CSPG 61 - Special Education PK-8 and Special Education 7-12
Modified: December 1, 2018
The PK-8 and 7-12 Special Education certificates provide candidates with the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to meet the needs of students with disabilities in multiple settings.
Grade-Level Scope of Certificate(s)
A person holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate for Special Education PK-8 (age 3-14) is qualified to teach all special education students from PreK through grade 8. The holder must possess a valid Grades PK-4, Grades 4-8, Early Childhood N-3, Elementary K-6, Reading Specialist PK-12, or another content-specific PK-12 Instructional certificate.
A person holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate for Special Education 7-12 (ages 11-21) is qualified to teach special education students from grades 7 through 12. The holder must possess a valid a secondary (7-12) subject area, Reading Specialist PK-12, or another content-specific PK-12 Instructional certificate.
NOTE: Special Education PK-12 certificates are not content-specific certificates.
An educator holding a Special Education certificate is qualified to render diagnostic, prescriptive, and education services designed within an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to serve students having one or more disabilities; assist in writing the IEP for the identified students; provide appropriate modification to curriculum; and provide instructional support as outlined in the IEP.
Special Education certified teachers are qualified to offer pre-vocational diagnostic and assessment services; provide basic occupational career awareness activities (such as job shadowing); provide diverse occupational training; provide opportunities for paid/unpaid work experiences in a community-based operation; coordinate job training agreements; and make provision for the appropriate placement of these students in a work or community transition setting related to their career objectives.
An educator certified in Special Education may:
- provide professional development;
- serve in the role of mentor/advisor; and
- assist students in understanding how to read content area materials.
An local education agency (LEA) may make a written request to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for a staffing exception to the grade and age level limitations between Early Childhood, Elementary/Middle, Special Education PK-8, and Special Education 7-12 for individual teachers on a case-by-case basis. (22 Pa. Code §49.85- Limitations) The LEA shall submit a written request to the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality that provides justification for the exception. The Bureau will issue a letter of response that will contain a set time period for the exception to remain valid.
Other certification titles that remain valid are:
|Special Education N-12||N-12||Nursery level (age 3) through grade 12|
|Mental and/or Physically Handicapped K-12||K-12||Kindergarten through grade 12|
|Mentally Retarded||K-12||Kindergarten through grade 12|
|Physically Handicapped||K-12||Kindergarten through grade 12|
|Socially and Emotionally Disturbed||K-12||Kindergarten through grade 12|
|Emotionally Disturbed||K-12||Kindergarten through grade 12|
Note: All K-12 certificates may teach PreK-12 effective 9/22/07 per §49.85.
A Special Education 7-12 certificate may not be used at the sixth grade level (see Special Considerations).
Program Specific Guidelines for Special Education PK-8 and Special Education 7-12
PA Public School Code: §1202, §1212, §1604
22 PA Code: Chapter 4: §4.21, §4.22, §4.23
Chapter 49: §49.11, §49.81, §49.85
This revision supersedes all earlier CSPGs carrying this number and/or addressing this subject. Previous printing dates on this subject: 1973, 3/75, 3/78, 2/82, 1/87, 7/04, 5/05, 3/14
Summary of Changes
|10/2018||The restriction for Special Education 7-12 to teach sixth grade was|
- Special Education N-12 certificate no longer issued effective 8/31/2013.
- Special Education PK-8 and Special Education 7-12 certificates created effective 6/1/2010.
- The Bridge program expired 7/1/2008 (for programs initiated 7/1/2005) and 7/1/2009 (for programs initiated 7/1/06). The Bridge program was extended until 8/10/2011.
- Chapter §49.85 required Special Education PK-8 and Special Education 7-12 certificates and certificate programs implemented effective 6/1/2010.
- Chapter §49.85 regulations for Special Education PreK-8 and Special Education 7-12 certificates, adopted 12/2007.
|5/9/2005||CSPG #61 – Co-teaching addressed for content area teaching|
combined with Special Education (page 1).
CSPG #61 – title change/number change: Special Education-Cognitive, Behavior, and Physical/Health Disabilities (CB/PHD) (Nursery-12).
- Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired, Speech Language Impaired certificate information stated in separated CSPGs.
- Special Education certificate may be used for transition programs for students with IEP’s; formerly a Cooperative Education certificate was also required.
CSPG #50 – Special Education Certification and Assignment Scope K-12.
- Information on Hearing Impaired certificates and older titles.
- Information on Visually Impaired and older titles.
- Information on Mentally Retarded and older titles.
- Information on Speech and Language Impaired.
- Information on Letters of Authorization.
- Information about the Curriculum & Instruction Supervisor; Pupil Personnel Services Supervisor; School Psychologist as related to special education.
CSPG #50 – Certification in Special Education
- Effective 7/1/1969 certificates no longer issued:
- Speech Correctionist and Speech and Hearing Disorders.
- New certificate – Speech Correction.
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
- New certificate – Hearing Impaired.
- Visually Handicapped.
- New certificate -Visually Impaired.
- Mentally Retarded, Physically Handicapped, Socially and Emotionally Maladjusted.
- New certificate – Emotionally Disturbed.
- New certificate – Physically and Mentally Handicapped.
- Elementary certification will no longer qualify the holder to teach exceptional students classified as “learning disabled;” grandfathering for employment from 1975-76 and continuing.
- Gifted programs may be taught by a teacher in the area of scheduled instruction.
- Social Restoration certificate may be used for remedial instruction except for exceptional students with learning disabilities.