Alternative Teacher Certification in Maryland

Alternative preparation programs for teacher certification are available in the state of Maryland. Candidates will need a bachelor's degree to start and will be required to take state tests to show their competency in basic skills and their subject area knowledge. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Different Ways to Become a Certified Teacher in Maryland

To meet the staffing needs of its school districts, the state of Maryland has developed three alternative pathways to become certified to teach. Candidates who are considering one of these pathways should start out with a bachelor's degree.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Exam Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators in reading, writing, and math; subject-specific Praxis tests or an ACTFL test
Certification Validity Period Professional certifications: 5 years
Resident teacher and conditional certifications: 2 years
Average Annual Salary (2018)* Maryland: $67,170 (kindergarten teachers), $71,060 (elementary school teachers), $69,710 (middle school teachers), $72,610 (high school teachers)
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* Nationwide: 8% (kindergarten, middle and high school teachers), 7% (elementary school teachers)

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Minimum Education Requirements

In addition to the traditional four-year college or university education programs, Maryland offers three different ways to become a certified teacher if the candidate is a career changer or a college graduate.

Maryland requires at least a bachelor's degree to qualify for these alternative pathways. The state's two-year community colleges offer an Associates of Arts in Teaching degree that is designed to link with four-year college programs that would lead to a bachelor's degree.

Education Master's Degree

One way to get teacher certification in Maryland is to continue education past a bachelor's degree and earn a master's degree that results in teacher certification. The Maryland State Department of Education website provides a list of approved programs found at colleges and universities in the state. These post-baccalaureate programs also include options that lead to certification but may or may not require a student to complete an entire master's degree curriculum.

MAAP Programs

The second alternative path to become certified in Maryland is to complete a Maryland Approved Alternative Preparation Program (MAAP). Prospective teachers earn a Resident Teacher Certification (RTC) after completing pre-service training. Candidates can then start teaching in their own classrooms as a certified teacher (with a mentor teacher's guidance and supervision) while continuing to complete education coursework. During this time, they earn the salary and benefits of a certified teacher. MAAP programs are available through various partnerships with four-year colleges and universities. Many times, a local school system will help cover the costs of participation in these programs.

Transcript Analysis

If a candidate for teacher certification has a degree in the content area they want to teach, the pathway of transcript analysis may be an option. Applicants pursuing this route must submit transcripts from their bachelor's degree program to the Maryland State Department of Education for review by certification specialists.

Test Requirements

All pathways to teacher certification in Maryland will require testing to ensure applicants' basic skills competencies in math, reading and writing. These basic skills can be demonstrated with score results from the Praxis exam or standardized admissions tests like the SAT, GRE, or ACT. There are no exceptions to this testing requirement.

A qualifying score on a content area test is also a requirement. Foreign language certification candidates will need to take the ACTFL test to prove content competency, while others take the Praxis tests.

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