When should I apply for my PA certification?
TIMS: Teacher Information Management System is an on-line process for students to access certification from Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Please note that PDE awards certification to qualified applicants. Mansfield University provides the degree. Students must apply for certification individually (through TIMS). MU will verify your information and recommend you to the state.
Bachelor's or master's degree candidates cannot apply before their degree is conferred (this should be the week after graduation). Please remember to complete all content tests (PRAXIS/PECT) prior to applying for certification. You should have requested that your scores be sent to PDE. If you are uncertain, please contact your test provider.
Pathways Candidates (non-degree) can apply the week after their final semester ends.
What is the application process?
- Access the TIMS User Guide before Applying for Certification
Getting Started with TIMS (pdf) This document will help you access TIMS for the first time, introduce you to your TIMS profile and PPID, offer tips for updating your profile and provide resources for assistance.
If the link above doesn’t work (temperamental at best), simply go to PDE’s website – certification. You will find all of this information available on-line.
- The week following your final semester/graduation follow this link to apply for your certification: MyPDESuite Application Login Screen
Please note: It is important to record an accurate GPA on the TIMS (certification) application. Do not round the GPA. An incorrect GPA could potentially delay an application.
- After applying online, MU will verify your program completion. Please allow 7-9 weeks for the State to process your certification.
- You will not receive a certificate through the mail. You may download your certificate through the PDE Dashboard (TIMS) if you wish to have a paper copy.
- You may also obtain a Certificate Suitable for Framing (optional)
At this time, all further certification questions should be directed to Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Printable directions for the application process (pdf)
What is the certification processing timeline?
- The week following your final semester/graduation (December or May), you may apply in TIMS
- Final Grades are Posted within 4-5 days following commencement
- Degrees Conferred (ongoing)
- It is important to record an accurate GPA on the TIMS (certification) application. Do not round the GPA. An incorrect GPA could potentially delay an application.
- Verification letters will be sent via email to all students after degrees are conferred.
- PA State Certification Approved within 7-9 weeks
- Print certificate from off of PDE dashboard
Can I be employed before my certificate is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education?
Yes! The Certification Officer will automatically provide an email verification letter to each certification applicant who has:
- Met all academic requirements
- Graduated (if applicable) or completed preparation program.
What is the application fee?
- $200 (Candidates with a dual certification pay only one fee)
What is the process if I am adding on to my certification?
- Find details and apply through the PA Department of Education.
What is the process for obtaining out of state certification?
- Many states require MU's verification of program completion. In that case, obtain their form from their website, complete your portion, and submit the form to our office. Please don’t email but Fax: 570-662-4364
- Refer to each state's department of education's website for specifics regarding their certification requirements.
Act 48 Credits
Level I & Level II Certification
Level I Pennsylvania Instructional and Educational Specialist certifications are valid for six (6) years of service, not calendar years.
If you have been teaching in Pennsylvania on a Level I certificate for 3-6 years of satisfactory service and have earned 24 post-baccalaureate credits, you can apply for a Level II certificate. The following conditions must be met:
- Six credits must be associated with your area(s) of certification and/or must be designed to improve professional practice
- You must have three years of satisfactory service on a Level I certificate, verified by the chief school administrator of the employing school entity
- You must have completed a PDE induction program verified by the chief school administrator of your employing entity
The specific requirements for Level II certification can be found on:
Your application for Level II certification must be submitted through the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS).
Additional information can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.