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Transfer Your Professional Skills to a Teaching Career

Point Park University is the only Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)-recognized institution in Pennsylvania that offers an American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) program.

ABCTE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to putting qualified professionals in the classroom through a state-approved alternative teacher certification program.

All candidates in Point Park's ABCTE Program must possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university prior to initiating the ABCTE program. PDE may now accept a conferred graduate degree from an accredited college or university in lieu of a baccalaureate degree.

American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence

The PDE 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:

Read more about Point Park's ABCTE program in this article from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 

"Point Park's ABCTE program uses a hands-on approach focused on real classroom experience and prepares future teachers for their first year of teaching by familiarizing them with tools and skills they will use and incorporate into their classes. It offers a perfect pathway for working professionals who are interested in teaching careers.

– Levi Donaldson Brown '23

Pictured is Levi Donaldson Brown. Submitted photo.

Get Started

For more information, visit the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence/Pennsylvania and follow the ABCTE Program Process steps below.

Additional Resources

Learn more about the ABCTE program at Point Park and have all your questions answered by sending an email to Mrs. Beverina-Moore, M.A., lecturer and director of student placements, at dmoore@pointpark.edu and requesting an invitation to a Zoom informational meeting.


Required 60 Consecutive Days of Teaching Start Dates – Important

Below is a chart showing the required 60 consecutive days of teaching start dates for the ABCTE program.

Start Dates
2024-25

Required Orientation via Zoom, 7 p.m.

All Information and TTP Submitted No Later Than 11:59 p.m. on These Dates
2024-25

September 3 August 28 August 2
October 7 October 2 September 13
November 11 November 6 October 18
January 6
January 2 December 6
January 27 January 22 January 3
February 17 February 12 January 24
We offer six different start dates for the required 60 consecutive days mentoring during the academic year. Candidates need to complete all steps in Phases 1 and 2 before moving to Phase 3. As soon as the candidate receives their Temporary Teaching Permit, the candidate is required to start the mentoring on the next available date. The Temporary Teaching Permit is valid for one year and cannot be renewed. 
 
View our start dates for 2024-25

ABCTE Program Process 

The flowchart below lists the steps and actions that must be taken in order to complete the ABCTE mentoring process through Point Park University.

For more information about Point Park's ABCTE program, contact Mrs. Beverina-Moore, M.A., lecturer and director of student placements, at dmoore@pointpark.edu.

The following table explains the 15 steps to complete the ABCTE program at Point Park University.
Steps
Person Responsible
Actions

PHASE 1

1. Read the Point Park University ABCTE Handbook then visit the Americanboard.org and register.


Candidate

Complete this Verification of Registration for American Board Certification form.

2. Pass the Professional Teaching Knowledge (PTK) Exam and content exam(s).

  • Special Education PreK-12
  • PreK-4
  • Secondary Education Grades 7-12 
    • Biology 
    • Chemistry 
    • English 
    • Mathematics 
    • Physics 
    • Science
    • NEW! Social Studies 

Candidate

Submit American Board Scores and Certificate to Mrs. Beverina-Moore.

3. Apply online to Point Park University.

  • After you pass the American Board Exams

OR

Required Supporting Documents:

ID Photos – As of Summer 2022, applicants must submit a personal photo and a picture of a government-issued photo ID for identity verification purposes. Photos may be uploaded during the application process or emailed to gradadmission@pointpark.edu.
 
Official transcripts - Admission as an ABCTE candidate requires proof of a bachelor's degree from an accredited American institution or its equivalent from a recognized institution outside the United States. Therefore, all ABCTE candidates must request official copies of all college and university transcripts showing conferral of a bachelor's degree and have them sent to Point Park University. PDE may now accept a conferred graduate degree from an accredited college or university in lieu of a baccalaureate degree.

Official transcripts:
  • Have a seal or statement indicating no seal
  • Have an authorized signature 
  • Are submitted electronically to Point Park by the issuing institution utilizing Parchment or E-script online transcript services. Electronic submission is preferred.

OR

  • Are mailed directly to Point Park by the issuing institution. Our address is:
Point Park University
Office of Graduate and Online Admissions
201 Wood St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
 

NOTE: Candidates who earned their degrees at institutions outside the United States must request an official transcript evaluation from World Education Services or International Consultants of Delaware (all non-English transcripts must also include English translations) and have that evaluation sent directly to Point Park University.

Email your American Board scores and certificate to Mrs. Denise Beverina-Moore.

Candidate

  • Select the Master's and Doctoral Application.
  • Before beginning your application, you will need to set up an account by providing a valid email address and creating a password.
  • When asked for type of program, select Graduate.
  • When asked to indicate type of student, select On Ground.
  • When asked to indicate academic major, select one:
    • Professional Development Graduate Secondary Education (grades 7-12)
    • Professional Development Graduate PreK-4
    • Professional Development Graduate Special Education PreK-12

 

PHASE 2

4. After being admitted, register for two online graduate classes at Point Park University. Each graduate course is 3 credits.

After earning your Instructional I Certification, these 6 credits can be used toward a master's degree (and possible additional certification) in the following areas:

*Transfer credits are not approved for the ABCTE Program. 

Lynn Ribar, Office of Graduate and Online Admissions

Mrs. Beverina-Moore, Director of Student Placements, School of Education

Candidates are required to successfully complete two of the eight-week online graduate courses listed below and earn a 3.0 GPA:

Special Education PreK-12

  • SPED 542 - Intensive Reading, Writing and Math Interventions
  • SPED 534 - Differentiated Instructional Practices in the Inclusive Classroom

PreK-4 

  • EDUC 515 - Foundations of Literacy and Writing
  • SPED 534 - Differentiated Instructional Practices in the Inclusive Classroom

Secondary Education (Grades 7-12)

  • EDUC 501 Instructional Methods for Secondary or EDUC 530 - Instructional Methods
  • SPED 534 - Differentiated Instructional Practices in the Inclusive Classroom

5. Pass American Board exams.

Candidate

Submit American Board scores and certificate in Canvas Professional Development Step 5.

6. Complete the Statement of Financial Responsibility form.

Candidate

 

Submit Statement of Financial Responsiblity form in Canvas Professional Development Step 6

7. Request approval for your 60-day teaching placement and include:

  • Name of the school and school district
  • Teaching schedule
  • School district calendar

Candidate

 

Candidate will acquire his or her own placement. (The placement must consist of at least 60 consecutive days of full-time, full-day teaching in the candidate's certification area. Part-time and cyber school placements are not acceptable.)

Review the chart above for the approved start dates and dates when documents are due.

Submit to Canvas Professional Development Step 7:

  • Name of the school and school district
  • Teaching schedule
  • School district calendar

8. Complete Placement Verification form including School District Official’s signature.

Candidate

Submit approved Placement Verification form to Canvas Professional Development Step 8.

9. Apply for new clearances.

Candidate

 

Submit:

10. Complete Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse: Mandated and Permissive Reporting in Pennsylvania training.

Candidate Submit certificate - Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse: Mandated and Permissive Reporting in Pennsylvania to Canvas Professional Development Step 10.

 

PHASE 3

 

11. Upon successful completion of Phases 1 and 2, candidates are required to gain permission via email from Mrs. Beverina-Moore, to apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the Temporary Teaching Permit (TTP).

Learn more: TIMS FAQ page

Candidate with required permission from Mrs. Beverina-Moore

 

In order to apply for the TTP, a candidate must supply the following to PDE:

Submit the ABCTE application addendum in Canvas Professional Development Step 11.

Review the chart above for the approved start dates and dates which documents are due.

12. Using your TIMS username and password access your Temporary Teaching Permit (TTP).

Candidate

Submit your TTP to Canvas Professional Development Step 12.

13. Mentoring Process Begins

Review the chart above for the approved start dates and dates which documents are due.

Mrs. Beverina-Moore

  • University supervisor assigned
  • Attend the Mandatory Virtual Orientation 
  • Mentoring starts on the next available date
  • Begin 60 consecutive days of full-time, full-day teaching in certification area
  • Maintain attendance card

14. Mentoring Requirements

 

Candidate

 

Complete 60 consecutive days of full-time, full-day teaching in certification area.

Assignments submitted in Canvas ABCTE mentoring:

  • Daily lesson plans as required by your school
  • Submit Weekly Log and Attendance Card
  • Final attendance card with last teaching date approved by University supervisor
  • One lesson plan submitted prior to each of the four required virtual and/or face-to-face observations by the University supervisor
  • One reflection submitted following each observation
  • Complete four seminar assignments
  • Compile professional portfolio

 

PHASE 4

 

15. Upon completion of Phase 3, candidate applies through TIMS for Instructional 1 Certification.

Learn more: TIMS FAQ page

Navigating the Teacher Information Management System Video:

Candidate

 

TIMS

Directions for Applying for Instructional I Certification

2024-2025 Academic Year 60-Day Mentoring

Allegheny County - $4,500
Outside of Allegheny County - $6,000
  • SPED 640 Mentorship for ABCTE Certification - Special Education (0 credits)

  • EDUC 627 Mentorship for ABCTE Certification - PreK-Grade 4 (0 credits)

  • EDUC 640 Mentorship for ABCTE Certification - Secondary Education (0 credits)

View our Graduate Catalog for full course descriptions

Graduate Tuition and Fees 

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 most private student loan programs. However, College Avenue, PNC Bank and Sallie Mae, who are private student loan lenders, will provide assistance to non-degree seeking graduate students.

PA CareerLink Tuition Funding

Point Park's ABCTE Programs for PreK-Grade 4 and Secondary Education teaching certification are approved through PA CareerLink as an Eligible Training Provider (ETP).  Visit the PA CareerLink Program for more information:

To learn more about how to qualify for PA CareerLink funding, visit the PA CareerLink website.

Payment

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.

The Office of Student Accounts is primarily responsible for billing, payment plans, employer reimbursement, third party billing, collections and student refunds.

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