Please also refer to Teacher Education Programs section for other important information.
Secondary Education Certification
Degree: BA, Biology
Department Chair: Angela Asirvatham, PhD
The secondary education program in Biology (BIO/SECED) is designed to prepare teachers of Biology for Grades 7-12. Our BIO/SECED program has been continually refined to keep pace with developments in the profession. A unique aspect of the program is that it prepares teachers to effectively deal with students with disabilities who are likely to be included in their classes. It is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and leads to a PA Instructional I certificate. The University’s recommendation and the successful completion of other requirements established by the state, including meeting the pass scores specified by PDE on the required battery of certification tests, qualify graduates for a PA Instructional I certificate. Pennsylvania has signed an Interstate Agreement through the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification which facilitates certification in other states. States’ requirements vary; graduates should determine what they have to do to become certified in a state other than Pennsylvania.
Pre-service teachers in the BIO/SECED program must successfully complete the University’s liberal arts Core Curriculum, a content major in Biology, and series of Teacher Education Department courses. BIO/SECED majors must satisfactorily complete a series of field/practicum experiences that begin during the first year and continue every semester until graduation. By graduation, our pre-service teachers will have spent approximately 750 hours in community classrooms. During students’ final semester, they must complete two seven-week student teaching assignments (two separate placements).
Students in the Biology/Secondary Education have two academic advisors. The TED advisor is responsible for advising related to Education courses and field/practicum experiences. The content area advisor is responsible for advising related to the University Core and content major requirements. Each semester, students must meet with both advisors prior to registration to facilitate course selection and receive approval to register. The student is ultimately responsible for the selection and registration of courses.