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​CSPG 5 - Evaluation of Credentials for Individuals Prepared Outside of the United States

Modified: May 1, 2017

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Foreign Credentials

    All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by a professional credentials evaluation agency accredited by the Association of International Credentials Evaluators (AICE); National Association of Credentials Evaluation Services (NACES); an agency approved by the federal department of education; or an agency approved by another U.S. state department of education.

    Pennsylvania does not endorse or recommend any individual credential evaluation service. Please contact the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality if you wish to utilize the services of an agency that is not a member of AICE or NACES to make sure it is recognized.

    The evaluation agency must provide a report that includes:

    • An English translation and credit/degree evaluation of all foreign credentials;
    • The U.S. equivalent of all earned degrees;
    • An overall Grade Point Average (GPA);
    • A course by course evaluation showing the U.S. equivalency in terms of semester hour college credit and the level of the coursework; and
    • Verification that the candidate holds the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree earned at a nationally-accredited college or university.

    The foreign evaluation report must be submitted with either the original foreign credentials or photocopies of the original documents.

  1. Citizenship

    Candidates who are not U.S. citizens must:

  • Submit a photocopy of the front and back of your valid permanent resident immigration visa; and
  • File a “Declaration of Intent to Become a Citizen of the United States.”

Citizenship documentation is not required for:

  • World language instructional and emergency permit certificates;
  • Letter of Eligibility;
  • Commission Qualification Letter;
  • Commission; or
  • Type 08 (Exchange Teacher, Cultural Exchange, or Visiting Scholar) Emergency Permit.
  1. English Oral Proficiency Test

    Non-U.S. citizen applicants educated solely in a foreign country where the primary and official language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in understanding and speaking the English language. An advanced-mid score is
    required on the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) English Language, Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). Register for this test on the ACTFL website.

Special Considerations

Candidates who are native speakers of world language certification must meet the established General Standards and Program Guidelines for Foreign Language.


24 P.S. §12-1202; 22 Pa. Code §§49.63, 49.171

This revision supersedes all earlier CSPGs carrying this number and/or addressing this subject. Previous CSPG printing dates on this subject: 1/87, 7/04, 7/09.

Summary of Changes

​Date of Revisions
​Major Changes to CSPG 5
​4/2017​Added AICE, federal and other state Department of Education
approved agencies to the foreign evaluation options.
  • ​Notarization of foreign documents (Declaration of Intent to Become a United States Citizen, Green Cards, I-551 stamps, visas, Certificates of U.S. Naturalization) is no longer required.
  • Candidates whose native language is not English, or who were educated solely outside of the United States, will take the ACTFL English Oral Proficiency Test and not the SPEAK test.
  • Candidates must hold a valid immigrant visa to be issued an Emergency Permit. Employment Authorization Cards are no longer accepted for certification purposes.