the Department of Education for evaluation.  The applicant should be aware of the required academic and testing standards for the certification area and submit an application when he/she feels that those standards have been met.


22 Pa. Code §§49.13(3), 49.13(9), 49.13(10), 49.171, 49.63, 49.65(b), 49.82

Chapter 354

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

Summary of Changes

​Date of Revisions
​Major Changes to CSPG 5
​2/1/2021​Updated route for out of state candidates to 2 years of service and a valid certificate.