Act 48 Information for PA School Psychologists
WHAT EVERY PSYCHOLOGIST NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT ACT 48
SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
On November 23, 1999, Governor Tom Ridge signed into law Act 48, which changes the requirements for maintaining an active Pennsylvania Professional educator certificate. Act 48 requires ongoing studies throughout each educator’s career.
WHAT IS ACT 48 AND WHO IS AFFECTED?
Act 48 requires all Pennsylvania educators holding Pennsylvania public school certification, including Intern, Instructional I and II, Educational Specialist I and II, Administrative, Supervisory, Letters of Eligibility and all vocational certificates, to participate in ongoing professional education. School psychologists hold education specialist certificates.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS UNDER ACT 48?
All professional educators must obtain six credits of collegiate study; six credits of continuing professional education courses; 180 hours (6/6/180) of continuing professional education programs, activities or learning experiences; or any combination of credits or hours equivalent to 180 hours every five years to maintain active status. One college credit equals 30 hours. All credits and hours must be related to an educator's certification, unless approved by the educator's school board or the educator is enrolled in an administrative program.
MUST EDUCATORS WHO HOLD PUBLIC SCHOOL CERTIFICATION BUT ARE NOT EMPLOYED IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF ACT 48?
Yes, the provisions of Act 48 apply to all educators holding Pennsylvania public school certificates. Educators not employed by Pennsylvania public schools may maintain their certificates as active or they may request voluntary inactive status of their certificates by submitting Form PDE 338R. However, it is important to note that private and nonpublic schools may, at their discretion, require their professional staff to maintain their certificates as active by completing continuing education credits or activities. Employment by the public school entities will necessitate the completion of the Act 48 requirements.
HOW WILL THE RECORDS OF CREDITS AND HOURS ACQUIRED BY THE EDUCATORS BE REPORTED?
State-approved professional education providers are responsible for reporting hours/credits to the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Act 48 Professional Education Record Management System. PPA can submit this information for our members for any PPA workshops that are attended or any workshops that have been approved by the American Psychological Association, Pennsylvania State Licensing Board, or Department of Education. You can contact Erin Brady at the PPA office if you have any questions at (717) 232-3817.
HOW CAN EDUCATORS AND SCHOOL ENTITIES ACCESS CONTINUING EDUCATION RECORDS?
Educators can get information regarding the status of their continuing education through the PDE Web site at www.pde.state.pa.us, Act 48 Reporting System.
WHAT IF CIRCUMSTANCES PREVENT AN EDUCATOR FROM COMPLETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF ACT 48?
There is a provision for granting an extension of the five-year period due to extenuating circumstances. The Act also provides for an educator's right to appeal a notice of inactive certification. The Department will develop procedural guidelines for the above provisions.
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF AN APPROVED PROVIDER?
An approved professional education provider is an accredited institution of higher education, school entity, individual, regional professional education organization/agency, corporation, partnership, limited liability company or association approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to provide continuing professional education credits, collegiate credits or professional education hours in accordance with Act 48. PPA is an approved provider.
WHERE CAN YOU GO FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ACT 48?
For more information please visit the Act 48 section of the Pennsylvania Department of Education website: http://www.pde.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt.community/pennsylvania_department_of_education/7237
You can also contact the Bureau of Teaching and Learning Support at PA Department of Education, 333 Market Street - 8th Floor, Harrisburg, PA, 17126-0333, Voice: (717) 772-4944, Fax:(717) 772-3621. Or contact the PPA office at (717)232-3817 and talk to Erin Brady, our Membership Services Coordinator. She may be reached by email at email@example.com.