The program is designed to prepare individuals for Pennsylvania certification in special education. The master of science program with special education certification option is not designed for previously certified special education teachers, since it prepares individuals for state certification nor is it appropriate for international students due to the Pennsylvania certification requirements.
To be eligible for admission into the special education master’s program, applicants must possess a previously earned Pennsylvania instructional certificate in the areas below and present a copy of the certificate during the admissions process. An applicant who is certified in another state may contact the Pennsylvania department of education (pde) at http://www.pde.psu.edu/ to apply for PA certification, prior to admission to Wilkes University.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has announced that the current special education certification gradeband of N-12 will be discontinued after August 31, 2013. Candidates applying to Wilkes University for special education certification beginning Fall 2012 will apply for one of the following gradebands: PK-8 or 7-12, depending on their previously obtained certifications, as follows:
Special Education PreK-8 Option: Candidates with previous PA certificates in early childhood N-3, elementary K-6 or PreK-4, middle school 4-8, and certified reading specialists are eligible for this option.
Special Education 7-12 Option: Candidates with previous PA certificates in secondary (7-12) content areas and certified reading specialists are eligible for this option.
Department of Education Standards for Special Education. The Graduate Special Education Program requires 30 graduate credits to obtain the degree and certification, although students can follow a fast track for certification by taking the special education sequence (EDSP 501 - EDSP 506) first. Students will consult with the program advisor for fast track requirements.
For candidates who started before Fall 2012 - they will be recommended for special education certification upon successful completion of the prescribed program of study and the required Praxis test (Special Education Core Knowledge and Applications #20354). PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PDE HAS ANNOUNCED THAT IT WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS PRAXIS TEST AFTER AUGUST 31, 2013, NOR WILL IT OFFER THE N-12 SPECIAL EDUCATION CERTIFICATION AFTER THAT DATE.
For candidates who start in the program fall 2012 and after, the state will require you to take the new Special Education Certification test called the PECT (Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests) available at: www.pa.nesinc.com http://www.pa.nesinc.com. You will select the special education test that reflects the grade band that you are pursuing in this program (either PK-8 OR 7-12).