Education Department

Since 1904, Susquehanna University has prepared liberal arts students for careers in teaching and education related fields. Students enrolled in education majors that lead to teacher certification master the professional knowledge and skills necessary for state certification and for developing successful and rewarding careers in education.

Upon completion of an education program, students will have learned to:

  • Design instruction and prepare for all aspects of managing a learning environment;
  • Instruct students and assess their learning;
  • Maintain a learning environment that is welcoming, respectful and productive; and
  • Fulfill other professional responsibilities.

Learning goals:

  • Understand how children learn and develop and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development.
  • Understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills.
  • Create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning and self-motivation.
  • Prepare and plan instruction based on knowledge of subject matter, students, curriculum goals, and formal and informal assessment strategies.
  • Include every student—accommodating, adapting and/or differentiating instruction as appropriate, considering readiness, history, interests, achievement and learning styles; cultural, racial, social and ethnic affiliations; and exceptional needs and abilities.
  • Use effective verbal, nonverbal and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration and supportive interactions in the classroom.
  • Function effectively within community-wide systems of education.
  • Evaluate the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, parents and other professionals in the learning community) through ongoing reflective practice and actively seek opportunities to grow professionally.

Requirements for Admission to a Teacher Certification Program

  • Completion of at least 48 semester hours of coursework, including three semester hours of English composition, three semester hours of English/American literature and six semester hours of college-level mathematics;
  • Successful completion of EDUC-101 Introduction to Education and Society;
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.00;
  • Passing PAPA or CORE examinations scores or being exempt through sufficient SAT or ACT scores;
  • Completion of one 40-hour externship (see below), with completed forms returned to the education department;
  • Current Act 24, Act 34, Act 114, Act 126, and Act 151 clearances and negative Tuberculosis (TB) results;
  • Two reference forms completed by Susquehanna University faculty; and
  • A completed application form.

Declaring Interest in Teacher Certification. Students who wish to pursue early childhood, K-12 or secondary education certification should notify their academic adviser and the head of the education department when they make that decision. They should also inform the Office of the Registrar by completing the Declaration of Academic Program form, available in that office.

Externship. An externship consists of 40 hours in a school for observing and aiding in classrooms and other areas of the school, conducting staff interviews, etc. Applicants must complete an externship prior to admission to the education program. Externship information and forms can be obtained from the education department office or the education department website

Applying to a Teacher Certification Program.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that education students apply and be admitted to a teacher education program before completing senior level courses and student teaching. The application packet is available through the education department's website and in the education department office in Seibert Hall. Students may apply for admission to the teacher education program as early as the spring semester of their sophomore year if all requirements have been met. Students must apply and be admitted no later than the first semester of their junior year.

Student Teaching. Student teaching usually occurs in the spring semester of the senior year. To participate in student teaching, students must already be admitted to the teacher education program. Students must also have current TB test results and clearances through Act 24, Act 34, Act 151 and Act 114. Student teachers must have completed all courses required for the major and all education courses except the student teaching block. Students should not take any additional courses during student teaching without written permission from the head of the education department.

Professional Conduct. The education department faculty reserves the right to make a judgment on the suitability of students for professional teaching practice. Practicum students (those in the schools observing and/or aiding a teacher) and student teachers must follow the policies of the host school district. Practicum students and student teachers are held to a professional standard of behavior as specified by the Pennsylvania Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators and will be removed from a school site by a building administrator for unprofessional conduct. A student asked to leave a school site may be assigned academic work outside of student teaching to complete the credits needed for graduation. Grades will be assigned by the education department faculty based on the work completed and evaluations from Susquehanna faculty and the cooperating teachers.

David S. McLaughlin, Ph.D.

Department: Education
Associate Professor of Education

Email Address
Phone Number 570-372-4508

Valerie A. Allison, Ph.D.

Department: Education
Associate Professor of Education

Leigh Ann Kurz

Department: Education
Assistant Professor of Education

Email Address
Phone Number 570-372-4685

Sarah Edwards Moore, Ph.D.

Department: Education
Assistant Professor of Education

Hilario Lomelí

Department: Education
Visiting Assistant Professor Education

Email Address
Phone Number 570-372-4738

Susan Welteroth, D.Ed.

Department: Education
Lecturer Education

Christine Tiday

Department: Education
Director of Teacher Interns and Auxiliary Programs

Email Address
Phone Number 570-372-4251

Sara J. Wenrich

Department: Provost
Education Department Coordinator

Departmental Honors. Departmental honors may be awarded to elementary education majors who meet the following criteria:

  • Overall GPA of 3.50 and GPA of 3.50 or higher in education courses;
  • Completion of early childhood education program for graduation;
  • Submission of a formal application for honors to the education faculty by the second Friday of September of the senior academic year and before implementation of the research project;
  • Acceptance of the application by the education faculty committee;
  • Selection of an honors adviser from the education faculty;
  • Development, in consultation with the selected adviser, of a proposal to execute, interpret and report on the individual research project;
  • Approval by the education faculty committee of the project proposal;
  • Enrollment in EDUC-601 Independent Study (1-4 semester hours);
  • Completion of the research project and a public presentation of results;
  • Submission of a final written report on the project to the honors adviser on or before the last day of classes for the semester of graduation; and
  • Determination of honors status by the education faculty based on student performance.

Education Honor Society. Susquehanna University has a chapter of the international education honor society, Kappa Delta Pi. Education students with a GPA of 3.40 or higher who qualify for admittance to the teacher education program will be invited to apply for membership.

Teacher Certification. The Susquehanna University Department of Education offers the following programs for teacher certification approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education:

  • Early childhood education (preK-4)
  • Secondary (7-12) and (K-12) in areas listed below under Majors Approved for Teaching Certification
  • Music education (PK-12). See the music department for information about this program. 

The Elementary Education Major. Students taking the course of studies necessary to gain one of the Pennsylvania teaching certificates for the elementary grades will major in elementary education. This major combines courses in various disciplines with teacher education courses, including student teaching.

Early Childhood Certification. Students who enter SU's elementary education program will earn a bachelor's degree in elementary education and prepare for preK-4 certification.

Middle Grades Certification. At this time, SU does not offer a program for middle-grades certification (grades 4-8).

Secondary Certification. Students who earn certification in secondary education must major in the subject they will teach. They earn a teaching certification in grades 7-12 by completing the teacher education program, which includes student teaching in the spring semester of the senior year. Courses required for the secondary teacher education program are listed below.

The Teacher Intern Program is a route to certification for those who have a bachelor's degree in an approved major. It is an option for students who do not complete certification requirements as undergraduates, including those who decide to pursue teaching late in their undergraduate program. For information about the program, contact the director of the Teacher Intern Program in the Susquehanna education department office or visit

Majors Approved for Teaching Certification: 

Major Teaching Certification
Elementary Education Early Childhood (preK-4)
English English (7-12)
Creative Writing English (7-12)
Spanish  Spanish (K-12)
French French (K-12)
German German (K-12)
Mathematics Mathematics (7-12)
Music Education Music Education (7-12)
Biology Biology, General Science (7-12)
Chemistry Chemistry, General Science (7-12)
Physics Physics, General Science (7-12)
Biochemistry General Science (7-12)
Psychology Social Studies (7-12)
Sociology/Anthropology   Social Studies (7-12)
History Citizenship Education, Social Studies (7-12)
Political Science Citizenship Education, Social Studies (7-12)

(Some certifications, such as social studies, and some majors, such as biology, may require extra coursework because of state or university requirements.)

Certification Requirements. To qualify for teaching certification in Pennsylvania, students must complete a bachelor's degree in the appropriate major with a grade point average of 3.00 or higher. They must also complete an accredited teacher education program, such as that offered by Susquehanna University, and pass the PAPA, PECT and/or Praxis tests required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). More detailed information about these and other certification requirements is available on the PDE website