University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Early Childhood with Special Education (B.A.)

Making a Difference in the Lives of Students

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The Pitt-Johnstown Early Childhood Education With Special Education (dual major) Program Prepares  our Teacher Candidates to Become:

Certified graduates of Early Childhood Education who are eligible to teach Pre-kindergarten through 4th grade -and- Special Education Classrooms from Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

The Pitt-Johnstown special education program enables general education teachers to meet the learning needs of an increasingly diverse student population. Students will enter area school classrooms in their first year to gain real-world experience in the field. A year-long student teaching internship working in both general and special education classrooms supports students in their ability to move confidently into their careers.

Our Cohort Model Begins Each Spring Term

At Pitt-Johnstown, the Early Childhood Education with Special Education Program operates on a cohort model, which begins each year in the spring term. Therefore, students are encouraged to accurately follow the suggested student schedule and ensure that they have met all requirements for admission into the Upper Level before the spring term for which they plan to enroll.

Please find the requirements that will need to be met for Upper-Level admission below, in the Applying to the Upper-Level section, below.

Information for Pre-Service Educators

Applying to the Upper-Level

Teacher candidates must complete and submit the Application for Upper-Level Studies to the education division office in order to enroll in Upper-Level courses. Applications for Upper-Level must be received, reviewed, and accepted prior to entry into Upper-Level coursework. The Basic skills tests are temporarily waived by the Department of Education.

For detailed information on upper-level requirements, please see the Education Division Program Handbook, Upper-Level section (p.18 - 20).


Applications must be complete and submitted by: 

❌  September 15th to enroll in Upper-Level coursework for the SPRING term


Upper-Level Requirements:

Students may submit their applications when they will have met the following requirements for the term in which they plan to enroll in Upper-Level courses:

      Minimum of 32 earned credits (including transfer, 15 must be from Pitt-Johnstown)

    ☐  Earned at least a C (not C-) in each of the following:

           →  EDPSY 0006 and FDED 0001

           →   at least one ENG LIT course required for his/her program

           →   at least one ENG COMP course required for his/her program

           →   TWO math courses required for his/her program

      Passing Scores in the Three Basic Skills Examinations

           →   The Basic Skills Tests are temporarily waived by the PA Department of Education

      Three Completed Recommendation Forms

      Evidence of Early Field Experience (i.e. volunteer work with children)

    ☐  Successful Completion of Key Program Assessments 

          →    History and Philosophy of Education: Oral Screening

          →    History and Philosophy of Education: Philosophy of Education Paper

    ☐  Minimum Pitt-Johnstown cumulative GPA of 3.000


Helpful Links to Complete Your Application:

      ✅   50 hours of documented volunteer work (volunteer form)

      ✅   3 letters of professional recommendation (recommendation form)

Information for Teacher Candidates

Student Teaching

For detailed information on student teaching requirements, please see the Education Division Program Handbook, Student Teaching section (p.23 - 26).

Application Steps and Policies:

    ☐ Secure an Application for Student Teaching

  • Where: Office of Field Practicum in 149 Biddle in the first week of the term prior to the one in which you will student teach.

    ☐ Schedule to Meet with Your Advisor

  • When: No later than one week before the application deadline to verify that all requirements have been met.

    ☐ Submit the Completed Application

  • Must be signed by their advisor and submitted to the Division Office by the deadline established for each term
  • January 30 for fall student teaching.  

    ☐ Review Clearances (renew if necessary)

  • Current through at least one week after the final day of scheduled student teaching.

    ☐ Submit Evidence of Liability Insurance

    ☐ Submit TB Test Results

    ☐ Register for the Appropriate Student Teaching/Seminar Courses

  • The Student Teaching Seminar is a co-requisite to student teaching and meets once a week. All candidates will receive a Student Teaching Handbook before starting student teaching.
Graduation Requirements

Education students apply for graduation two times and in two places. For detailed information on graduation requirements, please see the Education Division Program Handbook, Graduation section (p.26-27).

FIRST, they apply for graduation online, in PeopleSoft, three terms prior to their intended graduation date.

Apply for graduation early in the first term of their junior year online (PeopleSoft)

  • For the online graduation application instructions, click here.
  • Students contact Registrar to ensure any course substitutions/waivers are complete and on file.
  • Schedule a meeting to review with your advisor

 

SECOND, students apply for graduation with the Education Division during their student teaching term in order for the Division to verify that students have met all Division requirements for graduation.

Apply for graduation with the Education Division during student teaching

  • Application for Graduation provided while enrolled in the Student Teaching Seminar
  • Requires an appointment with their advisor for review
  • Applications submitted to Division’s Administrative Assistant, Biddle 153

           There are additional requirements for graduation, such as:

  • ☐ Cumulative Pitt-Johnstown GPA of at least 3.000 
  • ☐ Cumulative CORE GPA of at least 2.80 for ECE/SPLED Majors
The Professional Education Portfolio (PEP)

*IMPORTANT*

No candidate will be recommended for certification until s/he has scored a satisfactory rating for the professional portfolio.

Education candidates must assemble and maintain a portfolio related to activities and projects developed and accomplished before graduation and evidence of their growth and development in each domain of the Candidate Learning Framework throughout their program of study. During the Student Teaching Seminar, the instructor will distribute a scoring rubric for indicating necessary PEP evidence and organization. For detailed information on the PEP requirements, please refer to the Education Division Program Handbook, Professional Education Portfolio section (p.52)

Sample items that will be included in the PEP:

  • lesson plans
  • analytical reflections
  • research papers
  • classroom photos (non-identifying)
  • videos
Teacher Certification in Pennsylvania

TIMS Application

Upon successful completion of the program, the student must submit their application for certification directly to PDE (online) through the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS)

Please refer to the Education Division Program Handbook for detailed information on Teaching Certificates in PA.

☐ The student must submit a printed copy of the cover sheet (completed application)  to the Division Office, 153 Biddle.

*Important* Program completers who do not successfully submit their TIMS application will not receive state certification until completed and verified online by the Division.


PECT and Praxis Examinations for Certification:

Students may repeat the tests as many times as necessary to pass. Students may graduate without passing all tests but will not be certified to teach in Pennsylvania until they have passed all tests

☐   ECE Required PECT Examinations »Testing website

  • Grades PreK-4 Modules 1
  • Grades PreK-4 Modules 2
  • Grades PreK-4 Modules 3

     Optional PECT Examinations and Certification for ECE include 

  • ​Elementary Grades 5-6 English Language Arts and Social Studies Subtest (5154)
  • Mathematics and Science Subtest (5155)

☐ Required Special Education Praxis Examinations » ETS Website: 


Gaining Your Instructional I Certificate:

As a service to students during their student teaching term, the Division’s Administrative Assistant will assist them in processing the Instructional I Certificate application. 

Fees are paid to PDE: the Education Division charges no fee for this service.
Items required to apply for Instructional I Certificate: 

  • passing scores (certification exams) and;
  • evidence of program completion

The Bureau of Teacher Certification of the Pennsylvania Department of Education will process the Instructional I Certificate online in approximately 4-6 weeks after all applications have been verified.

Certificates can be printed from the TIMS portal.


Program Contact

Bethany McConnell, Ph.D. | Associate Professor | bmm93@pitt.edu | 814-269-7107