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STEM Endorsement Certificate


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The Department of Secondary Education has provided a pathway for students who are interested in teaching STEM. The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) areas of education continue to be a focus around the globe. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes the need to ensure classroom teachers are equipped to inspire children to utilize their creativity, curiosity, and abilities to innovate. Candidates successfully completing this program are also eligible to receive the STEM Education Endorsement Certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education after receiving a Level I instructional certificate. 

Definition of an Endorsement Agreement
Following approval by the Department, baccalaureate or graduate degree-granting institutions or intermediate units, alone or in cooperation with other institutions, community colleges or school entities, may offer short programs (12 credits maximum) that lead to the Program Endorsement. The Program Endorsement documents educator knowledge in new and emerging areas where formal certifications do not exist. The program endorsement is intended to improve a teacher's skills in dealing with complex classroom settings. These endorsements would be added to existing Level I or Level II Certificates but are not required to perform services in these areas.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What exactly does it mean to be STEM endorsed?

First, it is important to understand that an endorsement is not the same as a certificate. Instead, an endorsement would be added to existing Level I or Level II Certificate. Second, according to PDE, the Program Endorsement documents educator knowledge in new and emerging areas where formal certifications do not exist. The program endorsement is intended to improve a teacher's skills in dealing with complex classroom settings. 

What does this qualify one to do once they have it?

The STEM Endorsement doesn't necessarily "qualify" you to do something beyond your current role. For example, unlike a Supervisory Certificate which would allow you to move into a supervisory role, the STEM Endorsement aims to reframe one's teaching to include a greater focus on STEM skills and assessment.  Essentially, the STEM Endorsement can enhance your teaching by incorporating an integrative STEM learning approach/cycle.  

What coursework is involved?

Earning the STEM Endorsement requires four courses:

  • EDU 450: Foundations in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Education
  • EDU 452: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Pedagogy
  • EDU 454: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Skills Application and Assessment
  • EDU 456: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Learning Seminar 

Is this strictly secondary focused or will it include all grades K-12?

The STEM Endorsement can be earned by any K-12 teacher who possesses a Level I or Level II teaching certificate. It is not just for secondary teachers. 

To apply, please complete the online application for professional credit status. There is no application fee.  Once the application is added to the system, an acknowledgment email will be sent providing you with a list of items due and a log in to access your KU online student center, referred to as MyKU.  Submit all non-KU transcripts to the Office of Graduate Admissions. You will then receive a notification with next steps for the registration process. At the conclusion of each course, you may apply for ACT 48 credits. Information can be found at ACT 48.