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NEWS: PA Department of Education Reduces New Teacher Certification Wait Time By 10 Weeks


Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today announced that processing timelines for In-State Level I certificates have been reduced by approximately 10 weeks since last year. The Department also launched a new feature on its website to improve transparency and responsiveness in the educator certification process. The certification “clock” on PDE’s Certification page will show, in real time, the length of time needed to process a certificate once all required information is submitted to the Department.

“Since day one, the Shapiro Administration has been committed to improving government processes—making it easier for Pennsylvanians to live and work in the Commonwealth—and I’m proud of our team’s work to reduce processing times and help more teachers get their certificates,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “I’m also excited about this new online feature, which will allow educators to know exactly what to expect during the certification process. By making our response times public, we are increasing transparency and accountability, and improving the services we provide to current and prospective educators across the Commonwealth.” 

The online clock shows that, as of today, an educator can expect their certification to be processed in the following timeframes:

  • In-State Level I Certificates: 2-4 weeks 
  • Level II Certificates: 4-6 weeks 
  • Add-On Certificates: 1-3 weeks
  • Emergency Certificates: 2-4 weeks

The new processing timelines reflect an approximate 10-week improvement in response time since last year for In-State Level I Certifications.

“I’m proud of the work our team has put in, but I know we have more work to do,” said Mumin. “We will continue to make progress and work to further reduce processing times so teachers can get their certificates as efficiently as possible.”

To reduce processing times, PDE increased staffing – hiring four new full-time employees, three temporary employees, and one summer annuitant, and evaluated the process to prioritize Instructional I certificates. The team is working around the clock to process certifications and respond to more than 1,500 emails per week.

This work reflects the priorities of Governor Josh Shapiro, who earlier this year unveiled a plan to improve the Commonwealth’s licensing, permitting, and certification processes, beginning a comprehensive review of how long it takes agencies to process applications and how workers and businesses apply online.

Additionally, last year PDE revamped its website to allow current and prospective educators to more easily access information related to certifications. The site restructure used analytics to determine which pages were most highly visited and prioritized them in this effort. The Certification page is consistently one of the most visited pages on the PDE website.

Changes to the Certification page include more easy-to-follow breakdowns on common topics that educators are searching for; condensed and updated frequently asked questions; a step-by-step guide and instructional YouTube video for first-time users; and more.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit PDE's website or follow PDE on InstagramFacebookTwitterYouTube, or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Taj Magruder, 

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