This might be a really dumb question...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeachinPA, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. TeachinPA

    TeachinPA Rookie

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    Jun 8, 2011

    Hi everyone,

    I'm getting kind of confused about how the PA teaching certificate and Act 48 works. Maybe someone can help me.

    I'm a career changer and I have my undergrad in business. My masters is in Elementary K-6. I am getting my certificate soon, do I still need to obtain 24 credits in the next 3-6 years? Or only if I actually start teaching full time? And when I do pursue the credits, I'm thinking I'll need to almost get a second masters? Or do you not need to get those credits if you already have a masters?

    Thanks in advance to anyone that can help me!

    :)
     
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  3. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Jun 8, 2011

    I too am a career changer in PA. My undergrad is business/French and then I did a post-bac program to earn my teaching certificate. Even though I did not get a Masters and just got a certification, my credits still count as Masters level credits as far as my level II cert.

    Now, you still need to do the required Act 48 hours, but they don't have to be through graduate work. When your school has professional development days you'll get Act 48 hours for them. You might do to some summer workshops for more hours. Your required induction when you get your first job is many hours as well.

    So, in summary - no you don't have to get another Masters, yes you need to get Act 48 hours. Or at least this is what I was told by the dept of ed. Your safest bet is of course to call them for confirmation about this.
     
  4. TeachinPA

    TeachinPA Rookie

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    Jun 9, 2011

    Thanks! Always nice to see other career changers :)

    I will call PDE- but do you know if the 6 year time period begins when I get a job? Or as soon as it's issued?
     
  5. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Jun 9, 2011

    The time period starts when you get a job. I've also heard that if you have 90 days in any one position (like a LTS) it also starts--I don't know how true that is.

    Some schools will let subs participate in In service days for Act 48.
     
  6. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Jun 9, 2011

    I believe it's when you get a job, though I'm not sure. I was fortunate and got a LTS job right after graduation and then a contract, so since I started right away I can't say for sure. There's probably a FAQ page on the dept of ed page that answers that question.

    An office job sure was easier, but teaching is way more rewarding and fun. I have no plans to go back to an office job any time soon.
     
  7. TeachinPA

    TeachinPA Rookie

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    Jun 9, 2011

    THANK YOU!

    That makes sense and is what I thought after reading PDE but I got my cert today and it just said that it's valid for 6 years, so I wanted to make sure those are "working years". In this market, it will probably take 6 years to find a job in the first place!
     
  8. TeachinPA

    TeachinPA Rookie

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    Jun 9, 2011

    That's always inspiring to hear. My office job was stressful, but in a different way than teaching. And I never felt like I was doing anything meaningful. Just making some rich person richer...

    I've been subbing since I graduated and will probably sub for the next 6 months. I just found out I'm pregnant so I'm unable to really take anything long term. Then I might stay home for a little while. By the time I'm back on the market looking for a job I hope there are more education jobs. I was just scared I wouldn't even get to teach before my cert expired!
     
  9. cheerfulfifi

    cheerfulfifi Rookie

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    Jun 9, 2011

    I hate to burst some bubbles, but I'm almost positive that you have to earn 24 graduate credits within the first 5-6 years from the time you get your certification- not from the time you get a job. I had a friend get a job in a daycare instead of a school and never got her 24 credits so her certificate expired. You need to get those credits to move towards your Level II (permanent certificate).
    Act 48 doesn't start until you start a job and even then you'll earn those hours within the 5 years of teaching.
    Now I'm sure there are extensions the state grants especially if you show you have been working towards the credit hours. I just finished up my 24 credits ( I do not have my masters) and will be applying for my Level II this summer.

    Good luck!
     
  10. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Jun 9, 2011

    Here we go, I did some digging. The only way you start to use the 6 years of your Level 1 is if you are using your certificate to professionally teach in your subject area...in other words a full or part time job or +45 days as a long term sub in a single assignment. So even though I have been subbing for a year, my six years of my level I hasn't started yet, because I've only done day to day subbing.

    For those that are curious....

    http://www.portal.state.pa.us/porta...d_questions/8628/about_level_ii_certification
     
  11. TeachinPA

    TeachinPA Rookie

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    Jun 9, 2011

    Thanks again! So it seems like the 6 years won't start until I have a full time position in a public school. Then when the 6 year timer starts, I have that time period to get my credits and apply for my level II.

    I wonder now, if I obtain those credits before I'm teaching full time, can I still apply them towards Level II?

    I think I just need to buck up and call PDE...
     
  12. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Jun 9, 2011

    yeah you can. Those who already had a bachelors in something and then went back to get their certificate did not need to get more credits as long as they had at least 24 post bachelors credits. You just need to make sure you have 6 credits in I think something to do with inclusion or SAS. I also think if I were to go back and get my masters now it would count toward level II.
     
  13. TeachinPA

    TeachinPA Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2011

    I actually have my masters and it was 42 credits. I wonder what else I need now. Thanks again for your help!
     

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