These questions and answers are provided by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and are based upon current regulations. The information is subject to change by the State Board of Education (SBE) and/or the Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board (PSTEB).
1. What is certification? Certification is the process to verify that each educator required to hold a certificate has the qualifications and appropriate training to execute his/her professional responsibilities.
2. Who must hold a Maryland certificate? Teachers, specialists, and administrators in Maryland public schools and in approved schools operated by state agencies must hold a valid certificate appropriate to the field of employment. Certain nonpublic school personnel employed in special education facilities must also hold a valid certificate appropriate to the field of employment.
3. How do I qualify for a Maryland certificate? Certification may be obtained in one of the following ways:
• Completing a college or university state-approved educator preparation program;
• Holding a valid, out-of-state professional certificate and submitting verification of 3 years of full-time satisfactory professional experience;
• Meeting transcript analysis requirements; or
• Completing a Resident Teacher Certificate program.
4. Are there any special requirements for Maryland? As of July 1, 1999 individuals applying for a Maryland certificate are required to complete additional reading course work. Early childhood, elementary education, and special education at those levels are required to complete 12 semester hours. Secondary education, N-12 and secondary special education teachers are required to complete 6 semester hours. Maryland also requires that all certificate holders have 3 semester hours in inclusion of special needs populations.
5. How do I apply for Maryland certification? You may apply by mailing a complete packet of information. This packet must include the following:
• Official transcripts for all course work taken (student copies in unopened mailer are acceptable);
• Copy of Praxis score report or copy of out-of-state tests (if applicable);
• Copy of professional out-of-state certificate (if applicable);
• Cover letter with your name, address, social security number, and area of certification being requested.
6. How long will it take to process my certification application? Complete packets will be processed within 90 days of referral to an evaluator. Incomplete applications will delay the process.
7. How much does a certificate cost? A $10 processing fee is required for the initial certificate and for each certificate renewal thereafter.
8. What Maryland certificates are available? There are 3 professional certificates: Professional Eligibility Certificate (PEC); Standard Professional (I & II) SPC; and Advanced Professional Certificate (APC). The Resident Teacher Certificate (RTC) is granted to individuals who complete the Resident Teacher Certificate Program, Maryland 's alternative certification program.
9. How do I add another certification area to my certificate? To place additional subjects/fields on your certificate, you may either complete an approved program in the certification area, 36 semester hours (24 specifically in the content area of certification and 12 related) and assessments if applicable, or submit a qualifying score on the appropriate Praxis II content assessment. No pedagogy assessment is required to add an endorsement to your professional MD certificate.
10. Will services as a substitute count toward experience? Service as a day to day substitute is not acceptable. However, satisfactory service as a long-term substitute for a minimum of 3 months in the same assignment (totaling 9 months) will be credited.
11. What types of teaching will not count toward certification? The following are not acceptable for the experience requirement:
• Teacher of adult classes of persons 21 years or older
• Day-to-day substitute teaching
• College teaching.
12. Are quarter-hours equivalent to semester credit hours? No. A quarter hour is equal only to two-thirds of a semester credit hour.
13. Are correspondence video, and/or telecommunication courses acceptable? Yes. The courses must be earned and appear as a passing grade on an official transcript of a regionally accredited college or university.
14. How can I obtain a duplicate certificate? Maryland does not issue duplicate certificates. You may write to our office at MSDE.
Certification Assistance Line 410-767-0412 or 1-866-772-8922 (toll free). Use this number to call for general information. Staff is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for state holidays. If you are currently employed in a local school system, you must contact your local school system Human Resources Office or Certification Office. Please check the MSDE website — marylandpublicschools.org
— regarding general information on your certification status before you telephone our office.
Write to us at:
Maryland State Department of Education
ATTN: Certification Branch
200 W. Baltimore St.
Baltimore, MD 21201