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Teaching is one of the most noble professions and the successful career takes life-long dedicated professionals.  Alumni of Clarion University's Education Programs have enjoyed success as teachers across the globe.  Currently, Pennsylvania and many other states are experiencing a teacher shortage, so the career possibilities are increasing dramatically.  Our education programs provide unique opportunities to work with students in rural settings, with students with special needs, with non-native english-speaking students overseas, and to conduct and present research at state and national conferences.

Our nationally accredited School of Education offers PA Teacher Certification Programs in:

  • Early Childhood / Elementary Education (PreK-4)
  • Middle Level Education (4-8)
  • Secondary Education (7-12)

and each of these programs can be combined with special education. We also offer an online associate degree in early childhood (Early Childhood Directors Program).

The Education Department also offers a graduate program leading to a Master's Degree in Education with concentrations in:

  • Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Leadership
  • Reading Education (K-12)
  • Early Childhood
  • Science
  • Special Education
  • Technology

A PDE-approved Online Instruction Endorsement is offered for current teachers as a component of the Masters of Education Degree or as a stand-alone non-degree program.

Each curriculum meets:

  • Graduation requirements of the university
  • Certification requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation standards of professional groups such as the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

You can join our programs at the beginning of your college career or join us as a transfer student. If you already have a degree, perhaps a post-baccalaureate plan is the right option for you.

Programs of Study / Continuing Education

Continuing Education


Advance your career as a child care director or professional with this nine-credit program through PA KEYS.*

  • ECH 322: Curriculum Bases for Learning and Teaching
  • ECH 421: Child Care Management and Administration
  • ECH 413: Leadership in Early Childhood Settings

This program is entirely online enabling you to work full-time as you earn college credits. All courses are taught by skilled, full-time faculty who care about your success. To enroll in the program, a minimum of an associate's degree is required. Act 48 hours can be earned for these courses. Before students can enroll in education classes they must provide proof they have obtained all necessary clearances.

For more information call 866 272 5612 or email Clarion Online.  To apply, click here.

* Note: The Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality, sponsored by the Department of Public Welfare's Office of Child Development, is a quality improvement program in which all early learning programs and practitioners are encouraged and supported to improve child outcomes.


Clarion University is the place to renew your PA KEYS Director's Credential.

  • Grow as you renew your director's credential at Clarion University.
  • Build new skills and marketability online as you to continue full-time work in your home community.
  • Connect with skilled, full-time faculty who care about your success.
  • Excel with Clarion, an accredited public university educating teachers for more than 100 years.

You may register for a three-credit early childhood course at the undergraduate or graduate level that addresses your area of need as identified on your Professional Development Record to obtain this credential. Classes related to all of the Core Knowledge Competency areas are offered online. If you need assistance choosing a course, please contact Dr. LouAnn Bonnett.  To apply, click here.

A minimum of an associate's degree is required for enrollment in the undergraduate courses, and bachelor degree is required for enrollment in graduate courses. Act 48 hours can be earned for these courses.

Graduate Credit:
In order to take the courses for graduate credit, you must submit an official transcript showing the bachelor's degree and date awarded in a sealed envelope from the institution before being registered for the course. Transcripts must be mailed directly to:

Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Office of Graduate Studies
840 Wood Street
Clarion, PA 16214

*Note: The Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality, sponsored by the Department of Public Welfare's Office of Child Development, is a quality improvement program in which all early learning programs and practitioners are encouraged and supported to improve child outcomes.


This program is designed for those who currently hold a Child Development Associate Credential or Pennsylvania School-Age Credential and need additional course work hours or credits to renew it.

These three one-credit courses will provide the course work hours required for renewing the CDA or School-Age credential, which is valid for three years from date of issue. There is also the option of taking on three-credit course to renew the CDA or PA School-Age Credential.

For more information, contact Clarion Online.


Clarion University's program is the first Skills for Teacher Leaders Endorsement Program approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Schools are far too complex for principals to lead alone and teachers are needed to fill positions of:

  • Department Chair
  • Grade Level/Curriculum Coordinator
  • Instructional Coach
  • Site Leaders at both the instructional and organizational levels

Benefits of the program:

  • Networking
  • Extensive field experience
  • Job embedded projects
  • Two 7-week semesters offered fall and spring
  • Earn Act 48 credit

What you can expect from this program:

Understanding teacher leadership as the gateway to enhancing instructional effectiveness, peer mentoring and the impact on the professional community, the role of change in an era of accountability, and understanding of the school as a cultural and political entity.

You can earn the PDE Skills for Teacher Leaders Endorsement to add to your Level I or Level II PA Teaching Certificate in two semesters and be prepared to Teach to Lead.  If you are looking to obtain your Level II certification, you can apply the 12 credits in  this program toward the 27 credits required of Level II Certification.  If you are pursuing your M.ED. degree you only need one more course for CNI.


Students enrolled in the Early Childhood Director's Program, the Early Childhood Director's Credential Renewal Program or the Pennsylvania School-Age Credential Renewal program may be eligible for the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance program. The T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship is also available for eligible students.

Federal TEACH Grant

This federal grant provides up to $4,000 per year. Financial need is not a requirement of this grant. Students who are interested in the TEACH Grant should print the Teach Grant Preliminary Application and return it to the Student Financial Services Office located on the first floor of Becht Hall.

Learn more about the Federal TEACH Grant

 Career Outlook

Teacher shortages continue to build across Pennsylvania and the nation.  Over 90% of the states report teacher shortages, with the most dire needs in:

  • Math
  • Science
  • ESL
  • Special Education

According to the Education Commission of the States May 2016 Report, enrollment in teacher preparation programs continues to decline.  Now is the time to join the ranks of teachers, as the Pennsylvania Department of Education continues to report dramatic needs in teacher certification in:

  • Secondary Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Science
  • Special Education

Clarion graduates in these certification areas are experiencing nearly 100% placement upon graduation. 

In addition, our Early Childhood/Special Education dual degree provides elementary schools with teachers in high demand, certified in both Elementary and Special Education.


Internships and student teaching opportunities are provided within a 70-mile radius of Clarion University in:

  • rural
  • culturally diverse
  • socio-economically diverse settings
Online field experiences with non-native English speaking students are continuing to expand into countries like Spain, Morocco, and Korea.


Dr. John McCullough
Department Chair
123 Stevens Hall
Phone:  +1 814 393 2404
Fax:  +1 814 393 2558


Success Stories

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Social Studies Students

 Read about Clarion University students presenting at the National Council for Social Studies Conference!

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Chris Albrecht

 Christopher Albrecht teaches 4th grade Language Arts, sciences, and technology, and has remained consistent finding pleasure in being a catalyst for children to find joy and happiness in learning. (more)



Last Updated 9/4/18