Applying to the Secondary English PDS Program

The application review process begins October 1 for the following academic school year and candidates are accepted on an ongoing basis until all internship positions are filled. Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to submit their applications in October, and if they do so will have a decision in time to adjust their spring course schedule accordingly. 

Application Process: 

  1. Schedule a meeting with Dr. Michelle Knotts to discuss questions you have about the program and to determine how your past course work fulfills requirements for Pennsylvania certification in English, grades 7-12. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Knotts by emailing [email protected].
  2. Submit a completed application package that includes the following five items:
    • a resume, with complete contact information
    • a letter that explains why you wish to be a part of this year-long internship program and experiences you have had working with youth
    • a copy of your official non-PSU transcripts (or PSU elion printed transcript)
    • two letters of reference with at least one from an academic source
    • a copy of a paper from an advanced level English course
  3. Visit the high school.  After you submit your application, you will be scheduled for a visit to the high school in order to meet current interns and mentor teachers and interview with PDS co-directors.  At the end of your visit, you will be asked to submit a reflection about your experience.

Upon completion of the application process, one of three decisions is possible: first, an invitation to join the program; second, an invitation to be on the waiting list for the program; three, an offer to complete certification in the traditional on-campus program.  

Graduate students who are selected for the PDS program need to apply to the Penn State Graduate School and the M.Ed. Program in Curriculum and Instruction. Information on that application can be found on the Penn State Graduate School website.