Teacher Intern Program (TIP) in Secondary Education

The Intern Certification Program is for post-graduate students seeking a fast-track alternative to an Instructional I certificate.

The DeSales University Teacher Intern Program combines the intensive track of an alternative education program with the rigor of a traditional teacher preparation program.

DeSales is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to offer the opportunity for Intern Certification leading to an Instructional I Certification in the follow areas:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Citizenship
  • Communications
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Social Studies
  • Spanish

The Intern Certification Program qualifies those who have graduated with a baccalaureate degree for teaching positions in schools where vacancies cannot be filled by traditionally-prepared teachers.

An Intern Certification is a valid instructional certificate that entitles the Intern to fill a full-time professional teaching position with all rights and privileges of a temporary professional employee in the area of the Intern Certificate. 

How to Apply

In order to apply for the Intern Certification, the candidate must be officially accepted into the DeSales Intern Certificate Teacher Preparation Program and meet all requirements of the Pre-Certification phase including successful course completion and Stage 1/2/ and 3 Fieldwork in a public school placement. 

Eligibility for Intern Certification Enrollment

  • Baccalaureate degree in a subject area related to the certification sought
  • Cumulative GPA or 3.0 in undergraduate work
  • Undergraduate course work:  Six credits of college level mathematics and six credits of English literature and composition

Pre-Admission Screening

  • Passing score on the Praxis II in the certification area sought prior to acceptance
  • Course Audit process to ensure course coverage in major areas
  • Demonstrated willingness to undertake intensive course work in education especially in the summer preceding the Intern Certification approval
  • Successful completion of the Intern Certificate interview with Education faculty and program liaison
  • PDE-determined background clearances completed in the current calendar year and record-clear
  • Likelihood of an eligible position offer in which to complete the student teaching phase of the Intern program*

* An offer of a teaching position is not a requirement for admission into the DeSales Teacher Intern Program, but it is a requirement for moving from the Pre-Certification Phase into the Intern Certification Phase.  Candidates who are not able to secure an eligible position may continue with the traditional teacher certification program, including the completion of a traditional student teaching experience.

Timeline for Program Completion

  • May 1 is the formal application for program acceptance due date.
  • Summer: Enrollment in 15 credits of Pre-Intern Certification program
  • August 10: TIP Review Committee meets to verify candidates who are eligible for Intern Certification status; program affirms and recommends candidates.
  • Late August:  TIP Certified candidates begin teaching in eligible placement
  • Fall: Enrollment in 9 credits including intensive intern field supervision course SC525
  • Spring: Enrollment in 12 credits including the Intern Practicum (student teaching) required for certification as Instructional 1 in eligible classroom setting
  • May: Upon successful completion of all requirements, candidate will be affirmed and recommended for Instructional I Certification
  • Summer/Fall: Certified teacher continues to complete the master’s program

Typical Course Sequence

Pre-Intern Certification Phase

Step 1:   Take and pass the Praxis II in the Subject Area of Certification. Note: To be official, test scores must be received by PDE, Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality directly from the testing service. If you take the tests in Pennsylvania, the scores of teacher certification tests are reported automatically to the Bureau. 

Step 2:  Enroll in requisite summer courses.  Achieve a grade of B or higher.

Step 3:  Demonstrate success in course work and field experiences.  Apply on TIMS for Intern Certification.

The TIP Review Committee will recommend and affirm successful candidates for Intern Certification.  Those not yet ready for the Intern certification but who demonstrate an emerging ability to teach successfully may be granted entrance into Traditional Post-Baccalaureate Certification Program. 

Intern Certification to Instructional I Phase

TIP Fall   (Total of 9 credits)

Practicum (Student Teaching) Phase

TIP Spring   (Total of 12 credits) 

Summer (Total of 6 credits)

TIP Intern-Certified Candidates, if meeting all requirements for certification, will be recommended and affirmed by DeSales University for Instructional I Certification at the completion of the program.

Optional  Master’s Degree Completion

Fall  (Total of 6 credits)

Spring  Capstone Project (3 cr.)

Master’s Degree conferred for eligible candidates.

Program Regulations

Intern Certification as Defined by PDE

The Intern certificate is a valid professional certificate that entitles the holder to fill a full-time professional teaching position. An Intern certificated individual is entitled to all rights and privileges of a temporary professional employee as defined by law. The current regulation states that a Teacher Intern certificate qualifies the holder to hold a full-time teaching position in the certification endorsement area in elementary and secondary schools of Pennsylvania.

The Teacher Intern certificate is issued for a period not to exceed three calendar years and qualifies the holder to perform all the duties, functions and responsibilities of the certification area(s) for which it is endorsed. Its validity begins the month of issuance and lapses 36 months later whether or not the holder has been continuously employed on the Intern certificate by a public school. 

This certificate can only be issued once, and under no circumstances can this certificate be renewed. The validity of the Teacher Intern certificate, whether issued for general education areas regularly endorsed on instructional certificates or for vocational education areas, is contingent upon (a) the holder rendering satisfactory service to the employing school entity, and (b) maintaining continuous enrollment and making satisfactory progress within an approved teacher intern program leading to issuance of the Instructional I certificate.

The Intern certificate is issued only for instructional areas; it is not applicable for professionals seeking certification as educational specialists, administrators or supervisors. 

TIP Intern Certificate Phase Requirements

(1)  All courses must be completed with a B or higher in order to be issued an Intern Certificate and to progress into the Professional Phase.

(2)  Enrollment must be continuous and follow the course plan in order to remain in good standing in the TIP program

Obtaining an Intern Certificate

After the successful completion of Pre-Intern Certification phase course work, and with the recommendation of the Intern Program Review Committee, the candidate may apply for and be issued an Intern Certification if the candidate has obtained a teaching position or a firm offer of such and the program has received documentation of the offer.

PDE states:  “When a candidate obtains a teaching position or a firm offer, the institution in which the Intern candidate is enrolled applies to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality for an Intern Certificate. After the Bureau verifies the candidate has received passing scores on the required Praxis Series tests, an Intern certificate is issued. The Intern candidate cannot teach without the Intern certificate.” 

Eligible Intern Teaching Positions for Intern Certification

The offer of a position may fit into any of the following categories:

  • A teaching position (for example in a high-need area such as physics)
  • A long term substitute position
  • A day-to-day substitute position with the likelihood of a long-term substitute position in the future in the area of certification (for a period of 14 weeks or greater)
  • A job offer in a parochial or private school**

The Intern Student Teaching Eligible Setting

The teaching position setting must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Student Teaching phase:

  • Instruction within a program that follows PDE Standards for Instruction
  • A consistent full-day instructional position on a schedule which will allow for a minimum of 64 days of intensive and uninterrupted supervision within a 20 mile radius of the university*
  • An instructional position in the area of certification sought
  • A mentor teacher who holds PDE certification in the subject area sought who is willing to mentor the Intern
  • District and principal approval in writing for completing the intern process at that location

*unless otherwise agreed upon in writing

** Candidate must complete Stage 3 field experience in a public school setting if student teaching will occur in a parochial or private school.

Program Completion:  Intern Certification to Instructional I Certification

Upon program completion, the successful achievement of student teaching mastery (pass score on the PDE 430 and CAP Portfolio), and the achievement of a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater, the candidate will apply for Instructional I certification on the TIMS system.  The DeSales University Certification Officer, upon the recommendation of the Director of the M.Ed. program, will affirm and recommend the candidate for Instructional I certification.  That will complete the certification phase of the program

The newly certified teacher may continue, within the span of seven years of starting the program, with the master’s degree course work.

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