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CSPG 7 - Level II (Permanent) Certification

Modified: February 1, 2019

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.

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: 1 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) or an agency approved by a state participating in the NASDTEC interstate agreement.

Acceptable Credits

  • Credits earned after the conferral of the initial baccalaureate degree.
  • 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 as long as 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 his/her 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

  • In order 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;
    • An educator must serve at least 50 percent of the employing entity’s schedule;
    • An educator must 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
    • An educator must complete satisfactory service.
      Note: A tenured educator is only required to be evaluated once per year. A nontenured educator is required to be evaluated twice per year.
    • Satisfactory and unsatisfactory service will be counted against the full-service period of certificate validity (refer to CSPG No. 3 – Validity of a Pennsylvania Certificate).

Non-Creditable Service

  • Unsatisfactory service. However, it is charged against the period of validity of the Level I certificate.
  • Service rendered in assignments for which an educator lacks the appropriate Level I certificate.
  • Service:
    • On emergency permits (all types, even if serving 70 days or more);
    • On Intern certificates (Instructional or Vocational);
    • On temporary teaching permits;
    • Accrued outside the mandated school-year (summer school);
    • As a teacher of adult classes of persons 21 years of age or older (in non-Bureau of Corrections facilities);
    • In non-professional or paraprofessional positions; and
    • Outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Mandatory Service

Counts toward the Level II certification service requirement and is charged against the period of validity of the Level I certificate. Includes service in:

  • 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);
  • State-owned schools:
    • Scotland School for Veterans Children; and
    • Scranton State School for the Deaf;
  • 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);
  • An alternative education after school program if the students are receiving credit for the coursework taken; and
  • A charter school as a principal, assistant principal, or vice principal.

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);
  • 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 Examples

Example A

An individual must serve a minimum of 50 percent of the employing entity’s schedule to receive credit toward permanent certification.

​Number of Service Hours/ Periods in School Day
​Number of Periods/
Hours Served
​Service Time
Counted
​6​3​Yes
​7​3​No
​7​4​Yes

Number of Days
in School Week
Number of
Days Served
​Service Time
Counted
​5​2 1/2
​Yes
​5​3​Yes
​5​2​No

Example B

An educator must serve 70 days or more in a single assignment on their Level I certificate to receive credit toward permanent certification. Calculation of service time for Level I certificates is based on 90-day fall and spring semesters.

​Type of Educator
​Days Worked in the Fall Semester
​Days Worked in the Spring Semester
​Total Credit Towards Permanent Certification
​Substitute Educator​Works 36 days
(no credit)
​Works 90 days
(½ year credit)
​½ year
​Substitute Educator​Works 54 days
( no credit)
​Does not work
(no credit)
​no credit
​Substitute Educator using Level I certificate​Subs for Educator A for 90 days (½ year credit)​Subs for Educator B for 70 days ( ½ year credit)​1 year
​Substitute Educator using Level I certificate​Subs for Educator A - 21 days
Subs for Educator B - 21 days
Subs for Educator C - 21 days
​Subs for 20 days
(no credit)
​no credit
​Substitute Educator using Level I certificate​Subs for 70 days
(½ year credit)
​Subs for 70 days
(½ year credit)
​1 year
​Substitute Educator using Level I certificate​Subs across Fall and Spring term – 70 or more days in the same assignment (only ½ year credit)​Subs across Fall and Spring term – 70 or more days in the same assignment (only ½ year credit)​½ year
​Substitute Educator using Level I certificate​Educators working a minimum of 140 consecutive days in a single assignment over both semesters may count the service time as one full year towards Level II; it is counted as one-half year against validity if at least 70 days are not accrued in each semester. ​ ​

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.

Other Requirements

  • Completion of a PDE-approved induction program and 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 Specialists II certificates or simultaneously lapse, with the exception of School Counselor.

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.

Other Requirements

  • Completion of a PDE-approved induction program and 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.

Vocational Instructional Certificates

Policies

All vocational instructional certificate areas will simultaneously convert to Vocational II certificates or simultaneously lapse if the validity period has expired.

Educational Requirements

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

Service Requirements

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

Other Requirements

  • Completion of a PDE-approved induction program;
  • Verified satisfactory service; and
  • Evidence of satisfactory achievement in the general knowledge assessment.

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

No coursework is required.

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.
​Administrative I or Supervisory I
​Date Service Began
​Date Service Ended
​Total Creidt Towards Permanent Certification
​Between July 1 and September 30​June 30 following year​1 year
​Between October 1 and December 31​June 30 following year​½ year
​Between January 1 and March 31​June 30 same year​½ year
​Between April 1 and June 30​June 30 same year​no 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 – Vocational 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.

Supervisory Certificates

Educational Requirements

None

Service Requirements

  • Type Code 81 Supervisory I certificates require three years of satisfactory service.
  • Type Code 76 Supervisory certificates have no service requirements.
  • Service on Supervisory I certificates for 10, 11, and 12-month contracts is based on the hiring date. See table below.
​Administrative I or Supervisory I
​Date Service Began
​Date Service Ended
​Total Credit Towards Permanent Certification
​Between July 1 and September 30​June 30 following year​1 year
​Between October 1 and December 31​June 30 following year​½ year
​Between January 1 and March 31​June 30 same year​½ year
​Between April 1 and June 30​June 30 same year​no credit

Program Specialist Certificates

  • 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 is creditable toward meeting the experience requirements for Level II certification for the prerequisite Level I certificate and is charged against 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.

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

22 Pa. Code §49.2, 49.18 (a), 49.83, 49.84, 49.103, 49.104, 49.111, 49.121, 49.143; 24 P.S. §12-1202, 1205. 1109, 1217, Act 15 June 22, 1999, Act 45 of 2007

Related CSPGs: CSPG 3, CSPG 5, CSPG 8, CSPG 20

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

Summary of Changes

​Date of Revisions
​Major Changes to CSPG #7
​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.