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Education Department Resources

On this page, Education students at Thiel College will find helpful information regarding assessments, the Praxis Series, certification, clearances, lesson plans, and more! You’ll also find links to several ePortfolios to help guide you through the process of building your own.

Testing Requirements

Pennsylvania requires assessment of candidates in basic skills, general knowledge, professional knowledge and subject area knowledge before a certificate may be issued. Three documents are recommended reading:

  1. Policies and submission procedures in CSPG 21 - Testing
  2. Certification Test and Score Requirements (Excel) 
  3. Composite Score Calculator (Excel)

All teacher candidates must pass the Basic Skills Assessment requirement prior to student teaching or s/he will not be permitted to begin their student teaching semester.

Please see this chart for a comprehensive overview of all your professional tests, and continue reading for more in-depth information.

PA Department of Education Approved Basic Skills Assessments

Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE): Modules in Reading(5713), Writing(5723), and Math(5733). You may take all three exams at the same time by selecting Core Academic Skills for Educators Combined Test (5752) when registering. Educational Testing Services Company

The Praxis® tests help Pennsylvania educators demonstrate their knowledge of content, pedagogy and instructional skills for the classroom. These tests are important components of Pennsylvania's licensure and certification process and include:

  • Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) — comprehensive assessments that measure the skills and content knowledge of candidates entering teacher preparation programs
  • Praxis® Subject Assessments — tests that measure general and subject-specific content knowledge that you need for beginning teaching

Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA): Modules in Reading(8001), Writing(8003) and Math(8002).  Pearson Education Inc.

Passing the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) is one means of meeting the basic skills requirement recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The PAPA includes three modules: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. You may take one or all three modules at one test appointment. The PAPA series may be passed by meeting or exceeding the established minimum qualifying score on all three modules (see below), or by the Composite Score Option.

SAT and ACT Exemption

SAT and ACT scores may exempt a student from taking the PAPA or the CORE.

  • SAT Testing-Students who score the following scores may be considered exempt:  Critical Reading score of 27, Writing and Language score of 28, and a Mathematics score of 26.
  • ACT Testing-Students who score the following scores may be considered exempt: Reading score of 22, Writing after September 2016 score of 8, and Mathematics score of 21.

Praxis Series

The Praxis Series tests are required for all Secondary Education Majors.

ETS has revised the following tests using a standard setting committee and has established updated test codes, so please check all codes before registering for a test.

Biology: Content Knowledge (5235)

Chemistry: Content Knowledge (5245)

English Language Arts: Content Knowledge (5038)

Mathematics: Content Knowledge (5161)

Physics: Content Knowledge (5265)

Social Studies: Content Knowledge (5081)

PECT Series

The PECT series tests are required for all ECE/SPED Majors.

Pearson Education Inc. has collaborated with PDE to develop the following tests for Early Childhood(PreK-4) and Special Education Majors(PreK-8).

Pre-K-4 Module 1: Child Dev, Assessment, Professionalism (8006)

PrPre-K-4 Module 2: Lang, Social Stud, Arts (8007)

PrPre-K-4 Module 3: Math, Science, Health (8008)

Spec Ed: PreK-8 Module 1 (8011)

Spec Ed: PreK-8 Module 2 (8012)

Test Fee Waiver Information

Fee waivers may be available for college students who meet certain eligibility criteria. You may receive only one fee waiver per year, and there is a limited number of waivers available per test date and institution. Requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

To be eligible for a PECT or Praxis fee waiver, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program.
  • You must be currently receiving financial aid.

PECT Waiver:

To apply for a fee waiver, submit a completed Fee Waiver Request Form before registering to test.

Praxis Waiver:

If you qualify for a Praxis fee waiver, the test fees for up to three Praxis® Core tests, or one Praxis® Subject Assessment may be waived. If you are requesting a fee waiver for all three Praxis Core tests, the voucher issued to you will be for the combined test code (5752).

To apply for the fee waiver, complete/obtain the following documents and either email them as attachments (scanned if necessary) to OR mail them to ETS - PRAXIS, P.O. Box 6051, Princeton, NJ 08541-6051:

  • Fee Waiver Request Form
  • Current Enrollment Verification Certificate (to verify your degree program enrollment at Thiel)
  • Current FAFSA Student Aid Report (must show an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $3,000 or less)


Certificate Application Information

Pennsylvania Department of Education requires teacher candidates to apply for their teacher certification online on the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS). The online certification system is a one-stop shop for educators to submit a certification application and update your contact information, among other services.

For more information about testing requirements, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Certification Testing webpage.

Clearance Background Checks

Pennsylvania School Law, requires that all applicants for employment in public and private schools, employees of independent contractors seeking business with public and private schools, and student teacher candidates undergo background checks if they will have direct contact with students.

The following three background checks are required. Please follow each of the links for more information about obtaining each of the required clearances.

Pennsylvania Department of Education/Clearances webpage

Lesson Plans

Internship Opportunities

Education majors are required to complete at least 190 hours of field experience before student teaching. This is done through your coursework. You are also highly encouraged to seek out other opportunities through community service and/or internships.

Disclaimer:  We cannot endorse, supervise or monitor your involvement in any of these activities.  Good judgment is required. 

Possible internships include:


All Education majors are required to complete an ePortfolio and three-ring binder portfolio as part of the EDUC 220/ECE 420 - Integrated Instructional Systems course. Students use this requirement to market his/her skills upon graduation. Questions or comments can be directed to Dr. Hazlett at