Certification Office Location: College of Education and Social Work’s Dean’s Office- 302 Recitation Hall - 35 West Rosedale Ave – West Chester, PA 19383

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Certification Office

Welcome to the Office of Certification as part of the CESW Dean’s Office! On behalf of Dean Desha L. Williams as the WCU’s Certification Officer and Professional Education Unit Head, our team helps candidates in our educator preparation programs, alumni who have completed, and prospective candidates understand certification. Congratulations to those of you who are about to complete and apply to become an educator in PA!

We Help Candidates...

  • Understand the process and apply for your PA initial certification in compliance with the PA Department of Education (PDE) regulations
  • Navigate concerns regarding degree and program completion with departments and University colleagues in the Registrar’s Office, The Graduate School, and our academic departments
  • Process Out-of-State Program Verification Forms and general guidance on out-of-state certification  
  • Provide final review of Approved Programs of Study
  • Answer PA testing questions  
  • Serve as the liaison with PDE for any related questions or issues 


To receive information about completing an educator preparation program to teach in PA, review the contact list below:

Department Contact Phone
Biology Dr. Brett Criswell 610-436-2898
Chemistry Dr. Brett Criswell 610-436-2898
Communication Sciences and Disorders
(Speech and Language Pathology)
Dr. Mareile Koenig -
Earth and Space Science/General Science Dr. Brett Criswell  610-436-2108
Early and Middle Grades Education Dr. Laura Fiorenza 610-436-2411
English Dr. Laura Renzi 610-436-1040
Foreign Languages Dr. Meg Niiler
Dr. Maria J. Cabrera
Health & Physical Education Elizabeth (Beth) Foster 610-436-2189
Social Studies Dr. Laura Renzi 610-436-1040
Literacy/Reading Specialist Dr. Kevin Flanigan 610-430-5642
Mathematics Dr. Daniel Ilaria 610-436-3248
Music Dr. Marci Major 610-436-3030
Physics Dr. Brett Criswell 610-436-2898
School Counseling Dr. Nikki Correa -
School Nurse Dr. Megan Mraz 610-430-4408
Special Education

Graduate Special Ed Email

Mary Houser
Tara Guerriero

TESL Dr. Jelena Colovic-Markovic 610-436-3371
Principal Dr. Matthew Kruger-Ross -
  1. Log-in to TIMS. A Keystone Login is required to access TIMS. First-time logging into TIMS will require you to register and establish a TIMS profile.
  2. Complete the Office of Certification's Intent Form during the semester of program completion to receive a Letter of Completion.
  3. Apply in TIMS as early as the first day of the month during which you will graduate or complete your program. To apply in TIMS, visit the PDE website and follow the directions below according to academic level:

Watch WCU: TIMS Overview

Watch the Applications overview video

To qualify for a Pennsylvania Certificate candidates must:

Complete an approved education preparation program at the Bachelors, Graduate or Post Baccalaureate level in your subject area. Your initial teacher preparation program must include a student teaching experience.

  1. Meet all Certification Testing requirements established by the PA State Board of Education.
  2. Meet all other requirements established by the PA Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators.
  3. Submit an online application for certification via PDE's TIMS - MyPDESuite
  4. Receive the recommendation of your preparing college/university.

    The PA Department of Education considers the PDE430, the PA statewide evaluation form for student professional knowledge and practice, which is part of the WCU Professional Education Unit-wide assessment, necessary for certification. WCU translates this content into the Assessment Management Software through the Danielson Framework evaluation, the Unit-wide assessment, and Candidate Signature Page. WCU University supervisors must complete the Danielson Framework evaluation so that candidates can review and complete the Candidate Signature Page assignment. Final ratings must be satisfactory, which means a minimum of 2 (Basic) in each category. Completion and minimum scoring requirements for both the Danielson Framework evaluation and Candidate Signature Page are required to earn an institutional recommendation for certification.

    *Note: assessments are subject to change within the time span of one’s University career due to changing requirements at national, state, and local level; and candidates may still be required to meet requirements.


What is the application fee for certification?

$200 (Instructional I, Educational Specialist, & Program Specialist applications; note: Candidates with a dual certification pay only one fee)

$100 (Candidates applying for an Endorsement)

When should I apply for my PA certification?

  • Bachelor's and Master's degree candidates can begin applying in TIMS through the PDE website on or after the first day of the month during which they will graduate.
    • Fall graduates: December 1
    • Spring graduates: May 1
    • Summer graduates: August 1
    • Winter graduates: January 1
  • Post Baccalaureate (non-degree) candidates can begin applying in TIMS through the PDE website on or after the first day of the month during which they will complete their program requirements.
    • Fall completers: December 1
    • Spring completers: May 1
    • Summer I completers: June 1
    • Summer II completers: July 1
    • Summer III completers: August 1

What is the certification processing timeline?

4-5 days

4-5 weeks

1-3 weeks


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During the month of your commencement (December, May, August) you may apply in TIMS


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Final Grades Posted

Post-bac/Non-degree candidates are verified in TIMS & Letters of completion mailed when requested


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Degrees Conferred
(Ongoing Process)

TIMS applications for candidates earning a degree verified in TIMS. Letters of completion mailed when requested


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PDE Approved

Print your certificate off the TIMS dashboard



The timeline is subject to change. Please check out the PA Department webpage.

  1. Commencement
    • Candidates can begin applying in TIMS through the PDE website on or after the first day of the month during which they will graduate or complete their program. Review the above answer to "When should I apply for my PA Certification?" for specific application dates.
  2. Final grades are posted (4-5 days after commencement)
    • TIMS applications for Post Bac/Non Degree candidates are recommended to PDE
    • Letters of Completion are mailed to Post Bac/Non Degree candidates who completed the Intent Form and met all certification requirements
  3. Degrees begin being conferred (ongoing 4-5 weeks after final grades are posted)
    • TIMS applications for Bachelor's and Master's candidates are recommended to PDE
    • Letters of Completion are mailed to Bachelor's and Master's candidates who completed the Intent Form and met all certification requirements
  4. PA State Certification approved (1-3 weeks after recommendation to PDE)
    • Print certificate off of PDE dashboard

Can I be employed before my certification is approved by the PA Dept. of Education (PDE)?

Yes! Many school districts accept a Letter of Completion until a candidate's certification is approved and received. The Certification Office will provide a Letter of Completion to candidates who:
  • Completed the Intent Form
  • Met all academic requirements
  • Met all PA test requirements
  • Applied online through TIMS
  • Completed a preparation program and, if applicable, received graduation clearance by all departments and the Registrar's Office

Once these requirements are fulfilled, the letter will be mailed to the address provided on the Intent Form. Please review the above answer to "What is the certification processing timeline?" for information about when to expect the letter in the mail.

Your PPID number is required to complete most employment applications. To receive your PPID, register in TIMS. In the box on the right, select “TIMS (Certification Application System) Log In.” Select “Register.” Complete the registration form. Wait up to 24 hours for the confirmation email. Once your account is established, log in and select “View and Update My Profile” to retrieve your PPID number.

How do I order an official transcript showing my conferred degree?

If you need your official transcripts sent directly to a recipient that must be done through the WCU Registrar’s Office. When you order a transcript, you need to indicate your request to send that transcript to the “recipient” in the order form by entering in their email address. When you enter that in Parchment (via myWCU to order a transcript) you are basically telling WCU to send it there.

How do I get my PPID?

Your Professional Personal ID “PPID” is obtained after your TIMS profile is set up. Your PPID is located on your TIMS personal profile page.

Find more tips about your PPID here.

What is the process for adding on a content area or extending the grade bands of my certification?

  • Instructional I content areas can be added on to an Instructional certification by passing the required subject test(s). Certification areas offered as add-ons and the corresponding test(s) can be found on PDE's website. View this link for directions on how to add a PA Certification by testing alone. 
  • The GPA Sliding Scale cannot be used. Candidates must earn a passing score on required tests.
  • Certification areas can be added after an initial certification:
    • Candidates who already hold an Instructional certification must submit a TIMS application and pay the administrative fee of $200 to receive certification for the add-on.
  • Find further details and apply through the PDE website.

What is the process for obtaining out of state certification?

  • Refer to each state's Department of Education website for specific information regarding the state's certification requirements. Follow the state's procedures for testing requirements, online applications, application processing, etc.
  • Many states require WCU's verification of program completion. Follow the steps below to receive this verification:
    1. Obtain the state's form from their education website, which is usually one part of the application process.
    2. Complete your portion of the Program Verification Form, which may be electronic (example, New Jersey).
    3. Submit the Program Verification Form to the Certification Office, cesw@wcupa.edu
    4. NOTE: If an official West Chester University transcript is required to be sent with the Program Verification Form, DO NOT place a transcript order through the Registrar's Office until AFTER the certification office confirms via email that the Program Verification Form has been completed.

Can a non-US citizen earn PA certification?

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires candidates applying for Pennsylvania state certification to be a U.S. citizen. Candidates holding a Resident Alien Card (Green Card) can be issued certifications by PDE if they have filed a 'declaration of intent’ to become citizens. According to PDE, a candidate can enter a program but can only apply for the PA certification when the green card is issued and competencies (coursework and testing) are completed. Please note, World Language candidates applying for Instructional I certification in their native language are not required to hold a valid Resident Alien Card (Green Card), or declare their intent to become a U.S. citizen.

Continuing Education

Requirements to convert from a Level I certificate to a Level II certificate

To convert an initial PA certification (Level I) to a Level II certificate, an educator must complete the following requirements:

  1. 3-6 years of certified teaching in PA.
  2. 24 post-baccalaureate credits. These are credits earned after the conferral date of your first bachelor’s degree.
  3. Completion of a PDE-approved Induction (Mentoring) program.
  4. Satisfactory Level 1 evaluations.

Additional information can be found through the PDE website.

How to fulfill the Act 48 requirement as a Certified Educator

In PA, all certified educators must complete 180 hours of professional development per every five years. This requirement can be fulfilled through:

  • Six college credits; or
  • Six credits of continuing professional development courses /IU in-service hours; or
  • A combination of learning experiences equivalent to 180.

Additional information about Act 48 can found through the PDE website.


Contact Info

Dr. Ashley Rowe (she/her)
Director of Professional Education,
Certification, and Compliance

Mrs. Kathy Crouse (she/her)
Administrative Assistant

Evan Horton (he/him)  
Graduate Assistant



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