Program Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Coursework Options 
Practicum for Graduate Students with no Classroom Experience 

Student Teaching 

Transcript Evaluation 

Teacher Certification 

Teacher Intern Program 

Act 48 

Phi Delta Kappa Chapter 



Teacher candidates seeking the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, Early Education (PreK-4); Elementary/Middle Education; Educational Leadership or Secondary Education who already hold a bachelor’s degree in education and who also have Pennsylvania Certification must complete a minimum of thirty-three (33) credit hours of graduate work. 


Teacher candidates seeking the M.Ed. degree who already have a bachelor’s degree in education and who seek to have Pennsylvania Certification are required to complete student teaching, including an on-campus supervised seminar. These teacher candidates must complete all requirements for certification that are in place at the time of admission. Students who are unable to complete student teaching resulting from extenuating circumstances may substitute two additional graduate courses in education to complete the degree, however the transcript will clearly note that the student did NOT complete an approved teacher certification program. 

Teacher candidates seeking the M.Ed. degree who do not have a background in education must have their undergraduate program reviewed to determine additional courses that may be needed to meet the new certification program requirements. These students may also need to complete additional credits (e.g., in English and mathematics) to fulfill Pennsylvania’s requirements for teacher certification. They must also complete student teaching, including an on-campus seminar, and must prepare a portfolio of documentation considered essential for beginning teachers. 

Admissions Requirements for Instructional I Certification 


In compliance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) regulations, requirements for all students seeking Instructional I certification beginning September 2003, are as follows: 


 Documentation of an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher prior to admittance into the program 

   NOTE: Students with GPA of 2.8-2.99 may qualify if they take the PAPA exam and receive passing scores. (Please speak to advisor or Dr. Chiaradonna, Acting Chair of the Division of Teacher Education and Leadership, for more information.) 


  Maintenance of a GPA of 3.0 throughout program 


  The completion of admission requirements for the School of Graduate Studies, including letters of recommendation and statement of professional goals (please see application for details). These requirements apply to all initial certification areas.  


Note: Admission status for teacher candidates who do not possess an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and whose entering GPA is lower than 2.8 will need to qualify under the 10% admissions rule before being accepted into the program.  Please meet with the Chair of the Division of Teacher Education and Leadership for further information. Students will need to pass the PAPA exam and complete 6 graduate or 9 post-bachelor credits to qualify for admission to the certification programs. 


Teacher candidates who are employed full-time can usually complete requirements for the master’s degree in two to three years of part-time study. 



A non-degree/non-certificate student is one who wishes to complete only one or two courses for transfer, personal or professional development, or someone who will not be able to complete all steps in the admissions process but who wishes to enroll in a course. Such students may take a maximum of six credits. To earn more than six (6) credits, a student must be accepted and enrolled in a degree or certificate program. 



Teacher candidates may choose one of two options: 

1. Master’s Degree without a Thesis
    This requires at least thirty-three semester hours of graduate work, of which no fewer than six (6) credits will be in courses that require significant written reports of a research or professional nature.


2. Master’s Degree with a Thesis
     This requires at least twenty-seven semester hours of graduate work taken as courses, plus an approved thesis. When the thesis has been approved and submitted in final form, six credit hours will be added to the student’s academic record.



Under the current certification programs (K-6; N-3 or Special Education N-12) ending in 2013, teacher candidates without classroom experience are responsible for arranging experiences in a traditional school setting, either public or private. This may include ten individual observations, or one full week of observation and/or more active involvement, such as tutoring or assisting. The practicum requirement may include experiences of tutoring, small-group instruc­tion and/or hands-on practice in a traditional setting. This requirement is intended to help ensure that the candidate has a current background and experience in the classroom setting before student teaching. Documentation of the practicum is required before student teaching and can include a reflection paper appropriate to the observation/hands-on experience in traditional settings.  


The practicum requirement may be fulfilled in conjunction with Methodology I or II/Field Study (GRELE 600 and 610), or Practicum/Special Methods (secondary certification). Practicum arrangements will be made in consultation with the advisor or the instructor. A packet containing forms for the school and forms to document the experience are available in the Education Office (St. Joseph Hall, 4th floor). The advisor will consult the student file for this documentation before signing the permission form for student teaching. 


For ALL new initial certification programs (PreK-4; Grades 4-8; and Secondary Education beginning with Fall 2012 term), the PA Department of Education has new requirements that will require candidates to demonstrate specific competencies related to field experiences in Stages I, II, and III, prior to the student teaching requirement.  The competencies have been identified and CHC has developed a practicum handbook for all new candidates to use with the assistance of their advisor.   The competencies can be met through a project-based experience working with students; documenting at least 60 hours of time. The remaining 90 hours the  PA Department of Education requires (totaling 150 total hours of Stages I, II, and III field experiences) is included within the 15 week student teaching experience required of all candidates.  The Field Experience handbook will be given to the candidate upon admission to the program.  Note:  students teaching on an Intern certificate in a high needs school will have documented the required field experience hours within the first semester of teaching through the 1.5 credit Intern teaching practicum.      



The State of Pennsylvania requires that students seeking teacher certification demonstrate several competencies in working with children. These teacher candidates must student teach five full school days per week for fifteen weeks in one semester.  


For teacher candidates who are not currently in a classroom setting, the Division of Teacher Education and Leadership will collaborate to locate and obtain a suitable student-teaching site. In this case, the Division will also obtain permission for the student-teaching experience from the school district. 


Student teaching consists of: 

1.   Supervised teaching experience in selected public, parochial or independent licensed schools  


2.   On-the-job supervision of the teacher candidate who currently works as an Intern teacher, (e.g. Philadelphia Teaching Fellow) classroom teacher,  (e.g. apprenticeship teacher or parochial school teacher), or a teacher assistant whose situation mirrors the student-teaching requirements. A teacher candidate will be observed up to four times during the 15 weeks of student-teaching experience. 


The graduate student who is presently a classroom or assistant teacher in a traditional classroom may use this experience to satisfy the student-teaching requirement. In this case, the student’s own classroom becomes the focus of learning during the semester. The Chestnut Hill College Division of Teacher Education and Leadership, however, must approve the classroom site and/or situation. Student-teaching placements occur in licensed schools. In these situations, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain permission to assume student teaching responsibilities from the principal or director of the school. 


The seminar component of student teaching enables the faculty supervisor to offer guidance to student teachers, to evaluate the candidate’s progress in the classroom, and to discuss with candidates educational theory and its practical application. Workshops to support specific topics/standards will also be provided on an as-needed basis. These workshops will help ensure that  teaching to the PA Academic Standards is supported in all appropriate content areas. The seminar is required of all candidates registered for student teaching. 


If a candidate is not successful in student teaching, the course cannot be repeated at Chestnut Hill College. 

No student may enroll in the student teaching course as his or her first course at Chestnut Hill College.  An exception to this policy will be made if the education department of another university initiates the request and receives approval for a student-teaching placement through Chestnut Hill College. 



During the student-teaching component of graduate work, teacher candidates are asked to compile a portfolio containing evidence of meeting the exit competencies as identified above. The faculty member supervising the candidate will evaluate the portfolio and submit the evaluation as documentation of the candidate’s completion of this requirement. 



An official transcript from the accredited institution must be received before admittance to the education program. The Division Chair or program coordinator will review the transcript to determine if any previous courses would match current course requirements.  Courses older than seven years old will not be considered. 


Teacher candidates seeking secondary certification must have their undergraduate degree transcripts reviewed for course content appropriate to their desired certification area.  Liberal Arts departments in designated disciplines have identified specific requirements to meet the PDE equivalency of a major core of study standard. The Secondary Education Coordinator reviews the transcript to determine the liberal arts and education course content requirements. 

Courses that are more than seven years old may need to be repeated. This is especially true in areas of psychology and the natural sciences. Exceptions are made for individuals who have recently taken in-service courses through approved educational institutions such as an Intermediate Unit to update their knowledge base or those who have recent full-time experience using current pedagogical techniques. 



Candidates may seek an initial Instructional I certification in Early Childhood (N-3; PreK-4), Elementary (K-6) or Elementary/Middle Level (4-8), Secondary (7-12) or Special Education (N-12; PK8, or 7-12) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by completing requirements for the graduate certification program and by obtaining passing scores on the current tests. Testing requirements and passing scores are subject to change, therefore candidates are responsible to comply with regulations that are current at the time of application for certification. Candidates may complete the requirements for the master’s degree without completing student teaching (by substituting appropriate electives), but they will not be eligible for Instructional I certification until student teaching is successfully completed. 


Candidates who have Instructional I certification as part of their undergraduate teacher preparation program may fulfill the requirements for Instructional II certification by taking an additional twenty-four credit hours of course work at the graduate level and documenting three years of successful, full-time teaching. 


Candidates who have Pennsylvania Certification and intend to add another area of certification must fulfill all requirements for that area of certification and complete the specific Praxis specialization test for the additional area of certification (see Option II). Students who are requesting acceptance into a second certification program and have lower than a grade of “B” in the previous student teaching experience will need to demonstrate two or more years of successful teaching experience in their area of initial certification. Students adding a special education certification who have a student teaching grade of lower than a “B” in their initial certification will need to either demonstrate two or more years of successful teaching experience in the initial certification area or complete a student-teaching experience in special education instead of a practicum.  


It is the responsibility of teacher candidates to apply for certification once they have satisfactorily met the requirements. Once the certifying officer of the education department receives application through the TIMS online system; it is the responsibility of the certifying officer to recommend the candidate by electronically signing and sending the application to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 



Chestnut Hill College offers the Teacher Intern Program, providing Intern Certification in biology (7-12), chemistry (7-12), early childhood education  (N-3), elementary education (K-6), foreign language (K-12 in Spanish, French, Latin) general science (7-12), mathematics (7-12), social studies (7-12), and special education (N-12) at the graduate level. The PA Department of Education has yet to determine the Intern Program requirements for the new certification programs in PreK-4 or grades 4-8. As soon as they do, the education department will apply for approval for these programs.  These programs are open to qualified applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education and who wish to become teachers. The Teacher Intern Program allows a candidate to gain intern certification before completing the coursework necessary for Instructional I certification. In order to obtain an Intern Certificate, the candidate must successfully complete tests that are currently required by the state and be accepted into one of the approved Intern programs listed above. Interns comply with all admissions procedures applicable to Instructional I candidates. Click here for further information. 


The Intern Program is most appropriate for the individual who already has a teaching job. For example, many bilingual teachers without education degrees are in the Intern Program. The candidate takes five introductory courses and then applies for the certificate in a specific program area. The candidate then has three years to complete the program, including student teaching. For more information about the Teacher Intern Programs, contact the Chestnut Hill College Education Office at 215.248.7126. 


Also Offered: 

ACT 48 

Chestnut Hill College is an Act 48 provider. Forms to apply for Act 48 credit are available in the Education Office. 

Phi Delta Kappa Chapter 


Chestnut Hill College sponsors a Phi Delta Kappa Chapter for teachers and graduate students interested in continued professional development. Graduate students in any of the certification programs are welcome to become members. Initiation ceremonies are held one or two times each year. Teachers from the surrounding school districts serve as officers of the organization. For more information, please contact the education department. 


Unit Benchmarks and Program Assessment (Effective: Fall 2013)

Division of Teacher Education and Leadership  

Note: To view these Benchmarks as a PDF, click here.


All teacher education candidates must be physically, socially, cognitively, and professionally able to meet specific competencies as part of the admissions process through the completion of approved coursework, field work, clinical, and when exiting the teacher education program. In compliance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) regulations, admission requirements for all candidates in all program modalities seeking Instructional I certification.

Initial Teacher Preparation Program:
School of Graduate Studies (SGS)

Benchmark I: Formal Admission into the Division of Teacher Education and Leadership upon completion of the following:  

1. Submit an application form with fee


2. Submit official Transcripts of all previous college and university study


3. Submit three letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources (recent graduates are expected to submit at least one academic recommendation)


4. Submit a professional goals essay by published instructions


5. Must have completed a BS degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher* with proof of degree – under a 3.0 GPA will require conditional admission and successful completion of 2-3 graduate level courses, each with a B or better


6. TOEFL, TSE and/or TWE required for all students whose primary language is not English. International student begin the admissions process by contacting the Director of International Student Services.


7. Complete an interview with the Graduate Admission Staff and Division Chair (benchmark I #1-7 must be met first)

8. Meet with your assigned advisor to complete a program plan

9. Receipt of a formal letter of admission into the School of Graduate Studies and The Division of Teacher Education and Leadership


Benchmark II: Progression through Professional Teacher Education Program  
1. Maintenance of a GPA of 3.0 throughout professional program Initial or Second Teacher Certification Programs

2. Documentation and evidence of field experience competencies:
a. Non-Intern candidates need to complete - Field Experience portfolio representing relevant experiences prior to student teaching.
b. Special education candidates: If PA certified in new programs (PreK-4; 4-8 or secondary); they have met the Stage I-III initial field experiences for students with IEP’s. Non-Pa certified teachers would need to complete field experience competencies for students with IEP’s prior to final graduate practicum. Portfolio demonstrating experiences with advisor is required.

3. Formal application to Stage IV Clinical Field Experience (Student Teaching or Graduate Practicum) with all relevant PDE documents and clearances (typically a full semester before the student teaching semester). Renewal clearances may be applicable. Documentation of Stage I-III field experience competencies required for all n on-Intern teacher candidates. Advanced Leadership Programs

2. Successfully satisfy all criteria for mentored and supervised administrative and specialist field work as outlined in Graduate Handbook (Principal) Complete a total of 96 hours of embedded school-based, mentored and supervised experience in courses, EDLR 611, 625,635, 645 ; (Reading Specialist) complete 15 credit hours and seminar mentored by a literacy coach and college supervisor- in assessment, case study reports, designing and implementing interventions

3. (Principal) Successfully implement in the school an action-based research project that addresses a specific instructional need that exists in the school; (Reading Specialist) complete a comprehensive case study project using Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Professional Practice

Benchmark III: Progression through Graduate Clinical and exiting Program Completion  
1. Successful completion of all program key assessments and a minimum of 33 credits of graduate work (programs vary in program requirements)

2. Maintain a GPA of 3.0 in each course throughout the program

3. Successfully satisfy all criteria as outlined in Handbook and Catalog Teacher Preparation Programs

4. Maintain successful progression through supervised clinical field experience 90 hrs included in a 15 wk (full day) clinical experience and seminar (EDP4 601, 602) as evidenced by PDE 430 evaluations and final grade (a final grade does not guarantee recommendation)

5. Successfully complete Professional Portfolio for Stage IV, clinical field experience (student teaching) containing evidence of meeting the exit competencies

6. Complete the Stage IV Clinical Field Experience and seminar with a 3.0 GPA (EDP4 601, 602)

7. Recommended – Take and pass the current Pennsylvania Licensure Certification Tests

8. Completion of remaining alternately scheduled courses and any other required core course required in your program Advanced Leadership Programs

4.(Principal) Successful implementation and documentation of a total of 360 hours in one calendar year/ (Reading Specialist) documentation of successful 15 credits of mentored and supervised field work

5. (Principal) Complete the Leadership Internship EDLR 701, 702; (Reading Specialist) complete Specialist Internship EDRG 630, 635, 695, 701

6. Evidence of meeting the exit competencies addressed by Unit and ELCC/IRA standards focusing on content and leadership skills in the areas of instructional and operational issue.


The Teacher Education and Leadership Council (TELC), consisting of representatives of all teacher education programs in the unit, including deans and chairs, is the governing body for processes and decisions regarding teacher education candidates. Benchmark subcommittees, consisting of at least three program faculty will review all benchmark deficiencies, discuss, and make recommendations to the to the Council where final decisions are made. A deficient may be, for example, students who have less than a 3.00 GPA in the major at the time of application into the teacher education program (benchmark 1). Depending on the information submitted as part of the admissions process, the following might occur: a candidate would be advised to choose another major so that the candidate has time to fulfill the requirements for the new major or a candidate may receive conditional approval tocontinue one additional semester of coursework in order to meet admissions requirements. After examining the information, the TELC will notify the candidate’s advisor of the decision. A candidate will receive a letter from the TELC indicating the decision to include further steps necessary either to continue in the process of acceptance or to work with the advisor for other options. A candidate whose application for admission to the certification program is denied may appeal to a faculty panel made up of a minimum of three program faculty members, inclusive of the Chair of the Council. The faculty panel will review the information and make a final decision.

The Education Department uses criteria outlined in the Stage I-IV Field Experience Handbooks to continually evaluate a candidate’s performance. If any concern about the candidate’s performance is raised during the field experiences, the concern will be brought to the Division of Teacher Education and Leadership Council. Information and documentation will be gathered from faculty members as well as college supervisors who have had the candidate in class. In addition, completed evaluations and other relevant information will be obtained in order to make a determination of the candidate’s continuation in the certification program.