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Text Box: CONTACT INFO:Lisa E. Brinks, Ph.D.;MSDE Liaison—Teacher Certification; Frederick and Columbia Campuses;Maryland School for the Deaf;lisa.brinks@msd.edu;240.575.2934 ;301.360.1401 FAXMaryland Educator Certification

Who must hold an educator certificate in Maryland?

According to COMAR, Title 13A, Subtitle 12 CERTIFICATION, designated teachers, specialists, and administrators must obtain and/or hold a valid Maryland Educator Certificate to be employed at the Maryland School for the Deaf, both Frederick and Columbia Campuses.

Certificates are issued and renewed by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) twice a year, in January and July.

What are the types of certificates offered, what is the validity time period for each, and how many times can one get it? For more information, click here

Certification Process 1Certification Process 2Certification Process 3Certification Process 4

What do I need to do to get my Conditional Certificate?

The teacher, specialist, or administrator needs to submit the following documents:

  1. $10 money order, payable to MSDE;
  2. Unopened, official transcripts from every college you went to;
  3. Fill out MSDE's initial application for certification;
  4. Copies of all (if any) test scores (e.g. Praxis);
  5. Verification of teaching experience (if applicable); and
  6. Copy of Maryland or out-of-state certificate/license (if applicable).

What do I need to do when I receive my Conditional Certificate?

The teacher, specialist, or administrator will receive an "evaluation" which outlines what courses or Praxis tests s/he needs to take during their certificate's period. The teacher, specialist, or administrator, based on the evaluation, must meet all the requirements during the two-year validity period, three months before the certificate expires, in order to get a renewal. Applicants must meet Maryland's qualifying score on both Praxis I and II tests.

While you are waiting for MSDE to respond, you may go ahead and complete the standard requirements of all conditional certificate holders to acquire SPC/APC certification (refer to the section on "Process to acquire certification and the appropriate Endorsements"). This will help you get started, and the evaluation will tell you if there are any other courses/tests you will need to take.

Three months before your certificate expires and it is time to start the renewal process, the following documentation needs to be given to Dr. Brinks:

  1. $10 money order, payable to MSDE;
  2. Unopened, official transcripts from the college(s) you earned all your credits from*; and
  3. Copies of all (if any) test scores (e.g. Praxis).

*Specialists may have different requirements. See Dr. Brinks for more information.

What do I need to do while I have a Standard Professional I (SPC I) Certificate, to meet the requirements for the Standard Professional II (SPC II) Certificate?

You need to do the following:

  1. Complete a total of 6 undergraduate or graduate credits, including reading credits, if you need them, during the five-year validity period*;
  2. Be endorsed in your current teaching area, and Highly Qualified (HQ) if you teach a Core Academic Subject (CAS); and
  3. Acquire a minimum of three years of successful teaching experience during this time.

*Specialists may have different requirements. See Dr. Brinks for more information.

FYI: The next step is to get a SPC II; if you don't have a Master's degree or a master's equivalency* while you have a SPC I, then it is highly recommended that you start working on it and acquire one before the end of the SPC II's five-year validity period.

Three months before renewal, the following documentation needs to be given to Dr. Brinks:

  1. $10 money order, payable to MSDE; and
  2. Unopened, official transcripts from the college(s) you earned six credits from.

*master's equivalency: a minimum of 36 semester hours of post-baccalaureate course work which must include at least 21 semester hours of graduate credit (The remaining 15 semester hours may include graduate or undergraduate course work and/or Maryland State Department of Education Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits, or obtained National Board Certification and earned a minimum of 12 semester hours of approved graduate course work earned after the conferral of the bachelor's or higher degree.

What do I need to do while I have a Standard Professional II (SPC II) Certificate, to meet the requirements for an Advanced Professional Certificate (APC)?

You need to do the following:

  1. Complete a total of 6 undergraduate or graduate credits during the five-year validity period*;
  2. Be endorsed in your current teaching area, and Highly Qualified (HQ) if you teach a Core Academic Subject (CAS); and
  3. Acquire a minimum of three years of successful teaching experience during this time; and
  4. Meet the requirements for either a master's degree or master's equivalency**.

*Specialists may have different requirements. See Dr. Brinks for more information.

**master's equivalency: a minimum of 36 semester hours of post-baccalaureate course work which must include at least 21 semester hours of graduate credit (The remaining 15 semester hours may include graduate or undergraduate course work and/or Maryland State Department of Education Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits, or obtained National Board Certification and earned a minimum of 12 semester hours of approved graduate course work earned after the conferral of the bachelor's or higher degree.

What do I need to do while I have an Advanced Professional Certificate (APC), to acquire an APC renewal in five years?

You need to do the following:

  1. Complete a total of 6 undergraduate or graduate credits and/or CPDs during the five-year validity period*; and
  2. Be endorsed in your current teaching area, and Highly Qualified (HQ) if you teach a Core Academic Subject (CAS); and
  3. Acquire a minimum of three years of successful teaching experience during this time.

*Specialists may have different requirements. See Dr. Brinks for more information.

What courses are acceptable for certificate renewal?

All coursework must be taken at a regionally accredited college or university, or through MSDE. Courses taken must be age/grade appropriate and related to education in general in your certification area. Specific specialists can earn CEU’s instead of course credit or CPD’s.

What is a Professional Development Plan? Must I complete one?

A Professional Development Plan is a plan developed by you, with your supervisor, indicating your professional development plans for the upcoming school year. This is required by MSDE for certificate renewal.

What is MSDE's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit? Can anyone use these credits to renew a certificate?

Only APC certificate holders may renew their certificates with continuing professional development credits. The MSDE approved CPD credit is identified as a MSDE six-digit number; look or ask for it if you don't see it in the course or program description before you take the course.

Who is responsible for renewing my certificate?

You are. You need to remember your validity period, and take the required coursework before your certificate expires. Please keep track of the coursework that you take and be sure to send all original transcripts/official grade reports (one opened, one not open) to Dr. Brinks three months before your certificate is up for renewal. It currently takes 16 weeks for MSDE to process all certificate requests. Once we send your certificate renewal information, start checking the EIS Portal in four months to see if your certificate was renewed. If not, keep checking every week thereafter until it is.

Where can I find the status of my certificate on the MSDE website?

You can access your certification information in the Educator Information System (EIS) Portal:

When your certificate is renewed, please download and send it to Dr. Brinks at lisa.brinks@msd.edu or send it to her via interoffice mail.

Is there a fee to renew my certificate? How do I pay it?

Each certificate renewal requires a $10 money order payable to MSDE.

When asking for an endorsement in a certification area, there is no fee.

How may I add a certification area to my certificate?

You may add a teaching certification area by completing 30 credits in a particular certification area or by passing the content praxis test(s) for a specific certification area with a Maryland qualifying score. Click here to access a complete list of tests and required scores.

Specialist certifications (Media, Guidance, Reading Specialists, etc.) and Administrator certification require a course by course evaluation or the conferral of a master's degree in the appropriate area. Audiologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists meet certification requirements by having a license.

What are the Areas of Certification?

Please click here to see the list of:

Teacher Areas, including PreK - 12 Specialty certification:

Specialist Areas:

Administrative or Supervisory Areas:

For others not mentioned here, please refer to the  COMAR Regulations, Title 13A State Board of Education, Subtitle 12 CERTIFICATION, for more information in your area.

If you would like an evaluation of your coursework to add an endorsement in any of these certification areas, please e-mail lisa.brinks@msd.edu with your specific request. If you would like an endorsement but do not have the coursework, you can take the Praxis II to do so.

How and when do I get my actual certificate?

You can print your certificate from the MSDE website at any time in the Educator Information System Portal. Certificates cannot be printed until the date they are issued. You need to set up an account the first time you access the site.

What is the Senior Teacher Waiver and how do I know if I am eligible for it?

According to COMAR 13A.12.01.14B.(1)(2), a teacher who has 25 years of experience in public education or is 55 years of age may request the Senior Teacher Waiver for certificate renewal. That means that the teacher is exempted from taking the 6 credits to renew his/her Advanced Professional Certificate and is not held to the reading or special education required courses that have not yet been met. Before one can ask for the waiver, the certificate holder's certification must be current and hold an endorsement in the appropriate content area.

How do I request the Senior Teacher Waiver?

To request the Senior Teacher Waiver, make a written request (e-mail is fine) to Dr. Brinks. Please indicate your qualifications (age and/or service) for requesting the waiver. Dr. Brinks will share the request with your campus Principal, who will review and make a decision on the request.

If the waiver is granted, your current certificate will be in effect until its expiration date. At that time and each renewal time thereafter, the certificate can be renewed without taking any additional coursework as long as the teacher is employed with MSD.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Processing your application/request with MSDE:

  • How long does it take MSDE to process my application, evaluation, endorsement, or certificate renewal?
    • At least 16 weeks. Check your EIS Portal every week afterwards until you see your certification's process has been completed.

What are the Highly Qualified and not Highly Qualified Core Academic Subjects?

  • Do I have to become highly qualified?
    • If you teach one of the Core Academic Subjects, yes. Click here for a list of CAS.

Teachers are HQ if:

  • Holds a BA (or higher) AND SPC AND passed Praxis II in that content
  • Hold a BA (or higher) AND APC in CAS

"Hearing Impaired" Endorsement

  • "Hearing Impaired" is a sub-set under generic special education. Since MSD has deaf students and many teachers attend Master's Programs in Deaf Education, MSD teachers are given this endorsement. However, to be HQ, we need to follow the criteria.

Teachers who teach Special Needs Students:

  • If Teachers teach Special Needs students, they need to add that endorsement. It can't stand alone.

Praxis II vs. BA in Content area

  • Do I need to take the Praxis II in my Content area even though I have already have a BA in that content area?
    • Yes. For example, if an applicant holds a BA in English, to become certified they would need to complete 21 semester hours of professional coursework and Praxis I and II. The middle school praxis covers grades 4-9. The High School band is 7-12. Elementary and Early Childhood Education endorsements require a program with student teaching or very lengthy credit counts plus Praxis I and II.
  • Where do I find MSDE's Praxis II Content Area Assessments?

Asking for extended time during the Praxis

For individuals who would like to have extended time during the Praxis test, please go to the Educational Testing Service (Praxis) website for more information. FYI- it takes several months to process this so factor this into your planning. 

Process to acquire Certification and the appropriate Endorsements:

All teachers, including "new" teachers need to:

  1. Take and pass the Praxis I;
  2. Take and pass the Praxis II in your Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree content area;
    1. E.g. if your BA is in Biology, take the Praxis II in Biology
  3. Take and pass the Praxis II in your teaching area:
    1. EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION TEACHERS, Age 0 – 3rd grade:
      1. Pass Praxis II in Early Childhood Education.
      2. For those who teach Age 0 – 3rd grade, you may take the Praxis II in Elementary Education as well.
      3. With ECE certification, you are considered "highly qualified" as per NCLB and MSDE.
    2. ELEMENTARY EDUCATION TEACHERS, Grades 1 – 6:
      1. Pass Praxis II in Elementary Education.
      2. For those who teach Kindergarten – 3rd grade, you may take the Praxis II in Early Childhood Education as well.
      3. With Elementary Education certification, you are considered "highly qualified" as per NCLB and MSDE.
    3. MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS:
      1. Take the Praxis II in your teaching area, such as MS English 5-9.
    1. HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS:
      1. Take the Praxis II in your teaching area, such as English, Secondary 7-12.
  4. Take a course in Introduction in Spec Education:
    1. MSDE looks for three key elements: IEP laws, IEP identification and IEP process. The generic special education course can be found at most of the community colleges. It's normally called "Introduction to Special Education."
  5. Take two or four reading courses depending on which department you teach in:

Certification Areas Requiring 12 Credits of Reading:

  • Early Childhood Education PK – 3
  • Elementary Education 1 – 6
  • Special Education: Infant – 3 or 1 – 8
  1. Processes and Acquisition of Reading Skills
    Explains the process of language development, including the impact of phonemic awareness, and how the brain responds to reading acquisition
  2. Methods of Reading Instruction
    Shows teachers how to use a balanced program of phonetics, semantics, and syntactics in teaching reading
  3. Materials for Teaching Reading
    Exposes teachers to a variety of texts to be used in their classes and explains strategies for selecting and evaluating materials
  4. Assessment for Reading Instruction
    Shows teachers how to use state, local, and classroom reading assessment data to make ongoing instructional decisions

Total 12 credit hours

Certification Areas Requiring 6 Credits of Reading:

  • Middle School 4 – 9
  • Secondary 5 – 12/7 – 12
  • PK – 12
  • Library Media Specialist, Ed Media Associate, Ed Media Generalist, Ed Media Specialist
  • Special Education: 6 – Adult, SPD, Visually Impaired or Hearing Impaired
    1. Methods of Teaching Reading in the Secondary Content Area, Part I
      Introduces teachers to the assessment of student reading, cognitive strategies in reading, incorporating reading skills through student-centered instruction and intrinsic/extrinsic motivation for reading
    2. Methods of Teaching Reading in the Secondary Content Area, Part II
      Expands on Part I, enabling teachers to apply theories, strategies, and practices in daily classroom instruction

Total 6 credit hours

Reading Specialist

  • I am a reading specialist; do I need to hold Elementary Certification?
    • Yes. Please refer to the COMAR requirements to become a reading specialist.

Reading Requirement

  • What is the Praxis II Reading test (0201/5201) for?
    • This reading across the curriculum test allows educators to satisfy the 12 semester hours for required reading.

Praxis Study Materials, and Practicing for the Praxis tests

In order to pick out the book for the Praxis test that you want to study and prepare for - Link.

If you'd like to practice before taking the Praxis test - Link.

This is another resource, not provided by ETS: 

Renewal

  • Can I go ahead and take any course towards renewal?
    • It depends on the type of certificate you have; refer to your certification section.
  • Can I take any classes towards renewing my certification requirements? All courses (except the six-credit renewal requirement for APC) need to be pre-approved by MSDE, and the following information needs to be submitted to the Teacher Certification Coordinator, who will submit the request to MSDE for review:
    • Teacher's Full Name
    • Last four numbers of Teacher's SSN
    • The school name (where course is provided)
    • Course Number and Course Description
  • I have an APC. Can I take any courses towards renewal?
    • Yes, if it's relevant to education and age-appropriate. You can take six credits of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Credit, only through a MD Public School System and holds a MSDE six-digit number. And/or take six undergraduate or graduate credits in which a grade will be given.
  • Can I take CPE or CEU credit towards renewal?
    • If you are a teacher or administrator, no. In general, educators may use MSDE's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits provided by a Maryland Public School System will be accepted. These courses carry a six-digit MSDE approval course number.
    • If you are a counselor or in another position other than a teacher or administrator, then yes, you can earn CEUs. Please contact the Dr. Brinks for more information.

Tuition Reimbursement:

You can request tuition reimbursement to cover your course or test fees. Funds for tuition reimbursement are split into two seasons; winter/spring and summer/fall. If you want to take summer/fall classes/tests, the deadline is May 4th. For the winter/spring reimbursement, the deadline is November 4th. Please refer to MSD's Employee Handbook for more information.

You can get a tuition reimbursement form from Ms. Jennifer Lake, Executive Associate to the Superintendent, or Dr. Brinks. Your form must be signed by Dr. Brinks and your campus Principal before it goes to Ms. Lake.

COMAR Regulations

  • Where do I find the COMAR regulations?
    • This is the Department of State Documents and lists the COMAR (the Code of Maryland Regulations) regulations for certification.
    • To use this link:
      • On left side, click on "COMAR Online"
      • Click on "Search Option Three"
      • Go to "Select by Title Number" and click the drop down menu, and choose "Title 13A State Board of Education"
      • Go Subtitle 12 Certification
      • Go to 13A.12.02 is for teachers
      • Go to 13A.12.02.03 for the beginning of teaching area certification requirements
      • Go to 13A.12.03 is for specialists
      • Go to 13A.12.04 is for administrators

Administration and Teacher Certification

As per MSDE's requirements, Core Academic Area Teachers must be highly qualified (HQ) and Non-Core Academic Subjects don't need to be. This was determined by NCLB and the Maryland State Department of Education.

Core Academic Subjects (CAS):

  • Art, Music, Dance, and Theatre
  • Early Childhood
  • Elementary
  • English
  • Foreign Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Reading and Language Arts
  • Science: Biology, Chemistry, Earth/Space, Physical Science, Physics
  • Social Studies: Civics and Government, History, Geography, Economics

Non-Core Academic Subjects:

  • Administrator I and II
  • Agriculture
  • Anthropology
  • Business Education
  • Computer Science/Applications
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Guidance
  • Health
  • Horticulture
  • Journalism
  • Library Media Specialist/Generalist
  • Marketing
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Outdoor Education
  • Philosophy
  • Photography
  • Physical Education
  • Physical Therapist
  • Principal/Supervisor
  • Psychology
  • Pupil Personnel Worker
  • ROTC
  • School Psychologist
  • Social Worker
  • Sociology
  • Speech
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Technology (Industrial Arts)
  • Trades and Industry
  • TV Production
  • Work-based Learning Coordinator
RESOURCES

General Inquiries about Certification:

Acceptable semester credit:

Senior Waiver:

Visit the ETS website (Praxis tests) for registration procedures, accommodations, fees and forms as well as test dates and locations.

The COMAR reference for certificate renewal is 13A.12.01.11.

To see the courses MSDE offers during the summer, visit:

ADM I and II COMAR Reg:

Approved MSDE Courses

This is a listing of "Introduction to Special Education" courses that were pre-approved by MSDE. MSD does not endorse any college or program; rather, this is a collection of courses approved for MSDE's ancillary requirement. When teachers look into other colleges and those courses are approved, it will be added to this list.

Another option is to look at the MSDE’s approved Reading Courses below.

EDU 893S Introduction to Special Education
Trinity Washington University, DC

This course examines federal and state laws of special education, handicapped conditions, recognizing handicapped conditions, and referral and support systems. This course introduces the special education child from the gifted to the severely/profoundly disabled. Attention will be directed toward legislation and core issues that currently influences the field of special education including the Individual with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

ED 203–Foundations of Special Education (3)
Frederick Community College, Frederick, MD

Provides an overview of critical issues and strategies related to educating students who have been identified as exceptional. The course content focuses on historical and legal foundations of special education, inclusive education, developmental characteristics of exceptional students, and strategies for accommodating students. (This course satisfies the Maryland State Department of Education professional education course work in inclusion of special populations.)

STATE OF MD APPROVED READING COURSES