Certification Application Instructions

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires all certification applications to be submitted through an online application process using the Teacher Information Management System.

You will complete their application online and pay with a credit card. It is important to remember Teacher Certification is granted through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and is separate from your graduation from Shippensburg University. The certification process is a very important step for your future.

NOTE: Your initial certification application should be for your major(s) area only. You may apply for additional certification after the initial certification has been granted by PDE.

Certification applications should not be filed through TIMS until the first day of the month of your graduation (December 1 for fall graduates or May 1 for Spring graduates). 

Submitting your application online will ensure that your application is in PDE's system immediately. Be sure to complete ALL parts of the online application, including your affiliation with Shippensburg University and that you have graduated (or will be graduating) from an educator preparation program at Ship. Do NOT list other institutions and do NOT list student teaching as teaching experience. PDE recently created an instructional video for assistance with filling out the TIMS application. Access the instructional video here, PDE Instructional Video for TIMS Application process.

Failure to complete all questions submitted to PDE could cause a delay in processing your application. If there is a delay, you may contact the Office of Partnerships, Professional Experiences & Outreach at (717) 477-1487 or email CAClaar@ship.edu or BMNailor@ship.edu to confirm that you have been recommended. Any questions regarding your application status should be directed to PDE. Only PDE can make corrections, assist you with errors, and give you status updates.

Shippensburg's role in your application process is to: 

  1. Verify that you completed an educator preparation program and are eligible for certification
  2. Recommend you for a teaching certificate based on your good moral character

This will be done once degrees are conferred, which could take several weeks after graduation. Contact information for Certification Services with the Pennsylvania Department of Education can be found  on PDE’s web page Contact Certification Services. Certification Staff are currently available by phone Monday – Friday 8:00 am-4:00pm and can be reached at (717) 787-3356. You may also email questions to: ra-edcertquestions@pa.gov.

Once you have submitted your application, you can periodically check the status through TIMS. PDE does not print teaching certificates. It is your responsibility, once approved, to log in to TIMS and print your certificate. 

If PDE requires additional information to process your application, it should be mailed, along with your cover sheet that includes the bar code to:

BUREAU OF TEACHER PREPARATION AND CERTIFICATION
PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
333 MARKET STREET

HARRISBURG PA 17126-0333

Additional information on applying for certification can be found on PDE's website.

  • Required Testing for Teacher Certification
    • *To access the certification testing information you will need to click and download the Certification Test and Score Requirements (Excel) spreadsheet.  You will find Basic Skills requirement information as well as Certification Test information. You will need to pay attention to which tab you have selected at the bottom of the spreadsheet to find your specific testing requirements.  Also, as you have this document opened you will notice that the ETS and ES Pearson test vendors are hyperlinked. When you click those hyperlinks it will take you to the test vendors website.  If you have any questions regarding the required test(s) for your Teacher Preparation program please contact your advisor or the Assessment & Accreditation Coordinator (Brad Nailor) at bmnailor@ship.edu.
  • ETS CORE & Praxis Test Series
    • Test preparation materials provided by ETS are located in the Preparation Resources section on the homepage.
  • ES Pearson PAPA & PECT Test Series
    • Test preparation materials provided by ES Pearson are located in the Preparation Materials section on the homepage.
  • Additional Praxis Test Preparation Material
    • This provides practice tests for the CORE Test series as well as the content knowledge Praxis tests.