University to offer new education dual certification program

Shippensburg University this fall will begin a new dual certification program in PreK-4 and special education PreK-8. The program recently received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The nine-semester program allows students to obtain two certifications without enrolling in graduate school. Before the program was approved, students were required to pursue a master’s degree to receive multiple certifications. The program will be offered this fall to incoming first-year students as well as to current first-year students and sophomores.

According to Dr. Kent Chrisman, professor of early childhood education and chair of the early childhood program committee, “This particular dual certification is a degree that is in-demand. Many school districts have expressed a preference for dual certification in teaching applicants. We believe that our graduates will be highly qualified for teaching positions and will be able to utilize many competencies through this additional coursework.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that all candidates for special education certification already have or are concurrently pursuing certification in a secondary content area.

To complete the new program, students will need to take an additional six special education courses in such areas as providing interventions for students with communication impairments, cognitive and/or physical impairments, and social, emotional and behavior impairments.

According to Dr. Christopher Schwilk, associate professor of special education and chair of the department of educational leadership and special education, “Our goal is to provide students at Shippensburg the training they require at the undergraduate level to meet the demands of the market and ultimately to equip them to serve students who attend Pennsylvania schools and beyond.”

For more details about the program, please click here: