Division of Teacher Education and Leadership 

Education Library Resources
Montessori Library Resources 

Debra Chiaradonna, Ph.D., Chair, Assistant Professor of Education
Richard Black, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Education
Theresa Carfagno, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Education
Dominic Cotugno, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Education 
Jennifer Cressman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education 

Marie Leahy, SSJ, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Education
Ana Marjanovic-Shane, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education

Teri Wiediman-Rouse, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Education

Robert Mulligan, OSFS, M.A., M.Ed., Chaplain, Instructor Education Department

Chestnut Hill College offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Early Education and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Middle-Level Education, both leading to Pennsylvania Department of Education certification. For information, please contact Debra Chiaradonna, 4th Floor, St. Joseph Hall. Telephone: 215.248.7147. Email: ChiaradonnaD@chc.edu.

A minimum Career GPA of 2.00 and a minimum Major GPA of 2.00 are required for graduation from the College; however, a Major and Career GPA of 2.80 or above is required for Certification (Praxis and PECT scores must be one standard deviation above qualifying score for GPA 2.80-2.99). Courses Required in the Major comprise the Major GPA. Unless indicated, students must earn a grade of C- (1.70) or better in courses both Required in the Major and Also Required in order to successfully complete the College requirements for either of the Majors. Majors may need to re-take courses with C- grades if their Career GPA is less than what is required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for Certification or if a higher grade is required to demonstrate competency as identified by the department.

Although a student will be classified as an Early Education/Pre-K to 4 Candidate or a Middle-Level (4-8) Education Candidate on the virtue of acceptance into the College, formal acceptance into either major occurs prior to the Junior year. Requirements for formal acceptance appear in this catalog. Being classified as an Early Education or Middle-Level Education Candidate does not infer nor guarantee formal acceptance into either program.

Student Teaching courses cannot be repeated at the undergraduate level, and a “passing” grade does not guarantee recommendation for Certification. Check with an Academic Advisor in the Education Department before registering for a Student Teaching course to discuss the unique requirements.


In addition to the Majors, preparation for Certification in Secondary Education is available as a minor accompanied by Majors in the following content areas:

Secondary Education, Grades K through 12

  • Latin (Foreign Language Certification)
  • French (Foreign Language Certification)
  • Spanish (Foreign Language Certification)

Secondary Education, Grades 7 through 12

  • Biology, Biochemistry; Forensic Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Molecular Biology (Biology or General Science Certification)
  • Chemistry (Chemistry Certification)
  • English Literature; Communications (English Certification)
  • Mathematics; Math and Computer Science (Mathematics Certification)
  • History; Political Science (Social Studies Certification)

Chestnut Hill College also offers Montessori Education for Preschool (3- to 6-years-old) through the American Montessori Society. Students interested in becoming a Montessori teacher may take coursework in the College’s Montessori Pre-primary Teacher Preparation Program. Successful completion of this program leads to a Pre-primary Credential from the American Montessori Society, usually in conjunction with the state certification program in Early Education. Students enrolled in other majors may also take additional course work in Montessori Education.

The Division of Teacher Education and Leadership Mission
The Division of Teacher Education and Leadership combines a sound liberal arts education with specific training in educational and child/adolescent development, in curriculum and leadership methods and materials, and in extensive fieldwork. The mission is to build on the intellectual and holistic foundation of the mission of Chestnut Hill College by “Preparing Competent, Caring, and Culturally Responsive Educators and Leaders for 21st Century Learners” with the commitment for teaching and life long learning.

Honors, Honor Societies and Memberships
Kappa Delta Epsilon is an honorary professional society, the purpose of which is to promote the cause of Education by fostering a spirit of fellowship, high standards of scholastic attainment, and professional ideals among its members. Members are invited and expected to maintain a Career GPA of 3.00 or higher.

Membership in the Council for Exceptional Children is open to all education majors and minors. The purpose is to provide opportunities to discuss the latest research on the educational needs of children with disabilities, to foster a spirit of educational fellowship and to provide service to students, schools and organizations working in the areas of special education.

Outstanding students may be invited to participate in the Departmental Honors program. Sophomores of high scholastic standing (a Career GPA of 3.50 or higher) may be invited by their major department to stand for Honors in their Junior and Senior years. The Departmental Honors program provides an opportunity for independent study and research culminating in an Honors thesis submitted in the spring of Senior year. All students who have successfully completed the Honors Program will be recognized with Honors in their major field at the annual Honors Convocation and on their academic transcripts. In addition, the title of the completed Honors Thesis will appear on the academic transcript.

General Requirements for Admission to the Certification Programs
The Chapter 354 rules and regulations from the Pennsylvania Department of Education determine the requirements for admissions to an approved certification program. First-year students declaring Early Education or Middle Level Education program must take the Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) tests in Reading, Math and Writing before registering for their Education courses in their Sophomore year. Students who do not pass the tests will be advised about the assistance that is available, including the writing center, PAPA practice tests and other available supports. Candidates for Early Education should apply to the Education Department for formal acceptance to the certification program after completion of 48 credits. Students majoring in Middle Level Education should apply to the Education Department after completion of 60 credits to ensure that at least four Education courses are completed and a GPA of 2.80 or higher is obtained. Students who apply at a later time may need to take courses in summer sessions and/or take courses for an additional semester in order to complete the program within a four-year schedule.

The formal application process (also included in the Education Department’s Handbook) includes submission of the following items: two letters of recommendation attesting to the student’s cognitive, physical and social capabilities in preparation for teaching; documentation of a minimum Career GPA of 2.80 and a major GPA of 3.00 at the time of application; documentation of six credits of English (one writing course, one literature- a grade of C or better required in ENGL-101: College Writing) and six credits of Math (MATH-231: Basic Mathematical Theory and Applications I and MATH-232: Basic Mathematical Theory and Applications II with a grade of C or better); documentation of 40 hours of observation; and participation in educationally related settings (can be accomplished through required field experiences in education courses); Stage One Portfolio; documentation of passing the three PAPA tests (Reading, Math and Writing) at time of application to the certification program; and successful completion of designated course.

Special note for transfer students:  

Requirements for transfer students seeking admission to the certification program will be determined on an individual basis by an academic advisor and the Education Department.

An Admissions and Review Committee from the Education Department, consisting of three Education Department faculty members, will review all applications that are deficient in one or more areas (for example, students who have less than a 3.00 GPA in the major at the time of application). Depending on the information submitted as part of the admissions process, the following might occur: a student would be advised to choose another major so that the student has time to fulfill the requirements for the new major or a student may receive conditional approval to continue one additional semester of coursework in order to meet admissions requirements. After examining the information, the Admissions and Review Committee will notify the student’s advisor of the decision. A student will receive a letter from the department 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 student whose application for admission to the certification program is denied may appeal to a faculty panel made up of a minimum of three Education Department faculty members, inclusive of the Chair of the department. The faculty panel will review the information and make a final decision

Students accepted into the program will begin their practicum and student teaching experiences in the beginning of their Junior year. In addition, specific physical, social, professional, and cognitive capabilities are continually assessed through the monitoring of coursework and evaluations during the practicum and student teaching experiences through specific key assessments. The results of the key assessments are crucial to determining a final recommendation for certification.

The Education Department uses criteria outlined in the practicum and student teaching handbooks to continually evaluate a candidate’s performance. If any concern about the candidate’s performance is raised during the practicum and/or student teaching experiences, the concern will be brought to the Admissions and Review Committee. Information and documentation will be gathered from faculty members as well as practicum and/or student teaching supervisors who have had the student 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.

Following the successful completion of coursework; Stage I, II, III and IV (student teaching) field experiences; and receipt of passing scores on the required Praxis II tests for the certification area, a student may be eligible to apply for Pennsylvania Instructional I Certification. PDE certification requirements must be completed at the time of application; however, students who graduate with a GPA of 2.80-2.99 will not be eligible to be recommended for PreK-4 or Middle Level certification unless they pass the requisite Praxis II examinations by a 1.0 or higher standard deviation above the qualifying score. For students who graduate with a 3.00 GPA or higher, the qualifying Praxis II score may be lower. Please contact an advisor for specifics.

Program Competencies
All students in the Early Education (PreK-4), Middle Level Education (Grades 4-8) majors and Secondary Education (K-12; 7-12 content areas) minor certification programs must be physically, socially, cognitively, and professionally able to meet specific competencies as part of the admissions process through the completion of approved coursework and fieldwork experiences, and when exiting the program.

  • Evidence of physical capabilities is the demonstration of an ability to fully maintain a safe and supportive learning environment for children as demonstrated through field experiences in specific courses, approved practicum placements and student teaching.
  • Evidence of social capabilities is the demonstration of a student’s ability to teach with poise, confidence and control in a classroom environment, as well as to develop and maintain professional relationships as demonstrated in coursework, practicum and student teaching experiences.
  • Evidence of cognitive abilities includes a Career GPA of 2.80 with a GPA of 3.00 in the major and successful completion of all coursework and fieldwork experiences.
  • Evidence of professional abilities.

Exit Competencies  

Students are required to complete a student teaching portfolio that provides documentation of the following competencies:

  • The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline the teacher teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for all students. 
  • The teacher understands how all children learn and develop, and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social, career and personal development.
  • The teacher understands how students differ in their ability and approaches to learning and creates opportunities that foster achievement of diverse learners in the inclusive classroom.
  • The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies, including interdisciplinary learning experiences, to encourage students’ development of critical thinking, problem-solving and performance skills.
  • The teacher cognitively, physically and socially demonstrates the ability to provide for the safety and well-being of all students. The teacher will utilize individual and group behavior strategies that create a learning environment supporting positive social interaction, active engagement in learning and self-discipline.
  • The teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques, supported by appropriate technology to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
  • The teacher plans instruction based on knowledge of subject matter, students, and the community and curriculum goals. The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social and physical development of the learner
  • The teacher thinks systematically about practice, learns from experience, seeks the advice of others, draws upon educational research and scholarship and actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.
  • The teacher contributes to school effectiveness by collaborating with other professionals and parents by using community resources, and by working as an advocate to improve opportunities for student learning.

Portfolio Requirements
Beginning in the Sophomore year students will begin gathering evidence (including coursework papers, observations, and education course class presentations) for review by their advisors and also, in subsequent years, by their practicum supervisors and their student teacher advisors. The Sophomore and Junior year portfolio criteria have been configured to meet the PDE’s specific program content, performance and professionalism guidelines for Early, Middle-Level or Secondary Education. The student teaching portfolio has been configured to demonstrate the exit competencies that reflect an integration of the pre-services experiences. This final portfolio also serves as part of the professional application process when seeking a teaching position.

Exit Criteria  

Included in the student teaching portfolio must be documentation indicating the following criteria have been met:

Successful completion of all program coursework, field experiences and student teaching in the certification program:

  • Career GPA of 2.80 or higher and a 3.00 or higher GPA in the major;*
  • Successful completion of exit competencies evaluated by the PDE 430 form and student teaching (Stage IV);
  • Stage IV portfolio; and
  • Passing scores in all appropriate Praxis II Series exams required by PDE, with the approved score based on GPA.

* Students who graduate with a Career GPA of 2.80-2.99 will not be eligible to be recommended for Early, Middle-Level or Secondary Education Certification unless they pass the requisite Praxis II examinations by 1.0 or higher standard deviation above the qualifying score. For students who graduate with a 3.00 GPA or higher, the qualifying Praxis II score may be lower.