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School of Arts and Sciences

ABCTE Program

Pictured is Rachael Morrow, D.P.T., a 2015 graduate of Point Park's ABCTE program and secondary biology and chemistry teacher at North Allegheny Intermediate High School. | Photo by Nichole Litzinger Point Park's ABCTE program helped physical therapy professional Rachael Morrow, D.P.T., transition to a teaching career.

American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has implemented a procedure for candidates holding the ABCTE certificate issued by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence to obtain an Instructional I certificate in the following content areas:  

  • Secondary Education/Biology
  • Secondary Education/Chemistry
  • Secondary Education/English
  • Secondary Education/General Science
  • Secondary Education/Mathematics
  • Secondary Education/Physics

For more information, visit www.abcte.org/teach/pennsylvania.

The ABCTE Certificate allows the candidate to apply for a Temporary Teaching Permit (TTP) which is valid only for the first year of teaching.  During that year, the candidate must complete a state-approved mentoring program and two graduate courses.  Point Park University is the approved mentoring institution for the state of Pennsylvania.

Mentoring Program

The flowchart below lists the procedures that must be followed in order to complete the mentoring process through Point Park University. Any questions should be directed to Ken Mori, ABCTE coordinator, at 412-392-3487 or abctementor@pointpark.edu.

Event Person Responsible Action

Acquisition of ABCTE Certificate




You are now ready to apply for mentoring.


Inquiry is made to Point Park University regarding mentoring.


Ken Mori


Application for Mentoring will be forwarded to the applicant.


Application for Mentoring is completed and submitted.


Ken Mori


  • Candidate will acquire his/her own placement. (The placement must consist of at least 12 weeks of full-time, full-day teaching in the candidate's certification area.  Part-time placements are not acceptable. Cyber school placements are not acceptable.)
  • Application for Mentoring will be submitted to Ken Mori(Please see Application for Mentoring Checklist at bottom of page.)
  • Packet will be reviewed and returned if it is incomplete.
  • If packet is complete, applicant will receive a confirmation letter/email.


Point Park University Application, Registration and Financial Responsibility Forms Completed


Lynn Ribar 


  • Candidate will receive forms and will be expected to complete and return them in a timely manner.
  • Candidate will remit fees immediately when invoices are received.

Mentoring Process Begins


Education Department Representative (EDR), Ken Mori


  • Supervisor/Mentor assigned
  • Letter/email of approval sent to applicant
  • Mentoring Process begins


Mentoring Process




  • Candidate will provide weekly reports to the supervisor.
  • Candidates will be responsible for compiling their portfolio throughout the duration of the placement.


Mentoring Process


Assigned Supervisor/Mentor


  • Supervisor/Mentor will observe a minimum of four times and complete a PDE 430 at the end of each visit.
  • Supervisor/Mentor will monitor and provide feedback for all reports
  • Supervisor/Mentor will provide counseling and support when needed
  • After each visit, supervisor/mentor will submit receipts for fees incurred to EDR. 
Mentoring Process
Retreats/ Seminars
Assigned Supervisor/Mentor
  • The mentor will deliver one retreat/seminar packet at each of the mentoring visits
  • The retreat/seminar packet consists of a DVD, PowerPoint, printed materials and assigned task.  The topics presented are timely and related to the candidate's mentoring and teaching experience.
  • The candidate will view the DVD and PowerPoint presentation, review the printed materials and complete the task prior to the mentor's subsequent visit.  The mentor will conduct a discussion of the retreat/seminar with the candidate, determine whether the candidate has completed the task successfully and submit that information to the EDR.
  • A certificate of completion will be issued to the candidate by the EDR.
  • A professional portfolio must be submitted at the end of the 12 week experience. (Guidance by the mentor will be provided.)

Mentoring Process Completed




Submits completed PDE 430 documents to EDR


Application for PA Certification (TIMS)


Ken Mori


  • Candidate will submit all required documents to TIMS.



Point Park University is the only PDE approved provider of the retreats/seminars associated with the ABCTE Program.  The retreats/seminars will be delivered as a part of the mentoring process (as described in the flowchart above) at no additional charge to the candidate. 

Mentoring Fees

  • An initial University Fee of $2250 (effective 5/1/09) must be paid before the mentoring process begins.
  • The candidate will be responsible for all costs incurred by the supervisor during the mentoring process (travel, hotel, food, etc.) for a minimum of four visits.
  • Supervision travel fees will be calculated on an individual basis.  The fees will be based on mileage to the candidate's placement site, an average hotel rate per night and a daily allowance for food.  This amount will be multiplied by four visits.  The candidate will be billed the amount determined prior to the first mentoring visit.
  • Supervision travel fees will be no less than $1000 and no more than $3000.

Graduate Coursework

ABCTE candidates are required to complete six credits of graduate coursework in order to fulfill the requirements for certification.  Point Park University is the only university approved by PDE to deliver this coursework.

Candidates may complete the required graduate credits either online or on-campus (dependent on the candidate's preference and proximity to the university).

For information regarding graduate studies in Point Park's Department of Education, please contact Dr. Richard Gutkind.
There are two online courses currently available:

EDUC 560 - Differentiated Teaching and Learning
This course will explore the range of human behavior commencing with characteristics of typical behavior to that of the behaviorally challenged.  Course topics will include:  normal and abnormal human development, IDEIA Reauthorization, federal and PDE regulations, IEP development and functional behavioral assessment, state assessment policies, alternative education services for disruptive youth, etc.

EDUC 561 - The Reflective Practitioner
This course provides practicing educators with the opportunity to develop their ability to become reflective practitioners who practice the continuous improvement of instruction in the classroom.  This course will provide students with an in-depth look at the four domains of teaching and learning practices, as defined in Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching model.  The course analyzes experiences in each of the domains and components of the Framework, including planning, preparation, and assessment; classroom environment; instruction; and professional responsibility.  Students examine relevant research-based practice appropriate to each domain area.

Please see our on-campus graduate course listings.

Applying for Graduate Coursework

When completing the Application for Mentoring, ABCTE candidates should also apply for non-degree admission to Point Park University. 

  • An online application must be completed. Please provide a valid email address to assist with completing the registration process.
  • Where students are asked for academic goal/status/major, please check non-degree.
  • In the comments section at the bottom, please state that you are an ABCTE candidate.

Graduate Course Fees and Payment

Please see our Tuition and Costs page for the most recent information regarding online graduate education tuition per credit.

Students enrolled in the ABCTE Program are not eligible for funds administered through the University since the program does not meet the criteria for eligibility for federal, state or private sources of funding. This includes the following: University funds, PHEAA state grant funds, Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), Direct Student Loans (DL) and any private student loan program. 

The University offers a Tuition Payment Plan that ABCTE Program students may consider.  Students who do not make satisfactory arrangements to pay tuition and other charges will be assessed non-refundable late fees until such time that all charges are paid in full.  In addition, all academic transcripts and records will not be released until all charges are paid in full.

For information on payment plans, please contact the Office of Student Accounts at studentaccounts@pointpark.edu.

Forms and Link to PA Teacher Certification (TIMS)

Below are the forms that will be used during the mentoring process and the link to TIMS for PA Teacher Certification.