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Frequently Asked Questions about Step Two

Do I need to renew my Act 114 (Fingerprinting) clearance?

No. 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.

Do I need new 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. This test is completed only once at Step 1.

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.

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.

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.

Do I need to renew my personal liability insurance for pre-student teaching and student teaching?

Yes. 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 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

What should I do before my student teaching experience?

Following official notification of your student teaching placement from the Teacher Education office, you should do the following:

  1. Compose a letter for your cooperating teacher(s) that outlines your skills and expectations of the student teaching experience and requests a face-to-face meeting with your teacher(s)/mentor(s).
  2. Meet with cooperating teacher(s) to outline mutual goals and initial responsibilities as the student teacher within that person’s classroom.
  3. Review any policy and procedure manuals provided by cooperating teacher, the student teacher handbook, and any additional preparatory information.
  4. Submit all required paperwork to the Teacher Education office within the time frame outlined in the placement meeting. This paperwork should include updated clearances and Praxis scores.

How do I find out who my student teaching supervisor will be?

Each department assigns supervisors for student teaching. In most cases, the final determination of supervision is not determined until just before the beginning of your student teaching experience.

What can I expect during my student teaching experience?

Each Teacher Education program provides for a unique educational experience. Your program coordinator/supervisor will provide you with the expectations you will need to follow in order to successfully meet the requirements of your degree program. During your student teaching experience, you are required to continue to complete your electronic portfolio as part of the three-step process. Evaluation of the electronic portfolio is completed by your university supervisor or advisor as determined by your program. Completion dates will be provided by your supervisor. Successful completion of this step is required to attain certification. A completed Pennsylvania teacher certification application should be submitted to the Teacher Education office during your student teaching experience. This application will be sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for processing as soon as your graduation is verified by your college and the Registrar’s office.

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.

Requests 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.

Requests 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.

What are the Praxis II exams?

The Praxis II exams are a standardized test of specialized academic skills. Pennsylvania has mandated that all applicants for teaching certificates pass the exams. IUP requires that all Education majors pass the exam before being accepted into Step 2.

What are the PECT exams?

The PECT exams are a standardized test of specialized academic skills. Pennsylvania has mandated that all applicants for the Early Childhood (PreK-4)/Special Education (PreK-8) dual certification program pass the PECT exams. In addition, students adding the Special Education (7-12) certification must also pass the PECT exam. IUP requires that all Education majors pass the exam before being accepted into Step 2.

How do I register for the Praxis II exams?

See the Praxis website. Students can either register to take the test online or the paper-based version. The Praxis bulletin is available at University Testing in 107 Pratt Hall.

How do I register for the PECT exams?

See the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests website.

Where and when are the Praxis II exams offered?

Praxis II exams are offered at the location you select on your registration form. A list of the specific dates are provided on the Educational Testing Service website. Tests are traditionally available in January, March, April, June, August, September, and November. You must register a minimum of four weeks before the test date.

Where and when are the PECT exams offered?

PECT exams are offered at the location you select on your registration form. A list of the specific dates are provided on the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests website. You must register a minimum of four weeks before the test date.

How can I prepare for the Praxis II exams?

First, obtain a free study guide “Tests at a Glance” from the Educational Testing Service website. Second, take a practice test available from ETS. Third, visit the Teacher Education office in Stouffer Hall, Room 104.

Praxis II exams may be taken multiple times. However, all Praxis exams must be passed in order to complete Step 2 and begin student teaching.

Find a suggested timeline for Praxis II and PECT exams.

How can I prepare for the PECT exams?

For PECT certification exams, go to the Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests website. Select “What tests do I need to take?”, select the test you need for your specific certification areas, then select the “Preparation Materials” link in the upper right-hand corner of the page. All the preparation materials you will need for that particular test are available here.

What is the Step 2 admission process?

Step 2 is the final step before graduation and certification via student teaching. Completion of all required Liberal Studies courses as well as major required coursework with a “C” or better is necessary before student teaching. Please note, a grade-point average of 3.0 is mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for all teacher candidates. Additionally, successful completion of all state required Praxis exams must occur before the beginning of the semester you plan to student teach.

No exceptions will be made.

Applications for student teaching are available from the program coordinator in you department. Applications for Fall are due February 15 and for Spring, September 30. Applications are submitted to the Teacher Education office in Stouffer Hall, Room 104, by the program coordinator.

What is should be included in the Step 2 application?

The following must be presented to your program coordinator with your completed Step 2 application.

  1. Copy of transcript verifying completion of 91 semester hours or more with a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
  2. Completion of the Liberal Studies science requirement courses with a minimum grade of “C.”
  3. Completion of all required professional education core courses with a minimum grade of “C.”
  4. Affirmative recommendation by the student’s program coordinator.
  5. Current Act 34 and Act 151 clearances. (Please note that clearances must be valid for the entire student teaching experience.)
  6. Complete and turn in with your application the grade checklist form, guest host form, and the indictment form.
  7. Updated résumé.

Will there be any informational meetings to attend?

Yes. All student teachers are required to attend a student teaching meeting that occurs in the semester before your student teaching experience.

Are there opportunities to teach abroad?

Yes. Students from Indiana University of Pennsylvania who are enrolled as Teacher Education majors in all certification areas are eligible to participate in this half-semester student teaching program. Students are assigned to a teaching site in the United States for the first half of the semester. The second half of the student teaching experience is completed in an overseas site. The program is designed to provide students with teaching experiences in one of six European countries. Teaching assignments are made for all certification areas.

 

  • Office of Teacher Education
  • Stouffer Hall, Room 104
    1175 Maple Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2485
  • Fax: 724-357-3294
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.