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CSPG 7 - Level II (Permanent) Certification

Modified: November 1, 2021

Level I provisional certificates must be converted to Level II permanent certificates by the end of the validity period by meeting specific requirements.

This Certification Staffing Policy Guideline (CSPG) is not intended to be used for determination of teacher tenure, seniority, or benefit entitlement within the public school system. 

General Information

Educational Credits

Basics

  • All courses must have been satisfactorily completed with a passing grade. Official transcripts must document the course title, date taken, and credits earned for each course.
  • Quarter hour credits will be converted to semester hour credits using the following ratio: one quarter hour credit equals 2/3 semester hour credit.
  • Credits completed outside of the United States must be evaluated by a professional credentials evaluation agency accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE) or an agency approved by another state department of education.  

Acceptable Credits

  • A minimum of 24 credits earned after the conferral of the initial baccalaureate degree is required. A minimum of six of these 24 credits must be in the content area of the Level I certificate or in a course or courses designed to improve professional practice.
  • Graduate or undergraduate credits earned at a regionally accredited or state-approved baccalaureate or graduate degree-granting institution. Note: Community college courses that are accepted for transfer credit through the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Center (PA TRAC) are acceptable for Level II if they meet the other credit requirements.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)-approved credits (not Act 48 hours) offered by intermediate units.
  • A Principal's Induction Program that is offered or approved by PDE.
  • Credits in the fields of medicine, law, theology, or real estate are acceptable if the educator can present evidence of relevance to their certification area and assignment.

Unacceptable Credits

  • Continuing Education Units (CEU) – non-credit measures of continuing education awarded by various organizations, professional societies, and some colleges or universities. Note: Act 48 hours are considered CEUs.
  • In-service education course credits awarded by providers other than Pennsylvania intermediate units or approved by authorities other than PDE's Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.

Service and Evaluations

Creditable Service

  • To receive credit toward the Level II certification requirement, an educator must:
    • Serve in an assignment for which they hold a Level I certificate or a Chapter 49.85(d) exception;
    • Serve at least 50 percent of the employing entity's schedule;
    • Serve for a minimum of 70 days in a semester or for a minimum of 70 days in a single assignment across both semesters; and
    • Complete satisfactory service.
      Note: A tenured educator is only required to be evaluated once per year.  A non-tenured educator is required to be evaluated twice per year.
  • Satisfactory and unsatisfactory service will be counted toward the full-service period of certificate validity (refer to CSPG No. 3 – Validity of a Pennsylvania Certificate).

Non-Creditable Service

  • Service evaluated as unsatisfactory counts toward the period of validity of the Level I certificate, but cannot be used to meet Level II requirements.
  • The following assignments for which an educator lacks the appropriate Level I certificate are considered non-creditable service:
    • Emergency permits (all types, even if serving 70 days or more);
    • Intern certificates (Instructional or Career and Technical);
    • Temporary teaching permits; and
    • Temporary provisional certificates (Act 136).
  • Non-creditable service also includes service completed in the following placements:
    • Contracted employment that cannot be verified by the chief school administrator of an approved public or private school entity;
    • Accrued outside the mandated school-year (summer school);
    • As a teacher of adult classes of persons over 21 years of age (in non-Bureau of Corrections facilities);
    • In non-professional or paraprofessional positions; and
    • Outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Mandatory Service

Mandatory service counts toward the Level II certification service requirement and is charged against the period of validity of the Level I certificate. This includes service in following entities:

  • Public schools;
  • Intermediate units;
  • Career and technical schools;
  • Approved private schools for special education (APS);
  • Special program jointures;
  • Pre-K Counts programs (effective 2008-2009 school year);
  • Scranton State School for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Children;
  • State correctional facilities when providing inmate education and training to school age inmates;
  • Juvenile correctional facilities or county jails (when employed by a public-school entity);
  • Local education agency (LEA) alternative education programs including after school program alternative education programs where the students receive credit for coursework;
  • A charter school as a principal, assistant principal, or vice principal; and
  • A charter school in any special education certificate area: speech-language, visually impaired, hearing impaired, general special education, supervisory.
  • A charter school in related services positions as defined by IDEA which includes the position of school psychologist, school nurse, school counselor, school social worker and education specialist speech and language pathologist.

Optional Service

Service on a Level I certificate in the following types of schools/institutions may be credited toward Level II certification at the option of the certificate holder:

  • Pennsylvania charter schools (except principals, assistant or vice principals, all special education teachers, school psychologists, school nurses, school counselors, school social workers and education specialist speech and language pathologists);
  • Licensed Private Academic Schools;
  • PDE-registered non-public, non-licensed schools;
  • Head Start programs (except for Pre-K Counts programs);
  • Child care facilities that are Star 3 or above; and
  • Bureau of Corrections facilities as a teacher of adult inmates.

Note:Contracted staff that are verified by the chief school administrator of an approved public or private school entity may use the service for Level II.

Calculating Creditable Service on Instructional and Education Specialist Certificates 

  1. An individual must serve 70 days or more in a single assignment on the Level I certificate to receive credit toward Level II certification. Calculation of service time for Level I certificates is based on 90-day fall and spring semesters and a 180-day school year as follows:
    • 0-69 days served = 0 years credit
    • 70-139 days = ½ year credit
    • 140-180 days = 1 year credit
  2. Calculating the minimum service for Level II work experience requirements should be based on the LEA's official full-time total hours per day and week. At a minimum the individual must work at least half of the hours and/or days established as full-time by the LEA. Examples below provide a guide for computation but do not include all possible scenarios.

Example 1:  Computing hours/days worked based on a school day that totals 8 hours a day for 5 days a week. The following scenarios would constitute service that counts:

      • Working 8 hours a day for 2.5 days per week.
      • Working a minimum of 4 hours a day in a 5-day week.
      • Working a minimum of 4 hours a day for 2.5 days per week.

Example 2: Computing hours/days of work experience based on a school day that totals 8 hours a day in a 6-day block schedule. The following scenarios would constitute service that counts:

      • Working 8 hours a day in the 6-day block schedule.
      • Working a minimum of 4 hours a day in the 6-day block schedule.
      • Working a minimum of 4 hours a day for 3 days in the 6-day block schedule. 

Specific Requirements by Credential Type

Instructional Certificates

Policies

All instructional certificates will simultaneously convert to Instructional II certificates or simultaneously lapse if the validity period has expired.

Educational Requirements

Educators holding an Instructional I certificate must provide evidence of 24 post-baccalaureate semester hour credits, six of which must be associated with the area(s) of certification and/or designed to improve the professional practice of teaching.

Service Requirements

Three years of satisfactory teaching on any Instructional I certificate. Service may be combined from different subject areas. Refer to Calculating Creditable Service.

Other Requirements

  • To receive a Level II certificate, an educator also must complete a PDE-approved induction program and submit verification of satisfactory service.
  • The holder of a Level I certificate that was issued after September 2001 must achieve satisfactory results on the Level II assessment (e.g., PDE 427) to obtain a Level II certificate. The assessment should be retained by the LEA in the appropriate local file. 

Educational Specialist Certificates

Policies

  • Educational Specialist areas of certification do not simultaneously convert to Educational Specialist II certificates or simultaneously lapse.
  • An educator who holds both Elementary K-6 and Secondary 7-12 School Counselor certificates will have both certificates converted simultaneously when the educator presents eligibility for at least one of the certificates. Service to convert both certificates can be three years in elementary counseling, three years in secondary counseling, or a combination of service in both grade levels. 

Educational Requirements

Educators holding an Educational Specialist I certificate must provide evidence of 24 post-baccalaureate semester hour credits. 

Service Requirements

Three years of satisfactory service on the Educational Specialist I certificate being converted. Refer to Calculating Creditable Service.

Other Requirements

  • The educator also must complete a PDE-approved induction program and submit verification of satisfactory service.
  • The holder of a Level I certificate that was issued after September 2001 must achieve satisfactory results on a Level II assessment to obtain a Level II certificate. The assessment should be retained by the LEA in the appropriate local file. 

Career and Technical Instructional Certificates

Policies

All career and technical instructional certificate areas will simultaneously convert to Career and Technical II certificates or simultaneously lapse if the validity period has expired.

Educational Requirements

Educators may be recommended for Career and Technical Instructional Level II certification by their Pennsylvania-approved preparatory program after completing a total of 42 credit hours in addition to the 18 credits earned in Career and Technical I programs for a total of 60 credit hours.

Service Requirements

Three years of satisfactory service on a Career and Technical I certificate in any occupational competency area for which the certificate was issued.

Other Requirements

The educator must also:

  • Complete a PDE-approved induction program;
  • Submit verification of satisfactory service; and
  • Submit evidence of satisfactory achievement in the general knowledge assessment or approved coursework. 

Supervisory Certificates 

Policies

None

Educational Requirements

None 

Service Requirements

  • Type Code 81 Supervisory I certificates require three years of satisfactory service.
    • Time served counts toward the validity of the Code 81 Supervisory I certificate.
  • Type Code 76 Supervisory certificates have no service requirements.
  • Service is calculated by the school year (July 1 to June 30) as follows:
    • Less than 3 months of service = no credit
    • 3 months to less than 9 months of service = 1/2 year credit
    • 9 to 12 months of service = 1 year credit 

Administrative Certificates

Policies

  • All Administrative I certificates will simultaneously convert to Administrative II certificates or will lapse if the validity period has expired.
  • Administrative certificate holders who are employed for the first time in a position of principal, assistant principal, or vice principal in a public school in the commonwealth on or after January 1, 2008, must complete the Principal's Induction Program. 

Educational Requirements

None

Service Requirements

  • Type Code 83 Administrative I certificates require three years of satisfactory service.
  • Type Code 78 Administrative certificates are permanent and do not have a service requirement.
  • Type Code 75 Administrative I certificates require three years of satisfactory service.
  • Service is calculated by the school year (July 1 to June 30) as follows:
    • 0 to less than 3 months of service = no credit
    • 3 to 9 months of service = 1/2 year credit
    • 9 to 12 months of service = 1 year credit 

Administrative Provisional Certificates

Policies

  • Type Code 72 Administrative Provisional I – Principal must convert to Administrative I (Type Code 75) within the first two years of employment by:
    • Completing a Pennsylvania-approved leadership program;
    • Passing the subject matter content assessment; and
    • Remaining employed.
  • Type 75 Administrative I must be converted to Level II within five service years of the Administrative Provisional I issuance date.
  • Type Code 72 Administrative Provisional I – Career and Technical Administrative Director must be converted to a Type Code 78 Administrative within the first two years of employment by:
    • Completing a Pennsylvania-approved leadership program;
    • Passing the subject matter content assessment; and
    • Remaining employed.

Educational Requirements

As listed under policies

Service Requirements

As listed under policies

Program Specialist Certificates

Policies

  • Program Specialist certificate holders usually possess an Instructional certificate in order to be eligible for a Program Specialist certificate.
  • The holder must maintain the prerequisite Instructional certificate in valid status in order to continue service on the Program Specialist certificate.
  • Service on a Program Specialist certificate creditable toward meeting the experience requirements for Level II certification for the prerequisite Level I certificate and counts toward the period of validity of the prerequisite Level I certificate.
  • Once an educator has completed three years of combined satisfactory service on the Instructional certificate and/or Program Specialist certificate, and has satisfied all educational requirements for Level II certification, the educator may convert the prerequisite Instructional Level I certificate to an Instructional Level II certificate.
  • Program Specialist certificates issued to applicants who possess an equivalent English as Second Language certificate from another state, but do not possess a Pennsylvania Instructional certificate, have no conversion requirements.

Educational Requirements

Not applicable

Service Requirements

Not applicable

*Note: The Program Specialist certificate is a unique category not comparable to the previous categories listed.*

Related Information

Special Considerations

  • Educators who have completed the service time requirements to convert to a Level II certificate, but who have not been evaluated using an approved PDE evaluation form (long-term substitutes, private school educators, etc.), may have their satisfactory service time attested to by the Chief School Administrator of the approved public or nonpublic school entity in which the service was performed.
  • A National Board certificate holder may be issued a Level II certification comparable in grade scope and content area to the National Board certificate. If an individual applies for a Level II certificate in an area not comparable in grade scope and content area to the National Board certificate, the application must be reviewed by PDE's Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality Director for approval.
  • Non-U.S. citizen educators certified in a foreign language subject area may convert to a Level II certificate without becoming a U.S. citizen, but must meet all other regulatory requirements for conversion to an Instructional II certificate.
  • Non-U.S. citizen educators certified in a subject area other than a foreign language cannot convert to a Level II certificate until they become a U.S. citizen.
  • Satisfactory service on a non-U.S. citizen certificate (formerly titled an Alien Provisional certificate), will be charged against validity and credited toward Level II certification.

References

Pa. Public School Code: §1109, §1202, §1205, §1217, §1732-A (c) (2), §1749-A (b) (8)

22 Pa. Code: Chapter 49: §49.2, §49.18 (a), §49.83, §49.84, §49.103, §49.104, §49.111, §49.121, §49.143

Chapter 711: § 711.4, § 711.5

Act 15 of 1999

Act 45 of 2007

Act 76 of 2019

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, 6/10, 6/11, 2/13, 5/16,10/16, 2/19

Summary of Changes

​Date of Revisions
​Major Changes to CSPG #7
​7/2021
  • Updated terminology per Act 76 of 2021 from “vocational” to “career and technical”
  • Clarified calculation to meet Level II work experience for Instructional, Educational Specialist, Supervisory, Administrative areas and the calculation of validity for these areas.
  • Special Education certificate areas of service are to be counted as mandatory service 
​2/2019
  • ​Clarified the educational requirements of the Vocational Instructional certificates.
  • Clarified the requirement for the Level II assessment (Ch. 49.18 (a)
​5/2016
  • ​General reorganization and clarification.
  • Creditable service: Added information on Chapter 49.85(d) exceptions and evaluation requirements for tenured employees.
  • Removed “Educators who have accumulated satisfactory service on a Program Specialist certificate prior to September 1987 may credit that service toward Level II certification and must convert the Level I certificate to Level II as soon as they have satisfied both the educational and service requirements. If an educator has not completed the educational requirements as of September 1987, he or she is required to do so within a six-year service period following that date. Service prior to school year 1987-88 will not be charged against these educators.”
  • Special Considerations: Removed historical information regarding conversions of older certificates to Level II. Added non-U.S. citizen information.
​2/2013
  • ​Clarification of SAS/Inclusion credit requirements for Level II certification.
  • Requirements listed for the Administrative Provisional certificates issued in accordance with Act 24 of 2011.
  • New information added based on dates of hire for counting service on Administrative I and Supervisory I certificates.
  • Forty-five days changed to 70 days for a single assignment to be considered a half-year of service.
  • Satisfactory and unsatisfactory service will be counted against the period of certificate validity.
  • Non-optional service in state-owned schools, added the following schools:
    • Scotland School for Veterans Children, and
    • Scranton State School for the Deaf.
  • Calculation of validity for Instructional I and Educational Specialist I is based on semesters, which is defined in Calculation of Creditable Service, Example B.
  • Added the clarification that 99-year Administrative (Principal and Vocational Administrative Directors) certificates do not require conversion to Level II.
  • Clarification that the Induction program is required for Educational Specialists as well as the Instructional Level I to Level II conversions. Also, that the Pennsylvania approved Principal’s Induction Program is required for Administrative credentials.
  • Added the requirements for conversion of an Administrative Provisional credential to an Administrative Level II permanent credential.
  • Clarified the title change from Alien Provisional certificates to non-U.S. Citizen certificates.
​6/2011
  • ​Clarification that the six post-baccalaureate credits of collegiate study may also be credits from the Department of Education or an intermediate unit.
​6/2010
  • ​Six of the 24 credits to meet Instructional II requirements must be in Inclusive Classrooms or Standards Aligned Systems (SAS), unless earned prior to 9/1/2011.
  • Holders of principal certificates employed on or after 1/1/2008 for the first time as a principal, vice principal, or assistant principal in a public school in the commonwealth must complete the Principal’s Induction Program (Sec. 1109, Public School Code) within five years of service.
  • Principal certificates issued on or after 1/1/2008 are subject to Act 45 of 2007 requirements.
  • Administrative I certificates (code 75), issued on or after 1/1/2008 are valid for five years of service.
  • Principals with Administrative I certificates, who have been hired for the first time on or after 1/1/2008, have five years to complete a Pennsylvania state-approved induction program before converting to Level II.
  • Day-to-day substitutes may serve in a single assignment for 20 cumulative days (formerly 15 days).
  • Non-optional service added:
    • service in a state correctional facility when providing inmate education and training to school age inmates;
    • service in a juvenile correctional facility or county jail, when employed by a public school entity;
    • service in an Alternative Education after school program if the children are receiving credit for the coursework taken; and
    • service in an Pre-K Counts program (effective the 2008-09 school year).
  • CSPG 7 and 8 were combined in to one policy document, now CSPG 7.

​7/2004
  • Induction required for Educational Specialists (under 1999 regulations).
  • Vocational Instructional I certificates are valid for six years of service (issuance began 10/1/1999).
  • Administrative certificates (code 78) and Supervisory certificates (code 76) issued under the 1999 regulations, on or after 9/1/2001, are valid for 99 years of service and do not need to be converted to Level II status.
  • Educational Specialists, issued as an initial certificate under the 1999 regulations, must complete a PA state-approved induction program to meet Level II requirements.
  • Vocational Instructional certificates issued under the 1999 regulations, on or after 10/1/1999, are valid for six years of service (formerly seven years).
​1/1987
  • A person holding a provisional certificate and awarded a baccalaureate degree must meet the following requirement to convert a College Provisional certificate (equivalent to Instructional I) to a College Permanent certificate (equivalent to Instructional II):
    • Prior to 10/1/1959 – six credits (no renewal) and three years of satisfactory service.
    • After 10/1/1959 – 12 credits (no renewal) and three years of satisfactory service.
    • After 10/1/1963 – 24 credits and satisfactory service, completed as follows:
      • 12 credits and three years of satisfactory service resulting in the issuance of a provisional certificate renewal for three years;
      • 12 additional credits with three additional years of satisfactory service to convert to a permanent certificate; and
      • no more than six service years total on any provisional certificate.
  • Certificates with remaining validity (had not completed three years of service) prior to the opening of the 1980-81 school year were automatically given a six-year validity period.
  • A Pennsylvania state-approved Induction program is required to convert an initial Instructional certificate issued after 7/1/1987 to a Level II certificate.
  • College Provisional (Level I) certificates newly titled as Instructional certificates.
  • College Permanent (Level II) certificates newly titled as Instructional II certificates.
  • The validity of the Instructional I certificate was extended to six years (formerly three years and three-year renewal).
  • Certificated service accrued under the following criteria is counted against the validity of the Level I certificate and toward Level II requirements:
    • Approved Private School;
    • Program Specialist certificate; and
    • as a long-term substitute for 45 days or more in a 180 day mandated school year.
  • Vocational Instructional certificates issued under the 1987 regulations are valid for seven years of service.
  • A list of categories for optional service was added.
  • A chart for determining countable service time was added.

​3/1975
  • ​Level I certificates issued after 10/1/1959 must meet the following requirements to convert from a College Provisional certificate to a College Permanent certificate:
    • two credits, and
    • three years of satisfactory service.
  • Effective 10/1/1963, the College Provisional certificate is valid for three years of service and may be renewed for an additional three years of service upon completion of three years of successful teaching service and 12 post-baccalaureate credits. The certificate must be converted to Level II after the three additional years and with 12 additional credits.