Career and Technical Teacher Certification

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that teachers who teach occupational skills in state-approved career and technical education (CTE) programs hold a state-issued instructional certificate. In Pennsylvania, a CTE teacher receives a permanent instructional certificate after completing a 78-credit teacher certification program.

    Typically, CTE teachers complete the requirements of the teacher certification program while they are teaching. These teachers have mastered the skills of their trades. This program provides instruction on the skills they need to become successful teachers.

    IUP's vocational teacher certification program includes both field-based and classroom-based instruction. IUP faculty members travel to career and technical schools on a regular basis to help teachers progress through their programs. In addition, teachers complete a number of traditional college courses. Throughout the program, teachers also travel to regional group sessions for opportunities to network and interact with other teachers.

    Practicing teachers are also responsible to make adequate progress and apply for all teaching certificates. You must hold a valid teaching certificate at all times while teaching. If you do not make adequate academic progress or fail to meet all requirements, you will lose your teaching certificate and you will not be eligible to teach.

    While working toward permanent vocational instructional certification, CTE teachers will complete steps to earn the following series of certificates.

    Step 1: Emergency Permit

    Most new teachers are eligible to apply for an emergency permit. Assistance to secure this emergency permit should come from school administration. While teaching on the emergency permit, a teacher must complete the following requirements by the end of the current academic year.

    • IUP Enrollment
      Complete and submit all teacher certification program application materials and be accepted for enrollment in IUP’s vocational teacher certification program. You must be a high school graduate or hold a GED certificate to be eligible for enrollment.

      If you prefer to receive application forms by mail, call 724-357-4434 or e-mail info-cte@iup.edu.

    Application for Vocational Intern Certificate

    After you complete the above requirements, you are eligible to use PDE’s online TIMS system to submit your application for the Vocational Intern certificate.

    Step 2: Vocational Intern Certificate

    While teaching on the Vocational Intern certificate, you must complete the following requirements within three calendar years to be eligible to apply for a Vocational Instructional I certificate.

    Application for Vocational Instructional I Certificate

    After you complete the above requirements, you are eligible to use PDE’s online TIMS system to submit your application for the Vocational I certificate. 

    Step 3: Vocational Instructional I Certificate

    While teaching on the Vocational Instructional I certificate, you must complete the following requirements within six teaching years to be eligible to apply for the Vocational Instructional II certificate.

    • IUP Coursework
      Complete 60 additional credits of coursework. Be sure to submit all completed courses for Act 48 credit.

    Application for Vocational Instructional II Certificate

    After you complete the above requirements, you are eligible to use PDE’s online TIMS system to submit your application for the Vocational II certificate. 

    Step 4: Vocational Instructional II Certificate

    While teaching on the Vocational Instructional II certificate, you must complete the following requirement. 

    • Act 48 Hours
      Complete 180 hours or 6 college credits every five years.

    The Vocational Instructional II certificate is a permanent certificate. However, Pennsylvania’s Act 48 requires all educators to complete 180 hours or six college credits every five years to keep a certificate active. 

    To check the status of your instructional certificate: 

    • Go to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) website.
    • Hover your mouse over “Teachers & Administrators” at the top right of the screen.
    • Click on “Certifications” from the drop-down menu.
    • Click on “Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) Public Website” (under the title “TIMS” on the right side of the screen).