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Secondary Teaching Certification

  • Certificate
  • Post-Baccalaureate
  • Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Online
View Curriculum
  • Program Overview

    Program Coordinator: Janice M. Whiteman, M.Ed.
    Phone: (814) 871-7497

    Students pursuing the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction can also seek preparation as a secondary education teacher certified in the content areas of Biology, English, Mathematics, or Social Studies.

    This program is designed for the professional who holds a bachelor’s degree and who seeks to obtain Pennsylvania Instructional I Teaching Certification in order to teach at the secondary level, grades 7-12.

    In addition, individuals who wish to pursue teaching certification in grades 4-8 English Language Arts and Reading, Mathematics, Science, and/or Social Studies and who have earned a bachelor’s degree in a related field, may also be eligible for the program.

    All potential candidates are encouraged to request a transcript evaluation and to meet with the Program Coordinator to discuss requirements and scheduling options. Individuals who meet enrollment qualifications and who are currently employed as full-time substitute teachers may be eligible to complete the program while continuing in their district position.

    The program offers flexibility of scheduling and rolling admission options for summer, fall, and spring. Courses, except those that have a field experience component, are conveniently offered online to accommodate work and family schedules. Gannon University provides graduate learners with the tools to engage in leadership activities, instructional innovation, and ongoing assessment.

    In each of the core courses, the graduate learner submits assignments that are labeled as Key Assessments. These assignments are reviewed by the course instructor. At the conclusion of the core courses, the graduate learner submits a final, electronic reflection which is reviewed by the program coordinator.

    Individuals seeking initial teaching certification are also required to complete a professional portfolio. The professional portfolio is intended to demonstrate and document the professional educator’s knowledge, skills, abilities, performances, and professionalism. At the university level, portfolios must demonstrate the degree to which the teacher candidate has attained the outcomes designated by the School of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Equally important, the professional portfolio is a tool for the interviewing process.

    Teacher candidates are required to complete more than 180 hours of field experiences and 14 weeks of student teaching. Student teaching is completed in an Erie area school district and requires the teacher candidate to be in an assigned classroom every day, all day for the full 14 weeks. Teacher candidates are encouraged to talk to their advisor early in the program so that they can take the proper course sequence and meet all certification and program requirements.

    Learning Outcomes

    In addition to the learning outcomes in the Master of Education: Curriculum and Instruction program, graduate learners who are seeking initial teaching certification are able to:

    • Demonstrate knowledge of research-based educational belief systems and pedagogical/subject-matter content
    • Demonstrate a culture of learning
    • Assess and analyze student learning and make appropriate adjustments to instruction, including differentiation for diverse and exceptional learners and monitoring student progress
    • Establish and reflect on ongoing professional relationships with colleagues, students, parents, school districts, and the community to enhance student learning

    Admission Requirements

    Master's Degree

    • A Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and fulfillment of requirements for admission to the graduate program at Gannon University
    • Final, official transcripts from all colleges attended with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; provisional acceptance may be granted to individuals with a GPA of 2.8.
    • A completed application for admission including three letters of recommendation
    • Evidence by previous academic record that the applicant has the general ability and preparation necessary to pursue graduate study successfully
    • An interview with the program director

    Before admission to the graduate program, student transcripts will be reviewed by a faculty member in the content area of intended certification as well as by the program coordinator in the School of Education to determine the required program of study.

    When individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology, English, Mathematics, Social Studies, or related field and have passed the appropriate licensure exam, additional coursework in the content area may not be required.

    Individuals must also apply and be admitted to the School of Education to be eligible for field experiences and upper-level education courses. Admission to the MEd program for the purpose of pursuing teacher certification does not guarantee admission to the School of Education. Once admitted to the School of Education, the teacher candidate must complete all certification requirements as outlined in the Teacher Certification Handbook.

    Teacher Certification

    The candidate will provide the following official documentation that demonstrates:

    • A B.A. or B.S. degree in the content area or related content area for which the applicant is seeking a PA Instructional I certificate
    • An overall GPA of 3.0; Provisional acceptance may be granted for a GPA between 2.8 and 2.99
    • All required courses in the candidate’s content area of Biology, English, Mathematics, or Social Studies have been successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better
    • Valid negative TB test on file in the School of Education
    • Valid clearances, including Criminal Background Check, Child Abuse Clearance, and FBI Fingerprint Check have been obtained. In addition, Act 126 training and the Diocesan Child Protection Policy In service must be completed. To be considered valid, the applicant must submit original documents which are less than one year old. For student teaching, clearances must be less than one year old at the conclusion of the experience. Please note that the fingerprint check must be obtained by following the procedures set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education
    • A completed application to the School of Education which includes a writing sample has been submitted


    This program requires the student to take 24 credits of core courses, 6 credits of cognate courses, and 18 credits of certification requirements.

    Required Core Courses

    The following courses are completed online. GEDU 505 Classroom Management (3 credits)

    • GEDU 601      Action Research (3 credits)
    • GEDU 602      Program Reflection (0 credits)
    • GEDU 604      Educational Tests and Measurements (3 credits) GEDU 609  Inclusive Classroom Practices (3 credits)
    • GEDU 612      Leadership, Current Issues, and the Teacher as Agent of Change (3 credits)
    • GEDU 621      School Curriculum (3 credits)
    • GEDU 623      Technology Literacy and Integration (3 credits) GEDU 637 Learning Theory (3 credits)

    Required Cognate Courses

    The following credits are completed online.

    • GEDU 537      Special Education Overview (3 credits)
    • GEDU 627      Foundations of Literacy in the Secondary Program (3 credits)
    • This course sequence completes the requirements for the M.Ed.
    • Total credits for MEd Curriculum and Instruction: 30

    Certification Requirements

    (16 or 17 credits)

    The following additional courses and field experiences are required for teacher certification. The courses and field experiences should be taken in the following order:

    • GEDU 516  Instructional Design and the Classroom Management (3 credits)
    • GEDU 628  Secondary Education Field Experience I (0 credits)
    • GEDU 521 Methods and Materials of Instruction Seminar (1 credit)
    • GEDU 629 Secondary Education Field Experience II (0 credits)
    • GEDU 520 Methods and Materials for Teaching English Language Learners (ELLs)/Field Experience. 15 hrs. (3 credits). This course is offered either as an online or face-to-face course. Individuals who wish to add ESL specialist certification to their credentials must also enroll in GEDU 525 ESL Field Experience (1 credit)
    • GEDU 632  Secondary Education Field Experience III (0 credits) GEDU 550  Student Teaching (6 credits)
    • GEDU 690 Professional Seminar (taken in conjunction with GEDU 550 Student Teaching) (3 credits)

      Total minimum credits required for MEd with teacher certification: 46 or 47 credits

    Steps to Certification

    1. Successfully complete all required coursework and field experiences.
    2. Pass required licensure (Praxis) exam.
    3. Apply for certification on the PA Teacher Information Management System (TIMS). Note: A GPA of 3.0 is required for teacher certification.
    4. Gannon University recommends candidates for certification, and PDE approves and issues certification.


Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of instructional, strategic, and operational leadership.
  2. Design and lead staff in professional development.
  3. Evaluate data to inform decision making.
  4. Demonstrate the impact of change within a school environment.