The Post-Baccalaureate Special Education (PreK-12) certificate program provides students the opportunity to prepare for a career in teaching children with a variety of special needs from grades PreK through grade 12. Coursework on cognitive, social, and emotional development, special education assessment, differentiated and individualized instruction, inclusion, and collaborative practices prepares students in the program with the knowledge required to become transformative classroom teachers and support their future students’ academic achievement.
Post-Baccalaureate certification programs are designed for students who have already completed a Bachelor’s of Science or Bachelor’s of Arts degree from an accredited college or university and wish to become eligible to obtain a teaching certification in the state of Pennsylvania. Because these students have previously completed an undergraduate degree program, each candidate’s application is individually evaluated to determine the coursework necessary to complete their teaching certification program.
Successful completion of a Post-Baccalaureate program makes the student eligible to obtain a teaching certificate in the state of Pennsylvania. It does not yield an additional undergraduate degree and does not entitle the Post-Baccalaureate student to participate in any formal graduation ceremonies.
Additionally, each candidate must meet specific requirements for admission which include the following:
- Complete the online York College admission application with submission of official transcripts from a completed a Bachelor’s of Science or Bachelor’s of Arts degree from an accredited college or university.
- Interview with the Director of Post-Baccalaureate Programs to determine eligibility to enter the Post-Baccalaureate certificate program and identify courses necessary for teaching certification. During this interview, in accordance with Chapter 354, information regarding the candidate’s prior knowledge and experiences will be obtained so that unnecessary duplication of coursework is avoided. If it is evident the candidate has extensive prior experience working with children, this experience may be applied towards the completion of requirements regarding clinical field experience. If it is evident the candidate is able to demonstrate content mastery through the completion of Praxis or PECT certification exam scores at passing levels, the Post-Baccalaureate certification program may be further streamlined.
- Admission to the Post-Baccalaureate certificate program requires a number of initial benchmarks be met:
- The transcript of the candidate’s completed undergraduate degree must document a final undergraduate cumulative Grade Point Average that is 3.0 or higher. If the candidate’s cumulative Grade Point Average is below that benchmark, the Director of the Post-Baccalaureate Programs will make a determination if it is reasonable to provisionally admit the candidate for one semester of courses (12 credits) at the conclusion of which a 3.0 GPA minimum is required for full admittance to the intended Post-Baccalaureate certificate program. Candidates will then be fully admitted to the Post-Baccalaureate certificate program following the completion of one semester if the GPA threshold is met.
- The transcript of the candidate’s completed undergraduate degree must document a minimum of 6 credits in mathematics courses, 3 credits in English composition, and 3 credits in literature, all with a final grade of B/3 or better. In cases where the candidate’s transcript does not show evidence of meeting this requirement, the Director of the Post-Baccalaureate Programs may make a determination to allow the candidate to be provisionally admitted for one semester of courses (12 credits) to complete any needed mathematics, English composition, or literature courses necessary for admission to the Post-Baccalaureate certificate program. All courses must be completed during a single semester of provisional admittance and the final grade for each of these courses must be a B/3 or better.
- All three required Pennsylvania clearances must be available for review by the Director of Post- Baccalaureate Programs at the time of the admissions interview. Information about all required clearances is available at https://www.ycp.edu/academics/school-of-behavioral-sciences-and-education/field-experience-and-student-teaching/clearances/
Pre-Professional Educator Status (PPES):
All Post-Baccalaureate certification program students must obtain Pre-Professional Educator Status (PPES) before they are eligible to enroll in advanced Education coursework. Requirements for obtaining Pre-Professional Educator Status (PPES) are outlined on the Pre-Professional Educator Status application available at https://www.ycp.edu/academics/school-of-behavioral-sciences-and-education/field-experience-and-student-teaching/
Requirements for Post-Baccalaureate certification program students to obtain Pre-Professional Educator Status have been modified per Pennsylvania Department of Education guidelines as follows:
- Post-Baccalaureate certification program students are not required to pass the Basic Skills exams in Reading, Writing, or Math, unless the student was previously enrolled in an educator preparation program.
- Post-Baccalaureate certification program students will submit documentation of the completed specific coursework noting the required grades of 3/B or better to the Director of Post-Baccalaureate Programs.
- All Pre-Professional Educator Status (PPES) applications must be submitted as a full and complete packet, including all additional documentation as required. All three Pennsylvania clearances are required to be submitted as part of this application.
Post-Baccalaureate certification program students may be eligible to apply for Pre-Professional Educator Status after the completion of their first semester of coursework.
Field Experience and Student Teaching:
Regardless of certification area, the Pennsylvania Department of Education requires all Post-Baccalaureate certification program students to complete field experience and student teaching as outlined in Chapter 354.
Depending on the candidate’s prior experience working with children, modifications to the required field experience hours may be made. A determination if such a modification is appropriate will be made by the Director of Post-Baccalaureate Programs at the time of the admissions interview. Any Stage 1-3 Field Experience courses taken must be completed with a final grade of 3/B or better.
All Post-Baccalaureate certification program students are required to complete one semester of Stage 4 Field Experience/Student Teaching in their area of certification. Students must have a cumulative Grade Point Average in their completed Post-Baccalaureate coursework of a 3.0 or higher to complete Stage 4 Field Experience/Student Teaching.