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To combat the teacher shortage, it is now easier to teach special education in Pennsylvania. Like most states, Pennsylvania is experiencing a teacher shortage. In fact, the number of undergraduate education majors in the state has declined by 55 percent over the last 20 years. As a result of this drop, fewer new teachers are entering the profession and it is becoming increasingly difficult for schools to staff their classrooms.

Recognizing the need for more teachers in the state, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has approved the expansion of American Board’s teacher certification program. For the first time ever, future teachers can pursue their Pennsylvania teacher certification for Special Education through American Board’s online program! 

Why did the state expand subject-area offerings?

Not only does the teacher shortage affect Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable students, it has legal implications. Special education teachers must have an understanding of IEPs, 504s, and other special education supports. Using substitute teachers and out-of-field educators can often fall short of meeting this requirement. Retaining teachers with special education training is the only way to ensure these students have the best chance at success. Therefore, the state has taken a big step by reducing hurdles on the path to special education teacher certification in Pennsylvania. This is the only way to ensure these students have the opportunities for success that they deserve.

Although the shortage affects every subject, special education often bears the brunt of the shortage. Now, with this program expansion, future teachers in Pennsylvania finally have access to American Board’s full program offerings. This allows far more local professionals to transition to a career in teaching.

How to teach special education in Pennsylvania

The streamlined steps to special education certification in Pennsylvania now reflect what’s expected of teachers in other fields. Because American Board provides the fastest and most affordable route to certification, we’ve highlighted our program steps below.

To earn your Pennsylvania teacher certification online, simply complete the following steps:

  1. Enroll in American Board’s online program and pass the two required exams. 
  2. Enroll with Point Park University and register for two online graduate classes.
  3. Then, complete a 60-day teaching placement in your certification area.
  4. Receive your teaching permit and obtain a full-time teaching position in a Pennsylvania school.
  5. Finally, complete your two graduate classes and convert your teaching permit into a Pennsylvania Teaching License.

In 2020, Pennsylvania allowed American Board and Point Park University to begin offering Elementary Education certification in the state. You can read about that change here.

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