Education Department Certification Q & A’s
Question #1: Why should I get the Pennsylvania certificate?
Answer: Even if you never plan to teach in Pennsylvania, it makes certification in other states easier to obtain. Please refer to the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.
Question #2: Is certification automatic?
Answer: Certification is not automatic. As students near graduation, they are to complete a formal application for certification. Certification is not a University of Scranton function. It is a state (Commonwealth of PA) function that requires an application.
Question #3: When do I apply for certification?
Answer: As students are approaching graduation, their next step is to apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for their Pennsylvania Professional Educator Certification.
Question #4: How do I apply for Pennsylvania certification?
Answer: There are two processes required when applying for a Pennsylvania professional educator certificate. Students must
a) complete the required University of Scranton paperwork and
b) complete the Pennsylvania Department of Education Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) online application process.
Question #5: How do I access the Pennsylvania Department of Education Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) online application?
Answer: Students can access TIMS through the following web address.
Question #6: How do I use the TIMS system?
Answer: Students must register with TIMS by indicating their name, physical address, email address, username, password, and answers to security questions. It is strongly recommended that students view the TIMS online users guide for applicants, which can be viewed here.
Additionally, a certification information seminar is held once per semester by the certification officer at the University of Scranton. This seminar provides students with detailed directions on how to submit the online application as well as pertinent paperwork for the process. The certification officer is also available for one-on-one appointments to answer student questions and assist with the certification process.
Question #7: What about certification in other states?
Answer: There are two processes for pursuing certification in other states. They are the following:
- a) Credentials review which involves a virtual checklist of required courses. This could mean trouble unless you planned carefully.
- b) NASDTEC Interstate Agreement which is an agreement between states that
- covers only curricular requirements
- accepts Pennsylvania Curriculum as meeting theirs
- non-curricular requirements not covered- Workshops
Question #8: Whose responsibility is it to apply for certification in states other than Pennsylvania?
Answer: Students need to obtain the application and complete the forms. The certification officer will complete only those forms required as part of the interstate certification compact by the other states. It is strongly recommended that students who wish to obtain certification in a state other than Pennsylvania remain abreast of the certification requirements for the state(s) in which they wish to pursue certification. They can begin by reviewing the respective state department ofeducation’s website(s). Although the certification officer at the University ofScranton is happy to assist with this process, state certification requirements change frequently, and it is not possible for the certification officer at the Universityof Scranton to be aware of each state’s requirements.
Question #9: Who is responsible for certification at the University of Scranton and how may I contact the certification officer?
Dr. Vanessa Talarico is the certification officer at the University of Scranton. Her contact information is:
Dr. Vanessa Talarico
141 McGurrin Hall University of Scranton
800 Linden Street
Scranton, PA 18510