Discover your Path in Philadelphia Education!

The Pathways tool will help you navigate the process to become a certified teacher in Pennsylvania — no matter where you’re starting from. Find out what you need to make an impact as a Philadelphia educator.

FIND YOUR PATH
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Get a High School Diploma, GED, or equivalent
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Get a Bachelor's degree
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Complete a Certification Program
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Pass Certification Testing
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Apply for Certificate

If you have questions regarding the certification process, contact the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.

Your Pathway to Teaching

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Are you a teacher?

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Pathways to Teaching

How do you want to enter the classroom?

I want to learn before I teach Traditional Certification
I want to work while I learn to teach Residency Programs
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Traditional Certification

These universities below are all located in or around Philadelphia and offer teacher certification and master’s level programs that will prepare you to become an educator. Most of these are designed as two-year programs that include coursework, placement in schools for student teaching experiences, and preparation for the Pennsylvania teacher certification requirements. Learn more about each program by clicking on its box.

Do you know of a graduate program in Education that serves Philadelphia and is not on this list? Let us know!

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Residency Programs

Residency programs are intensive training programs designed to prepare future teachers to work in Philadelphia classrooms while earning their teaching certification (and often a Master’s degree) at often redacted rates and receiving salary and benefits. All teacher residents work alongside an experienced mentor teacher for a full academic year while taking closely-aligned coursework.

Offered by Area Schools:

Offered by Area Educator Preparation Programs:

This list includes graduate level residency programs focused in Philadelphia. Know of a program not on our list? Let us know!

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Full-Time Teacher

The alternative routes below get you in the classroom right away. To be a full time teacher of record immediately you must be eligible for an Emergency Permit or a Teacher Intern Certification. Learn more about these alternative routes below.

Other Alternative Options:

Must be offered a full-time teaching position to qualify. For opportunities, go to find a job.

Emergency Permit Teacher Intern
Certification Program
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Pre-Certification Teaching Opportunities

Below are opportunities for you to experience the teaching field before you decide to pursue certification. These include two AmeriCorps Programs in Philadelphia: City Year, where you can serve as a success coach, a tutor, and a mentor, and Joyful Readers, where you can serve as a reading tutor. Or you can serve as a Teacher Apprentice at one of two area charter schools. Learn more about these opportunities by selecting one of these options.

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Bachelor's Degree with Certification

The local universities below have undergraduate programs that equip you to earn a bachelor's degree and teaching credential. On this pathway, you will get clinical experience, take certification tests and apply for certification as part of the program. Learn more about each school, like their tuition and financial aid, by selecting one.

This list includes undergraduate programs in the greater Philadelphia area where you can earn certification with a bachelor's degree. Know of a program that's not on our list? Let us know!

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Alternative Undergraduate Programs

The resources below support undergraduate students in colleges across Philadelphia. Learn more about each resource by selecting one.

CCP’s Educator Pathway Program: Enrolling in an associate's program, such as CCP’s Educator Pathway Program, which prepares you to transfer to a bachelor’s program.

Visit CCP

Paraprofessionals - College Unbound: You can earn a Bachelor's degree by enrolling in College Unbound. This two-year program is for District paraprofessionals who have at least 60 college credits and confers a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Change

Visit College Unbound

Know of a program that's not on our list? Let us know!

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Undergrad Resources and Opportunities

College students who are considering a teaching career but not necessarily majoring in education can gain hands-on experience and support through one of these programs.

City Year Philadelphia: This AmeriCorps gives you an opportunity to serve as success coaches, tutor, and mentor in Philadelphia schools while getting paid. City Year Corps Members must must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Visit City Year Philadelphia

Freedom Schools Literacy Academy: Serving as a Servant Leader Apprentice (SLA) or a Junior Servant Leader Apprentice for the Freedom Schools Literacy Academy. Run by the Center for Black Educator Development (CBED), the Academy provides after school programming and summer programs, many hosted by Mastery Schools. (Important Note: SLAs and JSLAs are eligible for CBED’s Black Teacher Pipeline Fellowship, which provides coaching and “last dollar” scholarship funding to individuals pursuing an education degree and teacher certification.)

Visit FSLA

Black Teacher Pipeline Fellowship: If you are a college student participating in the Teaching Academy or the Freedom Schools Literacy Academy of the Center for Black Educator Development, you are eligible for this Fellowship, which provides academic support, professional coaching, scholarships, and additional benefits.

Visit Black Teacher Pipeline Fellowship

The Octavius Catto Scholarship at Community College of Philadelphia: If you are considering Community College of Philadelphia as a full-time student and meet the scholarship’s income guidelines, you might be eligible for the Catto Scholarship at CCP. Catto Scholars have access to funds for tuition and other expenses, coaching, and connections to non-academic support services.

Visit Octavius Catto Scholarship

Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia: Breakthrough offers college students a hands-on teaching experience at the middle school level over a summer or an entire school year.

Visit Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia

Know of a resource or opportunity that's not on our list? Let us know!

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Pre-College Programs

There are programs available to high school students that can help you get started on your pathway to becoming a teacher. Click below to explore each program and what they have to offer, including college credit, paid opportunities, or financial aid.

Know of a program that's not on our list? Let us know!

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Teaching Experiences &
Exposure Opportunities

These organizations provide high school students with teaching experiences. Learn more about each experience by selecting one.

Freedom Schools Literacy Academy: The Center for Black Educator Development hosts an eight-week summer pre-apprenticeship program for aspiring high school and college-aged educators. In FSLA, you will have an opportunity to help younger people of African descent develop their literacy skills while you benefit from professional development, observations, and coaching.

Visit FSLA

CTE at SLA Beeber: As an SLA Beeber student you can start taking courses that put you on a path to becoming a teacher while you are still in high school. The program starts in 11th grade, and includes dual enrollment college credit.

Visit SLA Beeber

College Programs for High School Students: If you are a School District of Philadelphia high school student, Cheyney University’s Aspire to Educate program and Temple University’s Education Scholars program provide you with fee-free exposure to teaching careers. Both programs run the entire duration of the school year. Temple University’s Learning to Learn–and Teach programming runs during the school year and in the summer, and is an opportunity for you to learn about how you yourself learn, and how you can teach others all while earning college credit.

Visit Cheyney University’s Aspire to Educate Visit Temple University’s Education Scholars Visit Temple University’s Learning to Learn–and Teach

WorkReady Philadelphia: If you are 14 years old or older, you can find internships, job opportunities, and career workshops through WorkReady Philadelphia. Education and Childcare participating organizations include: Asian Americans United, Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia, CORA Services, Concilio, and Somerset Academy Learning Center.

Visit WorkReady Philadelphia

Know of a program that's not on our list? Let us know!

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Are you a certified?

Certified means you have a valid instructional certificate in the grade level and subject area you want to teach from any state department of education.

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Are you a certified in Pennsylvania or out-of-state?

Certified in PA means you have a valid Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Instructional Certificate in the respective grade level, and endorsements in respective subject area

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Do you have a Level 1 or Level 2 Certification?

You can look up your certificate information in TIMS

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Level 2 Certification

Congrats! You can teach with a Level 2 Certificate!
Remember to keep your certificate active.

Start from the Beginning