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Frequently Asked Questions about Step One

What are the speech and hearing screenings?

The screenings are required tests that determine if your speech and hearing are within normal parameters for performing the duties of a teacher.

How do I sign up for the speech and hearing screenings?

There are designated test dates throughout the semester.

Where do I go for the speech and hearing screenings?

The speech and hearing screenings are held in Davis Hall, Room 263.

How much do the speech and hearing screenings cost?

The screenings are free, but you need to present your I-Card at the time of the screening.

What are the PAPA exams?

The Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) exams are standardized tests of basic academic skills in three areas: reading, writing, and mathematics. Pennsylvania has mandated that all applicants for teaching certificates pass the exams. IUP requires that all Education majors pass the exams before being accepted into Step 1.

How do I register for the PAPA exams?

See the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests website. Students can register to take the tests online through this website.

Where and when are the PAPA exams offered?

PAPA exams are offered at the location you select on your registration form. PAPA exams can also be taken at Pearson Professional Centers near you. Go to the PECT website and select “Test dates and sites,” select “Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment” from the drop-down menu, then select the “Locate test center” link next to Test Sites. This will allow you to generate a list of sites near you.

How much do the Praxis I exams cost?

Fees for the PAPA test

Why should I take the PAPA exams?

In order to participate in field experiences involving school-age children and graduate, all IUP Education majors are required to take the PAPA exams. the PAPA tests are similar to SAT testing. It might take several attempts before a passing score is achieved. It is recommended that you prepare for these test as they will determine your eligibility to continue in the Teacher Education programs at IUP.

I am ready to prepare for Praxis, now what?

  • A one-credit course preparing you for the PAPA exams will be available soon.
  • You can find preparation materials for the PAPA test on the PECT website.
  • Writing tutorials are available at the Writing Center (Eicher Hall, Room 218, 724-357-3029). Students may go the Writing Center to receive an individualized tutorial for the writing section. If students have already failed the writing section of the test, it is strongly recommended that they go to the Writing Center before their second attempt.


What is the TB test?

The tuberculosis (TB) test is a requirement for state certification and is used to determine if the student has been exposed to TB. The TB test is a simple skin test and must be completed before applying to Step 1.

How do I sign up for the TB test?

Find information about signing up for your TB test at the University Health Service.

How much does the TB test cost?

TB testing is free for Health Fee A students (most undergraduates) if done in the TB clinics. If you decide to walk in during the semester, or are a Health Fee B student (graduate student), there is a charge of $15.

Does my TB test need to be renewed while I am at IUP?

As of March 2007, the Teacher Education office is requiring students to have a TB test on file that is less than one year old at the time a student enters Step 1. After that, for each field experience, students will be advised of the school district’s policy on TB testing. Once a district confirms a placement with our office, we will report the date of the last TB test for the student. Based on this information, districts may ask students to answer questions of their school nurse in order to determine if they fall into a high-risk category for exposure, thus renewing a new TB test. Students need to be aware that some districts require an annual test. Once a student is notified of the requirement for the district in which he/she is placed, it will be the student’s responsibility to comply with the district’s requirement in order to proceed with the placement.

What is the electronic portfolio?

The portfolio is an electronic presentation of documents and artifacts created and compiled by a student to provide evidence that he/she has met the rigorous standards and requirements of our teacher preparation programs. The portfolio is developed and evaluated at each of the three stages of IUP’s Three-Step Process. A completed portfolio is a requirement for graduation from all of IUP’s teacher preparation programs.

How do I start my electronic portfolio?

All Teacher Education majors are required to take COMM103, EDEX 103, or MUSC 240, which gives you the basics on how to create your electronic portfolio.

What should be in my electronic portfolio?

General information such as your contact information, philosophy of education, résumé, as well as artifacts and descriptions of how you have met the standards specified for your teacher education program. Your electronic portfolio should be included with your application for teacher education (Step 1), before student teaching (Step 2), and before applying for teacher certification (Step 3), along with the appropriate rubric completed by your advisor/supervisor.

Where can I obtain the rubric for my electronic portfolio review?

Contact your program advisor for the rubric.

What is Act 34?

Act 34 is the criminal record check acquired through the Pennsylvania State Police Repository for in-state residents. For out-of-state residents, an FBI clearance is required. Act 34 criminal offenses involve doing something against someone else, i.e. assault, sexual molestation, rape, etc. There are eighteen crimes listed for Act 34. However, an Act 34 check will yield a complete RAP sheet on the person. Thus, a report of driving under the influence may show up if the person was fingerprinted and if the local police department forwarded the offense to the State Police Repository. Any criminal charge or conviction beyond a minor traffic violation may be enough to keep a person from being certified as a teacher.

Where can I get an Act 34 application?

Applications are available in the College of Education office in Stouffer Hall, Room 104, or the application can be downloaded.

How much does Act 34 cost?

A certified check or money order in the amount of $10 must accompany the application. Cash and personal checks are not accepted.

Where do I send my Act 34 application?

Completed applications should be sent to

Pennsylvania State Police
Central Repository - 164
1800 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9758

How long does it take to receive an Act 34 clearance?

Applications are processed as they arrive. Clearances typically arrive at the applicant’s address within one month of submission. To check on the status of an Act 34 clearance after four weeks, call 717-783-9973.

What frequently committed crimes does Act 34 report?

There are several frequently committed crimes that may appear on an Act 34 report. Read more about these crimes.

What is Act 151?

Act 151 is the Child Abuse Clearance acquired through the Department of Welfare in Harrisburg. Unfortunately, for Education majors, these clearances are good for only one year from the time they were dated and issued by their respective agency. If you are scheduled to participate in any field experiences, including student teaching, please make sure that you will have a current clearance on file in our office before you go out on the experience. We have had a few students who have been denied access to the school because they did not possess a current clearance. We have an agreement with some schools whereas they understand that we have a copy of the clearance in each student’s file. Other school districts want students to produce the clearance upon arrival at the school on the first day of the experience.

Where can I get an Act 151 application?

Applications are available in the College of Education office in Stouffer Hall, Room 104, or the application can be downloaded.

How much does Act 151 cost?

A certified check or money order in the amount of $10 must accompany the application. Cash and personal checks are not accepted.

Where do I send my Act 151 application?

Completed applications should be sent to

Childline and Abuse Registry
Department of Public Welfare
P.O. Box 8170
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8170

How long does it take to receive an Act 151 clearance?

The results of your Act 151 clearance will be mailed within fourteen calendar days. To check on the status of an Act 151 clearance, call 717-783-6211.

What is Act 114 (Fingerprinting)?

Section 111 of the Public School Code was amended (Act 114 of 2006) effective April 1, 2007. All student teacher candidates (participating in classroom teaching, internships, clinical or field experience) who have direct contact with children must provide to their institution a copy of their Federal Criminal History Record (Act 114). If a student teacher candidate is continuously enrolled in an educator preparation program, the student teacher candidate would not be required to have a new background check each year.

How do I get my Act 114 (Fingerprinting)?

You must register before making an appointment to be fingerprinted. Registration is conducted online on the Cogent Systems website. That way, you can ensure the correctness of all demographic information you submit. During registration, you will be able to pay electronically with a credit card for your background check. Online registration alleviates many data collection problems and effectively speeds processing at the fingerprint site.

What is Act 24 (Arrest or Conviction Report)?

Changes to Section 111 of the Public School Code were amended effective September 28, 2011. All teacher candidates (participating in classroom teaching, internships, clinical or field experience) who have direct contact with children must provide to their institution an original Act 24 (Arrest or Conviction Report) in a sealed envelope as part of their Step 1 application and again as part of their Step 2 application. For more information, visit the PDE Background Checks site.

Where do I download the Act 24 (Arrest or Conviction Report) Form?

You must download the form from PDE's website and complete. Once completed, you will need to return the Act 24 form in a sealed envelope along with your Step 1 Application and again with your Step 2 Application.

How do I get my personal liability insurance for pre-student teaching and student teaching?

Proof of liability insurance (annual update required) can be obtained through a membership with PSEA or private insurance and must have a minimum of $1, 000,000 per claim with an aggregate of $3,000,000 per occurrence if obtained via private insurance. A membership can be obtained online on the PSEA website.

What should be covered in the Personal Goals Statement for Step 1?

Your personal goals statement questions are as follows:

  1. Why have you decided to become a teacher?
  2. What personal and professional goals do you expect to achieve as a result of this decision?
  3. What experiences have you had in working with children?

What will my Personal Goals Statement be evaluated on?

Your personal goals statement will be evaluated by your advisor for grammar and usage, spelling, content, organization, clarity of ideas, and degree to which you answered the questions.

Where can I obtain an application for Step 1?

You can obtain an application from your advisor or the Teacher Education office in Stouffer Hall, Room 104.

What should be included in the Step 1 application?

All of the requirements below must be met before your application will be accepted:

  1. Satisfactory completion of at least 48 earned credits with a required 3.0 cumulative grade-point average
  2. Successful completion of Praxis I exams (Achievement of passing all three exams or via composite score)
  3. Completion of six credits in Math (100 level or above) with a grade of “C” or better in each course
  4. Completion of the following courses with a minimum grade of “C” or better in each. ENGL 101, ENGL 121*, EDSP 102, COMM 103**, and appropriate course(s) in major area. *ENGL 122 for English majors only, **or approved alternate departmental course
  5. Completed Personal Goals Statement
  6. Current Act 34 and Act 151 clearances
  7. Completion of speech/hearing and TB tests
  8. Electronic portfolio Step 1 CD and completed check sheet
  9. Advisor’s signature and date of review on Step 1 application

Where can I submit an application for Step 1?

Please submit, following your advisor’s review and approval, your completed applications including all original clearances, Praxis I scores, TB and speech and hearing test results to the Office of Teacher Education in Stouffer Hall, Room 104.

What are pre-student teaching clinical experiences?

The field experiences required for the IUP Teacher Education Program consist of at least two pre-student teaching clinical experiences and a student teaching experience. Pre-student teaching experiences, Clinical Experiences I and II, consist of at least two placements involving observation and participation in basic education classrooms with mentoring by a cooperating teacher. Pre-student teaching, Clinical I (one credit), is customarily scheduled during the sophomore year, after the student has been admitted to a certification program.

How do I apply for a pre-student teaching clinical experience?

In order to register for EDUC 242, you must have Step 1 approval. EDUC 242 can be registered for by using MyIUP. Once you have registered for EDUC 242, you should obtain a copy of the Pre-Student Teaching Handbook. The handbook contains the application for the clinical experience as well as all the generic forms that are to be submitted to the Teacher Education office when applying for placement.

Be sure to submit the application along with the following forms:

  • Application for a Pre-Student Teaching Assignment
  • Memo of Understanding
  • Guest Host Form
  • Indictment Statement
  • Act 34 and 151 clearances (originals)
  • Personal Data Form
  • Pre-Student Teacher Contract

How many hours are required in the classroom to satisfy EDUC 242 Clinical Experience I?

The pre-student teacher is required to spend a minimum of thirty-five hours for Clinical Experience I.

When can I log my pre-student teaching hours?

Students may log clinical experience hours in their prescribed school at times during the semester that are mutually agreed upon with their cooperating teacher.

How are pre-student teaching placements determined?

Students must follow established departmental guidelines for pre-student teaching, Clinical I (EDUC 242).

All placements in the public schools in Pennsylvania are processed only through the Teacher Education office. Students may not make their own arrangements or contact teachers or principals for placements.

If the student plans to complete this experience outside of Pennsylvania (with departmental permission), the Teacher Education office will prepare a pre-student teaching request packet that the pre-student teacher can use to submit to the school district, enabling the student to make his/her arrangements.

Where can I request pre-clinical placements?

Pre-clinical placements are made for the entire semester via the applications submitted to the Teacher Education office by your instructor.

All efforts are made by the Teacher Education office to obtain the placement at the school district that you requested. All school districts have the right to deny placement requests. It is therefore possible that all three of your requested placement locations can be denied. You will be placed in an alternate location as close as possible to your original requested location.

Request for placements cannot be located in the district that you graduated from, where family members are employed, where your children currently attend, or where you hope to student teach.

How do I apply for a pre-student teaching clinical experience?

In order to register for EDUC 342, you must have Step 1 approval. EDUC 342 can be registered for by using MyIUP. Once you have registered for EDUC 342, you should obtain a copy of the Pre-Student Teaching Handbook. The handbook contains the application for the clinical experience as well as all the generic forms that are to be submitted to the Teacher Education office when applying for placement.

Be sure to submit the application along with the following forms:

  • Application for a Pre-Student Teaching Assignment
  • Memo of Understanding
  • Guest Host Form
  • Indictment Statement
  • Act 34 and 151 clearances (originals)
  • Personal Data Form
  • Pre-Student Teacher Contract

How many hours are required in the classroom to satisfy EDUC 342 Clinical Experience II?

The pre-student teacher is required to spend a minimum of thirty-five hours for Clinical Experience II.

When can I log my pre-student teaching hours?

Students may log clinical experience hours in their prescribed school at times during the semester that are mutually agreed upon with their cooperating teacher.

How are pre-student teaching placements determined?

The second pre-student teaching experience, Clinical II (EDUC 342), must be an experience in the major certification area and at a different grade level and location from pre-clinical I (EDUC 242).

All placements in the public schools in Pennsylvania are processed only through the Teacher Education office. Students may not make their own arrangements or contact teachers or principals for placements. Many school administrators have denied permission to student placements when this process has been circumvented.

If the student plans to complete this experience outside of Pennsylvania (with departmental permission), the Teacher Education office will prepare a pre-student teaching request packet that the pre-student teacher can submit to the school district, enabling the student to make his/her arrangements.

Where can I request pre-clinical placements?

Pre-clinical placements are made for the entire semester via the applications submitted to the Teacher Education office by your instructor. Please note that Indiana County school districts are primarily used for Student Teaching Experiences (EDUC 421/441) and should not be requested for EDUC 342.

All efforts are made by the Teacher Education office to obtain the placement at the school district that you requested. All school districts have the right to deny placement requests. It is therefore possible that all three of your requested placement locations can be denied. You will be placed in an alternate location as close as possible to your original requested location.

Request for placements cannot be located in the district that you graduated from, where family members are employed, where your children currently attend, or where you plan to student teach.

  • Office of Teacher Education
  • Stouffer Hall, Room 104
    1175 Maple Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2485
  • Fax: 724-357-3294
  • Summer Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.